ON THE BLOG

WHAT’S NEW AT THE LONGEST FORK!

Get ready for summer! The Longest Fork, along with Defy Gravity, is offering a 2-for-1 summer workshop where fitness meets farm-to-table nutrition!  Join us for an intensive 1-hour workout followed by a one-hour superfoods cooking class!  Learn how to fuel your body with healthy summer superfoods while strengthening, toning, and leaning out your body.                                                            Click here to sign up!defy gravity bodhi

 

 

2016 SUMMER COOKING CLASSES AND CAMPS POSTED!!!                   NOW ACCEPTING ENROLLMENT!

For the beginner or experienced chef, we have classes and camps for all.  From superhero superfoods to pasta making and French macaroon baking, to dumpling folding and international food touring, we are excited to invite you to take a look at what we’re offering this SUMMER 2016!
teens cooking in kitchen ivy
 

 

HOME-MADE PASTA          BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
HOME-MADE PASTA – WAIT LIST ONLY

 

BRAND NEW THANKSGIVING  COOKING & BAKING CLASSES AND CAMPS FOR KIDS , TEENS AND ADULTS


NEW ADULT THANKSGIVING MEAL LUNCH AND LEARN – Thursday, 11/19    10:00AM to 12:30PM!

Come join Chef Carrie Paul in a Two-and-a- Half Hour THANKSGIVING COOKING workshop.  You will learn tricks and tips for entertaining on Thanksgiving without the stress of Thanksgiving day cooking.  And, the chef will prepare a complete thanksgiving menu that is healthy, gluten-free and nutritious!  Gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options.  Click here to sign up  

NEW KID AND TEEN THANKSGIVING TREATS BAKING CLASS – Friday, 11/20   3:30PM to 5:30PM!

This hands-on cooking class is designed for future chefs who enjoy working and using their hands in the kitchen.  You will learn how to work with puffed pastry to make the perfect flowering APPLE pastry. You will also learn to make healthy PUMPKIN APPLE MUFFINS – great for Thanksgiving breakfast or dessert. We will harvest apples out of our urban garden.**  Click here to sign   THANKSGIVING SPECIAL!   SIGN UP BEFORE NOV. 13 AND RECEIVE A $20 GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR FUTURE ADULT CLASSES or $10 OFF FUTURE KID AND TEEN CLASSES!!!! 

 

 

2015 SUMMER COOKING CLASSES AND CAMPS FOR KIDS AND TEENS


COOKING AND GARDENING WORKSHOP – Tuesday, 4/21    10:30AM to 12:30PM!

Come join Chef Carrie Paul and Mike Saraylian with Harvest to Home Organic Vegetable & Fruit Garden Service in a Two-Hour COOKING AND GARDENING workshop.  You will learn tricks and tips for starting and maintaining a summer edible garden in Southern California.  And, the chef will prepare healthy, family-friendly meals that are quick and nutritious!  Gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options.  Click here to sign up

Menu includes: 

6 Minute Grilled Cilantro Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sriracha Aioli
Baked Mediterranean Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Olives
Watermelon, Feta, Arugula Salad
Butter Leaf Salad with Classic Champagne Vinaigrette
Quinoa & Cucumber Verde Salad

Edible garden and cooking workshop 2015


Gluten-Free Mocha Chip Banana Muffin Bites

Who said eating gluten free didn’t taste good? You don’t have to compromise taste to eat gluten-free! These muffins are moist, fluffy, sweet, and numbingly delicious without any gumming agents!! I used a combination of oat, rice, and garbanzo bean/fava bean flour! And they can be made refined-sugar free and nut-free!

These muffins were a huge hit in last week’s The Longest Fork Is Gluten-Free for Me? workshop with our special guest speaker, Mary Dellene.


Ditch the Dyes This St. Patty’s Day!

Artificial dyes are found in surprising places!  Dyes numbered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) such as Red #3, Red #40, Green #3,  Yellow #5, Blue#1, and Blue#2 are synthetically produced and petroleum based!  They are not found just in neon-colored beverages and brightly colored candies, but in brown cereal, white marshmallows, whole-wheat pizza crust, and white icing!  They are hidden in well-known products such as

Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla Frosting • Boboli Pizza Crust • Lunchables    Children’s Motrin• Yoplait Yogurt •  Quaker Life Cereal    Kelloggs  Nutrigrain Bars  • Frito-Lay Doritos     Pickles    BBQ sauces •  AND ORIGINAL KRAFT MAC-N-CHEESE!

