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My Little Sous-Chef




I was recently asked if I would like to review a new concept in cookery books. Having been a cookbook collector for many years, and as a cookbook author myself, I am always happy to have a look at new cookbooks and write about them. This set is very unique in the world of cookery books in that it is the first tandem cookbook for parents and children to cook beautiful meals together.  My Little Sous Chef introduces kids to the magic of cooking, while teaching teamwork, numeracy and healthy eating habits.  I sure wish there had been something like this available when I was bringing up my own children.  Two books in one, it is cleverly designed to enable parents and children to cook together and create delicious, healthy meals that the whole family can enjoy. 


Both the adult and the children's cookbook include the same delicious recipes and are designed to work seamlessly together.  The "adult" one contains all the detailed ingredients, instructions and photography that you might expect from a great recipe book, whereas the "children's" version contains fun, illustrated simplified steps that children can do to help make eac dish.  In addition, the children's version is laminated and easy to wipe clean so that it is perfect for sticky little hands and fingers.

The tasks for children are designed to be simple and hazard free, but also as varied as possible, so they can enjoy different tasks and learn important food preparation skills and principles along the way.  This is perfect for primary school age children, but because there is ample scope for confident children to take on more complex and intricate tasks from the adult books as they learn and master new cooking skills. 


  

What a wonderful way for a whole family to create new and valuable experiences and memories together.  Its also a fabulous way to help introduce children to different tastes, textures and ingredients in food.  My youngest son was a very picky eater, having taken on not only his own personal dislikes, but also those of his four older siblings.  A book like this where he could have actually gotten stuck in and helped to cook supper would have gone a long way towards getting him to eat and try new things.  Children always love tasting things they have created themselves!


This unique book is written by three London-based Italian women, who when reminiscing about their fond memories of learning to cook with their mothers and grandmothers in Italy, realised that there weren't any cookbooks out there that fully supported this idea.  They crowdfunded and set about dreating a tandem cookcook, that not only encourages parents and children having fun with food together, but also supporte great lessons like numeracy, instruction following, and proper nutrition, all the while making healthy and extremely tasty family meals that everyone will enjoy!

Some recipes included are:
  • Aubergine Sarnies
  • Bean Tacos
  • Spinach Ravioli
  • Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Vegetarian Lasagne
  • Chocolate Brownies

  

*Cheescake*
serves 6
tips - use a springform cake tin, if you own one, as it will be easier to remove the cheesecake without ruining the cheese filling.  Try adding a pinch of lemon zest and the juice of one lemon to the cheese filling, for a fresher taste.

300g digestive biscuits (3 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs)
150g butter (10 1/2 TBS)
250 cream cheese (1 cup)
500g ricotta cheese (5 cups, 15 ounces)
5 TBS caster sugar
200ml milk (7 1/4 fluid ounces)
4 leaves of gelatin
blueberry jam
fresh blueberries

For the base:
Put the biscuits into a strong plastic ba and crush with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in the microwave. Pour the melted butter over the crushed biscuits and mix well. Pour the biscuits into a cke tin and spread evenly. Press with you rfingers to make sure the base is solid and evenly thick. (I find the back of a metal measuring cup works well here.)
Let the base sit in the refrigerator for one hour.

For the cream:
Place the gelatin leaves in a bowl full of cold water and leave it for 5 minutes.

Heat the milk on the stove.  Add the softened gelatin leaves into the warm milk and sir until it has dissolved completely.  Mix the two cheeses in a large bowl with the sugar. Pour the milk into the bowl and stir thoroughly. then pour the mixure over the chilled biscuit base.  Leave in the refrigerator to set for about 2 hours.

Decorate the top with jam and fresh berries and dust with icing sugar to serve. 

Tasks for your little sous chef:
1. Put the biscuits into a bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
2. Mix the melted butter and crumbled biscuits.
3. Tip the mixture into the cake tin and smooth.
4. Mix the gelatin, cheese, milk and sugar together in a bowl.
5. Pour the cheese mix onto the biscuit base.
6. Decorate with jam and berries.


I have 7 grandchildren and 3 mum & dad children who
all love to cook and would really enjoy this lovely
set of books! 

About the Authors:

Caterina Falqui - studied foreign languages in Milan and then moved to London to attend an MA in publishing.  Caterina now works in a publishing house in London and writes a  bilingual blog about her expereince in the UK called Bilinguismi.

Francesca Grassi - is an interior designer with experience in graphic design. She studied interior design at Politecnico University in Milan and after working in a multidisciplinary studio in Italy for five years moved to London. In London Franeesca set up the design company Ink Inch Design.

Laura Pantaleone - studied  Product  design at NABA in Milan and then moved to London where she gained experience in graphic and product design. Laura collatorated with 3D printing company MyMiniFactory and worked as a freelancer on various projects. She now works full time for Ink Inch Designed which she co-founded with Francesca. 

You can purchase a copy of the book for your family, or as a gift for someone else, directly from the authors here. 



Do check out the other reviews which you can find clearly outlined on the Blog Tour above!

Many thanks to The Book Publicist for sending me this review copy.  I think it is absolutely brilliant and can't wait to get stuck in with some of the children at my church.  I am also thinking of purchasing copies for some kids and grandkids this Christmas!  What a great family gift they will be!
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Marie Rayner
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4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Its great for anyone with smaller children! xo

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  2. This looks like a really good book for kids learning to cook. Both Rick's boys learned to cook by his side and now Kevin does most of the cooking for him and Molly and I suspect Carson will get his turn at the counter, too. Greg also cooks a lot and has a great appreciation for interesting food. It starts when they are young. Thanks for this recommendation.

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    Replies
    1. It really is a great set of books for parents and children Jeanie. You are welcome! xo

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