Book giveaway: Top 100 Pasta Dishes

I have a book giveaway for you today! The book is called Top 100 Pasta Dishes: Easy Everyday Recipes That Children Will Love
by Annabel Karmel.  This book is filled with interesting-looking recipes for pasta to please kids of every age.   The recipes are short.  Many include pictures, always a plus in a cookbook. They mention possible substitutions for ingredients that might be hard to find. And though the recipes are very doable, they’re also carefully composed, obviously by a cook who took the time to add the little touches that really make the most of the food.

I am giving away a copy of this book on Tuesday.  To enter yourself in the drawing, simply comment below and tell me one challenge you face when you step into the kitchen to prepare a meal for your family.  Or tell me one way you make cooking easier for yourself.  For example, I hate not having a variety of ingredients on hand, so I try to keep my pantry and freezer stocked with the fixings for at least 5 meals at all times.  That gives me flexibility, and it keeps me from having to run to the store at dinnertime.  Looking forward to hearing your challenges and/or your tips!


Note: I was given a copy of the book in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. One of my challenges at mealtime is starting things far enough in advance to have them ready in time. There are only 2 of us at home now so mealtimes are pretty casual most days. Thanks for sharing this book. Our grandkids all love pasta so the book would be well used here 🙂

  2. One of my greatest challenges is keeping stocked with enough ingredients to make healthy meals for a crowd in a pinch. We live in a place where there are not many prepared foods available (probably a good thing!) and where people just pop over unannounced. Gotta feed them!! My family of six likes to eat and we enjoy having company. Pasta is an easy thing to keep on hand and it cooks up quickly. Maybe the solution to my problem? Thanks for this great idea!

  3. My challenge is….I hate to cook….and almost everything I cook flops, and I don’t like it when it is done. My hubby has been cooking more, which is great, but then on my days I dread it even more.

    I am reading your book right now, and I LOVE it!

  4. One of my challenges is that I am allergic to onions. Onions are in Everything, but they give me an instant migraine. I substitute celery, for the texture, in some things, but that doesn’t always do the trick. Usually I just have to leave them out. I’m used to this, but it does change the flavor of alot of things.

  5. My biggest challenge in cooking is the kids. The youngest boy will eat almost anything you put in front of him. The middle boy is disabled and he’s very picky about textures and flavors of food as he’s got sensory issues. A lot of times he refuses to eat what I have made.

    I have to say, all my kids like your “Sage and Spinach Penne” recipe. We call it “green pasta” at our house and the kids love it!

  6. One thing that helps is that we save the cereals for night time snack rather than eating them in the morning. More energy in the morning to make and prepare from scratch= pancakes and muffins. Less energy at night= cereal from a box.

  7. My challenge is just getting supper ready with three kids age 2 and under. I like cooking from scratch as much as possible but I find most “quick” recipes use a lot of already prepared foods thrown together. Pasta is always good though!

  8. All the dishes I will have to clean when I am done!!! That is my challenge. I love to cook and I do make a big mess in the kitchen everyday.

  9. My bigggest challenge is to find a dish which everyone likes. We are just four at the dinner table (yes, I know … only four people). For you, who have to feed mostly more then me might this not sound very difficult but having a 8 year old son who is very hard to satisfy … believe me, it is! He likes pasta (like the most kids) but without the chunky part of the tomatos (hahaha), he likes homemade burgers, potato-soup and “Maultaschen” (kind of filled german pasta) and some other cildren food. But the parents (… we) don´t like to eat this stuff every evening. So the youngest has to tast every food and if he doesn´t like it … well some evening he has just plain pasta. The 12 year old eats almost everything … luckly!

  10. I have two: deciding on a menu (I do a weekly menu), because I just simply run out of ideas, and the other is having enough quick items to cook. I work until 3, and when I have errands I need to run, I find it hard to get those done and still have time to cook dinner. Everyone in my family likes pasta dishes, so it would be cool to have some new pasta ideas. Thanks!

  11. Melissa says:

    My biggest challenge is having a small apartment kitchen with very little room to store ingredients. This makes it difficult to keep around food for a variety of meals, so I have to be intentional about planning and buying what I need for that week. I would love to have a pantry or ample cabinet space one day to be able to stock up and keep staples around for quick, spontaneous meals. I am careful to buy ingredients and not prepared food, both to stay healthy and to save space and money!

