Thursday, 16 July 2015

Sweet Books For Kids - A Review, a Giveaway and a Funfetti Cookie Recipe #SLHFeaturedThursdays

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?)
No thanks!

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
1 egg
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.
Please share the love! If you know of someone who would enjoy this review and giveaway, please share this post with them using the options below. We thank you so much for this!
To Enter:
Please fill out the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.
Please note: You must leave a comment to enter this giveaway and you must leave your name within your comment box! If I cannot match your name with your comment, your entry will be invalid.
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Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I love watchng my kids cook in the kitchen, they get so much happiness and satisfaction when they get to taste what they have created.

  2. Master 4 is actually a very helpful little cook, so no disasters, though I do get the impression he much prefers eating the pre-cooked whatever (cake, biscuit) than hanging around waiting for the finished product!

  3. Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting and topped with Maltesers. The disaster was I ate all the mixture before I could cook them!

  4. My 8 & 9 year old are able to make pancakes, sandwiches and puff pastry cheese pizzas all by themselves! They know how to turn on the oven, what the difference is between folding and stirring, how to peel and grate and know that cleaning up is part of the process!

  5. Cute books - but I'll leave to a more worthy recipient...:)

  6. Wow, these look great! I was only just thinking the other day I needed to start baking and get my toddler involved and these cookies just look perfect - and easy! Thanks for sharing and what a great giveaway!

  7. Lovely vibrant books. Cookies are my weakness :)

  8. Love to cook with my little one!!

  9. Adore cooking with my toddler (umm...sometimes, anyway). At the mention of baking, she jumps up and down, saying "up, up, up!" (up on her stool) and starts listing ingredients... flour, sugar, eggs ... yeah, we might make a lot of cookies. ;-)

  10. My toddler requested we cooked cookies, but little did i no that this cookies would smell and taste very similar to something else. I had just given birth so my brain was a little mush. On the top of my head we started to cook....well we ended up cooking playdoh, as that was the only recipe i knew, i was so tired and unaware that i was indeed following the steps of making your own playdoh.............................DOH!!!! - Aimee Tatham

  11. These books are beautiful and would creating so many bonding and fun moments with my kids!!

  12. My girls love to cook and are always shadowing me in the kitchen. Our worst disaster was when Miss S undid the springform tin and I unknowingly picked it up to put it in the oven and cake mix poured out everywhere as I lifted it. Malinda Brown

  13. I used to cook with my grade 2 classes and very quickly learnt that the quicker and easier the recipe, the better! These books look great! And anything with sprinkles wins my heart! Thanks so much for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party xxx

  14. Steph: I have the same recurring disasters. My 4 year old and I go make cookies, a cake, brownies, etc because she just loves to bake. Every single time she makes it "snow" in the kitchen with the flour - bc she is still obsessed with frozen. I tell her every time if you make it snow we can't bake again. I always give in!!! And it always snows

  15. I celebrate a little success every-time a plate with a dish of vegetables is returned empty!

  16. We baked chocolate brownies with m & m sprinkles but the hotplate was left on low from melting butter - So it didn;t glow red. I took the pan out of the oven and put it on the cook top to cool in pan . About 20 mins later the boys were demanding the brownies and saying it's burning - why can we smell burning ...

  17. My son is nearly 2 and he loves to get involved with baking with me. He proudly puts the cupcake cases into the tray and helps me stir up a storm. He does get a bit overzealous though, and has added things like unpeeled mandarin oranges and a banana into the mix - and then he eats all the chocolate chips! - Lianne Zilm

  18. We have the dodgiest of ovens at the moment which has made for some interesting disasters in the kitchen lately. I've taken to calling most of our creations..... deconstructed.

  19. We always seem to end up with only half a tray of biscuits no matter how much dough we mix up. They both so innocently deny tasting the uncooked biscuit mix (even with the smears still around their mouths) that I can't get cross. Jenny Watson

  20. eveytime we bake we end up eating them so so so quickly they never last long enough for school lunches we love to cook as a family

  21. I would love to win one of these packs for my family because we love creating things in the craft room and the kitchen :-)

  22. I would love to win this for my 4 year old, he loves helping out with baking and especially loves the egg cracking (even does well not to get any shell in the cooking either!) and I think he'd really treasure this book and cook everything in it!

  23. I would love to win this pack for my 7 year old - she is so enthusiastic about cooking and craft - but not so much about her reading - maybe this would encourage her to read more about her favourite things.
    Rebecca Tompsett

  24. My little men just love, love, love, baking. I'm not sure what they love more..... licking the spoon/bowl/mixers, or the final product?!!?? :) I love their participation, and eagerness, even though there is always more flour on the bench than in the bowl :)

  25. My eldest at 7yrs made us dinner... It was salad, and not just any normal salad it was the most unusual chunky fritz, carrot and cucumber salad. Was yum but there is only so much fritz I can eat in one sitting.

  26. I made some lovely burnt choc cookies yesterday with my 2 year old! After we put them in the oven I completly forgot about them

  27. I spent ages writing out a post I don't know if I pressed the wrong button. I. Not sure I can rewrite it all so basically recap I have for kids and a lot of kitchen disasters , the most recent was my teenager and I trying to sneakily make cake in mugs when everyone was in bed, we tripped the forealarmamd the cakes all flopped kristy winters story's never as well written second time around


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