Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week FOUR: Sugar Snap Salad and Calzones

Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Toss vegetables in a bowl. 
  2. Mix dressing ingredients. 
  3. Dip veggies in dressing or pour dressing over veggies.

  • 1 roll of refrigerated croissant dough
  • 1 cup of skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup pizza/marina sauce
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Roll 1/2 of croissant dough out on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. 
  2. Spread pizza sauce on half of dough and sprinkle with cheese. 
  3. Fold remaining half of dough over sauce and cheese side, seal edges. 
  4. Using a fork, press prongs along edges of dough, making little lines. 
  5. Poke holes in top of dough with fork. Brush with olive oil. 
  6. Bake according to package directions.

Week THREE: Recap!

It was blazing hot today in Chicago, and we cooled off with banana popsicles and watermelon parfaits. We also made a pasta bake for our main dish, and I think the class would agree when I say... this was one of our tastiest dishes ever!

This is a great, easy meal that the whole family will enjoy. We even added a little extra cheese just for fun -- so tasty!

Although our recipe called to blend the watermelon smoothie ingredients together, due to a blender malfunction we got creative and layered them into a parfait instead! This was an unexpected, but equally tasty, way to enjoy the cool sorbet and tasty fruits.

Banana popsicles are super easy to make, and there are so many fun ways to decorate them! We decorated ours with sprinkles after covering them in semi-sweet chocolate. Most of our Taste Buddies class had eaten most of their popsicles before we even put them in the freezer. Chocolate-covered faces nodded their approval of this fun summer treat. In lieu of sprinkles, try other toppings like nuts, cookie or candy crumbs, etc. You can also swap the semi-sweet chocolate for white chocolate.

Week THREE: Baked Pasta, Watermelon Smoothie and Banana Popsicles

from Little Kitchen
  • 8 3/4 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 3/4 cups tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 1/3 cup and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 3 cups of grated Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Boil pasta. Pan fry garlic on medium heat until lightly golden. 
  3. Turn off and let cool for 3 minutes. Pour pasta into pan. 
  4. Add sugar, baking soda, salt, pepper, and water to a separate pan. 
  5. Add parsley leaves and stir sauce gently, cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. 
  6. Pour drained pasta into sauce and stir. 
  7. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes.

  • 1/2 cup of chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup of chopped banana
  • 1/2 cup of strawberry sorbet
  1. Blend in a blender until smooth. 
  2. Serve immediately.

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles
  • 1 chopstick or popsicle stick
    1. Push chopstick lengthwise into banana. 
    2. Brush melted semi-sweet chocolate chips on banana.
    3. Top with sprinkles. 
    4. Freeze for one hour before serving.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Week TWO: Recap!

    Today's recap from Mr. Marc tells the story of this week's recipes: Quinoa Salad, Corn Quesadillas and Guacamole.

    It was a fun change of pace to teach the class today with the assistance of Miss Sam! We worked with lots of interesting, aromatic flavors and ingredients. Red onion and garlic made a strong-scented appearance in class. We also worked with another new ingredient, cilantro. One of the Taste Buddies students thought he could identify it and yelled out "Broccoli!". Students worked on their mixing and pinching skills, among others.

    We look forward to telling Ms. Meghean all about our culinary adventures when she returns next week!

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Week TWO: Quinoa Salad, Corn Quesadillas and Guacamole

    adapted from
    • 1 cup dry quinoa 
    • 2 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil 
    • Juice from 2 limes
    • 2-3 fresh mint sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves or parsley
    • Sea salt, to taste
    • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
    • A handful of sweet and ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
    • 2 tablespoons diced red onion (or use 2 chopped scallions)
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    1. Prepare quinoa as directed. 
    2. Toss and combine all ingredients. 
    3. Adjust seasonings as desired.
    4. Refrigerate leftovers.

    • 2 small red onions
    • 1/2 red or orange pepper
    • 7 ounces canned corn
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 5 flour or corn tortillas
    • 1/4 cup salsa
    1. Chop the onions and peppers. Drain the corn.
    2. Heat olive oil, onions and peppers in pan for 3 minutes. Add corn and heat for 2 more minutes until onions and peppers are soft. 
    3. Add vinegar and honey, heat for 1 more minute, then remove from heat.
    4. Heap the warm mixture on the tortillas with some salsa. 
    5. Sprinkle tortillas with most of the cheese, but be sure to leave some cheese for topping.
    6. Fold over the tortillas and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. 
    7. Broil the quesadillas for 1-2 minutes until the filling is hot and the top is lightly golden.