For more than 30 years, scientists have been examining the relationship between artificial food coloring and hyperactive behavior in children, with mixed results. To date, no conclusive evidence has been found to show that food coloring causes ADHD, however, there has been consistent suggestion of an association between the two.

I don’t need further studies to convince me! I have firsthand experience with the negative side effects of artificial food dyes and additives.   Our daughter, Marly, is a completely different person since we cleared her diet of food dye 2 years ago!  No more meltdowns. No more shouting matches.  Her reading, writing and math, all improved within weeks of removing the dyes.  So, I say bull sh@# to FDA’s claim that more research is still needed to support a direct link between artificial food dyes and hyperactivity and cancer! 

Other countries, such as England, Norway, Finland, and France have prohibited the use of some artificial food dyes. Major US Manufacturers have learned how to manufacture and deliver the same quality and taste, in DYE FREE products, to these countries!  Why is the United States still manufacturing food and beauty products with artificial dyes?  Keep a look out for The European Food Safety Authority’s report on 45 different food and feed dyes to be completed sometime this year.

What are the best ways to avoid dyes?  We can avoid food dyes by buying organic. Avoid any packaged foods with FDA dye “#’s”, and instead buy or make foods with natural colorings.  Coloring that comes from pigments of vegetables or minerals, such as beet, spinach, beta-carotene, annatto, capsanthin (paprika extract), turmeric powder, and Matcha Green Tea are available and easy options!

If you think St. Patty’s Day food must be made with green dye, bring the kids over this Saturday when we’ll be making antioxidant rich, Matcha green tea cupcakes that will knock your leprechaun hat right off! 

photo 1


JUST POSTED!!! CHECK OUT OUR NEW SPRING 2015 CLASS SCHEDULE!

Come check out our newest kid, teen, and adult cooking classes – from dye-free green cupcakes to the perfect afternoon snacks and hand-made organic corn tortillas.  Check out our special Cutthroat Kitchen Cook Off competition for moms and their teens!!! And, a Mother’s Day edible gift class!  We’re also launching our first COUPLES TGIF DATE NIGHT where you’re sure to really connect with your date while making dumplings and hand made fortune cookies with your very own personalized fortunes!! We’ve also partnered with Defy Gravity, Harvest to Home, and Mary Dellene to offer special ADULT LUNCH and LEARN classes incorporating pilates, gardening, and gluten-free guts to heal our minds, bodies, and overall health.                                                                                         Click here to sign up!

Click here for more information on KID CLASSES

Click here for more information on TEEN CLASSES

Click here for more information on ADULT CLASSES


EDIBLE GIFTS Cooking Class This SUNDAY, DEC 21 (3pm-5pm)

Edible Gifts!  Give a gift made with love.  Are you still looking for a gift for that special someone who has everything?  How about a hand-made edible gift!  Come this Sunday, December 21 (2pm-5pm) to our kid and teen EDIBLE GIFT cooking class.  We’re making four different home-made specialty food items, including Kickin BBQ Sauce, Basil Infused Olive Oil, Pickled Vegetables and Cranberry Goji Berry Chutney!  All supplies, tools, and ingredients provided.  $90  Sign up online HERE.

Kids Holiday Baking Class

Enjoy buttery, flaky, just-the-right- sweetness cookies or rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate?  We mixed, rolled, spread, and dipped our baking adventures this week in our Holiday Baking class.  Chefs learned the art of making traditional Rugelach – a flaky pastry crescent-shaped cookie filled with sweet fruits, chocolate, cinnamon and nuts.  Kids loved spreading the fruit and rolling the cookies!  And, if you like YORK Peppermint Patties, you’ll have to try these corn syrup-free  Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties we hand dipped and sprinkled with sea salt AND crumbled dye-free candy canes!  Holiday cheer is in this kitchen!


Kids’ Holiday Baking Class THURSDAY, DEC 11 (4pm-6pm)

We’re enjoying the holiday and baking some delicious treats at our Holiday Baking class this Thursday afternoon.  Drop your kids off for a fun two-hour baking class where they will learn the art of holiday baking in a relaxed and hands-on setting.  While they mix, roll, and dip, you will have two hours to yourself to read a book or holiday shop without your little “helpers” in tow!  Class is from 4pm-6pm. Ages 5-11.  Click here to sign up.


