There is something about 'real' that kids LOVE. It's that, buy a child an expensive present and they'll play with the box it came in, phenomenon. I have witnessed that very thing with my own children.
With that in mind, I have allowed my kids to do a lot of real things in the kitchen. It's amazing how fast "helping mom in the kitchen" truly becomes helpful. Clara has always loved the kitchen and, now, with very little guidance, produces delicious food.
Molly Katzens cookbooks for children are amazing. We love them for their step by step pictorial instructions. Sunny lemonaide from Molly's Salad People has become Clara's Lemonaide as she can now make it all on her own.
My girl just had her sixth birthday. One of her presents was a new cookbook. (Like mama like daughter, cookbook=awesome present) The newest addition to Clara's cookbook collection is Cooking For Girls, put out by a company called, Imagine That. It has a lot of recipes in it that look very tempting, such as the "Magical Muffins".
Clara loves cupcakes and these had such a simple recipe and beautiful finished product. The recipe is so easy to remember, 4oz of everything and 2 eggs. Easy. The icing gave Clara a chance to experiment with colour blending. She came up with such a pretty mauve and a near Tiffany blue. Not only do they look pretty, whip up in a flash, they also taste delicious and light...dangerously light, perhaps.
4oz(1C) self rising flour or (1 Cup All Purpose flour + 1 1/2 t baking powder)
4oz(1/2C) butter, cold, cut in small cubes
4oz (1/2C) Milk
Set a 350* oven.
Put muffin cups in muffin tray.
Sift flour into a large bowl. Rub in butter cubes with finger tips until mixture crumbly. Add sugar and mix. Stir in eggs.
Add milk, stir until creamy.
Spoon into paper cases.
Bake 10-15 minutes.
Ice and decorate the little cakes.
Icing: 4oz (1/2C) Icing sugar mixed with 1Tbsp Milk or Lemon juice. Whisk in food colouring.