I love the Gorilla Blocks! How fun!
At four (and a half!), Roo is more than able to get her own drinks and snacks. She always wants to help in the kitchen but it's sometimes hard for me to back off and let her do things her way. I think this is part of being raised by a woman who wouldn't let me have an easy bake oven because I might burn the house down. I have control issues, obviously. Bob is considerably more laid back about letting Roo loose in the kitchen. I really have to make an effort to relax when she is wielding knives or working around hot things. That's why I was excited when I heard about the new cooking-centric line of toys by Jakks Pacific.
Girl Gourmet is a collection of fun bakeware and accessories for young cooks. We got to try the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker, which lets kids bake single serve cupcakes in the microwave in 30 seconds and then ice them with a swirly frosting dispenser that looks a bit like mommy and daddy's stand mixer. I can't even begin to tell you how much I would have loved the Girl Gourmet sets as a child. The pastel colors and miniature utilitarian objects are totally girly and charming.
Roo loved the entire process. From mixing the cupcake batter in the teeny bowl to scraping it into the tiny pleated paper cup with a wee spatula, she was entranced.
She was particularly keen on pushing the handle down on the frosting spinner. This is supposed to be done SLOWLY and GENTLY, two things that are anathema to my lovely daughter. Combined with my own inability to mix frosting from a powder, this was a messy proposition. Add one small spoon of warm water to frosting mix. How hard could that be?
Umm, apparently mommy can't mix two tablespoons of instant frosting to the proper consistency. One of my first jobs after college was working in a cookie bakery, so this was particularly embarrassing for me. I am generally a pretty proficient baker. But somehow I totally suck when you're just supposed to add water. I flubbed the microwave settings, too. It's supposed to take 30 seconds but our archaic microwave needed a full minute to bake a cupcake.
I think Roo was emboldened by my suckiness. She wanted to keep plugging away at it! We made all four of the mixes included in our Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker starter kit, so we could each have one to try. Mommy, Daddy, Roo and Jasper. Roo was obsessed! Even when I decided to make the frosting extra stiff since I was erring on the side of runny and we ended up with a tootsie roll/turd looking garnish:
She ate that one herself. Because it was the lone chocolate frosting in the bunch. That's my girl! I've certainly made prettier cupcakes before but Roo had way more fun with these. I kept apologizing for messing up the mixes and she said that it was still "SO FUN!!!"
The Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker retails for about $30. Refill mixes are available and I would suggest buying a bunch, unless you're old hat with the microwave or easy bake type cookery. I'm also contemplating some trial and error mixing of my own since I read a microwave cake in a cup recipe somewhere a while back. I'll let you know if I find a cheapskate solution. Or if I just splatter stuff all over my kitchen, which isn't unlikely! Roo's dying to try the Girl Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwich Maker, too, which looks more Naomi-proof…
To enter and win your own Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker, please comment on this post with your favorite toy from the Jakks Pacific website.
Entries will be accepted through September 17th and I'll pick the winner using Random.org. US readers are eligible. Only one entry/comment per person, please.
Make sure you leave an email address in your comment or that you have one accessible on your blog so you can be contacted if you win! Or, you may choose to check for your nickname at Prizey.Fetch, a site that compiles winners in one convenient place:
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