Adult Thanksgiving Meals (Gluten-free)

Load up on your veggies!  Counter the lazy side effects of turkey tryptophan with delicious new side dishes to spice up your Thanksgiving table.  We made Sweet Potato Gratin, Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Leeks, Roasted Vegetables with Pecan Gremolata, Pomegranate-Mint Relish, Cauliflower Pomegranate Tabbouleh, Persimmon, Orange, & Walnut Salad, and Hazelnut Pesto Roasted Turkey Breast.  All gluten-free!

 Let’s face it, we all have busy lives with limited time to cook in the kitchen!  As much as we would enjoy leisurely sipping our beverage of choice in a peaceful kitchen without kids fighting or demanding our attention or work pulling us away from the task at hand, most of us can only dream of a “Leave it to Beaver” lifestyle.  These healthy and nutritious, veggie-rich recipes are easy enough to be may be made in a chaotic, over-scheduled household like mine days before the big FEAST.

Who doesn’t love potatoes with their turkey? But, if you are looking for an alternative to the classic mash try these cream and butter-free potatoes.  This unconventional gratin made with both Yukon gold potatoes and sweet potatoes incorporates fresh thyme, zucchini, and parmesan cheese and is finished with crispy sage leaves!   

Grain-Free Tabbouleh?  Sounds like an oxymoron but this recipe eliminates the traditional bulgar wheat and replaces it with protein and vitamin-rich cauliflower!  Each refreshing bite of mint, jalapeño and sweet-tangy pomegranate combine with the cinnamon and cumin for a an exquisitely delicious taste.   This entire recipe may be made the day before. 

Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing (Dressing) with Sausage and Leeks!  Mouth-watering deliciousness.  This recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and savory incorporating fennel spiced sausage and sweet Bosc pears and the sinfully rich cornbread.  Is this “healthy”…well, not so much.  But it’s Thanksgiving and we’ve replaced the high calorie and fat loaded mashed potatoes so why not indulge a little?

Go Nuts with the Roasted Vegetables and Pecan Gremolata.  We’ve added more than just chopped herbs to this gremolata.  We added pecans, lemon and Manchego cheese for a zesty, nutty crunch. 

Replace your traditional sugar-loaded cranberry relish with an antioxidant, superfood- rich Pomegranate-Mint Relish.  With ZERO added sugar or sweeteners, you can now enjoy that extra piece of pumpkin pie guilt free.  Fret no more about removing the seeds from your pomegranate.   If you don’t have child labor at home or the time to de-seed your pomegranates, most grocery stores now offer containers of pomegranate seeds.  Trader Joes, Pavilions, Wholefoods and Bristol Farms offers them, however most are not organic.

Persimmon, Orange, and Walnut Salad.  Sweet, sweet, sweet vinaigrette with zero refined sugar.  That’s right, no sugar, no honey, no agave, nothing other than the sweetness from fruit!  This recipe uses both types of persimmons, Hachiya and Fuyu.  The Hachiya persimmons are elongated and oval-shaped and must be eaten when very ripe with a soft, jelly-like flesh.  The Fuyu are flat-bottomed and more squat-shaped and may be enjoyed crisp and firm like an apple. 

Don’t have 4-5 hours to cook your turkey?   Or do you have limited space in your refrigerator for a whole turkey?  Or just want to enjoy the white breast?  Try this super-moist Hazelnut Pesto Roasted Turkey Breast with a cooking time of less than 2 hours.   And, no more dry turkey breast!  The hazelnut pesto and wine keep the turkey breast moist and flavor-rich.  Pesto may be made up to 3-days ahead and stored in covered container in refrigerator.


 

Healthy Family Meals – Adult Class October 7 (10:30am-12:30pm)

Who has time these days to prepare home-cooked healthy meals that the entire family will love?  Well, first let me break it to you…you definitely can prepare HEALTHY meals but you WON’T please everyone every time!  I’m here to tell you some dinners may be a considered a BUST by some family members.  That’s OK, some diners are a BUST too!  I know, I’ve pouted behind the pantry door many times!  But once we find a balance between time invested in preparing dinner and the number of happy eaters, it’s success.  How many of you are a line chef?  Making more than one meal a night for the family – mac-n-cheese for Joey, chicken tenders for Margie, and Filet mignon for hubby and you – if you added up the time it took to make the extra meal (or meals), you could have made two or three days’ worth of meals.  Bring the family into your menu planning and ask them for menu suggestions.  Maybe each family member chooses dinner for that night?  Maybe you add a cooking competition to a weekend dinner?  But, the best way to “have time to cook” is to preplan and prep as much as possible on Sunday before the gun shot fires Monday morning.

