Girls Cook Dinner using Finn Ní Fhaoláin’s New Cookbook – Review and Giveaway

Watch our cookbook review of ‘Finn’s World’ –

Ok, before we launch into the review of Finn Ní Fhaoláin’s debut book, Finn’s World, I’ll give you some background and context.

Our eldest daughter, Ellen (13), and her friend (14) are building quite a reputation with their respective families for throwing fantastic dinner parties. The fourth, and latest, was no exception.

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway

A few years ago, when they were 11, they had the idea that they’d like to prepare a meal for both families, no mean feat considering there are 9 hungry and, in the case of their siblings, critical people to feed. So they when though various cook books, decided on their menu, made their shopping list (checking their respective store cupboards first) and proceeded to prepare an incredibly tasty meal.

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway - looking at the cookbook

Don’t for one minute think that these are simple fish finger and chips meals either. The last time they did this the theme was tapas and they prepared 3 starter dishes, 6 main courses and 2 desserts. Quite astonishing for the 12 year olds they were then – even though we say so ourselves.

The coeliac challenge

To add to the challenge, Ellen’s friend’s mum is coeliac so they are conscious of this and build their recipes accordingly, often producing a gluten free alternative.

Things haven’t always gone well but they have improvised and always come up with a solution which often enhances the end result.

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway poaching eggs

Each time they cook for us, we adults do very little in the way of helping prepare and cook. At their age I wouldn’t have known one end of a frying pan from the other let alone prepare a multiple course meal for 9.

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway blitzing the soup

One of our wishes for the kids, and a main driver behind setting up Saucepan Kids, is that when they leave home they are able to cook well-balanced and healthy meals for themselves. They also do not stick slavishly to recipes, replacing missing ingredients and improvising as they go. Seeing the girls prepare these complicated meals, in a calm, controlled manner at such a young age makes us incredibly proud.

So, to the review

In the midst of planning their latest meal the lovely people at Gill Books sent us Finn Ní Fhaoláin’s new cook book, Finn’s World, to review.

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway

The girls felt an immediate affinity with Finn as she is a young surfer (they love surfing) and is from Bundoran, a town just down the coast from our homes in Sligo on the west coast of Ireland.

Finn is coeliac and her cookbook is gluten free so the girls thought that, as part of the book review, they would cook some recipes from the book for their dinner party.


After much deliberation -all of the recipes looked fantastic – they settled on the Mysteriously Mexican soup and the Pae-Eile. Many of the dishes in the book have quirky names reflecting Finn’s twist on traditional dishes, like ‘Sod of turf brownies’ and ‘Oh. mon Dieu, French Toast’.

After an initial recky session where the girls worked out what ingredients they needed, the two mums assembled everything the girls would need.

Mysteriously Mexican Soup

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway Mexican soup

After school, the girls began prepping and the soup was the first thing to make. The soup was a hearty combo of squash, sweet potato and Mexican spices. It certainly had a kick but everyone loved it and promises were made to make the soup again and get a batch in the freezer.


Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway Paella

The ‘Pae-Eile’ is Finn’s Irish interpretation of Paella. The recipe uses seafood but the girls left that out as someone in the house wasn’t keen on prawns. However they weren’t missed at all.

The chorizo and chicken gave the paella lots of flavour and the girls added their own touch, a poached egg on top for extra protein.

The girls even created a tasty side salad with a selection of greens, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and fresh parmasen shavings.

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway salad


As there was lots of rhubarb in the garden, the girls made up their own dessert, a rhubarb cheesecake recipe with a coeliac friendly version. It was creamy and delicious and we were all impressed with the recipe that the girls invented.

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway rhubarb dessert

All in all, the girls really enjoyed cooking the dishes from ‘Finn’s World’. They said the cookbook was fun to use and they really liked the pictures and in particular Finn’s hilarious descriptions on each recipe.

Extra bits

Even though we don’t have any coeliac issues in our house, I will be definitely be using this cookbook myself in the future. I’m already stuck yellow sticky notes on the ‘Moroccan Surfer’s Breakfast’ and the ‘Roast Garlic and Lemon Hummus’ recipes.

