Learning to Cook from the (Junior) Masterchefs

Not so long ago, I've shared that I live in a home full of Masterchef fans. And, with two young kids in the house, it was inevitable that we got lured in to watching the Junior Masterchef series too.

I never watched the first series of Junior Masterchef Australia, but my two li'l ones (ages 7 & 4) have been really keen to watch this series. Not a bad thing, really, because I love just how the kids are inspiring my boy and girl to learn how to cook and bake.

My seven year old son, for example, has just been trying to make more and more dishes. Just yesterday, he baked us his very own version of cheese puffs (using puff pastry and cheese). Not quite Masterchef standard, of course, but not bad. 😉

And, if both my kids carry on with this, I'm hoping that they would just be keen to develop their natural interest in cooking and baking.

In any case, my son's godfather is one of his best mentors in his varied interests. As a keen cook the boy's godfather was only too happy to encourage my son's interest in this area. So, he bought my boy this Junior Masterchef Australia: The Cookbook (Volume 1).

I first started reading this book whenever my son asked to be taught to cook something from the book. But slowly, I decided to give some of the recipes a go myself.

And, bit by bit, it has become my go-to cookbook for basic stuff that I wish to cook and bake. Just the other day, for example, I decided to try making pasta and pizza dough from scratch for the first time. And yes, I used this book to guide me. I kinda experimented on the pasta and pizza sauces from elsewhere, but the recipes I tried from this book worked pretty well. I even ended up making a Grissini for the first time too, using the pizza dough.

Fresh Italian Feast: Pasta, Pizza, & Grissini --- all made from scratch!

In the past, I have also tried other recipes that worked really well, such as the noodles, baked cheesecake, and jam-filled shortbread. Based on these recipes, I have learned to hack and create my own versions of them. I've made raspberry, strawberry, and mango versions of the baked cheesecake, for example.

Mango cheesecake for office family day.

So far, the only recipe I tried that didn't quite work was the brownie recipe. But then, I have yet to find the perfect brownie recipe.

In any case, I thought I'd share my "secret" when it comes to some of the dishes that I've been sharing on my Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr accounts. People keep asking for recipes and I keep pointing them to this book. So, I thought I'd finally blog about it.

Yes, all the food pics you see here are made using recipes from this book. 🙂

Oh my! My 1st jam-filled shortbread biscuits look gigantic! On the plus side: They're yummy! :-)

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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