 So for the first adult class, I wanted to tackle both the challenge of not having enough time AND pleasing most (if not all) of your family members.  That’s why I landed on my famous Spiced Beer Can Chicken recipe.  This is a staple in the our household and the entire family LOVES it.  I love it because it exceeds the time and reward challenge!!! Best part about this recipe is that it’s extremely versatile and can be used on a variety of meats, fish, and game.  The rub also makes enough for 2-3 (sometimes 4) meals and lasts up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  Throw that bird (or two for tomorrow night’s repurposed chicken tacos or rice bowl) on the bbq and ignore it!!! That’s right, you ignore the bird for one hour, allowing you to sit and eat bon-bons on the couch! Ha. Actually, you now have time to make the rest of the meal or listen to kids fuss and whine about homework.

 What’s in this fail-proof BBQ recipe?  It’s all about the rub and the can!  Sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors all together!  A little cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper with a splash of cayenne for a little kick and a can of beer.  Now, here’s where you choose?  Do you guzzle half of a cold one down – grinning – or do you save it for your next chili recipe?  Massage chicken, shove a half-empty beer can up the bird’s ass and walk away smiling!  Protein done!

 What accompanies this chicken?  Just about anything, but I love this Roasted Cauliflower (or Broccoflower) Salad with Lentils and Dates.  This recipe is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and more animal-free protein and is also a great entrée salad too.  The rich flavors of the tahini, ginger, and cinnamon combine incredibly with the sweetness from the roasted cauliflower and the dates!  And, this salad can be prepared in advanced (separated) and then combined and tossed before dinner.

My husband and kids are used to having a green salad with dinner so I included this Avocado Cilantro Bibb Lettuce Salad because it’s incredibly easy to make and is packed with all of the good fats from the avocado.  And, for  those kids who don’t like avocado, don’t worry – it’s blended into the dressing and they won’t have a clue!  It’s a creamy lemon and cilantro dressing that’s VEGAN and gluten free too.  And, I’ve added additional fiber into the salad with shaved or grated broccoli stems.

We didn’t forget dessert.  And we kept in the theme of gluten-free by making Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Danielle Walker – Against the Grain.  I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I can’t.  This is 100% deliciousness from Against the Grain.  Our family eats minimal gluten but many of you are grain free for medical or other reasons and even if you aren’t, this recipe rocks.  Who knew that the Mediterranean staple used in hummus and  starch extracted from tropical plants are what make this cookie not just gluten free but GRAIN-FREE too!  The tahini and arrowroot are combined with coconut sugar, coconut oil and chocolate chips to create a thin, chewy decadent treat that’s also nut free!  It’s a miracle cookie!

And, if you want to plan for tomorrow night’s dinner and you have 10-15 minutes, let’s make the Pomegranate-Walnut Guacamole.  I was inspired by Rick Bayless’s guacamole from the Red O and adapted his recipe slightly for a spiced-up version!  This recipe incorporates pomegranates, walnuts, and surprisingly, sun-dried tomatoes!  It’s a mouth zapper I promise.  From the slight kick of the serrano chili to the fresh burst of sweetness from the pomegranates to the earthy crunch of walnuts, this is a fabulous fall accompaniment to this meal or as an appetizer or side to tomorrow rice and bean bowls.

Now you have a complete meal for night one plus a head start to tomorrow night’s dinner.   Little did I know, repurposing is also considered frugal. I just thought it was smart, efficient and environmentally friendly.  But, apparently when you use the entire cauliflower including the tough stem and the bones of the chicken in second and third follow-on recipes, that it’s more than efficient and environmentally friendly, it’s also considered a frugal gourmet.  Whatever you wish to call it, we used the tail to nose approach and found a use for virtually every piece and part of the vegetables and chicken.  We incorporated the broccoflower floret into the Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lentils and Dates and then we shredded the stem and added it to the Avocado Cilantro Bibb Lettuce Salad.  We saved the left-over chicken for tomorrow night’s dinner of Chicken and Rice Bowls.  And, we also stored the cilantro stems and chicken carcass in a freezer bag for our next stock or soup recipe!

