Cooking with kids - where do you stand on it? Are you in favour of it? Or are you the run and hide until they forget about the suggestion altogether type? (I've just written a post this week about my Best Bad Mum Tip and hiding may well be it... You can check it out here.)
I do like to see my kids playing about in the kitchen, either while I cook or while they have a little go at it themselves.
Children really love the aromas and creations that come from this space and it seems only right to encourage them - even if they do slow things down considerably and make far more mess than we'd like. (Insert very exaggerated eye-roll here and possibly a sigh or two!)
Not all recipes and recipe books are child friendly however and it may mean that you need to hover more than necessary to ensure things are translated effectively from 'paper to bowl' so to speak. This can make the task even more laborious for you if you're already the struggling to cope with kids in the kitchen type.
Thank goodness for kiddy cook books! (Oh, and my Food Page here on the blog - lots of yummy kid-bakes there - just saying...)
I have a bit of a love affair with children's cookery books. They're always packed with great cookie and cake recipes that actually work and they're written without the faff of the more elaborate grown-up versions.
When you're a parent surrounded by noisy, playful helpers, faffy cookery books are the last thing you need aren't they?
Grown-up cook books for parents - who needs them?! With their hard-to-come-by ingredients such as 'artichokes' and fussy steps such as de-seeding, braising and measuring with thermometers... (all while your toddler builds a fort on the kitchen floor with your groceries and utensils AND pleads for your help to build it?)
We were sent a set of beautiful books to review here which we're outright thrilled with. (There's a giveaway for three lucky followers too, who'd like to experience the foodie joys and fun within these pages with their own little helpers - stay tuned...)
From the outset, my impressions of Cookies and Cakes by Cherise Pagano were high.
Cherise is a Melbourne-based chef and food stylist who has worked on Masterchef as well as many well known adult books. After a deeper browse through this collection of child-friendly bakes, I was more impressed again - this 48 page collection of delicious party foods for kids to make, made even myself, eager to get baking. We'll never be without easy to make treats in this home again!
Who needs a children's party to justify making cookies, donuts and slices that are as good as these? There's everything within this book that kids (and adults) enjoy eating and baking at any time and the recipes are wonderfully clear and simple.
Naturally, I just had to pop on my apron and give these Funfetti Cookies a try:
Funfetti Cookies (Adapted from Cookies and Cakes.)
3/4 of a cup of margarine or butter softened
3/4 of a cup of brown sugar
2 cups of plain flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of coloured sprinkles or chocolate 100's and 1000's.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a cookie sheet (or two) with baking paper.
To a mixing bowl add the margarine (or butter) and sugar and beat with an electric mixer. When creamy add the egg and the vanilla essence, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
Add your choice of sprinkles and stir in gently with a wooden spoon.
Using a tablespoon as a measuring guide, roll each portion into a smooth ball and line them up with enough space to spread on your baking trays.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Allow cookies to cool on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to set.
I think the test of a good cook book is when your home-baked version turns out as equally spectacular as the book's photographic version. These cookies were dead-easy and delicious and made a batch of around 24 for us which were gone in a flash.
Cookies and Cakes by Cherise Pagano. Photography by Greg Elms.
RRP: $12.95. ISBN: 9781760063429. Publisher: The Five Mile Press.
Recommended for ages 7 plus but with bakes enjoyed by all ages!
|RRP $16.95. ISBN: 9781760066468. Published by The Five Mile Press.|
Our second book for review is a fun-filled book of kids' activities to decorate and craft.
Don't you just adore the current style trend in stores? It's all bright, happy yellows, funky pineapples, chevrons, arrows and the colours of blue and grey - totally swag stuff!
Well, Dream, Create, Inspire by Sophie Splatt has everything kids want in the style department only without the expensive price tags and the added bonus of the DIY thing. All kids love crafting and this is definitely a bible of fun for the style-conscious kid.
Although this book is aimed at the 7 plus age group, don't think that teenagers and even adults won't enjoy the step-by-step activities outlined within here. There are simple and stunning projects from stencilling carpets to making ribbon curtains, yarn tassels and Polish chandeliers. There's also a 16 page press-out section to make everything from fancy picture frames and other fun items to decorate with.
Sophie Splatt is a Melbourne-based writer, children's book editor and crafter. This title is the follow-on title to her successful Create Your Dream Room.
Absolutely adore these books!
Do you enjoy cooking with your kids?
What's the worst cooking disaster or the best baking success you've ever experienced cooking with your child/children?
Win one of three double packs of these titles!
Three followers of Six Little Hearts will each win a set of these fantastic books valued at $29.90 thanks to The Five Mile Press.
Total prize pool of this giveaway is $89.70.
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This is a game of skill.
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