Les Petits Chefs make Thai spring rolls from The Whole Family Cookbook (and a giveaway!)

Yes Les Petits Chefs are back with a most exciting programme this term. As well as special guest chefs, we will be working with the fabulous Whole Family Cookbook, written by the wonderful Michelle Stern of What’s Cooking with Kids.

Michelle says “As a working mom, I can relate to the challenges of feeding a busy family.  The Whole Family Cookbook offers time-saving strategies for shopping and cooking, along with the resources you need to cook healthy, local food in any season.  Our delicious recipes will please discriminating adults and will tickle the taste buds of your children, getting them excited to eat healthy meals – for their bodies and for the benefit of the planet.”

The book offers:

•    Practical advice to teach you how to pick the best local and natural food without spending too much money
•    Time saving tips in the kitchen
•    More than 75 kid-approved recipes that your whole family will enjoy
•    An appendix that organizes recipes by season

and I couldn’t think of a better resource to use with this group of Petits Chefs!

Check it out here on Amazon or Amazon Canada then scroll down for a chance to win a copy!

The first recipe I chose from the book was for Thai Spring Rolls.  Described as “light, delicious and filling with plenty of steps to keep kids busy as they assemble the rolls”, I thought it was a perfect balance of challenging (have you ever tried rolling those cold rolls?) and fun (I repeat, have you ever tried rolling those cold rolls?).

Michelle has the recipe on her site here so I will just give you the picture version!

First up, I soaked some rice noodles and the boys prepared the sauce to flavour them:

Then we prepared the fillings – mint, bean sprouts, tofu, shrimp, carrot and lettuce:

Then the real fun began – prepping the rice paper and filling the rolls…

The “rolling” part took a bit of practice and we certainly had some interesting shapes going on!

But the end result?

Delicious and fresh and, more importantly – FUN!  The boys and their families loved these (and so did I!).

Want to win a copy of The Whole Family Cookbook? (US/Canada only, sorry international friends but I have another giveaway coming up on the weekend for you!)

Simply leave me a comment below telling me the first dish you remember learning to cook as a child.

For a bonus entry, tweet this:

I just entered to win a copy of @whatscooking ‘s Whole Family Cookbook from @eatlivtravwrite Details here: http://bit.ly/hb5AyT

and come back and leave me a message telling me you did.

Contest closes Thursday April 14th at 6pm EST and I will announce the winner the following day.  Good luck!

Update: The contest is now closed and a winner has been chosen. I will announce the winner tomorrow, April 15th on my post.

** Don’t forget to check out next month’s “Forever Nigella” event – I’m hosting a street party in honour of the Royal Wedding and would love for you to join me. All the details here.

52 thoughts on “Les Petits Chefs make Thai spring rolls from The Whole Family Cookbook (and a giveaway!)”

  1. I love that picture of the various shaped spring rolls… that’s totally what mine would look like too.

    But who cares what it looks like when it tastes so good!

    This cookbook reflects my childhood… and why I fell in love with cooking. It was about being together with my parents in the kitchen… creating memories through food.

    I’d love to win this so I could use it to teach my niece how to start cooking… I see us spending a lot of bonding time in the kitchen in the future.

  2. Gosh, those spring rolls look delish!

    First thing I remember making? Not all by myself, but I helped knead yeast bread on the counter top as a child…how we loved a hot loaf, fresh from the oven, smeared with butter…mmmmm.

  3. Don’t count me in for the giveaway since I have Michelle’s insanely pretty book and we’ll be cooking from it this coming vacation week (yahoo!), but I just wanted to say…I love Les Petits Chefs and you. These posts and the work you do with these boys always makes me smile. Awesome.


  4. Okay obviusly I’m not in this to win, but Mardi did have me ponder….

    I’m thinking it’s either:

    1) The World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rena. All mixed with hands – no utensils. My first introduction to the truly tactile wonders of cooking.

    2) Bread. (Yes, Mardi!) From a recipe introducing the chemistry of yeast action in “Owl” Magazine.

    BTW, I don’t normally offer wine recos on child posts, but if anyone *does* make these spring rolls, try a Gewurztraminer from the Alsace. 😉

  5. I have tried to make spring rolls before (actually I think they were summer rolls, but the concept was the same- cold, unfried rice paper) and although they were not NEARLY as attractive as yours, I thought they were pretty tasty! Looks like a great cookbook!

  6. This is an amazing way to start children early in the kitchen! I remember when I was 9 yrs. old, one of the first things I learned was how to slice a bunch of yard long green beans. My role was more a “kitchen helper” to my Mom. I had to make sure the pieces were uniform in size & was taught how to hold the knife properly. It didn’t seem interesting back then to a child like me. But today, I appreciate the value of learning that “green beans” lesson. Oh, and I also absolutely love green beans!

  7. I’m not entering the giveaway. Just wanted to say how wonderful to see Les Petits Chefs back and doing so well with this assignment. I love that you offer this cooking course for your students. Yes, cooking with kids takes a little more time and patience but it is certainly a blessing rather than a bother. Perhaps one day they’ll be a book by Mardi & Les Petits Chefs 🙂

  8. I love Les Petits Chefs! The spring rolls look wonderful, Mardi. I bet they were so proud of their creations.

    I don’t really have a dish I remember learning to cook as a child. My parents viewed cooking as a chore, so I never was interested in being in the kitchen with them. About all I learned was to boil water.

