Book Review: Disney Eats-A Colorful Cookbook!

The new Disney Eats cookbook is a hefty recipe book that features more than 150 Recipes.  A quick glance at Disney Eats and you’d think that it’s just for kids.  I’m happy to report it’s not! Here is my review of Disney Eats by Joy Howard!

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disney eats review

From the Publisher

The kitchen is a great place to make memories. And Disney Eats will inspire you to prepare food that’s not just fun but also tasty!

From healthy snacks like a Minnie Mouse-inspired crudité platter and savory dinners such as Mulan’s Blossom Stir-Fry to Disney-character-themed bento box lunches and easy-prep treats such as Frozen Banana Dalmatian Pops, author Joy Howard shows that the creative possibilities are endless.

With an introduction by beloved baker Joy Wilson and more than 150 dynamic full-color photographs, Disney Eats will not only spark more delight in the kitchen, it will also lead to more memorable and creative success in your cooking.

My review

If there was one person excited about Disney Eats and this book review it was our 8-year-old who promptly snatched it off my desk and started making a list of recipes she wanted to tackle.

Some recipes can be adapted, for instance on Taco Tuesday we used the recipe for Dante’s Blue Corn Tacos.  We didn’t have blue corn taco shells but we were able to use the recipe to season our meat and decorate our tacos using the basic instructions provided in the recipe.

The recipes range from simple to intermediate which means there should be something for everyone.  So far we’ve tried the Toy Story-themed Chili, Mowgli’s Smoothie, and the Baymax Hot Cocoa. Each recipe has a short intro, approximate prep time, cook time, and serving size. The photos are bright and capture the small details like sprinkles or carefully cut dough and candy that are used to create iconic Disney characters. This book is just full of happiness and whimsy!

Many of the recipes offer helpful tips on how to store a dish or substitutions that can be used. The book uses a fun conversational tone and is very easy for my seven-year-old to read and follow along with. Disney Eats is a great addition to our cookbook collection and would make an excellent gift for that budding cook in your life!

disney eats review mowgli smoothie

Try it: Mowgli’s PAWPAW Smoothie

We substituted soy milk for coconut milk and I threw in a few strawberries for some color.  The recipe called for star fruit but instead, I cut some Mickey ears with our trusty Mickey Mouse cookie cutters from an apple and used that for a garnish.  The recipes are basic enough that you can substitute as needed especially with seasoning or items to garnish. We literally had everything in our freezer for this smoothie and it tasted delicious!

Interview with Author Joy Howard

Ms. Howard, thank you for taking the time to chat with me today!  Disney Eats is such a fun and colorful cookbook.  Can you tell me how you got involved with this project? 

I was first approached about the project by Pat Van Note who is the Editorial Director of Disney Publishing. I knew the project would be a good fit for me based on my experience as a former food editor and my work as a freelance food stylist and recipe developer. I also have a secret obsession with making cute food projects which I’ve done now for years— for publishing clients and on my own just for fun.

One thing I love about Disney Eats is that there are photos that show Brown hands creating food designs, something I would have appreciated seeing as a kid!  What advice would you give to POC children who want to make food styling or writing their career? 

I am so glad you asked this question, because it’s a topic that’s incredibly important to me personally and professionally. Unfortunately like most creative industries, publishing and the culinary world are both sorely lacking in diversity, and BIPOC are underrepresented in every role. You shouldn’t allow that to discourage you, but it is something that you should be emotionally and psychologically prepared for.

Invest time and energy connecting with other BIPOC with similar goals or who’ve already achieved the types of things you’d like to pursue. Having role models, mentors, and peers with similar backgrounds and experiences is invaluable. And NEVER sell yourself short! Know your worth and be fearless about demanding the consideration, respect, and when it’s time, compensation that you deserve.

For beginning cooks, what Disney Eats recipes would you recommend they start with? For those that want a challenge, what recipe provides that? 

The book has a whole chapter on easy treats which are a lot of fun to make. For simple savory dishes, I would recommend trying the Royal Roast Chicken which is a whole meal in one recipe. And Tink’s Chicken and Stars soup is another dish that’s simple and cozy. For a more challenging treat, I’d suggest the Sleeping Beauty Doughnut cake. It’s more assembly than cooking, but its topsy-turvy construction is an ambitious creative project.

Disney eats author interview
Sleeping Beauty Doughnut Cake from Disney Eats!

Disney Eats reminded me of some of my favorite Disney Parks snacks.  Do you have a favorite Disney snack? 

I haven’t been to Disney Parks in quite a few years, but I did a lot of research about park snacks for the book. There are so many good ones—especially the Mickey-shaped sweets—that I’m not sure I could name a favorite!

Can you tell us what you are working on next? 

I don’t have any other book projects in the works at the moment, but I’m keeping busy with my regular styling and recipe development assignments. I’d love to write another book for Disney. I still have lots of ideas to share!

You can learn more about Ms. Howard on her website and Disney Eats is available for purchase here!

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