Category Archives: cooking

Decidedly Disappointing “Deceptively Delicious” Cookbook

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

_________________________

A week ago, I purchased Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Steps to Get Your Kids to Eat Good Food.” Hopeful and eager, I quickly got to work and pureed six types of vegetables and some fruit (using two pots of boiling water), produced over a dozen little baggies of purees, and prepared four different recipes.

Jessica Seinfeld’s Cookbook, “Deceptively Delicious”

After eating Turkey Chili (with carrot and red pepper puree), Tortilla Cigars (with yellow squash and carrot purees), Banana Bread (with cauliflower and banana purees) and Scrambled Eggs (with cauliflower puree), my family announced, “Sorry, but this stuff is honestly awful.” Rats! I was really looking forward to making Gingerbread Spice Cake (with broccoli and carrot puree).

Seriously (or truthfully), I wanted to like this food. Of course, I wanted my kids to like it, too. It seemed like such a great idea! Even Oprah’s wiz doc, Dr. Mehmet Oz, supported it and thought Ms. Seinfeld was on to something. And heck, we are loyal “Seinfeld” fans (of her husband’s old television series on DVD).

But, this whole “pureed vegetables snuck in kid-friendly food” thing? For our family, it’s a total bust. Sorry, Jessica (and Jerry).

Okay, I confess that I didn’t take that first suggested (perhaps most important) step — deceive the kids. In fact, I actually described the concept of vegetable purees being put into kid-friendly food and even disclosed at the outset which veggies I was putting into the food — even showed the kids the recipes (!). Then, when my son heard that I intended to actually make several of the recipes, he looked hurt (and a bit irritated) and asked, “Why would you do that to vegetables? Why would you do that to us?” He didn’t like the idea of moms deceiving their kids. Then when he tried a few of the dishes, he sounded like a food critic from the New York Times (or maybe just a son who felt angry at the notion of parents trying to pull a fast one on their kids). “Mom,” he said emphatically, “I’d much rather have real carrots in this Turkey Chili than this orange…goop you put in it.” Then he told me he would rather eat brussels sprouts than anything I made using the recipes from the cookbook.

Sigh.

Back to the drawing board.

Or maybe to the movies. Jerry’s “Bee Movie” comes out soon…

Book image from Amazon.

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Children, cooking, Culture, family, food

Handy Chart of Purees for Seinfeld’s Cookbook

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

_________________________

Jessica Seinfeld from her Deceptively Delicious Website

Okay, this might sound crazy (or like something that you’d expect on an old “Seinfeld” episode), but I was so excited to try the recipes in Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, “Deceptively Delicious” that I stopped at the store after taking the kids to school and purchased a slew of vegetables. I didn’t have the book with me and I didn’t have a detailed list of ingredients for selected recipes. I thought I’d be okay, though, because fairly early in the cookbook (pp. 28-29) Seinfeld provides a chart of all the vegetables used in the book with instructions on how to steam and puree them (by the way, when you puree the squash or the red pepper, be sure to dry the processor or the purees will be a bit runny). I looked at those pages last night and watched her video on the Oprah website (if you go to that link, just click on “Go in the Seinfeld home” to see the video), so I thought I could remember (generally) which veggies to buy. Well, I knew I already had six zucchini and a bunch of carrots, but I bought more carrots as well as cauliflower, red pepper, spinach, yellow squash and avocados.

Seinfeld pureeing on Oprah

I came home and went into pureeing overdrive. I started boiling two pots of water (one slightly later than the other so I could stagger the steaming/pureeing actions), turned on my favorite music and got to work. Before long, I had little baggies of all the above mentioned veggies (with an overabundance of zucchini). Well, as I was deciding whether to put the bags in the freezer or the fridge, I (finally!) realized I needed to figure out which recipes I would make first. I flipped through the book looking for a recipe with “zucchini puree” in the list of ingredients. When I was on page 147 I started to worry just a little. Eventually I discovered that only one of the recipes calls for the zucchini puree — the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I guess I’m going to be giving cookies to everyone I see (my kids aren’t fans of oatmeal). Well, that’s not such a bad thing…

JSeinfeld’s Oatmeal Cookies on Oprah

A bit deflated at that point, I thought, “Okay, I’m eager to get veggies into my veggie-deficient kids, but I need some kind of tool to cross reference the purees with the recipes.” Well, I love making charts, so I quickly put together a handy dandy little tool. This way, if I happen to end up with a bushel of carrots, I’ll know my options. Here it is:

Purees for Deceptively Delicious - bmg

By the way, some of the recipes use two purees, so I suggest that you check the recipes before shopping — no matter how eager you are to make them!

Also, if you’re interested in finding out more about Jessica and her book, I recommend visiting her website or the Oprah website.

Images from Oprah‘s website (and my word processing software).

2 Comments

Filed under books, cooking, Culture, family, food

The Cookbook that is SO Seinfeld

UPDATE:

As of February 10, 2008, the Being a Mom is Great blog has moved here (www.soapboxmom.com). Please visit Soapbox Mom to read more articles by this author (bmg mom is now Soapboxmom).

_________________________

Everyone knows that a big part of being a mom is feeding the kids. When you’re talking about little kids, it’s often a big challenge. It’s a struggle to do it well (i.e., make sure they eat enough veggies and fruit, not much junk, etc). How many kids do you know love vegetables and ask for them, especially at this (Halloween) time of year when all that’s on their minds is CANDY?

So, of course I was intrigued when I heard about a cookbook that claims to provide recipes for great tasting food filled with hidden veggies. The idea is that you puree all sorts of fruits and vegetables so that, when you add them to your recipes, you retain the nutrients but disguise their appearance. In other words, you make pancakes with sweet potato puree or scrambled eggs with pureed cauliflower (which is a great example of a vegetable that my kids won’t let come near their mouths!). Deceptive? Yes, if you don’t tell your kids what’s inside.

Jessica Seinfeld’s Cookbook

Who better to write this deceptive cookbook than a Seinfeld? When my family and I first read about this book we looked at each other and said, “That’s SO Seinfeld!” (Yes, I admit that I let my kids watch certain episodes of our DVD collection of “Seinfeld” and they’ve watched enough to know the humor). Remember the frozen yogurt episode? Elaine, Jerry & the guys discover unbelievably tasty frozen yogurt and can’t believe that it’s supposed to be better for you than ice cream. Then they notice it’s not as healthy as they were led to believe. Well, now Jerry has the real thing! The food in this cookbook is tasty and healthy!

Jerry’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld, calls the book, “Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food” and makes no attempt to apologize for her sneaky methods. Her sketched likeness on the cover of the cookbook winks at you knowingly. I suppose if her kids didn’t know about the stealth veggie/fruit inclusion before the book was published, they most likely know now.

I bought the book but haven’t yet made any of the recipes. Maybe it’s because my kids are older than Mrs. Seinfeld’s, but I felt compelled to tell them all about the hidden-veggies-in-the-food concept. I’m not sure whether that will doom the recipes, but I’d rather have them play along with me and be pleasantly aware of the versatility of food.

Tomorrow, I’m going to spend some time pureeing!!

Image from Amazon.

4 Comments

Filed under books, cooking, family, food