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Books: Dishes your kids will love to eat. . . and make (serves 10); Never again be stuck for time or inspiration when cooking for your kids.

Byline: Gabrielle Fagan

CHRISTMAS school holidays are looming and while you won't have time on your hands, the youngsters will.

It could be just the time to employ a little `child labour' by encouraging children to practise their culinary skills.

It could result in them rustling up simple dishes such as tea-time treats which you and they can enjoy.

Trish Deseine makes creating mini-chefs easy with her new book, Cooking For Children.

``I didn't just want the book to be simply one for children to use, but also a book for the people who feed them, '' she explains.

``It's for mothers, fathers, grannies, nannies or anyone else who is responsible for what goes into their tummies and gives easy-to-make dishes that are appealing to young appetites. ''

A mother of four, she firmly believes that cooking is such an important part of our lives that learning the art shouldn't be confined to the odd baking sessions on a wet afternoon.

``How much better if children and adults can both find pleasure preparing dishes which are quick and delicious.

``All my recipes are for food which children will love eating and could be cooked independently by older children. ''

The recipes are divided into those which need `Plenty of Time', `No Time At All', and even those for the dreaded `Fussy Eaters'.

There are basic dishes such as Real Bolognaise sauce and a Meg a -Maxi Cheeseburger, or the more ambitious Marie's Sauteed Veal With Optional Olives and Citrus-Glazed Chicken.

Trish's own children enjoy party treats like a Barbie Cake or the family's favourite, Acid Cake, decorated with the popular sweetie, flying saucers.

She says: ``This cake will have no trouble satisfying the ultra-acid tastes of chip fans and other desperados. ''ingredients for the sponge cake 225g (7 1/2oz) soft margarine or very soft unsalted butter 225g (7 1/2oz) plain flour 220g (7 1/4oz) sugar 4 eggs 2 level teaspoons baking powder Rind of 1 lemon(Or if absolutely desperate, a packet of cake mix!)for the icing 400g (13-14oz) icing sugar 180g (6oz) unsalted butter 3tbsp lemon curd, or the juice and rind of 2 lemons to decorate 1 packet flying saucers or similar sherbet sweets method Preheat oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour a deep cake tin. Place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat for two minutes until the mixture is smooth.

Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 25 minutes, checking five minutes before the end.

Remove cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

To make the butter icing, place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.

Cut the cooled cake into two layers and sandwich together with the icing, spreading it with a spatula. It's a good idea to spread a little icing onto the surface of the top layer first so that the flying saucers can get a grip! Press the sweets onto the top of the cake and tie a ribbon around the sides.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2004
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