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Must have cookbooks for kids – roadtested and reviewed by an 8 year old

Ok, ok, I’ve put up with the nagging for close to six months.  My Miss 8 has been hounding me to let her guest post since we launched The Scoop on Nutrition and I’ve simply run out of excuses. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that she is a budding Junior Masterchef.  So I said yes.  And promised she could have full editorial control.  I hope you ‘like’ her recommendations and I trust we’ve solved some birthday pressie dilemmas for the little chefs in your life.   Over to you my darling Miss:

Revolting Recipes

I just got this great book by Roald Dahl.  Here’s a list of some of the recipes. From the BFG there is Snoozcumbers and Frobscottle.  The BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant. From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory there is strawberry flavoured chocolate coated fudge, toffee apple trees, lickable wallpaper, candy coated pencils for sucking in class, butterscotch, mallow pillows, stickjaw for talkative parents, Willy Wonka’s nutty crunch surprise and hot ice cream for cold days. There are lots more. Buy it to find out all the other recipes.  These recipes are eatable.  For example the Snozzcumbers is a cucumber stuffed with tuna and a filling of mayonnaise.  And you must be wondering what eatable marshmallow pillows are?  It is a pillow with mini marshmallows inside it.  You must be wondering that this recipe is not so imaginative by Roald Dahl, but it is.  The pillow is eatable too because it’s made from icing.

The Silver Spoon for Children

My Poppy in London got this book for me.  It has all of the Italian favourites with great pictures to understand how to make each step.  The first recipe I made out of it was my first time using the mortar and pestle. The recipe was Linguine and Pesto. I bought this Spaghetti measure from the money that my Poppy gave to spend on D-Store. It helps with measuring your spaghetti. Some pressure points of making the Linguine and pesto is let your mum or dad put the hot water on so you don’t burn yourself. Also make sure that you crush up all of the ingredients that you use for the mortar and pestle. Here`s a tip, it says in the book to use pine nuts, but my mum said if you crisp them up the flavour is different so when we tasted it it had a new catch of flavour. Mum’s are smart.  The book even has a recipe for ice cream without using an ice cream machine.

 Women’s Weekly Kids in the Kitchen

Isn’t the kids in the kitchen great?  It tells you all the great sauces for fish’n’chips and lots more. Great after school snacks and all the great midnight feasts.  Plus quick and easy recipes for Mother’s or Father’s Day.  Last Mother’s Day I made mummy pancakes in bed.  It was a success.  I’ve been getting better and better at pancakes.  The pressure point with pancakes is being careful not to burn yourself.  And don’t leave your pan on and go and ask if your mum or dad wants maple syrup, or lemon and sugar, or any other ingredients like Vegemite or butter, because it can catch on fire or maybe your pancake might burn.  And if that was the last pancake mixture, it would be burnt pancakes on the menu for breakfast for you.


This cupcake book gives all the great tips on how to ice a cupcake perfectly and how to make cupcakes to die for.  There are butter cream icings and lots of fantastic pictures.  This book is good because it tells you how many cupcakes it’s going to make and how many cupcakes the icing will cover. You can change the amount of icing sugar.  Pressure points are that you will be using lots of bowls and make sure that your cupcakes are cooled down so it is easier to ice them.

Cooking classes

I’ve been going to a local restaurant where a mum from our school, Emma Mackay was teaching us how to make recipes.  They were really fun and easy to make.  My favourite one was the cupcakes because it was a good chance to show Emma my great skills.  We’ve also made sushi.  I’ve tried it before but didn’t like it.  But Emma changed my feelings on sushi and now I’m a sushi freak.  We also made Anzac biscuits on Anzac day and got to get our hands dirty.  We also made rice paper rolls.  It was fun because we got to put in our favourite stuffings.

Editor’s comment:

Thank you Miss 8 wonderful tips and books for junior cooks.  My pick? Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Cooking.  If anyone in Melbourne wants to encourage their kids in the kitchen, Emma Mackay is offering classes at Queen Victoria Market and other locations around town. And PLEASE.  Seriously, PLEASE leave Miss 8 a comment below.  She’ll be checking to see every hour minute of the day and night until 8:00pm bedtime. Love to hear your favourite cookbooks for kids too…let’s see if we can grow the list.

  • Adelaide Skeptic

    Hi Miss 8,

    I really enjoyed reading your recipe book review. Very thorough and helpful. I have a little boy who is nearly six and he has been asking me for a cookbook for AGES. After reading your post, I now have plenty of ideas of what to buy him for his birthday in two weeks. Maybe next time you can tell us about your favorite recipe and post some pictures of your success. Good luck in your future cooking endeavors!

  • Hi Miss 8

    This is great! I’ve already put together a list from your recommendations for presents! Thanks for your fantastic post, very well written and thought out.

    From a fellow foodie

  • Fleur

    Congratulations on your first guest post!
    I am putting Revolting Recipes on my shopping list. Even though the names already sound wacky and inviting, you have managed to hook me in with your great descriptions.
    Good luck with future food adventures!