    • 2 ripe avocados
    • 1 lime, zest and juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    1. Cut avocados in half and remove pit. 
    2. Using a spoon, scrape out the flesh of the avocado into a mixing bowl. 
    3. Using a fork, mash up the avocado to desired consistency. 
    4. Remove the zest (green skin of the lime) with a microplane or fine grater, set aside. 
    5. Cut the lime and squeeze the juice onto the avocado mixture. 
    6. Add the zest, minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper to the avocado. 
    7. Gently stir in tomatoes.

    All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar - Juno Soundtrack

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Week ONE: Recap!

    Welcome to our Summer Session of Taste Buddies Kid's Cooking class! We've got a whole session of culinary adventures ahead of us... so hold on to your spatula!!

    Today in Taste Buddies we made banana hot dogs. We borrowed this recipe from a great kid's blog, and they were so cute, and tasty. We also made corn on the cob, 4th of July strawberries, and mango french fries. It was quite a day!

    First, we peeled out bananas and placed them in a hot dog bun. Next, we put soy butter in a Ziploc bag and then we put strawberry jam in a Ziploc bag. We then cut a tiny hole on one of the bottom corners of the Ziploc bag (like a pastry bag used for icing). We squeezed peanut butter on our banana hot dog in place of mustard and we used strawberry jam in place of ketchup. Some of our Taste Buddies finished
    the entire banana hot dog before it was even time to eat! These were a hit! This is also a great project to do when friends are over -- it's easy and creative. 

    We started out the class shucking corn. Some of our knights in shining armor decided the corn on the cob would make an excellent sword. After a quick duel, we threw the corn in big pot and cooked it for ten minutes in hot water. It was delicious, sweet summer corn. It doesn't get much better than that!

    These are super easy to make and are a festive holiday treat! We dipped strawberries in melted white chocolate first. We then dipped them in blue sprinkles for a 4th of July themed dessert! Yum! This was most of our Taste Buddies' favorite treat -- I can't imagine why. :)

    We used our choppers to chop mangoes into strips that looked like french fries. They were the perfect compliment to our banana hot dogs.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Week ONE: Banana Hot Dogs, Corn on the Cob, 4th of July Strawberries and Mango Fries

    • 1 whole wheat bun 
    • 1 banana 
    • 1 jar of soy butter 
    • 1 jar of jelly
    1. Peel banana and place on bun. 
    2. Top with ribbons of soy butter and jelly.

    • Fresh corn on the cob
    • Butter
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    1. Fill a large pot (big enough to fully submerge your corn) with water and place it on the stovetop  over medium-high heat.
    2. Meanwhile, shuck the corn. Blasting water from the faucet onto it can be helpful in removing stubborn silk. 
    3. Once the water is boiling, add the corn and cover. 
    4. The amount of time to let your corn boil ranges from 1-10 minutes depending on how soft you want your corn. I like it really soft, so I leave it on for 10 minutes. 
    5. Remove from the water with tongs. Top with butter, salt and pepper as desired.

    • Strawberries
    • White chocolate
    • Blue sugar or sprinkles
    1. Place blue sugar or sprinkles in a bowl, set aside. 
    2. In a separate bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for two minutes. 
    3. Stir, then microwave for 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring after each, until the chocolate is completely melted. 
    4. Dip the lower two thirds of a strawberry into the white chocolate. Next, dip the lower third of the strawberry in the blue sugar or spoon it onto the strawberry.  
    5. Place on wax paper until completely cool. Repeat until all of your strawberries are complete.

    • Ripe mangoes
    1. Wash and peel mangoes.
    2. Use crinkle vegetable chopper to create realistic mango crinkle fries.

    Spring 2011 Recap Letter

    Dear Taste Buddies,

    What a class! We mixed, we shredded, we chopped... we even blended! I am so impressed with each and every one of you. I can’t believe how soon this semester has come to a close.

    There were so many highlights from class. From the time we used the big KitchenAid Mixer together as a group, to the time we pressed the buttons on the blender, we were on a culinary adventure! We made fruit dishes, veggie dishes, pasta dishes, and even spaghetti tacos. Yes, that’s right. I said spaghetti tacos.

    I am so proud of everybody and all of their hard work. The Taste Buddies students were willing to try anything, and it was astounding to watch such young folks enjoying cooking and sharing together.

    My favorite part was always near the end of class, when we went around the room and shared what our favorite part of the class was. During that moment it felt like we were a family, sitting down and sharing a meal together. I am so grateful for all the wonderful families who took part in the class. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    Thank you so much -- it was such a gift to teach this class!

    May you have many more adventures in the kitchen,
    Miss Meghean

    Do You Believe In Magic by The Lovin’ Spoonful