The book is more than just a cookbook, Finn has great hints and tips scattered throughout the book from how to shop for thrifty healthy eating to how to entertain without the meltdown.

Finn is also an advocate on keeping fit and lists her favourite fitness YouTubers. Some of which I had never heard of but have since subscribed to.

The lowdown – the price

‘Finn’s World’ is published by Gill books and available to buy on their website for  €22.99.

Thumbs up or thumbs down

Saucepan Kids review Finn's World Cookbook by Gill Books - Review and Giveaway

It’s a definite thumbs up from us here at Saucepan Kids. Coeliac or not, there are lots of fab recipes here and I think that this lifestyle style cookbook would make an interesting addition to every family’s cookbook collection.

Watch how the girls got on hosting their dinner party using ‘Finn’s World’ –

Finn’s World Cookbook Giveaway

The very generous people at Gill Books have given us a copy of Finn’s cookbook to giveaway to the lovely readers of Saucepan Kids.

To be in with a chance to win your own copy of “Finn’s World”, please :

  1. Follow us on our Instagram profile OR Subscribe to our YouTube Channel AND
  2. Leave a comment below this blog post telling us why you would like to win your own copy of ‘Finn’s World’.

Competition terms and conditions

  • The competition is open to Republic of Ireland residents only please.
  • We’ll be selecting a winner this Sunday May 21st 2017 at 6pm.
  • The winner must privately message us or email us with their contact details to claim the prize within three days or we will select another winner.
  • Gill books will send the prize directly to the winner.

Disclosure: We received a review copy of this cookbook from Gill Books however we were not paid to write this review. All opinions are 100% honest and our own.

Good luck everyone…



  1. Wow! Well done girls… I really should be more encouraging of my children in the kitchen! I also fear they will make a mess and not do things properly but really I should give them free reign to learn and gain confidence in the kitchen!

    1. Hi Lorraine,

      I know exactly what you mean. I alway worry about the mess too. However you’d be surprised how little mess two teenagers make. When they are responsible for planning and cooking three courses, they don’t seem to mind the washing up as much!


    1. Thanks Mira, they had great fun hosting the dinner party for the two families. It’s a great cookbook too, have you seen it?


  2. Wow! Super impressive girls. Debbie, your kids a amazing in the kitchen. Mine have notions but when it comes down to it Mom does most of it!! I’ll be setting some cooking challenges for the Summer I think!
    The book sounds great too, you’ve pointed out some lovely recipes.

    1. Thanks Nicola, I’ll be honest it’s alot easier to give kids free rein the kitchen when they become teenagers.


  3. This is brilliant, I think it is really important that children learn to cook. I am trying to encourage mine in the kitchen. I love trying out new recipes and this book looks like a really good one

    1. Thank you for your comment Andrea. I agree completely that it’s so important for children to learn to cook.


  4. Wow these girls are amazing! They can come and cook for me anytime! I encourage my son to cook for us but being only 9 he still need my help. During the summer he makes us dinner once a week.
    Much easier to do it during the summer when there is no homework or extracurricular activities!
    I just been diagnosed coeliac and it is a challenge at times to find alternative to my usual go to recipe.
    I am seriously lacking inspiration!

    1. I agree Peggy, it’s alot easier to let the kids loose in the kitchen when you have lots of time. Summer holiday are the perfect time. Sorry to to hear about your diagnosis. Hope you can find lots of alternatives to your favourite dishes!


      1. Hi Peggy,

        I’m pleased to say that you’re the winner of our Gill Books giveaway. Would you mind sending me an email please to debbie{at} with your full name, address and mobile number so that we can get a copy of Finn’s cookbook posted out to you.

        Well done, we hope you really enjoy it.

        Kind regards

  5. Congratulations to Peggy Falbo who is the winner of our cookbook giveaway in association with Gill Books. Please send us an email with your contact details asap and we’ll get your copy of ‘Finn’s World’ to you.

    Kind regards

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