Welcome to the Family Cooking edition of Action Pack Magazine for kids. 

  • In this issue there are 30 recipes – all tested and tasted by kid chefs – Orlando and Otilija.
  • Plus we have included a crafty how-to-sew a chef’s hat as well as a convenient printable recipe card section.
  • As well as this we have a included cooking essentials like how to separate eggs, make bread and butter and lots more besides.
  • Action Pack guide to family cooking is divided up into sections:breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner, bread + butter, and dessert. And each recipe is rated ‘super easy’, ‘easy’, ‘medium’ or ‘bit harder’.
  • Plus there are baking tips, safety advice and a kitchen conversion chart.

This is an e-magazine – you will receive a download link to a high quality printable pdf [which can also be viewed on a Tablet or iPad].

Do you like to cook? Do your kids?

Cooking is a great skill to have. If you can be confident in the kitchen, know how to use a knife safely and to be careful around boiling liquids and hot flames, then you are well on your way to becoming an independent and capable person in the kitchen and in life. This Action Pack: Family cooking, will help cooks of all ages to become confident in the kitchen.

Cooking not only teaches you about healthy eating and good quality food, but also makes you aware of the ingredients that go into your food. Kids will begin to appreciate all the time and effort that goes into cooking a meal for the family too. They might not even complain so much if it’s not their favourite food served up at dinner time. Enable your children to become confident cooks and experimental eaters with these 30 delicious and easy to make recipes.

Cooking is part science, part art and part practical skills. Knowing how food reacts and why you need to include certain ingredients in a certain order and cook them at a certain temperature is all science. Why baking powder and yeast makes flour rise. Why cream turns to butter if you over beat it. Why milk curdles if you add lemon juice to it. Knowing these things will make you and your kids more inventive, creative and scientific cooks — you’ll learn all these things and more in this issue.

Cooking is about being independent, learning about food and ingredients and the effort that goes into cooking, but it can also be a really fun, creative and artistic activity. Experimenting with flavour, colour, texture and shape is part of the cooking process. In this e-cooking book, you’ll find food for inspiring this creativity.

Orlando kneading dough

This here little cook book is for kids who like to cook, but it’s also for the whole family too. The recipes inside are practical and uncomplicated and use easy to find everyday ingredients. I hope you and the whole family enjoy this cooking e-book.

Welcome to the Family Cooking edition of Action Pack Magazine for kids. 

This is an e-magazine – you will receive a download link to a high quality printable pdf [which can also be viewed on a Tablet or iPad].

Chocolate choc-chip brownies

Be prepared for mess, for fun and for some seriously good food.

I want to encourage everyone to give cooking a go. Parents don’t be afraid of a little mess – kids, you’ll have to clean up after cooking if you want to cook next time.!

Cooking with kids takes longer – this is just a fact, which is fine – slow and steady will get you there in the end, just read through the recipe, gather your ingredients and do one step at a time.

None of the recipes in this book are difficult, although some recipes might take a little more experience in the kitchen than others – and a little more time. However they are all achievable and we know this because the chefs who cooked the dishes featured here are 9 and 12 years old – younger children will need more supervision, while older ones will only need a little advice now and again.

So get cooking – what are you waiting for?!

This is an e-magazine – you will receive a download link to a high quality printable pdf [which can also be viewed on a Tablet or iPad].

Instructions: After you have purchased the Action Pack you will receive an email with the link to where you can download the pdf. Save it onto your computer and then print out. It is a full colour 20+ page document – print the pages all at once or you need as you need them. For optimum quality choose ‘best quality’ when printing, especially for the pages with illustrations. However feel free to print it out in black and white too. Your PDF can also be saved and viewed onto your Tablet or iPad.

Important: The pdf magazine will be automatically delivered via e-mail as soon as your payment is received. The email address that it is sent to is the email connected to your paypal account. The e-mail you receive will include a link to download the file directly to your computer. Please note that the link will only allow you to access the file for a limited period, so please make sure to download and save the file on your own computer as soon as you receive it. Lost files may be replaced for a period of 30 days following purchase.

