Mellow Mummy: Children's Cookery Book Review - Noodle Kids by Jonathon Sawyer : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 23 February 2015

Children's Cookery Book Review - Noodle Kids by Jonathon Sawyer

As you've probably gathered by now, here at Mellow HQ we all enjoy getting creative in the kitchen together.  Teaching my girls the wonder of great food and inspiring cookery is one of my favourite pastimes.  Noodle Kids by Jonathon Sawyer is a new fun cookery book designed for families.  Packed full of pasta and noodle recipes from all over the globe; it's a fantastic book which has already inspired new family meal ideas for me and my girls and which I expect to provide many years of cookery fun.

Noodle Kids contains 50 recipes for cooking with children or for children; there are plenty pictures for you to sit down and drool over (or in Lara's case, so that she can browse for what she wants to cook next weekend) but the book is also very content rich.  In among the recipes you will also find pages featuring the cartoon Noodle Cat who explains different pasta and noodle cultures from around the globe - this book is a learning experience as much as an eating experience.

Noodle Kids features recipes with dried pasta, homemade pasta sheets, hand-shaped pasta, gnocchi, dumplings and noodles of lots of different types.  Unlike many cookbooks designed specifically for children, the recipes in this book are challenging.  That suits me perfectly.  All to often, cookery with kids is dumbed down and it is refreshing to see a cookbook for children which encourages parents to learn and share cookery skills, flavours and ingredients which, for many adults, are adventurous.  This is great news, especially because Lara (5) and I made a new year's resolution to learn at least one new recipe together every month during 2015.

So this weekend, Lara and I learned how to make ravioli from scratch.  We had a little help from Holly (2) and yes, it was messy and chaotic but wow, they both loved every minute of it.  We followed a simple pasta sheet recipe from the book and then used the ideas for ravioli fillings as inspiration for our own filling using ingredients that we had in the house (we chose an Italian turkey and basil mix).  Next weekend, at Lara's request, we will try our own homemade gnocchi.

Throughout the book you will find ideas of how to make the recipes seem more accessible to children; from ravioli parties to ramen noodle parties there are ideas which help to simplify and encourage participation in the act of cooking and enjoying food together.  From Japanese ramen to Italian gnocci, Greek noodle bakes and South-East Asian noodle and dumpling specialities, Noodle Kids features recipes from all over the world and is a great introduction for children of all ages to the diverse range of pastas.

I'm really gushing about Noodle Kids, and rightly so.  It is so unusual to find a cookery book that has had thought put into it for how to make the recipes suitable for cooking with children, but which isn't over-simplistic.  As I read through this book I see recipes that I've never tried before, let alone my daughters.  I see recipes with ingredients I've never tried and with techniques that scare me a little (I'd LOVE to try making my own dumplings) and I can't think of a better time to try them than with my two girls alongside me in the kitchen.

Noodle Kids is available in paperback and on kindle from Amazon.
To order Noodle Kids at the discounted price of £12 including p&p* (RRP: £15.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG291.

*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
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