My Little Sous Chef comes with two different books showing the same delicious recipes - the "grown up" one contains all the detailed ingredients, instructions and photography you'd expect in a great recipe book, while the kids' version contains fun, illustrated simplified steps that children can do to help make each dish. Plus, the children's version is laminated and easy to wipe clean, so perfect for surviving sticky fingers!
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 there wasn't a book that really supported this idea. They set about creating a tandem cook book, that not only encourages parents and children having fun with food together, but also supports great lessons like numeracy, instruction following and nutrition.
When I first showed my two girls (7 and 4 years old) the recipes books the eldest used the child's copy as her bedtime reading book for the next 2 nights! She had big decisions to make...what would be the first thing to cook?! She eventually settled on the Cheese crackers, which really shocked me as she is a chocoholic so I thought she would pick the Chocolate Salami (we will be trying that soon - I want some!), but I was very happy that something else had caught her eye.
We went shopping together and got the ingredients we needed (which happened just to be the parmesan as we always have flour and butter in the house.
The girls had the children's recipe book in between them and I used the parents copy. The girls used the book to tell me what I needed and helped me weigh it all out and they grated the cheese before we started. It was a very simple recipe where they could get their hands in and do everything for themselves.
The girls found the instructions very simple to follow - my eldest could read each step and the youngest used the fun pictures. It was nice for the girls to be able to be independent with following the recipe, especially for the 4 year old who is only just starting to read - she easily followed the pictures, understanding what she needed to do (even that she had to put the dough in the fridge)
I would have liked the oven temperature to have been in gas as well as electric, but that is being very picky! Overall it is a nice book, with a lovely variety of recipes - lots of which the girls are keen to try (some that I never thought they would go near!) I love that the children's copy is wipe proof (sometimes think my copy should be too!)
The girls used mostly Easter cutters as they were on their Easter holidays at the time, and we may not have rolled the biscuits thin enough (we would have been able to eat more if we had made more!) but they were delicious! I had 1 (OK, maybe 2) straight out of the oven, then the girls sampled a couple and Daddy was allowed to take a couple to work the next day - it is safe to say they won't last long! When they are this easy and fun to make we don't mind - we will definitely be packing lots for our camping trip snacks this spring and summer!