Contact for more information:


What with the celebratory week I have just had: birthday parties and mother’s day, I have been baking just a little.

But on the flip side we have been quite overdoing the green smoothie (frozen peas, pineapple, ginger and spinach – trust me — it’s good!) and the homemade muesli thing too – just to add some balance to all that cake.

For my 12 year old’s (second) birthday party this year, I was commissioned to make a double layer marble cake filled with vanilla cream. It was actually incredibly delicious and light (I adapted a sponge cake recipe instead of making a butter cake). And for a different kind of treat bag I made giant chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know about you but I am so sick of the treat bags full of junk – so I decided to take a stand and the giant cookies were much loved and admired by all.

Recipes: For the cake and cookies I adapted recipes from two of my fave cook books: Milk & Cookies and Gran’s Kitchen. But I did a little online search and found a few recipes that might fit the bill if you don’t have these two fantastic I-don’t-know-how-I-would-cope-without-them books. Giant chewy choc chip cookies :: Marble butter cake :: Victoria sponge cake :: Kale and pear smoothie :: Monster smoothie :: Homemade muesli

Quilt market: for those non-quilters and others who live in a different universe – Quilt market is on and reports have started to filter in: Spoonflower :: Uhandbag. If you can’t make it – you can join the Blogger’s quilt festival.

At whipup this week the creativity series continues: A failed attempt to control the chaos :: Healing through craft :: The stream of inspiration runs both ways :: Crafting brings the joy :: I’m mostly a self taught creative type. Please share your stories by commenting at these posts.

Fun online tutes: dino hoodie :: Fun sandals :: Fly with me quilt block :: Project run and play.

On my book pile:

Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. Published by Stash April 2012. Favourite quilt bloggers + favourite quilt book publisher = great quilt book! Super ideas for using up your scraps and some really fun quilt designs too. Beginner quilters will love the sections on sorting your scraps and quilting techniques, while others will want to just get stuck into the quilts themselves. The quilts are mostly simple in design and constructions and take advantage of the ad-hoc nature of scraps to create quilts that are a little bit improv and a little bit structured. And of course the best thing about scraps is that they don’t rely on any particular fabric line — they are about playing with colour, which I love.

Making Mini Books with various contributors and published by Lark Crafts April 2012. Oh the wonderfulness. The variety. The inventiveness. This book contains a whole bunch of diy mini book book projects from the sweet and simple to the complex and artistic. Using different materials, paper, leather, recycled junk, wire and twine — to teach you how to make traditionally bound books, or more unusual books. You’ll be inspired.

The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids By Whitney Cohen and John Fisher (from life lab). Published by Timber Press May 2012. A bunch of gardeners, educators and parents got together to create Life Lab, a nonprofit organisation in Santa Cruz, California in 1979. Life Lab’s mission is to teach people to care for the world and them selves and each other through garden based programs. They have camps and internships and classes where they not only teach kids but also parents and teachers. So now Life Lab has written a book about their philosophy along with practical stuff from years of experience and classes – such a fantastic resource. With projects from designing play friendly gardens to getting creative with your planting pots, learning about what to plant where and when and how to test your soil. These activities are all aimed at families working with their kids and would make for some great homeschooling projects too. There is too much in here for this short review – so I urge you to go and grab a copy for yourself.

[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending me books to review, I don’t get paid to post reviews but I am an amazon affiliate] (Australians can purchase craft books online through can do books or booktopia or else browse booko for the best prices.)

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Welcome Destri from  The Mother Huddle.

My kids are to the funnest stage yet when it comes to reading books.  They ask questions about the story, laugh at the funny parts, and even act out scenes that we read.  I never really knew what fun we would have reading books.  I myself do not remember liking books until the ripe age of twenty.  Now I love reading, and am on a mission to get my kids hooked while they are young.  Even if it means getting a little messy.

