Category: Baking & Pastry Arts

Fusion Cooking

Fusion Cooking was a term that I was not very familiar with. I had heard it referenced in an old Learning Zone Express video titled The History of American Cuisine several years ago, but that was the extent of it.  However, it was recently brought up again in an email conversation I was having with Minnesota FACS teacher, Coleen K. Guhl who has supplied the majority of fusion cooking resources below that she has shared with me and/or uses with her students when studying regional foods and cuisine. So, a big “thank you” to Coleen for helping me learn more about this unique blending of regional and global cuisines!

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Food Truck Resources

Food Trucks have been quite popular for the last couple of years with no signs of this trend going by the wayside any time soon!  So if you’re like me and have always wanted to teach this, but didn’t have time to reinvent the wheel, look no further!  Below, you will find a plethora of resources for teaching this topic and project geared to every grade level.  It’s up to you to decide how far you want your students to go with it!

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Teaching About Vegetables

After teaching this unit last year, I knew I had to update my vegetable lessons and activities, especially since we are a 1:1 school with iPads!  So, I’ve spent the better part of six months trying to figure out how to make this unit more engaging, both with and without technology! I am super pleased with the results, as are my students!  These lessons focus on students’ preexisting knowledge of vegetables, the consumption of vegetables (habits as well as reasons to consume), nutritional value and subgroups and vegetable classifications. Because knife skills are used in the lab options, be sure to cover that information prior to the lab(s)

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Plating & Styling Brownies

My students always want to make fancy desserts and who can blame them! This lesson teaches them a little about plating and styling foods, using brownie desserts to help accomplish the mission! After learning about plating and styling desserts, students practice by making, plating and styling brownies. They also must create a feature for a restaurant menu based on their results! I like this lesson, activity and lab because it’s a great mix of activities. Plus, students get to use technology, create food, apply creativity and eat all in one lesson! My students loved this and were super proud of their accomplishments…I’m confident yours will too!

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Spotlight on a FACS Blog: Kayla Pins

Sometimes the non-school related blogs I follow do a blog hopping where they share other people’s blogs. I thought that would be a great idea to do this with Family & Consumer Science teachers who write their own blogs. The featured blog in this post belongs to Kayla Pins, a Health and Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, who hails from Iowa and teaches grades 7-12 at Cascade Jr.-Sr. High School. I email interviewed Kayla some questions about her blog…so read on to learn more and see some of the impressive lessons she has to offer!

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Crostini Appetizers: Mini-Lesson & Lab

You never know when you’re going to need a relatively quick and simple appetizer for entertaining that looks like you’ve spent hours preparing! Crostini to the rescue! I like to teach students that party foods don’t have to be super difficult, expensive or time consuming to pull together. The self-directed mini-lesson provides some background information about crostini and how to make them and then students get to pretend they have to pull together a few crostini appetizers for entertaining, using ingredients they have on hand. The creative possibilities are endless! As a tasty finale, students prepare and sample some hot and cold crostini in the lab! Yum!

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Quick Breads: Lesson & Labs

I have had some requests to share ideas for teaching about quick breads…so, here you go! One thing about teaching quick breads is that there are a plethora of ideas for labs so you can mix it up from one year to the next and secondly, the labs are pretty inexpensive to make so they won’t break your budget! Another thing I like about teaching quick breads is that it’s easy to include math and science concepts into your lessons and labs. Take a look below to see some things I’ve used over the years as well as some links to previous lessons and activities on the website about the topic.

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Halloween in the FACS Classroom

You may ask yourself “How does Halloween fit into the FACS classroom?”, but actually there are a variety of ways and areas you can incorporate this event or holiday into your classes. If you have any additional ideas after perusing the list below, please share via the “Be A Part” tab above or the comment section below. Happy Halloween!

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Sodium Lesson

I’ve always viewed sodium as a “Catch 22” flavoring agent! It’s one of those minerals your body needs to function correctly, but if under or over consumed, serious health issues can result. So, when I teach this information to my students I try to get them to understand why it’s good, why it’s bad, where we find it and how to reduce it. Of course it’s always fun to follow it up with a low sodium lab and/or a unit on herbs and spices, teaching them how to prepare foods that taste good, with or without the “Catch 22” flavoring agent. So, encourage your students to put on their detective cap and investigate the amount of sodium in the foods they are consuming!

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Zentangle Tile Cookies

It was the end of the school year and I had just finished a decorating unit where students had to create a shoe box room applying the elements of design. The art teacher had just finished a Zentangle project with her students. So, we had this idea to use the last couple of school days to merge our classes together to create Zentangle cookies using edible markers. This idea was based on a Michael’s project, but adapted to fit our needs. This was a fun, easy project that students had a good time designing and eating and one I would definitely do again!

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