Kids Review: Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram

Rebecca H. Ryan

Rebecca is a 7th grader at The Unquowa School in Fairfield, CT. She loves to read, write, draw and cook. This is her review of Ramin Ganeshram's new book, Stir It Up. [Note: Don't miss the great recipe for Coconut Dark Chocolate Cookies below.]

In Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram, the thirteen year old main character, Anjali, causes quite a stir when she chances losing some of the most important things in her life.

Anjali loves to cook; she loves working in her family’s roti shop. Her dream is to have her own Food Network cooking show by the age of fifteen. On the other hand, her father wants her to take an entrance exam to get into the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in New York City. He is certain she will get in because he knows she is one of the smartest students in her school.

Anjali takes a cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education. There, she meets instructor, Chef Nyla, and the two develop a special connection. Nyla sees what an amazing cook Anjali is and helps in any way she can. 

At the end of class one day she pulls Anjali over to discuss something. Nyla tells Anjali about a new cooking show on the Food Network just for kids that adore cooking. To submit for the New York competition Anjali must make a video of herself cooking a special dish that she loves. Anjali makes Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies that are a family recipe. Her friend Linc helps her make the video and they send it into the Food network studio. 

Weeks go by with no response. She checks the mailbox everyday for months. One day during  the winter a letter comes in the mail addressed to Anjali Krishnan from Scripps Network. She has been chosen to go to the New York auditions for the Super Chef Kids! But there is one problem; the audition is the same day and time as the Stuyvesant test. What will she end up doing? Will she get in trouble? Will she make the right choice? Read this amazing book to find out!

Stir It Up is available at Barnes& Noble,, and Amazon, Kindle, and Nook.

I give this book a  4 out of 5 Spatulas rating. 

Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

¾ packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips or 10 ounces good-quality dark chocolate chopped into chip-sized pieces
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes 

¾ cup white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.

4. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt until well combined.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips or chocolate pieces and coconut flakes. Mix well to form a stiff dough.

6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until light brown. The centers will be soft. Cool for one minute then remove from the cookie sheet and place on wire racks to finish cooling.

Makes 3 dozen cookies