Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Children's book review : Pocket Money Cookery

The Madhouse kids love cooking and, after starting out with baking cupcakes and cookies, as most kids do, they've progressed on to helping out with "proper" cooking when I'm sorting out dinner too. Juliette is a dab hand with a potato peeler and Pierre loves running around the kitchen collecting up all the different ingredients I call out to him ! I was really excited when we received a copy of Pocket Money Cookery to review, hoping for a range of kid-friendly and budget-friendly recipes to add to our repertoire.

Well, I have to admit that the budget aspect threw me slightly to begin with. Take this recipe for Snowstorm Veal, for example, which has an estimated cost of £15-20. Maybe I'm a cheapskate but that's a lot more than my kids get for pocket money ! It does serve four though, making it come to about £5 a head, which isn't bad at all. I don't have any qualms about the price factor in itself, but I wouldn't have put such emphasis on the pocket money aspect for recipes that come in at anything over a few pounds. If Sophie wanted to cook a special dish for us to share using her own finances, for example, there's no way I'd expect her to shell out £20 !

The book contains 59 pages and features ten recipes. You have the choice of :

1) Pizza Beef
2)  The Embarrassed Queen's Frittata
3) Winter Mud Dessert
4) Explosive Volcano Eggs
5) Dawn Scrambled Eggs
6) Fresh Tomato Spaghetti
7) Broken French Dinner
8) Mozzarella on a Scooter
9) Snowstorm Veal
10) Mini Chocolate Hedgehog

Some of them are very kid-friendly, with fun presentations and names that will really appeal to youngsters and get them excited about eating healthy ingredients like fruit and vegetables.

Others are simplified versions of meals you probably already cook, such as fresh tomato spaghetti.

This gives kids the chance to cook an actual meal that the whole family can sit down together and enjoy, rather than just providing some tea-time treats that will probably have disappeared long before Dad even gets home from work !

Kids are also encouraged to jot down their own recipes at the back of the book, making it a more interactive and educational experience.

As a grown-up, I'm used to very structured recipe books with a photo, followed by a clear list of ingredients then step-by-step instructions. I was slightly thrown by the presentation of this book because each recipe has a couple of pages with fun anecdotes, snippets of general knowledge and general cookery advice all jumbled together with the ingredients and method.

This meant that I found it quite hard to find the ingredients list quickly when I was putting the shopping list together, but - with perfect kid (sorry, teen!) logic - Sophie pointed out that it's only about as long as a magazine so you should sit down and read the whole thing cover to cover then you know in advance what you'll need and what you might want to make in the future. Good thinking !

You can't review a recipe book without trying out at least one of the recipes so we settled on the Winter Mud Dessert. It's basically fruit salad topped with Greek yogurt, cinnamon and crumbled ginger biscuits.

I wasn't sure what kind of a reception this would get because the kids usually aren't keen on cinnamon, but they wolfed the whole lot down ! We used bananas, satsumas, grapes and apples but you could do this with any mixture of in-season fruit. It's a great way of getting them to cover most of their five-a-day in one sitting.

The book has been created by OoberKidsRepublic, described as a safe, fun and interactive online world to learn Key Stage 2 Maths, English and Science, and targetting kids aged 7-11. This is volume 1 of the cookery book so I'll be looking out for future editions.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £7

Disclosure : We received the book in order to write an honest review.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

More Fudge In My Kitchen Creations


  1. At first I liked the sound of this, but those recipes are expensive!!

  2. Food colouring would cost initially for the Dawn Scrambled Eggs but I don't think it would cost £3 - £5 for scrambled eggs in general. It's a good idea to get children used to the price of ingredients, though, but these seem a bit unrealistic.

  3. Seems like a great idea, cookbook for the kids. Meals look delicious whilst fun to make.

    Rachel Craig