A month or two ago, Yvette Garfield told me about a new cookbook she was (sorry for the pun, but wait for it...) "cooking up." It is a series of ethnic cookbooks aimed towards children called Handstand Kids.

Fast forward to last week and a copy of Handstand Kids Italian Cookbook was waiting on my desk. Actually make that a decorative box with a smart spiral bound book (with a nice sealed cover) and a little chef's hat (shorter than the average chef's hat and meant for kids - although it did fit my rather large noggin). The concept was created by Yvette Garfield, a law school graduate with a background in international children's rights and is designed to introduce children to other cultures and volunteer opportunities. In general, I really like the concept and think it would make a great gift. The artwork is vibrant, the characters diverse (ethnicities and eating habits) and there is even a section that tells you the ingredients in both English and Italian. The recipes, however, seem a bit complex (mom & dad, get ready to help out!). Granted, there is a difficulty level on each recipe, but flavored popcorn and homemade biscotti get the same rating, so I'd take it with a grain of salt. I also question the font choice, it's "fun" but seems like it could be a little hard to read.

Overall, it's an interesting concept and a series worth keeping an eye on. This is the first book in the set and I'm sure there will be some tweaks along the way. Available now for $28 +S&H.

To check out the Handstand Kid's biscotti recipe,

Bella Biscotti Cookies
From Handstand Kids Italian Cookbook

Makes about 20 biscotti cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp of salt (sale)
2 tsps of baking powder
1 1/4 cups sugar (zucchero), plus more for sprinkling
5 eggs (uova)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of toasted whole almonds
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of butter (burro)

Baking Sheet
Cutting Board
Large Bowl
Measuring Cup and Spoon
Serrated Knife
Small Bowl
Wooden Spoon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Grease a large baking sheet with a light coat of burro and then sprinkle the sheet with flour.
  3. Mix the flour, zucchero, baking powder and sale together in the large bowl and make a hole in the middle of the mixture.
  4. Add the 4 uovo, cinnamon, and vanilla into the hole and use the wooden spoon to stir it thoroughly.
  5. Add the almonds evenly throughout the dough and using your hands make the dough into 2 logs.
  6. Place each log onto the baking sheet, leaving 4 inches between the edges and the dough.
  7. Beat 1 uovo in the small bowl and use the pastry brush to coat the logs with the uovo.
  8. Bake the logs in the oven for 15 minutes, until they are a nice golden brown color.
  9. Allow the logs to cool for 10 minutes and place them on the cutting board and cut them diagonally into 2 inch slices.
  10. Arrange the slices back onto the baking sheet so that the cut sides are facing up and bake for another 5 minutes.
  11. Cool the slices and bite into the crunchy goodness!

Alternative: Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the dough. Also, melt chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 minute and dip the ends of the cooled biscotti into the mixture. Refrigerate dipped biscotti for 1 hour and enjoy!