Monday, August 16, 2010

Top 5 cookbooks for junior chefs

List by Danielle

"Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love."
~ Craig Claiborne, Kitchen Primer

Spurred on by several shared and yummy baking attempts at our local daycare, my daughter has been keen to help out in the kitchen recently (specially if there are beaters that need to be licked clean). Here are my favourites amongst the library's collection of kids' cookbooks - some easy to follow recipes, some cute novelty food, even some simple ways to get kids trying some ingredients they might not otherwise touch with a very long spatula!

Green eggs and ham cookbook : recipes inspired by Dr. Seuss! / concocted by Georgeanne Brennan
Ever wonder what green eggs and ham really taste like? They're yummy. And now everyone can whip up a batch for themselves using this fabulous cookbook. Filled with simple, scrumptious, wacky recipes for such foods as Cat in the Hat Pudding and Moose Juice and Schlopp, this unique cookbook will have the whole family hamming it up in the kitchen.
Not sure if I'd ever make some of this stuff, though the Daisy-Head Mayzie burgers, complete with gingerbread-daisy cookies, are awfully cute. It's a little like being able to buy Willy Wonka candy; not quite as magical as the books make it seem, just a little more mundane than it was when it was just a fictional confection! That said, if your little ones are mad for Cat in the Hat, or the Grinch, this could be a lot of fun.

Cool kids cookbook / [text, photographs and illustrations by Top Shelf Productions]
Cookbook for children based on the TV show "Cool kids cooking".
This is aimed at older kids (primary and intermediate), and based on the NZ tv show. The recipes are straightforward and look tasty, and there are plenty of kitchen tips and hints. I like the local content, from Island Chop Suey and Pacific-inspired salads and patties, to yummy-looking baked Kumara Boats. Plenty of easyish family favourites like tacos, pizza and mousetraps, too.

Mummy and me cookbook / Annabel Karmel
Get cooking with your child and make tasty, healthy food with child nutrition expert, Annabel Karmel. Cooking and eating together are great for encouraging kids to eat healthily! Annabel Karmel shows how you can create all kinds of lip-smacking finger food with your child that's good for them, too. Step-by-step photos show you (and them) exactly what to do and will help your child develop basic cookery skills.
One of two books by Annabel Karmel on the list, because she does this so well. As you'd expect from a Dorling Kindersley book, it looks great; plenty of illustrations make it appealing visually as well as providing plentiful pointers on technique. The food looks like heaps of fun, from hearts-and-stars croutons in a mini Caesar salad, fishcakes (with eyes made from peas) and peanut butter bears. There are even ideas for getting kids together to have a cooking party!

Children's first cookbook : have fun in the kitchen! / Annabel Karmel
From sweet treats to simple family meals, young children will love trying out the exciting range of tasty and healthy recipes. With step-by-step instructions, this cookbook is the perfect starting point for any budding young chef.
See above for the Annabel Karmel/Dorling Kindersley warm fuzzies. This is also very lovely. Highlights include the adorable cupcake farm, animal cookies, the pizza faces and the jam sweethearts.

The cooking book / Jane Bull
From wacky cup-cake designs to tasty cheese tarts, this book should get children and grown-ups more excited about cooking. It aims to teach the basics of cooking in a fun and easy way.Illustrations and simple text provide instructions for creating a variety of foods.
Along similar lines to the Annabel Karmel titles, with plenty of pictures to help show young cooks how things should look along the way, and how to use various cooking techniques. Fun recipes include making faces and other shapes with bread dough; moon rocks (rock-type biscuits that are studded with bits and pieces for texture and colour); a chocolate 'mud' pie; and gorgeous rainbow cakes, with some inspiring icing artwork.

Bon appetit!

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