  • Sarah

    Miss 8 – thank you SO much for your helpful reviews! I didn’t know that there were so many cooking books for kids out there! I particularly like the sound of the Women’s Weekly book – I think my boys will love it. They are just starting to help me in the kitchen – just with easy things like cakes and slices. But they eat all the mixture! From Sarah

  • WOW…you have given me food for thought Miss 8…I write recipe books, so now I have a new plan in mind…perhaps you can road test it for me??

  • Aurassi

    Hi miss 8,

    Amazing job, will have to get some of those books for my Mr 8
    and hope it encourages him to help me in the kitchen.

    Keep up the good work

  • Well done, Miss 8! I love the look of Revolting Recipes. Oh, and I like toasted pine nuts too, your mum had some good advice there. 🙂

    Keep up the cooking and writing!

  • Gab

    Well done, that was a very impressive review, Miss 8. Hopefully I might be able to get my two boys interested in helping out mum in the kitchen with some of these recipes!

    From my Mr 10.
    I really like the sound of marshmallow pillows, they sound delicious!!

  • Hi everyone it’s Miss 8 here, thanks for your comments:
    Adelaide Skeptic – Maybe if you are trying to find one of my reccomendations go to one of the bookstores
    Ladygrey7 – I will ask my mum to follow you
    Fleur – I found the Roald dahl book in D-store
    Sarah – what type of cakes and slices do you make the kids?
    Tenina – I would love to test some of your recipes. Your hair is nice
    Aurassi – If you want to make a recipe together Cakes are the best thing to do
    Rebbeca Newman – Love your blog it fantastic and everybody else your blogs are amazing keep up the good work
    Gab – Mr 10 Marshmallow pillows is a pillow made out of marshmallow and stuffed with with marshmallows

    I also made one recipe it was the Caramel Parfait Glace with Salted Peanut Caramel and Milk Chocolate Mousse that they made on masterchef. It was normally made by Phillipa Sibley. It was my friend another Mr 8 that helped me make it. His mum and my mum helped us too. We did not get the chocolate plark on. The peanut Caramel was my favourite.

    You can find my mum on twitter facebook her website four square and Gowalla. One day I might make up my own recipes
    From Miss 8

  • This is so awesome Miss 8. I will make sure my miss 8 reads this when she gets home from school today!!

    Thank you for sharing : )

  • I have just searched through the kids section in our cookbook library at home and found Roald Dahls Disgusting Recipes!

    YAY ~ I thought it had been lost in the overseas move. Thank you from reminding me what a fun cookbook this is for children of all ages!!

  • What a great post Miss 8!

    I have shared this with all the mums and kids I know. And I definitely agree Emma’s classes are fantastic. She has saved me from a long family tradition of not being able to make mashed potato. I am now the mash queen!

    Cant wait to read your next post

  • Dearest Miss 8,

    Well done, what a fantastic first post. I love the look of the first two books. My 9 year old son loves Roald Dahl, so I’m definitely going to pick up a copy. And my miss 7 adores cooking so I can’t wait to show her your post. She has her own blog called My Life with Fairies – she’s only just started it but has some great fairy recipes. Thanks for sharing. Caro xx

  • Wonderful reviews Miss 8, so good I mentioned you on my radio show today 🙂

  • Your daughter’s reviews were excellent. I hope she will be a regular on your blog.

  • Miss 8,

    Congratulations on such a great post! Very thorough review – you covered everything I need to know. I can’t wait to share the books you have recommended to my family and clients. In fact, I think I might go out and buy them myself so I can have a play with some of those recipes you mentioned. YUM!

  • Wonderful reviews Miss 8. Have always wondered about the contents of those dishes described in Roald Dahl stories. Hilarious but very useful tips on pancake making too. Keep it up hon.

  • great post Miss 8 I bet your Mum is so proud of you I have a little two year old daughter LOL Rebecca

  • Hey Lucy, fabulous review! Thanks for the nod! I hope this message finds you the last one ended up on my facebook page! You will have to come and give me computer lessons! Chef Em x

  • Frances

    Miss 8, congratulations on a brilliant first post!

    I look forward to reading many more.

    From a fellow guest post-er

    Frances 🙂

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  • Thanks so much for this. This might sound weird, but I spent the first few years of my life in Sicily, then travelled around the globe. Now I’m living in New Zealand, with my Chinese wife, and son we had whilst living inJapan! Truly international, eh? Anyway, I’ve been trying to rediscover the smells and tastes of my youth with some authentic Italian recipes like these, best I’ve found so far! Thanks again, I’ll see if I can add the feed to my google reader tonight, though my son usually does that for me!

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  • Looks like some great cook books, I would have loved to have had the Silver Spoon for Children. All ym kids love Italian food – yum!

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  • EmmaStirling

    I’ve just re-read this archived post from my now Miss 11 and appreciate again the wonderful memories we get from blogging and social media.

  • Tania

    I can’t wait to start.. but my son is only 1y10m… he’ll help me with the simple stuff though, as soon as we move to our new home in 2 months. for now, it’s logistically impossible to have him around the kitchen. But I love the idea of having them around, so important to know what you’re eating from scratch! I’ll keep Miss 8 books in mind when I reach the moment to pass the “tools” on ;p

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