Saturday, February 7, 2015

"Mimi's Adventures in Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies" by Alyssa Gangeri

Mimi's Adventures in Baking
Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Alyssa Gangeri

Mimi's Adventures in Baking is a new children's book series by chef-turned-author, Alyssa Gangeri. Find out all about her inspiration for creating this series in the "About the Author" section below. The first book in the series, Mimi's Adventures in Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies, will be released 3 March 2015 but is now available for pre-order.
Mimi's Adventures in Baking is currently on tour with Worldwind Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Mimi's Adventures in Baking is the first storybook cookbook that creates a fun and interactive way of learning how to bake. Follow Mimi as she learns to measure, mix and bake her way to her very first batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Learning how to bake can be easy and fun with Mimi!
Navigating your way through a kitchen full of tools, ingredients and of course safety measures are brought to life in this storybook cookbook. No more flipping through endless recipes and boring procedures. Mimi makes baking fun for the whole family. Let your child take control and become the chef they always wanted to be!
In the Mimi's Adventures in Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies, embark on a baking adventure with Mimi where she will measure, mix, and bake her way to the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies. If Mimi can do it, so can you!

Praise for the Book
"Overall, I really enjoyed this children's cookbook. It's very unique and a creative way to help teach baking skills. I recommend this to families who are looking for an engaging cookbook for their young ones." ~ Laura
"I loved this book from beginning to end. Adorable illustrations, baking, learning, and the love of family blend together in this book that will be read time and again. I can't wait to check out Mimi's future adventures."  ~ Cheryl C.
"This book is so adorable!" ~ Michelle

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Mimi dreams of clouds of flour and mountains of chocolate chips and, when she wakes up, all she wants to do is bake chocolate chip cookies. But she's never done it before, so she asks for Nonni's help. Nonni finds the recipe and teaches Mimi how to collect all the necessary ingredients and materials before starting. Then Nonni shows Mimi how to measure each ingredient. She also answers all of Mimi's questions, including why we add salt to a sweet recipe. And finally, they get to bake!
This is a cute and funny book, and the illustrations by Chiara Civati are delightful. The text clearly explains all the basic steps for your young baker. There are safety instructions, tips on getting ready, explanations as to why certain things are done, and - best of all! - a delicious recipe, plus variations. I read this book with my daughter, and then we baked the chocolate chip cookies. She was quoting the book back to me as we cooked (e.g. the brown sugar "making a sand castle", placing the cookies "four fingers apart", and being on "cookie guard" duty). Let me tell you, the cookies were delicious! Our verdict: "Best cookies ever!" 
I love the relationship between Mimi and her Nonni (her grandmother) and the fact that they set the table for the whole family to share milk and the cookies they bake. My only concern is that the oven temperature is described as 325°, without specifying whether it's Fahrenheit or Celsius. While it would be okay to just use F in the story, both temperatures should be provided in the recipe at the end. By the way, 325°F is equivalent to 160°C.
I look forward to Mimi's next baking adventure. Happy baking!

These are the actual cookies we baked!

About the Author
Chef Alyssa has been baking since she was a little girl in her grandmother's kitchen. Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America she has worked for famous chefs and elite companies such as the Ritz Carlton, Tom Colicchio, Norman Van Aken and Gray Kunz. She currently is the Executive Chef at Riverwalk Bar and Grill on the Historic nook of New York City, Roosevelt Island. She also has a boutique custom cake company called AllyCakesNYC where she creates cakes to appease the imagination. Through her journey of baking she developed Mimi, her very own miniature version of herself.
As a child she loved baking and everything that came with it. As an adult and food lover she realized there was something missing when she frequented bookstores: an interactive children's cookbook. And we are not talking about a boring old cookbook for kids with lots and lots of recipes, and some pictures. Children these days have just as much interest in the kitchen as their parents do, but the ordinary cookbook is just not going to cut it. She created Mimi's Adventures in Baking to give children and adults a way to get into the kitchen and allow the child to become the chef and the adult to become the assistant. Each book has one recipe and an interactive storyline the child can read, and at the end they can go into the kitchen and do what Mimi did! And for the "non-baking" parent, these elite pastry chef recipes are tested and ready for even the most inexperienced baker! Impress other moms with Mimi's creations!
Mimi's Adventures in Baking will also teach children how to measure, mix, and bake their way through the kitchen, while also giving safety tips along the way. No more boring cookbooks! Now there is a fun, exciting, and educational way to learn how to bake!