September 16, 2010


Cooking for Isaiah book Review & Giveaway

Cooking for Isaiah has a lot of things about it that I love.  I love the fact that it is written by a mom who was motivated to develop great tasting recipes for her son.  I love that the recipes are kid friendly, but also the kind that adults will enjoy.  I love that the recipes are both gluten and dairy free.  I love the numerous color pictures in the book.  There is a lot to love (or at least like) about this book.

One of the many pictures in this book that really grabbed my attention was the Raspberry-Lemon Meringue Layer Cake.  We love lemon desserts and I just had to give this one a try.  It didn’t disappoint.  It was pretty easy to make, looked beautiful, and was quite the combination of sweet and sour.  The picture in the book is better, but this gives you an idea of how lovely it is.

raspberry lemon meringue 2
The book contains 135 recipes that cover most of the typical food categories.  There is also a section at the beginning on the basics that includes Sylvana’s all-purpose flour blend and her pancake mix.

There are a couple of things I don’t like about this book.  I have gotten to the age where I use reading glasses, but the distance at which I prop my cookbook is too far for reading glasses.  I really wish the ingredients list in the recipes was a slightly larger and easier to read type face. The instructions I find easier to read. 

In addition, I was not thrilled with some of the ingredients used in the recipes.  I think it’s helpful to know what kind of ingredients are used before you buy a book.  There was an obvious lack of whole-grain flour.  Silvana’s flour mix uses white rice flour and starches. The only whole grain I noticed was cornmeal.  I’m not terribly bothered by this, since I am comfortable with making flour substitutions.  I also noticed the use of corn syrup and vegetable shortening in several recipes.  These are ingredients I don’t use.  They mainly show up in the desserts and more than once made me pass over a recipe.  Having said that, I should note that there are plenty of healthy ingredients such as olive oil and vegetables in many of the recipes.

To end on a positive note, I’m looking forward to trying some of the recipes in her sandwiches and pizza chapter.  She doesn’t provide any loaf bread recipes, but there are recipes for waffle bread, olive oregano bread slabs, bialy bread slabs, and pizza crust.

To learn more about the author Silvana Nardone, this book, and to find other recipes, visit the web site dish towel diaries.

The Giveaway:

You can enter to win a copy of this book by leaving a comment of this post.  You must leave separate comments for each entry:
You must be a U.S. resident to win.  The giveaway will end on Wednesday, September 22 at 11:00 p.m. eastern time.  I will notify the winner by email and will announce the winner on my Facebook page.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this cookbook for review.  The opinions in this post are my own.

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Linda-I have the same vision issues and find that so irritating. A very fair review that differs from others I've read. Luckily those of us who've been at it this a long time know how to substitute to get some whole grain goodness into recipes. Too bad the author didn't include some, especially when dealing with growing children's nutritional needs.
I just heard about that book in an AP news article today. I'm always looking for new kid-friendly gluten-free recipes. Would love to win this book :-)
I am looking for a good book to get recipes the whole family would like... I just found out recently that i need to be gluten free =( It has been tough on me and my family... i need as much help as i can get!!
I am your friend on facebook and i also get e-mails from u =)'
I would truley LOVE to win this book!
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My fiance and I have two girls, ages 2 and 1 and we are new to the gluten free/ dairy free world :) I am constantly struggling working with my own health, also being a diabetic, as well as preparing meals for our kids. It is extremely hard for me with my youngest because of finding ways to substitute for example whole milk with her dairy allergy. Would LOVE to win this cookbook to help me out but also teach my girls that it can be fun :) I also am subscribed to your feed via email as well as facebook!
I cook and bake for my wife, who is gluten free. I am always looking for new ways to present interesting and tasty food that tastes as good as or better than old favorites.

Great review, sounds like a good book.

