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Spa Princess Cookbook
By Barbara Beery
ISBN: 1423605020
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Publication date: March 2009
Format: Spiral-bound hardcover
List price: $14.99 
Type: Kid's
Sample recipe: Fruit Sushi
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: A two-part book, only one of which – the cooking part – we feel competent to address. The other half is all about food, yes, but combining it with soaps and fragrant oils to make spa treatments. Everything looks like fun.

The foods themselves are meant primarily for a spa party, include drinks, shakes, smoothies, cookies, fruit dishes, a dairy fondue, cakes, etc. The book says it's for ages 6 and up, but children that young will need lots of attention. Older girls will want a little less supervision.

A hint more kindness in the measuring instructions would be a nice thing. A cup of butter equals what? Two sticks. Surely it would be easier to measure 1/4 cup of light brown sugar than 4 tablespoons. A few of the decorating items and some of the serving containers are going to require a trip to the store – and possibly a specialty store. Some of the edible recipes use soy or almond instead of milk, so there are actually a certain number of choices for vegans.

We are little old sticks in the mud, but we worry now and then that the pressures of society subtly influence little girls to be too sophisticated. We are a little concerned that the photos of so many drinks in goblets and mixed drink glasses may send too much of the wrong message.


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