I loved the series that Cassie recently had, A Book & a Craft on The Crafty Crow that shared crafts inspired by favorite books.  I began seeing all sorts of fun stuff my kids and I could make from their books.  I have found that most of our favorite books involve some kind of food too.  Pink cupcakes, Chef Bascettie’s pizza, Grandma’s award winning blueberry pie; all sorts of recipes can come from books.  That is what brought about this series, Storybook Recipes.  I hope you enjoy what we cooked up!

Porcupine No Bake Treats
Inspired by How Do You Hug a Porcupine? By Laurie Isop and Illustrated by Gwen Millward

How Do You Hug A Porcupine? by Laurie Isop is a new favorite of ours.  Laurie tells a great tale, and delivers a powerful message in the sweetest of ways.  The illustrations by Gwen Millward are whimsical and, by themselves, tell a story of how children can love and hug all kinds of different animals. Except for one little boy, who loves a porcupine.  How does one hug a porcupine? This is the part where my kids giggle, and the illustration that inspired our recipe. Marshmallows are always a winner in my house…

I won’t tell you how the rest of the story goes, I would hate to spoil the ending for you!  I love the lesson that you may run across someone hard to love, or someone different that seems hard to get to know – but with a little effort there is always a way.

Now onto the recipe and how it came together:

  • For little kids – it’s easiest if you have all the ingredients out and measured before you start.  Have the kids dump the first four ingredients (butter, sugar, milk & cocoa) into a small saucepan. Parents or older siblings bring this to a slow boil on the stove. Take off the heat and set aside to cool a little (but not too much!). Add the butterscotch chips (if you can’t find butterscotch chips try choc chips instead or leave these out altogether).
  • While this mixture is cooling have the kiddos combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Parents or an older sibling can then pour the warm chocolate mixture in, and if cool enough, let the kids stir it all up.
  • Place a piece of wax paper down onto a cookie sheet or plate.  Now scoop up the oatmeal mixture into something that will give you a little bit of a body.  We used our 1/3 measuring cup.  Make sure it is packed nice and tight, then turn over onto the wax paper, and lift up the cup to reveal the body.  Leave to cool and set.
  • Meanwhile the kids can push marshmallows onto the ends of the quills (pretzel sticks). Then push the quills into the body of the porcupine.  We had to form ours a little at this point, where the pretzels pushed out the sides, so plan on sticky fingers.
  • Now stick a Hershey’s Kiss on the front for the nose, and stick them in the fridge for about twenty minutes or until firm.

Now eat them!

This series will be ongoing on The Mother Huddle for the next 6 weeks and we are still taking submissions for it.  We would love to see what you can cook up from your favorite children’s book.  See the Storybook Submission Post for all the details!

Thanks so much for having me Kathreen!


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing for donating a copy of each of these books to giveaway to readers. I love being able to give stuff to my readers – as a little thank you for stopping by. So to be in the running to win ONE of these books please leave a comment telling me about what sort of things you like to cook for your kids – and what they love to cook too (or if they are too little to help what they love to eat) – I really want to know about your healthy choices not their favourite junk foods! {entries will be open over the weekend and will close Sunday night/monday am}. Winners will be contacted via email – Winners are: Jenny, Inge, Maya and Lisa.


Steampunk Softies: Scientifically-Minded Dolls from a Past That Never Was, by Sarah Skeate, Nicola Tedman. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2011)

This incredibly detailed book – is not a kids craft book at all – its for those with a childlike heart, who love to play and experiment and have a little fun. These gorgeous characters, inspired by film and literary imagination, have been created by illustrator and character designer Sarah Skeate and costume designer and model maker Nicholas Tedman. This is not your usual DIY crafty softie toy how-to book. Its more of a guide to entertain and amuse and make these unusual and wonderful characters. They are not necessarily difficult to make – however you will need to have some sewing skills as there are not a lot of techniques explained and there is a huge materials list required. But if you are up for a challenge and you love everything steampunk, nerdy and kinda cool, then you will completely fall in love with this book.