  12. My challenge is planning. I do really well for a time, and then have a relapse. Oh if only I could be the wife/mom who has it all together. 🙂

  13. My biggest challenge is trying to decide what to make. I’m not good at that. If I have a plan and all the ingredients, I enjoy cooking. I guess I just need someone to tell me what to make! 😉

  14. My biggest challenge is starting to get dinner ready early enough. I always seem to start and get side tracked by kids needing something … help, discipline, a bandaid, a drink, a quick drawing, etc. By the time dinner is ready to eat everyone is so hungry and tired, that we are all ready to have a mini melt down.

  15. My challenge lately has been simply not wanting to cook. I procrastinate and then we are eating late and I usually have some grumpy kids. At least I’m not dealing with the horrid morning sickness of a month ago!

  16. Amber N. says:

    My biggest challenge is making yummy healthy food while dealing with food allergies and pickiness (I am the pickiest one lol)

  17. Kari J. says:

    I also have 2 challenges. There are 8 of us, with children ranging from almost 2 years to 16 years old. I struggle almost every day with starting dinner in a timely manner so we can eat at a normal time, instead of right before bed! I almost always have a menu planned, but I apparently can’t get it in my head how long it really takes me to cook. Ugh. Also, 3 of us (husband, me, 14 yo son) eat everything, while the other 5 range from ultra picky to eating most things. We all thoroughly enjoy pasta! Thanks so much for offering this give-away.

  18. As a mom of 7, my biggest challenge is having things thawed and ready to go when needed. When I plan ahead I do well, it’s those times when time is short that..I run into problems. Lately, time has been pretty short…lol

  19. My challenge is that there are often many interruptions and it takes longer to get dinner on the table than I expect. Or there are no interruptions and dinner is ready before my husband get home from work.

  20. These days I’m just cooking for two (newlyweds), so the hardest thing for me is that there are so many recipes I want to try, a limited budget and some recipes are just hard to cut down to 2-people servings. Some recipes I see could serve my husband and I all week! It’s a good problem to have!

  21. I think my biggest challenge is, honestly, figuring out what to make! That cookbook looks so fun!

  22. The biggest challenge we now face is that my husband has been diagnosed with Celiac and I am gluten intolerant so we have to eat gluten-free. It’s really expensive to feed all of us that way so I have to make two different meals. 🙁

  23. My biggest challenge these days is trying to coordinate my two college kids’ schedules and my pilot husband’s trips and figure out a meal that will serve those at home and be easily re-heated for late arriving family members. I try to keep quick fixes in the freezer for those days when the meal won’t re-heat well or that member doesn’t care for the meal choice. I keep reminding myself this is just a season of my life and I’m thankful they still live at home and like my cooking. 🙂

  24. Those evenings when something goes awry and what I have planned isn’t going to work… not enough time, forgot to thaw something, or just forget to buy a key ingredient at the store. I keep several meals worth of food in the pantry that are for emergencies… pasta, rice for risotto, chili to bake in a dish with cornbread… so that I’m less likely to pick-up the phone and order something to be delivered.

  25. My biggest challenge is finding a main dish casserole that everyone can eat. Dh and Dd LOVE anything with cheese, but ds cannot have cheese. Meat and potato meals work best, but that’s not always budget friendly. My solution when I’m making some kind of pasta with cheese type main dish is to save out some plain pasta for my son. As he gets older, though, it gets harder to fill him up that way. I need to find a protein for him when I do that, and it’s often a cup of yogurt. He loves raw veggies, so those are always available, too.

  26. Oh I love Annabel Karmel’s books. I’ve been building up my collection second hand, though I haven’t got this one yet.

    Uh, currently my biggest challenge to cooking is the morning sickness that still persists 21+ weeks into my pregnancy. I’m finding it really tough to be able to cook anything much at all. I’m so glad this is just a season because I usally love cooking. I think when I am able to cook, I can also tend to get into a rut of making the same thing over and over.

  27. One of the challenges I face when I’m going to cook dinner is eliminating onions. DH hates them! I love to try new recipes… wish so many didn’t have onions. I’d love to check out this book. Hopefully, not too many dishes have onions! 😉

  28. I hate to think up what we are going to have – the boys are great eaters and not picky – but I hate to keep doing the same dinner rotation – Need quick ideas for a working mom! = thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  29. My challenge is how to get dinner done at a reasonable hour when the baby picks dinner prep time to be clingy and fussy.

