About two years ago I happened to come across a book in Hawaii called Cute Yummy Time: 70 Recipes for the cutest food you’ll ever eat by La Carima. Browsing through the book, I thought it was pretty good and had some great ideas on different types of foods for kids. I showed some of the pictures to my kids and they went crazy over the things in there. I had been looking into things like that for a while and I thought this was a good guide to have on hand to help me explore the ‘cute’ or ‘kawaii’ side of cooking.
(pictures from the book after the link)
To my surprise, not only were the recipes cute, but they were healthy as well. The author tried to make the recipes well balanced and used alternative ingredients and whole wheat type of ingredients which is something I like to do already. The only downside to this is there are quite a bit of things you’ll need to buy to make some these items, such as molds and cutters. I have yet to find a lot of them close by so I would need to resort to online sources like Amazon which have a whole bunch of things for ‘cute bento making’ tools and items including the accessories like picks, packets.
I’ve only tried a few recipes because of this and I’ve used the basic ideas from some of these recipes to create my own creatures. I had to learn to improvise, like making my own plastic template by cutting shapes out of a plastic sheet. I eventually plan to go through a good majority of the recipes of the book since I REALLY want to try it but to make it as cute as it is in the book takes some practice and time.
The book also includes background information on the ‘kawaii’ cooking craze which originated in Japan and has made its way across the ocean and is making its make in the western society. The book also has a lot of good tips on how to make the cooking experience easier. And of course the little cartoons in the book make looking through it fun. My kids love taking the book off the shelf and looking through them, even making requests on what they want me to make. I think that if making the food fun and cute (especially if it’s healthy for you) helps kids to eat the things that are good for them, it’s always something good to have.
This book even inspired me to start making my own cute little dishes and meals from what I already have at home like cookie cutters, silicon ice cube molds, straws and just plain ‘ole cutting things out by hand with a very sharp knife. Hopefully I can put up some of those recipes up on here and I have no complaints about my cooking from my children. So check your local library, bookstore or go online to find this book. This book is a great addition to any kitchen, especially if you have kids.