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Review: Dish: Stirring It Up

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Dish: Stirring It Up
By Diane Muldrow
ISBN: 0448428156
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Publication date: May 2002
Format: Paperback
List price: $4.99 (Canada, UK)
Type: Children's storybook/cookbook
Sample recipe: Mom's & Amanda's Favorite Cobbler
intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler coffee-table comprehensive biblical stature
competition: outclassed also-ran midrange strong challenger leads the pack
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 >300
practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% >80%
# of ingredients: <3 <6 <9 <12 >12
ingredient hunt: 7-11 pantry supermarket online airfare required
recipe complexity: baby steps simple medium intense professional
instructions: inadequate bare bones full figured educational verbose
time conscious: outright lies speed of light fairly quick takes time takes all day
photos/drawings: skimpy decorative generous instructive glorious
recipe results: dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
flavor quotient: disappointing fair good delicious exceptional
layout: ick cluttered clean a pleasure work of art
legibility: microscopic challenging adequate clear brilliant
production quality: cheesy questionable average years of service gift-quality
value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money excellent
Ease of Use
page numbers: invisible hard to find spotty adequate obvious
table of contents: missing pointless frustrating fine helpful
index quality: none tragic adequate good excellent
page flipping: infuriating tedious acceptable rare never
writer: hack committee cook turned writer writer turned cook celebrity/auteur
cooking heritage: unknown self-taught non-restaurant chef celebrity
overall rating: fair good above average excellent Ochef Top 100
Comments: Eleven-year-old twin sisters Molly and Amanda Moore are in the middle of summer vacation before middle school and hopelessly bored. They don't want to have takeout food for dinner again so they go shopping to get food and they cook a gourmet meal for their family. It turns out to be fantastic! They sign up for cooking classes with their best friend Shawn Jordan. (The Moores became like a second family to Shawn after her mom died.) Another friend, Peichi Cheng, a girl whom they have known since kindergarten, signs up for the class, too.

The only problem is that Natasha Ross is also taking the class, and she has tried to make trouble for the friends. For instance, once she had spread a big rumor that Amanda, Shawn and Molly had cheated on an important test at their old school (which wasn't true.)

The instructors, Carmen Piccolo and Freddie Gonzalez, teach the class knife skills and kitchen safety rules as the students make a delicious meal. The best part of the class is that when they're finished, the students get to eat what they made.

After class, Mrs. Moore asks the girls to be nice to Natasha even though she was mean to them. The twins' mom thinks Natasha is sad or lonely and acts mean to cover that up.

A new family on the block, the McElroys, has an electrical fire in their kitchen and has to move out of their house for a while. Peichi's family owns an apartment house, and they lend an apartment to the McElroys until they can move back into their house. Mrs. Moore suggests that the she and Molly, Amanda, Peichi, and Shawn cook food for the McElroy's to make the change easier. The girls think this is a great idea (especially since Amanda has a crush on Justin McElroy). They reluctantly invite Natasha to cook with them, but she turns their offer down.

The cooking is a lot of fun, but bringing the food to the McElroys apartment and seeing the looks on their faces when they open the boxes was the best part.

The four girls begin to write a cookbook called Dish containing all of their favorite recipes. That's when they got the idea to start a cooking club!

In the back of each book is a pullout recipe card, safety tips, and a few recipes from the Chef Girls. These books are great for 8-12 year old budding chefs.

Read about the girls' other adventures in

Reviewed by the Ochef Kid's Review Group

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