  30. My biggest challenge is finding time and working around all the little kids. 🙂

  31. I spend every afternoon trying to predict what food my son will decide that he suddenly doesn’t like. I miss the days when he was a baby and would eat anything that you spooned into his mouth!!

  32. My biggest challenge is figuring out what to make. It has been difficult to find things everyone likes.

  33. Time AND finding recipies for quick, tasty, healthy meals w/o garlic or onions (to satisfy husbands sensitivities) and w/o too much cow’s milk/dairy to satisfy son’s sensitivities.

  34. My biggest challenges are meal planning and trying to stay ahead of the game by freezer cooking!

  35. One of my biggest challenges is cooking enough food for those teenagers that pop in for dinner! Sometimes I don’t have enough to invite them, but would love to if I had some things handy to add to our dinner at the last minute.

  36. Lately, it’s making enough that everyone gets satisfied! The quantity needed to growing as the kids get bigger and I need to adjust. 3 teens, 2 tweens and 2 1st graders – they can pack it down.

  37. shannon says:

    I make cooking easier for myself by menu planning. Spending 20 minutes a week making a menu plan easily saves me a few hours a week in the kitchen. I only wished I’d started it sooner.

  38. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for your wonderful book. I thought I was really frugal already, but I still found MORE great ideas!

    My biggest challenge in the kitchen is making sure my family gets enough vegetables, especially when they are out of season. One thing I do that helps is to make steamed veggies like carrots and cauliflower, then puree them and freeze the puree in ice cube trays. Once frozen I put the veggie cubes into ziploc baggies. Whenever I am making chili, spaghetti sauce, mac -n cheese, soups, mashed potatoes, etc., I add a cube or two to “up” our veggie count for the day. PS pureed cauliflower makes for the BEST twice baked potatoes!

  39. If my kitchen is not clean, I am totally unmotivated to cook. I love to cook, but feel overwhelmed by having to clean before I cook!!

  40. My challenge is being prepared well in advance for meal prep for our family of 10 now that I’m expecting again.

  41. I really enjoy cooking but find it very hard when I don’t have a plan for what I am going to make. Also being on a limited food budget is quite a challenge as well.

  42. I have her baby food book and loved it. A few things I do to make meal time easier is to keep browned ground beef and cooked shredded chicken in my freezer in meal sized packages. It really cuts down on prep time and getting food on the table faster. I also try to always have certain things in my pantry for quick meals like spaghetti, beans and rice.

  43. My family sure loves pasta! To making cooking easier on myself, I always have five or six meals frozen and ready to pull out and have on the table in 30 minutes or less. That way, I have healthy alternatives for those rough days when I wish I could call for take-out.

    • I hear ya! That strategy saved me today when I decided to paint the pantry instead of cooking. Was really glad to have that lasagna in the freezer.

  44. One thing I do to make cooking easier is to plan meals ahead of time. If I have a list of meals that I can possibly make from the ingredients I already have, it’s easy to get meals to the table.

  45. We only grocery shop once a week and try to have enough meals for the week to include the leftovers. The challenge for me is that I have a picky husband!

  46. Picky eaters! I’ve even had my four-year-old start crying when I’ve told him what’s for supper.
    Pasta is my favorite.

  47. I’ve really been struggling with morning sickness. I have found the value of doing a little bit of freezer cooking every week so I can easily make a healthy meal on the days I don’t feel well.

  48. My son always wants pasta, and finding new ways to make it and keep my husband happy at the same time is very difficult. My husband would be happy eating sandwiches, something I am not fond of and my son plain pasta with a little Parmesan cheese.

  49. My biggest challenge in the kitchen is finding quick meals to prepare that will please the whole family. I have a teenager with Asperger’s syndrome who has a lot of food issues and eats a very limited diet. I have another son who also has Asperger’s and foster-care induced food issues. My husband wants meat or sandwiches and the rest of us are pretty flexible. Spaghetti is one meal that pleases everyone – the picky eaters eat the noodles without the sauce. I’d love to get some new pasta recipes.

  50. We are empty nesters and cooking for two is not always easy to find the right recipes with proportions for smaller amounts.