 Happy cooking!


A DAILY SUMMARY of SUMMER CAMPS & CLASSES

WACKY WEDNESDAY! – Wednesday Class – August 6 (1:30pm-4:30pm)

Wacky Wacky Wednesday started with zucchini!!! Who puts zucchini in chocolate brownies or cake?  And, what cake doesn’t have any flour or grain?

Well, the one we made today was filled with lots of shredded zucchini and NO grain.  That’s right.  Our Wacky Chocolate Zucchini Cake had no flour, no spelt, no buckwheat, no nothing but deliciousness.  So, if you are going to enjoy dessert you might as well enjoy this one packed with lots of protein, Vitamin C, fiber, and folates (needed for cell division and DNA synthesis).  The kids grated zucchini in the food processor, mixed, stirred and poured the batter into loaves as they worked together in teams of two.  And, as skeptical as the chefs were at the beginning of class, they all enjoyed this surprisingly deliciously, rich dessert made with wacky zucchini, unsweetened, unsalted almond butter (or sunflower seed butter), cocoa powder, and maple syrup.

Who makes pesto without basil and cheese?  We do on Wacky Wacky Wednesday!  Our second recipe, Farro Salad with Lemon Kale Pesto incorporated kale we harvested from the garden into the pesto sauce AND also into the salad as well.  We used three different types of kale, including dinosaur, curled leaf and red Russian varieties and also added raw, soaked farro, an ancient grain rich in magnesium and vitamin B and higher in protein and fiber than common wheat.  The kids minced shallots, squeezed and zested lemons, sautéed shallots and currants, and chopped the kale in preparation for a savory salad that is great as a stand alone salad or along side grilled chicken or steak.

Who adds fresh fruit to shave ice?  Aloha style has ice cream at the bottom of the bowl, but who decorates their shave ice with fresh fruit? We do on Wacky Wacky Wednesday.  Knife skills were needed for the third recipe, Home-Made All Natural Fruit SNOW CONES/ SHAVE ICE.  We stemmed and cut strawberries using our bridge knife technique and then purred the berries with lemon and sweetener in the Vitamix.  We then poured the purred strawberries over shaved ice and added fresh berries for the finishing touch.  What a perfect and refreshing treat on a hot summer day!

Happy cooking!  Next class is August 21 9am-12pm.  Let us know if you’d like to join us.


SNACK ATTACK! – Fun Friday – July 25 (1:30pm-4:30pm)

We harvested, measured, chopped, mixed, stirred, squeezed and cooked for three straight hours today!  It surely was one of our busiest days.  We harvested basil, mint, chives, lemon cucumbers, beets, and carrots and made four recipes in only three hours.

The first recipe, Chocolate Cherry “KIND” Bars, required the chefs to practice fractions and division because we each made half of a recipe.  These bars were a huge hit!  Remember to store these bars in the freezer until ready to enjoy – this will help with the crumble factor.

We used peelers,  a French Mandolin, and the newly harvested beets in our second recipe, Baked Sweet Potato and Beet Chips.

In our third recipe, I demonstrated to the chefs how to make healthy Ranch Dipping Sauce, using Greek yogurt, basil, and chives instead the preservative heavy KRAFT ranch dressing sold in grocery stores.  After reading the nutritional label on the KRAFT bottle, we learned that most of the ingredients were unknown and difficult to pronounce – and probably not healthy.  We dipped rainbow carrots and lemon cucumbers from the garden into the dipping sauce.

And in our final recipe, Mediterranean Nachos, we incorporated mint and cucumbers to create a unique twist on traditional Mexican Nachos.  Instead of the usual tortilla chips, beans, and cheddar cheese, we used pita chips, feta cheese, Greek yogurt sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes and mint.

Due to how busy we were today, I have only a few photos to share with you! Enjoy!  I’d love to hear what your kids thought of the class

Happy Cooking and have a great weekend.

FUN FRIDAY SNACKS


ITALIA! – Kid’s Summer Camp Week 2 – Day 1 July 7-10 (2pm-5pm)

Day 1

Sorry this is a day late…but, yesterday we kicked off the week with three wonderful recipes, including Frosty No-Bake Glow Bites, Italian Flat Bread, and Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce with an ingredient challenge consisting of maple syrup, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, tomato paste, dry yeast, and bouquet garni herbs.

