For Christmas I asked for and received the much-hyped cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld, Deceptively Delicious. I was intrigued by this cookbook because it offers kid-friendly recipes with hidden, healthy ingredients of pureed fruits and vegetables. Jessica claims that she was getting tired of begging her children to eat their vegetables at every meal, and came up with the ingenious idea of adding butternut squash puree to mac and cheese one day when she was pureeing babyfood while cooking the kids’ dinner.

Up until a few months ago, I had never pureed anything in my life. But once Ryan started eating solids, I figured I better play this ‘stay at home mommy’ role for all it’s worth, and puree some stuff for Ryan. And then I heard about this cookbook, and thought it would be fun to try out some of these recipes since I’m doing the puree anyway. And why not squeeze in a little extra vitamins and minerals for FatJ and I as well.

So far I’ve made two things from the Jessica cookbook. The first was applesauce muffins. Pretty basic recipe as far as I could tell (I had never made muffins except for out of a box). Aside from the applesauce in the muffins, the other hidden ingredient in the muffins was either butternut squash or carrot. I chose carrot. The muffins were hearty, smelled nice baking, and had a yummy crumble topping. They were a little on the bland side though, so next time I think I’d add a tad of salt, which was not called for in the recipe. Overall, they got a thumbs-up. And no, you could not taste the carrot.

The second recipe I tried was the macaroni and cheese, with the hidden ingredient of butternut squash (Jessica’s signature recipe!). I was a little wary of this one as I was making it because the cheese sauce had this odd, gooey, taffy-ish sort of consistency, but once it got mixed with the macaroni, it was fine. Perhaps a little dry/sticky-ish, so I might add a bit more milk next time, but overall, this recipe got two thumbs-up from FatJ and I. You could not taste the butternut squash puree one bit, but just imagine all the healthful benefits we were receiving!! Ooooh aaaah. The BEST part about this mac and cheese was that it still tasted good as leftovers the next day. Typically I wouldn’t touch reheated mac and cheese with a ten foot pole, but this was more than edible the next day.

I hope to work more of Jessica’s recipes into my dinner and dessert repertoire, because they require little preparation and time to concoct, two of my prerequisites for cooking these days.

I’d be curious to hear what others think of Deceptively Delicious. Do you own it? Have you tried the recipes? What do you think?