Action Pack is an eMagazine published by Kathreen (of WhipUp) and her husband. The tagline is, "A Magazine for Kids Who Want To Do Stuff." I love this tagline. I can remember the craving I had as a child to make something real. And I know as a parent that my kids can see right away if a project is just something sorta shoddy and meant for kids, or if it's the real deal. One of the reasons I like teaching kids to sew is knowing that I am giving them a skill that will allow them to make real stuff. So that's an awesome tagline.
And this is an awesome magazine full of real projects.
The current issue is 69 pages focusing on cooking and includes recipes (plus printable recipe cards) for dozens of unique, kid-friendly but real recipes, plus a sewing project (making a chef's hat) and lots of tips and bits of history. And it's pretty. And personal. These are Kathreen's kids doing the projects themselves. You know these projects work.
As I was reading through the pages of this issue of Action Pack I was drawn immediately to a recipe for something I'd never heard of: Anzac Bikkies. Named for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, these crispy, coconutty, oaty biscuits were first made by wives and mothers of soldiers to take to the trenches during WWI.
I don't think I've ever baked something culturally Australian so I was intrigued and then I read that Kathreen's daughter Otilija's birthday is on Anzac Day, April 25. Anzac Day is the equivalent of Memorial Day in the US. And, my daughter, Stella, and Otilija share a birthday! Perfect. Of all the creative recipes in this issue, Anzac Bikkies was the one for us to try first.
Stella and I like to cook together. Stella is a very social kid and is up for almost any activity if it involves being together. She is endlessly patient and careful and helpful if she is involved in a joint project and we had a very nice time making these new-to-us cookies together (I'm sorry, biscuits. Apparently the Australian Ministry of Veteran's Affairs gets upset if you call them cookies.)
I just got an iPad in May and before then had never downloaded an eBook or eMagazine. But the iPad makes these downloads so easy to access. We propped it up on it's stand in the kitchen and then got going on the measuring and baking. This issue of Action Pack is stored in my iBooks shelf so we'll be able to refer to indefinitely. And when it was time to pop these bikkies in the oven I just switched over to the camera mode and took these pictures! Convenient for sure.
There is a really cool step in making Anzac Bikkies that totally caught Stella's attention. After you combine all the dry ingredients, you melt butter and golden syrup (Golden syrup is unusual in the US, but a mixture of corn syrup and molasses works perfectly) and then…you add baking soda. The whole mixture bubbles up like a science experiment. A very good smelling science experiement.
If you've never treated your kids (and yourself) to an issue of Action Pack, I recommend it. It's a perfect choice for these weeks of summer vacation when you're looking for something new and special to do that the kids can really take ownership of. The activities are pretty and accessible and just the idea of an eMag is novel enough in this house to hold everyone's attention.
You can get a copy of the latest issue of Action Pack right here for $10. I think you'll really enjoy it.