For the first recipe, Frosty No-Bake Glow Bites, we learned about cacao nibs and incorporated them into the recipe with maple syrup, bananas, oats, sunflower seed butter and brown crisp rice cereal.  I suggested trying the recipe at home with alternate nut butters, including almond, cashew or even pumpkin seed butter.  One could also add a scoop of hemp protein or hemp seeds for additional protein.

The Italian Flat Bread, our second recipe, was a huge hit and included a science project.  When yeast is added to warm water, it releases a gas and causes the liquid to bubble and foam.  This reaction is what helps pizza and flat bread rise.

Finally, our last recipe required cooperation and partnership.  They worked in groups of three to create the Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce.  They sautéed onions, garlic, tomato paste, red wine and also roasted tomatoes.  We leaned a new French cooking term – Bouquet Garni  which is a bundle of herbs tied together and usually used in soups or sauces.  They harvested rosemary, thyme, parsley, and basil and included the herbs in their bouquet garni cheese cloth bag.  And, we practiced a knife technique called “The Bridge” when using a small vegetable knife and peeled and cut garlic cloves.

And, we also harvested delicious strawberries!

Day 2 

We began the day with an ingredient challenge that included kohlrabi (a cabbage vegetable with a turnip-like bulb that grows above ground), basalmic vinegar, honey, mozzarella cheese pearls, sun-dried tomatoes, cocoa powder, and cacao powder.  We talked about flavor combinations and experimented with combining the honey and the cacao or cocoa powders.  And, the blind taste test revealed that the cacao powder was favored over the mainstream cocoa powder.

First recipe, we kneaded, rolled and created Home-Made Pizzas, using our Marinara sauce from yesterday’s cooking class.  The kids were challenged with making a pizza that incorporated at least one green item from the garden.  Some included basil or bell pepper and one chef even included kale!  Such amazing masterpieces by our pizza chefs!  These pizzas were truly art pieces the kids devoured at break time.

We harvested kohlrabi, rosemary, basil and thyme and included it in Recipe 2 – Kohlrabi Pizza.  We peeled and then used the French Mandoline to slice the kohlrabi and then layered tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and fresh basil, thyme, and rosemary.  We baked this in the oven and enjoyed it warm!  We learned that while fresh tomatoes are delicious included early in the baking process, sundried tomatoes must be added towards the end of the bake time to avoid burning.

We also made Bruschette al Pomodoro and learned the definitions of concasse (to crush or finely grind/chop vegetables) and chiffonade (ribbon-like cuttings of fresh herbs) and the translation of pomodoro – tomato.

And, lastly we harvested green, white and yellow cucumbers and made an Italian Cucumber Salad which also included tomatoes, mozzarella, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar.

We have been so impressed with the focus and commitment your kids bring to camp every day!  Thank you.  See you all tomorrow for Hand-made Pasta, Basil Pesto, and Tomato & Mozzarella Sticks.

Day 3

What a great day of pasta kneading and rolling and biscotti making!  We started the day with a measurement challenge which required the kids to calculate how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon and how many tablespoons are in ¼, ½, and one cup by physically  measuring and pouring water from the spoons to the cups.  Then we enjoyed making Homemade Pasta and Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti –  both recipes we reduced by ½ and practiced our conversions and fractions.  Ask your kids if they can remember how many tablespoons are in a ¼ cup?  Or how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?  Or how many tablespoons are in a ½ and full cup.

We also enjoyed harvesting basil for our Nut Free Pesto recipe and also enjoyed eating a fresh, yellow tomato right off the vine with a little salt and pepper.  And lastly, the kids enjoyed creating their Tomato and Mozzarella appetizers!

Day 4

We combined all the skills and techniques learned throughout the week in today’s cooking class!  We harvested three types of kale (dinosaur, curled leaf and red leaf), four different kinds of fresh herbs, and also a variety of rainbow carrots.  We baked our newly harvested kale and yesterday’s kohlrabi  leaves in light olive oil and salt for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F (sorry, this recipe is still only in my head) and then had a taste-off between our baked kale and kohlrabi leaves.  It was a tie between which one was the best tasting.  Kale chips are a great snack for kids!  Our carrot foraging resulted in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and tastes.  With our seasoned, handpicked carrots, we roasted them in the oven for a naturally sweet accompaniment to our Calzone – Pizza Pouches.  And, then we filled our calzones with delicious hand rolled Turkey Meatballs, incorporating four different kinds of herbs that were all grown on-site.  We also finished rolling and making our fresh spaghetti noodles.

