A few months ago, thanks to Pinterest, we found a lovely recipe infographic for our How To Cook That: Moules Frites recipe. Instead of me making dinner that night, it ended up being me helping Leah and Jaf prep in the kitchen – thanks to the illustration, the recipe was easy for them to follow along.
Jaf: “We love the drawings of the ingredients, mom. Can we find more recipes like this?!”
Ever since then, I’ve been on the search for illustrated culinary books that the kids enjoy using in the kitchen. When I heard about Alyssa Gangeri’s new book, Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Gingerbread Men, I jumped at the chance to get it and try it out as we start our holiday baking.
Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Gingerbread Men is written by chef, Alyssa Gangeri, who has loved baking since she was a little girl learning the ropes in her grandmother’s kitchen. She created Mimi’s Adventures in Baking after realizing the lack of illustrated cookbooks specifically for children, a lack we are all-too familiar with.
Even though we’re mid-way through December, it’s still very warm on the island – a snow day is the last reason why kids would have a day off from school in Hawaii! However, we just got back from a week-long trip to Vancouver, where we went skiing in Whistler, and also spent time with grandma. So, the book proved to be the perfect read for all of us to reminiscence about our recent trip, all the snow they encountered, and of course all the Christmas cookies & hot chocolate they consumed to stay warm!
Leah immediately saw parallels with Mimi and herself – she also grew up in grandma’s kitchen, learning how to bake all of grandma’s (and now, theirs) favorite treats. Ever since the kids were young, we’d find a way for them to help out in the kitchen. Sometimes it would be little things like mixing ingredients, or grabbing ingredients out of the pantry. As they got bigger, they got kid-friendly knives to help cut veggies, and now I play assistant while they make lunches and dinners.
The book lets children know when the adult needs to ‘help’ them make their gingerbread men. For example, as they gathered the ingredients, it was Nonni who “preheated the oven to 325 degrees,” and Mimi who “measured 3⁄4 cup of brown sugar, packed it down tight, and poured it into the mixing bowl.”
All throughout, we see Nonni assisting, but also teaching Mimi how to cook – it proved to be the perfect method for us learning how to make gingerbread men. After we read the book for the first time, we went over to grandma’s house to put what we learned to the test!
The kids enjoyed reading and baking cookies so much, that I cannot wait to surprise them this Christmas with the other two books from Alyssa’s series. Gingerbread Men is the third book in the Mimi’s Adventures in Baking series, and is the perfect gift for a budding chef in your household. It’s easy to follow along for both kids and adults alike, and makes reading fun! You can purchase it through Amazon.
After all, how many other books do you know that result in eating deliciously iced gingerbread cookies?
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary copy of Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Gingerbread Men to review. However, as always, all opinions expressed on the blog are our own.