Project Cookbook: A Homeschooling Adventure - Alicia and Anna Bodine

Released August 2012

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Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I'm a cookbook fanatic. I own a bookcase full of cookbooks and have others that never leave my kitchen. Those with tried and true recipes hold their place in my banquet. I have a few requirements for cookbooks. There should be photos, and I don't mean the photos that are so perfect you know they're fake, and the recipes should be complete. I have had cookbook authors "forget" to list the temperature, leave out ingredients only to have them suddenly appear in the directions, or put in measurements that could not possibly be accurate. When reviewing cookbooks, that's what I focus on to start.

Project Cookbook: A Homeschooling Adventure is a cute project dreamed up by a writer I know and her homeschooled daughter. Blending Bible study with cooking, they've come up with a unique spin on a family-friendly cookbook. Every recipe has a photo of the finished project, special comments, and it's clear all recipes were checked carefully before the book went to the publisher.

There are 50 recipes in all ranging from snacks to beverages, breakfasts to dinner. Desserts also hold their place within the book. Each recipe shares a character from the Bible and a quote relating to that person.

One thing I learned from this cookbook is that Alicia and I have more in common than I could imagine. I opened a page to Zuppa Toscana, my favorite soup, and was amazed at how close she's gotten it, and her comments about not having an Olive Garden anywhere close, I sympathize, ours is just under 40 miles away too. The homemade Adam's Amazing Pop Tarts look just that - amazing, as do the Gabriel's Grasshopper Cupcakes. My daughter saw the Benjamin's Bacon Cheese Cups and immediately asked if I could make them but leave out the bacon as she's a vegetarian, and the recipes are all simple enough that substitutions would not be a problem. We swapped the bacon for red bell peppers and everyone loved them.

My readers know that I always base reviews on the book price. At first glance, I wasn't sure the book was worth the asking price when there are larger, mass-marketed cookbooks for similar prices. However, this cookbook really is one of a kind and comes from the heart. That makes it stand out, and therefore changed my first impression. Everyone needs a unique cookbook on their shelf, especially one where the recipes are huge hits with all ages. Project Cookbook: A Homeschooling Adventure certainly fits that requirement in spades.


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