As always, Spires insists that each undertaking be sensible—and fun. she states the Principles (for example, Temperament is as important as temperature when cooking with kids.). She provides more than 100 handy tips, and then she lays the recipes out in sections (Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Entrees, Desserts). She winds things up with a chapter on Occasions and Seasons. It's full of menu ideas cross-referenced to the recipe section, guaranteed non-geeky decorating possibilities (including table settings that range from fun to elegant), and soup-to-nuts shopping list suggestions for each occasion. Try simple suppers for your family, or Moveable Feasts (that work for potlucks, picnics and tailgate parties).
Each recipe section opens with recipes that are manageable for the youngest beginner and moves to recipes that build and refine techniques over time. (Each recipe notes the skill it teaches.) The recipes are tempting—Bruschetta and Homemade Chips, Turkey and Corn Chowder and Tortellini, Greek Salad and Bibb 'n Orange, Green Noodles and Peanutty Tenders, Poached Pears and Apple Tarts—and more. This treasure of fun and good eating is your answer to the question that inevitably comes from your child when you start stirring around in the kitchen, Whatcha makin'?!