A Hawaiian Roller Cooking Ride
Summertime is rapidly approaching – a time for cookouts and cook drinks, for Disney movie marathons and family gatherings. Our friends at Insight Editions have found the perfect combination of all these elements, and the result is Lilo & Stitch: The Official Cookbook.
Before discussing such a cookbook, I should note that I am by no means a good cook. Or a competent one. Still, that’s never stopped me from trying. My style is often akin to Dr. Jumba Jookiba’s: We’re both mad scientists, with our experiments ending in disaster. That being said, I work best when I have a good recipe to stick to, and with the help of my ‘ohana, I was especially excited to try out Insight Editions’ latest!
Before diving into the recipes, the book has several useful reference pages, from cooking tips to measurement charts, cooking temperatures, and dietary considerations (and don’t worry, as there are plenty of great vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options!). For someone of my, um, particular skill level, these resources were greatly appreciated. The big stand-out here, however, is the glossary, which features a wide array of Hawaiian words used throughout the various recipes. This inclusion helped add to the immersion of the experience, plus it was fun to learn a few new phrases as we cooked.
The book is organized in Pūpū’s (appetizers), Main Dishes, Deserts, and Drinks. Just as the movie explores both Hawaiian culture and Intergalactic science fiction, every chapter of Lilo & Stitch: The Official Cookbook has plenty of options fit for both the island of Kaua’I as well as the Planet Turo.
At this point, we encountered the most difficult part of our cooking adventure: trying to pick which recipe we were going to tackle first. After skimming through the forty-something recipes, my 7-year-old sous-chef (and partner in crime) narrowed her choices down to roughly 20. This was largely in part because every page looked more delicious than the last, but the gorgeous photography of the different dishes, as well as the thoughtful integration of the Lilo & Stitch storyline into each recipe, certainly helped. Stitch may be mischievous, but if he gets my kid to try something new, he’s okay in my book!
After we tightened our options down to a handful of recipes, we went shopping for ingredients. Cooking with new ingredients can be fun, but some items might not be available at every grocery store – a lesson I learned the hard way. After a little searching, it seems like most of these ingredients can be obtained at specialty grocery stores or through an online service like Amazon Pantry. In some instances, the book also provides a few suggestions for ingredient substitutions. Whatever you chose, plan ahead and have either a backup store, substitute ingredient, or alternative recipe, just in case!
After grabbing all the right pieces, it was time to put the book to the test, as we attempted to make “Mahalo Hasagawa Matcha Brownies.” The steps were clear, concise, and included several tips to make sure we were on the right track. The result were simply delicious. Never did I think I would enjoy a brownie made with matcha tea powder (Or any brownie I had a hand in making, for that matter), but these blew me and my whole ‘ohana away! The only negative thing I have to say about them was that, when left unguarded, they didn’t seem to last very long…
In summation, we’ve only scratched the surface of Lilo & Stitch: The Official Cookbook, and we’re excited to plan what to cook next! After trying it myself, I’m confident that anyone can pull off these recipes, even without the help of extra retractable alien arms. The experience was a blast, and we’re incredibly thankful for Insight Editions allowing us to try it out.
You can visit Insight Editions’ website to preview the book for yourself, as well as find other Disney-inspired cookbook adventures.
Where to Buy:
Order: Lilo & Stitch: The Official Cookbook (Amazon)
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