The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook
Written by Matthew Mead
Art by Jose Garcia-Lopez
Published by Downtown Bookworks
'Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
Licensed cookbooks can be a fun way to get your little ones participating more in culinary preparations, and with summertime in full swing, what better way than to get them acclimated to the future cookouts to come than meals featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. In The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook, there are more than 60 recipes that spread across all sorts of meals, ranging from breakfast to dessert to fun snacks they can prepare themselves without too much supervision.
That said, calling it a “cookbook” might be overstating the point. This book is less of a traditional recipe guide, and more of a how-to of making your ordinary food into superhero-themed. For example, the pizza with simply turning a green pepper into the Green Lantern symbol isn't anything more than putting diced green pepper on your pizza, but might encourage a pickier eater to embrace something more fun if that was the case. There's a slew of healthy options with some truly fun names, like the Nth Quinoa Salad and the Hawkgirl Veggie Fritters as well.
The book also comes with some fun stencils and cookie cutters that help with giving food a superhero makeover, but that's pretty much all you're buying with this book. The throwback art by the legendary Jose Garcia-Lopez is a nice touch and a fun way to introduce a tyke to these characters, even if their costumes don't match their current ones for the most part so there might be some disconnect. There's also a lot of colorful pages with photos that could easily attract a young one's imagination as well as their attention.
That being said, while this book is obviously made for just children, it doesn't really teach them how to cook as much it does to teach them have some fun with plating techniques. I tried some recipes myself and they were pretty straightforward, like making a burger and putting a Superman symbol with ketchup on it. There are some some snacks that required simple basic knife skills, however, like Zatanna's Magical Pinwheels, while for cookouts you have the Oliver Queen Green Kabobs, which isn't too bad to prep and is kind of fun because actually fitting the character's aesthetics.
But The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook also has some dishes that are truly bizarre. There's a Black Manta-themed drink that is essentially Gatorade over ice with blackberries on top. Voila. A lot of meals talk about having pre-prepared food and dressing them up with napkins-turned-capes. In that regard, again, it's a sort of misnomer to call this a cookbook. Now, there are difficult things in the back like layered cakes that require a set amount of patience and skill, but overall nothing too challenging, but could be rewarding for the ages 6-9 crowd for feeling like they've achieved a little something with helping their parental unit with dinner. This cookbook might be official, but there's nothing you can't get elsewhere recipe-wise, but the fun stencils and cutters are handy to have for any superhero celebration you might have to be ready for.