Tuesday, 27 November 2012

First Picture Cookbook

We got this First Picture Cookbook out of the library recently and have been using it so much I think I'll buy it. It has a really good mix of recipes and being a board book stands up well so you can follow it as you go. We do cook together quite a lot so I did find it quite easy to do the recipes with Rosie. She really loves having a recipe book that is hers and likes to suggest things to make from it.
We tried the biscuits - see picture below! It's a good recipe and worked well. As usual the part Rosie enjoyed the most was eating the uncooked dough. We had some ready rolled icing left over from her birthday so we cut shapes from it and decorated the biscuits with it. I really like the fact that it's for 8 biscuits. That's a perfect amount for a child's recipe and you can always increase it if you want more.
Rosie is desperate to make the fudge recipe. It has icing sugar, marshmallows and butter. I've never seen a fudge recipe like it but I guess it's to avoid the dangerous boiling of sugar that you'd normally do. If it works it might be genius (and everyone's Christmas presents!).

It also includes recipes for chocolate crispies, cheesy shapes, flapjacks, bread rolls and cupcakes - although you could do what we did at a recent birthday party and make the cakes and then just get the kids to decorate them with millions of toppings. It seemed to go down well!

I think this has a great mix of recipes and we'll probably get round to making most of them. Although I would like to try the Annabel Karmel First Cookbook to compare, I suspect it has more things like jacket potato toppings and pizza in it and is for a slightly older age group. I like the way this book has only a few recipes and they are mainly baking ones.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg / Snapdragon at Norwich Castle

Funnybones was used as a basis for an activity session that we went to at Norwich Castle last week. We've read it on and off over the last year but I think that Rosie will probably be requesting it more since our day out! The book itself has a lovely rhythmic quality and gathers speed as you read the first page 'In the dark, dark street, there was a dark, dark house.' The story follows the adventures of a big, little and dog skeleton who go out to have fun in the middle of the night and want to find someone to scare. The dog skeleton ends up falling apart and they try to put him back together. Then they go to the zoo and although all the normal animals are asleep the skeleton ones are awake, so they have some fun together!

It's a simple great story that has been around for years and is always a favourite of libraries at Halloween. Our local one was doing quite a lot of drawing competitions based around it. You can understand it being used in so many different ways since it really lends itself to extra activities. Funnybones is part of a series and there are quite a few more including Mystery Tour, and The Ghost Train.

The activity session at the castle was called Snapdragon and for 2-4 year olds. It's run once a month on a friday. The next one is on December 14th. It's £2.50 for an hour and really well organised. We started off looking at different bones and all the kids had to guess what animals they came from (tiger skull, woolly mammoth calf bone etc) and then we were given binoculars (made out of loo roll inners!) and told to go and find the animals in the museum. After that we read Funnybones and then did activities that were bone related, including rubbing fossils through to paper. It was great! I really recommend it if you live anywhere near Norwich.