Culinary

The English Muffin Challenge

The English Muffin Challenge was a spur of the moment lab! One of our school clubs had two packages of English Muffins left over from an event that they generously donated to us. In addition, I had several left over ingredients from some other labs that I didn’t want to waste. So, I threw it all together for a challenge lab! Students had 40 minutes to create an aesthetic, edible product using the English Muffin and following the parameters of the challenge. Overall, the results were successful, albeit some interesting! However, students walked away knowing they could put together a filling dish, using only available leftovers. The beauty of this type of lab is that the challenge and follow-up assignment could revolve around any food you have an abundance of and wish to use up!

Scrambled Eggs: Experimenting with Liquids

A student recently asked me why scrambled eggs tasted different at their friends and relatives houses compared to scrambled eggs made at home. Great question! I decided to let my students conduct an experiment by preparing scrambled eggs with different liquids in order to discover the effects each had on the eggs’ appearance, taste and texture. Not only did this experimental lab get the students into the kitchen to teach them how to make scrambled eggs, but it was a great way to incorporate a little food science into the curriculum as well!

Teacher of the Month: Donna Cabrera

Congratulations to this month’s teacher of the month, Donna Cabrera, a Family & Consumer Sciences Middle School teacher from Pennsylvania. While this is her first year teaching FACS, she is no stranger to the classroom, having taught Special Education for 10 years.

Knife Skills: A Hands-On Lesson & Lab

This hands-on lesson plan, shared by Marlee Barton of Kentucky, includes knife skill activities using Play-doh and graduating to real vegetables. A soup lab follows Sounds like a fun and delicious way to learn about knives!

Spin a Stir-Fry Lesson & Lab

Need quick cooking recipes for your foods labs or dinner at home on a busy night? I know I do! That’s why I teach about stir-fry cooking! Not only is stir-fry cooking quick and easy, but it’s nutritious, colorful and fairly easy to clean up. So, after students investigate some basics of stir-fry cookery, they get to spin themselves a unique recipe for the class to sample. Try spinning yourself a stir-fry. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite, easy-to-go-to dinner!

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!

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!

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.

Ramen Noodles: History & Make-Over with Homemade Noodle Bowl Lab

Ramen noodle soup packages have been around forever and seem to be the “go to” snack or meal for most young adults because they are cheap and easy to make. I wonder how many have actually read the nutrition facts label and ingredients list? Scary! I set out to prove to my students that Ramen noodles could be reinvented to be nutritious without sacrificing flavor.

Types of Fat: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Fats can be very confusing to teach because there are so many different types; some that are good, some that are bad, and some that are downright ugly for your health and body. I wanted to teach my students about the different types of fats in an interactive and simplistic way. So, below you will find ways to teach about fats which can be used as is or easily be adapted for use in an interactive note book. In addition, you will find a lab incorporating a healthy fat that also ties directly into the advice of MyPlate, encouraging the consumption of seafood.