ITALY WEEK


SUMMERTIME FAVORITES – Summer Camp Week 1 – June 30-July 2 (2pm-5pm)

What a great day!  We started the day with an ingredient challenge consisting of fresh fava bean pods, lime zest, shallots, mint, cacao (pronounced ke-COW), and grated radish.  They were really stumped with the fava beans and shallots.  We discussed different types of coco powders, including cacao powder, which is created by COLD pressing unroasted cocoa beans.  However, cocoa powder (Hershey’s)  looks the same but is not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at HIGH temperatures.  And, many natural health professionals believe roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value and antioxidant benefits.  So, whenever possible, especially when making raw food, I always suggest using a reputable cacao powder brand over a coco powder or Dutch coco powder.  Our Healthy Fudgsicle recipe incorporated both cacao powder and avocados!  Shocking, I know.  We’ll enjoy these refreshing dairy-free, soy-free treats during class tomorrow.

We also made Nut Free Protein Energy Bars that are high in fiber and protein and great as a snack or even included in lunches as the protein.  The kids were surprised that the monster-colored, green Hemp Protein powder was indistinguishable!  The kids LOVED this recipe and I’m sure they will enjoy making them for you at home.  The chefs adjusted this recipe by reducing the serving size by one-half, which required fractions and conversions.  We will work more on this during the week, and will practice converting more cups to tablespoon measurements and vice versa.

We harvested Fava Beans, Mint, Green Onions, Radishes, Yellow Squash, and successfully mastered using the zester tool, hand juicing, grating, prepping and cutting vegetables.  We zested limes and juiced both lemons and limes, grated radishes and cut tomatoes and cucumbers and also learned to use the French Mandolin while julienning zucchini and yellow squash.  All of these ingredients helped create the Vegetable Ceviche recipe.  The kids enjoyed removing the fava beans from their pods and also removing the thin casing off each bean after they were steamed.  It’s sometimes difficult to find fresh fava beans, however this week Pavillions near the Port Streets has them in stock.  The vegetable ceviche is also delicious with tortilla or pita chips!  My kids enjoy eating it together with hummus and chips.

We are started soaking garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for a salad we’ll make on Wednesday.  The kids will enjoy watching the beans change in size, color and shape as the beans begin to sprout!

Happy cooking!  Looking forward to tomorrow!  Enjoy the pictures and recipes attached.

Day 2

Another great day of cooking!  Our ingredient challenge included fresh basil, ground flax seed, unsweetened shredded coconut, ground nutmeg, raw sunflower seeds and also roasted and salted sunflower seeds.  We also rinsed out our garbanzo beans that were soaking and made observations about their appearance and odor – noticing that they almost doubled in size, started to sprout a little tail and that they were “stinky”, which is very true during the sprouting process.  Tomorrow we will incorporate these beans into a savory recipe.

We harvested strawberries, mint and basil and mastered vegetable knife skills while quartering strawberries.  The strawberries were included in our first and second recipes.  The first recipe was Red White and Blue Frozen Treats.  These popsicles are a healthy, no artificial coloring alternative to the old school red, white and blue rocket ship popsicles that stained your face and hands for days.  We used all organic fruit for coloring and plain yogurt sweetened with agave.  We’ll enjoy these no staining, all natural and organic popsicles for snack tomorrow.

For the second recipe, Red, White and Blue Pie Pots, we incorporated  ground flax seed and unsweetened, shredded coconut into our masterpiece and also used the strawberries we harvested and cut.  In both the first and second recipes, we reduced the yield by half and made appropriate conversions.  Today we learned that there are three teaspoons in one tablespoon.

 Our third recipe, a savory one, required the chefs to shave yellow squash and green zucchini with a hand held vegetable peeler to create light and delicious ribbons for the Shaved Squash Salad with Sunflower Seeds.  This Mediterranean-inspired recipe is great for hot summer nights!

