Book Review – Cooks and Kids

The National Fostering Agency have once again teamed up with Gregg Wallace (Masterchef judge and TV presenter), along with the charity, Place2Be of which HRH the Duchess of Cambridge is Patron, and Welsh book publisher Graffeg Books to produce the third Cooks and Kids book.  A recipe book by kids for kids.

Cooks and Kids

Gregg, along with Tom Kerridge, Michele Roux Jr, Aldo Zilli, Cyrus Todiwala and a whole host of talented chefs, Masterchef contestants and former winners teamed together with children from 6 to 18 years of age to produce a wonderful recipe book, full of inspiration, ideas and delicious recipes. Children were invited to submit their favourite recipes for the opportunity to take part in a ‘Cook Off’, where they were to be paired off with chefs and celebrity chef to create their culinary creations which were judged by Gregg Wallace.

The National Fostering Agency is one of the largest Fostering Agencies in the UK and supports fostering parents and children with individually tailored care plans for the children.  More information on how you can be a foster parent or carer can be found on their website www.nfa.co.uk or by contacting them on 0800 044 3030.

Royalties for the book will be going to the Place2Be charity which provides therapeutic and emotional support assistance to children and families into 257 primary and secondary schools in the UK for children with complex social issues such as bereavement, family breakdown, bullying, domestic violence, neglect and trauma to enable them to thrive and achieve their potential.

I was invited to the book launch which was held at Aveqia in London who had generously allowed use of their demonstration kitchens for the children and chefs to create their wonderful dishes, as well as the launch, where I was able to ask Gregg Wallace a couple of questions about what inspired him to get involved and continue to work with the charities on this third book.

Cooks and Kids

What prompted you to get involved with the charities and the book project?  I’m a huge rugby fan and got involved through the Wasps Rugby Charity, where I have previously coached some of the rugby players.  As a single parent myself I understand how important is to provide kids with support.

How did you choose which chefs to choose to participate in the project? As you know, I’m a Masterchef judge, so I approached some of the chefs, participants and previous winners that I’d worked with and invited them to take part.  They all couldn’t wait to be involved in the project.

Do you have any plans to produce a fourth book? There are no current plans for a fourth book, however I will stay involved with the charity and we’re possibly planning a banquet next year.  Watch this space!

Cooks and Kids

During the launch, I had the absolute honour to meet and chat to one of the young cooks, Bethany, along with her foster carer, Janie.  Bethany was teamed with Celebrity Masterchef 2014 winner Sophie Thompson, and together they created Flat Breads and a wonderful Chocolate Cheesecake, both of which are featured in the book.

Cooks and Kids

The book is available for sale at the RRP of £20.00 via Amazon with profits going directly to Place2Be to enable them to continue their incredible and valuable work for our next generation.  On a personal level, as a former School Governor for over 6 years, as well as with a friend who suffered the bereavement of one of her young children, I’ve been able to see first hand just how valuable emotional support and assistance is to families and children to help them cope as they go through incredibly difficult situations in life, and therefore cannot urge you enough to help support this charity and their cause.

Thank you,

Rosie

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Book Review & Giveaway – Holly Bell’s Recipes from a Normal Mum

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I’m a huge fan of the Great British Bake Off and even applied to take part in the series a couple of years back.  Obviously, you haven’t seen me on it, as I didn’t get accepted onto the show!  Nevertheless, I still watch it and admit that I do cringe at some of the ‘creations’ and mistakes that are made at times.

Holly Bell was a finalist on the Great British Bake off and runs her very successful blog Recipes from a Normal Mum.  Being relatively locally based to Holly in neighbouring counties, I attended one of her cupcake decorating classes a couple of years back, followed by her bread class too.  Being so local and getting on so well (same cheeky sense of humour), I also popped over to help her out and ease her burden by being her ‘sous chef’ on a few classes too.  I feel very lucky to have kept in contact with this lovely lady since that time as Holly is one of the most genuine (& naughtily funny) ladies that I know.

Based on the roaring success of Holly’s blog and being a finalist on the Great British Bake Off, she has written a book of the same name as her blog that’s jam pack full of fabulous recipes, amazing photographs and little snippets of stories telling where the recipes have come from and hints on how to demystify and simplify the art of baking ‘Holly Style’.

I was recently invited to receive a copy of Holly’s book to review.  Along with my review copy, I was kindly sent an additional copy that I could offer as a giveaway on my blog.

There’s recipes in chapters such as ‘The More the Merrier’, ‘Feeding Goldilocks and Baby Bear Too’ as well as ‘Recipes for Chefs in the Making’ and ‘Presents from the Heart’. The simplicity of some of Holly’s recipes, along with the tasty, tried and tested recipes makes this every good cookery bookcase’s staple addition.

With the busy Christmas season upon us and the New Year of 2015 only days behind, what better time to choose than now to win yourself a copy of Holly’s book. Come January, you too could be baking like one of the best bakers that the Great British Bake Off has introduced us to, with the aid of Holly’s fabulous book.

In order to win this copy of Holly’s book, simply email me at blog@freycob.co.uk with the answers to the following questions.

1. What year was Holly a contestant and finalist on the Great British Bake Off?
2. In Holly’s recipe for Sweet Potato Chips on her blog, how long do you need to bake them in the oven for?
3. In Holly’s recipe for Healthier Fish and Chips recipe on her blog, what fish does Holly recommend using?

All answers can be found on Holly’s blog Recipes from a Normal Mum. The closing date for this giveaway is 6pm on Sunday 28th December 2014.  I will announce the winner shortly afterwards and will post out the winning book to reach the lucky recipient that week.  Due to the weight of the book, postage will be to the UK only.

I’m off to the kitchen to try out Holly’s Hex Family Stollen recipe. Catch you later!

I was sent a review copy and an additional copy of Holly’s to give away book free of charge.