Like you, I am picky about ingredients, so I probably wouldn't use the recipes exclusively, but sometimes, and for special occasions, it's nice to have something that you know will just TASTE good, and be comparable to what the other kids are I would really love to test some of the recipes, and would certainly like to try the healthier ones you describe!
I like you on FB:)
I also subscribe via email.
Definitely needing a new g-free cookbook!
I would love to win this book. With 5 kids and 4 unable to have gluten I am always on the lookout for kid friendly recipes.
I'm always interested in new GF cookbooks.
I would love to win this book because my 5 yr. old and 3 yr. old miss good food! It would be nice to have a cookbook with kid approved recipes! Thanks!!!
As a mama with a kiddo who doesn't do dairy or gluten, I would love to have this book. I am always looking for more ideas.
I always need family friendly gluten and dairy free ideas! Thanks for reviewing this one Linda.
I subscribe via feed burner (google reader)!
You are "liked" on FB :)
That picture alone entices me to be interested in this cookbook!
I am excited to see a mainly kid friendly cookbook. Not because I have kids but because I love kid food myself! At the same time though it sounds like it is gourmet enough for someone who isn't completely comfortable in the kitchen yet. I just recently had to go gluten/sugar free and I still don't really know what I am doing : )
I would love to get some new ideas for my family my boys 6, 2, as well myself are gf. Thanks for the giveaway.
I get your emails. Thanks for all you do.
I like you on Facebook.
I would the cookbook, because I usually can not afford the more expensive gluten free flours.
I already a subscriber
Hey Linda--Thanks for the excellent review! I plan to do one soon myself, but have only just flipped through the book so far.

It is a beautiful book for sure, but functionality for use is important. Like you and Wendy, I like being able to read easily as well.

As far as the flour mix, I think that folks tend to go that route in the beginning and let's face it most of the gf flour mixes available for sale are the same way, but it is great to figure out better, whole grains to use over time. I'm still one who is figuring that all out because I do have digestive issues with some of the whole grains. (I'm not sure how widespread that concern is though.) I have been able to re-introduce brown rice flour and millet flour and do great with those, but just tried sorghum and still have issues there. Whole grains are definitely best, and I love grain-free choices like almond flour.

BTW, I think your cake looks great. Thanks again for the thorough review!

I just subscribed.
My don was just diagnosed with celiac disease, so I am still learning to cook safely for him. This book sounds like a great collection of recipes for me to have.
I'm in the process of becoming gluten and dairy free. I would love to win, thank you for the chance.
Email subscriber
I 'like' you on Facebook (Marla Yuhas)
Twitter follower (nanatide)
Eating gluten & dairy free is hard...I'm always looking for new recipes.
I subscribe to your RSS
I subscribe by email. Just went gluten free this spring, and my daughter is dairy free too. Would love a new cookbook.
I liked you on FB too.
I just found out my daughter may have celiac and we are trying very hard to adjust our diets. I found your website and can't tell you how thankful I am! This cookbook would be a total blessing at this time - thank you for the opportunity!
I just subscribed via google reader!
I just "liked" you on facebook - thanks again!
Linda, I have a friend just diagnosed with celiac disease and am grateful for sites like yours that I can share with her. Thanks for all your efforts here. Blessings to you.
This book interests me since I have a niece who is gluten intolerant and it would be fun to make her a special treat or two from this book.
That cake does look really good. I think this would be an interesting book because I am ALWAYS a fan of seeing any tasty recipes, gluten-free or not. Like you, I'm comfortable making substitutions to suit my needs. :)
My gf kids are forever complaining that i don't make them as many treats as their other siblings. As I mostly use rice flour and starches as my flour base, this cookbook sounds ideal for my kids!
With 2 gf kids I am always looking for ideas!
I also signed up to follow you on twitter!
I read some of her recipes in Rachel Rays magazine. Have now made sandwiches with waffles. Would love to try some more.Just signed up for your email.
would love to win the cookbook! Just recently found out I have a gluten issue and trying to relearn how to cook!
Like many others here, I am gluten-free and dairy free. I have a really hard time finding recipies that work for both. My hubby and I have really been focusing on our health, and could use some more ideas-so I would love to win the cookbook! Thanks for the drawing, I am new to the website and just started getting your emails.
Thanks for the informative review. I would love a copy of this book because my family recently discovered that we are allergic to casein. We were diagnosed with celiac disease last year and now the dairy free addition to the equation seems very overwhelming.

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