And, please let your kids know that Chef Carrie made a new batch of Fudgsicles pops for them to try tomorrow…a batch that is extra smooth and much sweeter!

Day 3

Our first recipe, Blueberry Almond Chia Squares, incorporated chia seeds, GF oats, apple sauce, almonds, almond butter and ground almonds.  This is a great recipe for breakfast, snacks or lunch.  It is high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein!  And, it’s easy to take on the go!  We adjusted the recipe by half and practiced tablespoon to teaspoon conversions.  There are 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon.  And, we also practiced converting cups to tablespoons.  For example:  Where the recipe required ¼ cup, the kids reduced it to 1/8 cup; however most measuring cups do not have 1/8 cup.  We converted the ¼ cup into Tablespoons (4) and then reduced the 4 tablespoons by 1/2 , resulting in 2 tablespoons.

We also worked on our knife skills while cutting watermelon for our second salad, Watermelon Feta & Arugula Salad with a Champagne Vinaigrette.  While not many kids have the advanced palate to appreciate the spiciness of arugula, I believe it’s important for kids to be exposed to different varieties of lettuce, beyond the Iceberg type that most know and love.

Our sprouted chickpeas were ready.  The beans grew longer “tails” and the water was stinky and bubbly.  It was unanimous that the raw, sprouted garbanzo beans were incredibly smelly and it wasn’t  until we cooked them did the kids try them.  They also compared soaked, raw quinoa with cooked quinoa and incorporated this into our third recipe, Kale and Chickpea Tahini Salad.  We used food processors to blend the tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and fresh herbs.  Note: on the recipe attached, I used raw, sprouted chickpeas but if you’d like to cook them, boil in a large stock pot for 60 minutes.


MEXICAN FIESTA (GLUTEN FREE) – Fun Friday – June 27 (1:30pm-4:30pm)

What a wonderful cooking adventure today!  We kicked off the afternoon with an ingredient challenge designed to wake up our senses, especially taste, touch and sight.  Ingredients included cumin, chili powder, pepita seeds (from Mexican Spanish: pepita de calabaza, “little seed of squash”, is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed and a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine), orange zest, cilantro and brown rice cereal – and we incorporated all of these ingredients into our recipes.

We harvested cilantro, chives, lettuce, limes, oranges, but the most exciting  garden foraging were the round, yellow, lemon cucumbers and the diva green cucumbers; the first harvest of the season!  The kids loved eating the navel oranges and cucumbers with their No Bake Gluten Free Granola Bites.  These granola/energy bites are terrific as a snack or as part of their lunch – they are high in protein and fiber and are free of refined sugar.  For a nut free version, substitute the almond butter with sunflower seed butter.  While we had some challenges with the bites binding together, the chefs remained focused and committed to finding a solution.  Just like any chef, sometimes the recipes don’t turn out as intended…but, this was such a great opportunity for our chefs to problem solve.  They far exceeded my expectations, and offered creative solutions, including adding more nut butter or honey!  However, even after these adjustments and additions, some of the bites still resembled granola.  It wasn’t until after the chefs left that I noticed the honey was not honey, but agave!  My mistake when I pulled the ingredients from the pantry – the honey and agave packages closely resemble each other.  And, that was why this virtually fail proof recipe needed adjustments.  I’ve attached the recipe for you to try at home Happy rolling – this is great for fine motor stills and hand strength.

Exposure to math and fractions was a focus with the No Bake Gluten Free Granola Bites as they were required to take a recipe designed to create 24 bites and modify the ingredients to make only 12 bites.  This required reducing fractions and also converting units of measurements from cups to tablespoons.  I loved the response “oh, we learned this is school, but I didn’t think we needed to really know it!”

We also enjoyed making Guacamole, Salsa Fresca (or Pico de Gallo), Cashew Cream and Walnut Taco Meat.  We learned the bridge technique while cutting tomatoes with vegetable knives.  We also learned how to zest and hand juice citrus and tear herbs (cilantro and chives).  We mastered the mini Cuisinart (chopper) where we chopped soaked walnuts for the vegan taco meat and also chopped onions and tomatoes for the salsa fresca and guacamole.  Team work was required for these recipes and the kids worked wonderfully together.

I’ve included the recipes as well as pictures from our day (pdf).  Happy cooking with your kids and thank you for sharing your gems with us today! We had so much fun.

Hope to see you again.

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