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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 :
- Follow us on our Instagram profile OR Subscribe to our YouTube Channel AND
- 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…