    I’ve come a long way. 🙂

  9. I remember snapping beans and shucking corn when I was about four years old. The actual cooking came later. I would love to use this book to cook with my eight month old grandson when he is older. His dad would never cook with me, although he did later learn in school and is pretty good at it. I hope his progeny will be more fun!

  10. Love the “interesting” shots, of course, that is often our last photo shot in our house. We are having an interesting discussion with the kids over whether food has to “look” good to taste “good”. Think about chocolate ice cream. OK…. moving on.
    I think I first learned to cook scrambled eggs. I should make them more often.

  11. Love Spring rolls. It’s also so much fun to play with rice paper. I have made them once before, but I really should make a batch with the kiddo too.

    The first thing I ever learn to make as a child though would have to be either a pickle sandwich (it was terrible) or french toast.. I can’t remember which 🙂

  12. They look very yummy. I love fresh spring rolls and wrote about my ‘version’ a while back. I should really try again with Mooch this time. We cooked last night and she broke the eggs. I only lad to fish out one shell, so her batting average was .750.

    We certainly could use the cook book…

    • Oops: don’t count me twice, but I forgot to say my first cooking memory is either helping with my mom’s mocha whipped cream icing or with the Mexican Wedding Cookies my fifth grade teacher taught me to make. I “helped” a little on each, but mostly licked beaters, I’m sure.

  13. Chocolate chip cookies was the first, but not the last!

    Seriously love fresh spring rolls, and they definitely need a good sweet chili or peanut sauce to go with them.
    Also, I learned the hard way that these don’t keep well at all – the moisture in the ingredients will quickly make the wrapper soggy and start to break it up, so only make enough to eat in one sitting (not hard, given how delicious they are!).

  14. Omg I love those spring rolls! They’re one of my favorite things to eat. ♥

    I’m not quite sure what the first thing I cooked with my mom was but I do remember having an easy bake oven. I made so much cookies with it. Some good and some not so good. I learned young that if you don’t have eggs when making cookies don’t bother making them without it. haha

  15. I think the first thing I ever made with my mom were those peanut butter cookies with the hershey kisses in them. I think we just liked rolling them in sugar 😉

  16. I just tweeted about your contest =] http://twitter.com/#!/FreeSpiritEater

    And the first thing I remember making was empanadas with my grandmother. friends would come from across the country to order some from her, and she only made them once a year for a week straight. Everyone asked for her recipe but she refused to sell it, and passed it on to my sister and I. She knew that everyone would want it for their own benefit but she knew we would pass it on to our children so that they could enjoy making them with us the way we enjoyed making the dough and slaving over the filling all day with her. It made me proud to hold such a responsibility, and it brought the women in our family closer together to know that we held such a cherished secret. =]

  17. These spring rolls look amazing but the post is so much more than that. I love seeing the little chefs at work and passionate about food. And the work you do with them. It`s really fantastic!

    The food meal I made on my own (ok, a bit of prep help) was spaghetti carbonara when I was 8. I had been cooking for a couple of years with my mom at that point.

    I`d love this book so I could teach my friends kids about food and having fun in the kitchen!

  18. I have the fondest memories of prepping the turkey for our h0liday dinners. While the turkey was thawing, my grandmother (who had a stroke and had only minimal use of one arm) would slap the turkey breast every time she went by and then laugh and laugh. She said it made the turkey tender. Still, to this day we remember her everytime we slap the turkey breast. I have my 7 year old in on the tenderizing as well!

  19. Just tweeted! Wanna win that cookbook! Evan and I are looking forward to cooking some new and exciting recipes. He has asked for a new cookbook because he says that “the sesame street cookbook we have is for babies”. LOL How fast they grow!

  20. It’s a rare week that goes by when I don’t eat some fresh Vietnamese rolls – my favourite local makes fantastic ones for pretty cheap! Due to the easily walkable, delicious, affordable option I’ve always been too lazy to make my own. I shall take inspiration from the boys (and yourself of course) and make myself so it next time I’m entertaining. They’re such a crowd pleaser.

  21. I remember my mom showing me how to make a tuna sandwich. I loved tuna, but never understood why she always had to mix it with mayo?! Today, I add a little curry to the mayo and love it!

  22. Cookies are the first thing I remember cooking growing up. They would have been either snickerdoodles or chocolate chip from my grandmother’s recipes.

  23. The first thing I remember cooking as a child was baking Christmas cookies with my Mom. Lots of great memories of many, many butter cookies all in rows on our kitchen table, waiting for their decorations 🙂

  24. I love working with rice paper, although my wrapping could use some work. I don’t know if this qualifies as cooking, but I recall spreading peanut butter on celery stalks and adding raisins or chocolate chips on top…bugs on a log baby!

  25. Puerto Rican picadillo with white rice was the first dish I remember learning how to cook. It’s the epitome of comfort food for me 🙂

    And I’ve tweeted the message!

  26. Thanks for entering the contest and sharing your first memories of cooking with me – it was a pleasure to read them all. I hope that one day my Petits Chefs might remember me and the fun we had in cooking club as a fond “first cooking memory.”!

  27. Darron picked these spring rolls out when I let him choose recipes from The Whole Family Cookbook… I haven’t made them yet, but I’m sure they’ll be good. It turns out it’s a good cookbook for husband-friendly foods, too 🙂


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