Tiana's Cookbook: Recipes for Kids

Disney's new animated movie, The Princess and the Frog, opens tomorrow. I definitely want to watch this one, not just because I think no one does classic cartoon movies quite like Disney. I also think it will be interesting to see how Disney moves this fairytale from its traditional blond-princess, medieval/french rennaissance setting to Louisiana and the bayous. And I think it's great that The Princess and the Frog will help bring elements of Creole and African-American culture into young kids' consciousness.

To help us get jazzed up for the movie, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Press sent us a copy of Tiana's Cookbook: Recipes for Kids, along with a Princess and the Frog doll, some fun Princess and the Frog party goods and an apron. We had a grand time cooking up some of Tiana's recipes! Here's more about what I thought of the cookbook:

The Basics
Tiana's Cookbook: Recipes for Kids is Disney's latest movie-themed cookbook containing recipes from Princess Tiana's world that kids can make themselves. Here is what Disney Consumer Products and Disney Press have to say about the book and the movie:

Opening nationwide December 11, The Princess and the Frog is a magical fairytale set in New Orleans that marks Disney's return to musicals and the warmth and grandeur of 2D hand drawn animation. The film also introduces Disney's newest princess in more than 10 years, Princess Tiana. From the heart of Louisiana's mystical bayous and the banks of the mighty Mississippi comes an unforgettable tale of love, adventure, comedy and heart where food and cooking are central to the storyline. Tiana's Cookbook: Recipes for Kids offers great Bayou-inspired dishes like those Princess Tiana would prepare. The recipes are rated on a five-frog scale in terms of difficulty so you can select the one that works best for your children.

The Bongga
There are going to be a lot of Tiana fans after families start watching The Princess and the Frog, and this cookbook is a fun way for those fans to explore Tiana's world! There are a variety of recipes for different tastes and abilities, and the recipes are rated for difficulty so you can decide which ones your child can tackle. I really like the fact that the recipes, while mostly simple, aren't "dumbed down" for children. No mashed potato faces or pigs in a blanket here; you get real food like gumbo and crumble. Of course, there are fun recipes like froggy cupcakes and alligator cake, but grownups will enjoy making and eating every single recipe -- even the peanut butter sandwiches cut into cute flower shapes make great tea sandwiches.

The first dish we tried was Tiana's famous beignets, which are dense, moist doughnuts. The recipe was super easy to follow, and The Pea was able to do practically everything by herself, even the deep frying.

In retrospect I would have cut the dough up into smaller squares (the recipe says it makes 16 doughnuts but I would have cut it up to make 32), but the end result was delicious! I've never been able to identify the difference between a donut I love and a donut that's so-so, but thanks to Tiana's recipe, I can now -- it's the nutmeg. The nutmeg is the magic ingredient! After munching on those beignets, my kids and I can't wait to see The Princess and The Frog, and we'll definitely be enjoying more of Tiana's recipes in the future.

The Blah
Since this is a kids' cookbook, I think it should have included step-by-step photos, especially for the more complicated recipes.

The Bottom Line
Tiana's Cookbook: Recipes for Kids is a fun memento for kid who enjoy The Princess and the Frog movie and a nice way for them to explore Tiana's world. It' s also a great cookbook and a wonderful way to introduce kids to a new kind of cuisine.

I received a sample in order to review this product, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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