Jurassic Towel Origami. By Alison Jenkins. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2009)

This is a hilarious book – totally left of field for me – having never heard of towel origami before – but seems like it is a thing that people do. And Alison Jenkins is reviving it! I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this book – but my kids assure me its pretty weird – but in a good way! and off they went with towel and book in hand.

Ready, Steady, Spaghetti: Cooking For Kids And With Kids. By Lucy Broadhurst. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2009). Originally published by Murdoch in 2007.

This book is a steal – I can’t believe its under $8 at Amazon at the moment. I don’t usually mention how much books cost – but really I was very surprised as it is a big colourful book and great value at twice the price! Most of the recipes are given a double page – with clear step-by-step photos, which are really handy so you can see what the mixture is supposed to look like along the way. The recipes don’t reinvent the wheel – rather they are a timely reminder for busy parents and budding cooks about some simple, fun and healthful recipes that can be made easily and quickly with fairly common ingredients.

There are quite a few recipes that kids can tackle on their own (depending on age) and many more where little hands can assist. There are many healthy choices for busy parents like simple stir fried vegetables and sausage pie and few others that are a bit more demanding time wise but worth a little effort if you have a little more time – like gnocci and fish cakes. This is not a health food book though – its a real food for real families book – there is a treat section and party section – and anything homemade with real ingredients is a step towards teaching kids about real food.

Bean Appetit: Hip and Healthy Ways to Have Fun with Food. By Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2010).

Shannon and Kelly are founders of the kids cafe and cookery school – Bean Sprouts – which looks like fun – anyone been there? This book is sort of aimed at kids – it’s bright and colourful with fun character illustrations perfect in a kiddo book. However as the kids it’s aimed at are preschool age and not likely to be reading yet (unless they are genius children), and older (7+) kids might think this book is a little cheesy (my kids did), so then if this book is really for the grownups it is a little hard to look at. Instead think of it as a book for preschool age (and younger) kids and parents to use together.

But design aside – the recipes, ideas and concepts that it discusses are really good. It is more than a cook book – it is an activity book which includes creative ways to encourage healthy eating and creates a positive attitude toward meals, making food and cooking fun, and using interesting and colourful ingredients. [Woman’s day has some sneak peaks of a few of the recipes you will find inside.]

Disclaimer: The publisher provided with a review copy of these books. The Amazon links are affiliate links.

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I have only recently discovered the culinary art of cooking with tea and want to explore more. Today I did some experimenting and researching making tea ice cream. I have often had Matcha tea ice cream – and love it – but wanted to try out a few other tea flavoured ice creams. After a some experimenting I came up with a delicious simple icecream recipe that allowed the subtle tea flavour to be the main attraction and made a trio of tea ice cream: Chai, Oolong and Earl Grey.

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of your tea (per 100mls of liquid)
  • 1/4 cup of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1 teaspoon of sweetener (sugar, honey or palm sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatin

What to do:

  1. Steep your tea in a bowl with the boiling water for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cream, milk, gelatin and sweetener and bring to the boil for a minute in a saucepan on the stovetop.
  3. Let the tea leaves sit in the mixture while it cools in the fridge – 1 hour
  4. Strain out the tea leaves and let the mixture stand in the fridge for -2-4 hours (or overnight) – it should go a bit gelatinous because of the gelatin you added. This will help the final texture of the ice cream.
  5. Place in your mixture in your ice cream maker and mix for 10-20 minutes until it is like a thick milkshake – then chill in the freezer until ready to use.


  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker then follow David Lebovitz’s directions to make it without. And here are some tips from David for making your homemade ice cream softer.
  • Serve with some shortbread cookies for a refreshing different sort of afternoon tea.

Why don’t you try Jasmine tea, Matcha or Sencha green tea or Tai tea… wait there’s more – I have compiled a list of delicious and different tea ice cream recipes for you to try out.

If you are a tea fan like me – try out our e-magazine: Action Pack for kids – only $5 and jam packed with recipes, crafts and activities for kids and adults.