Category: Culinary

Kids in the Kitchen with Children’s Book Inspired Recipes: A Literary Feast!

It does my heart good to see young children helping out in the kitchen!  Back in the olden days, children learned to help out in the kitchen and even cook and bake at a fairly early age.  Today’s children, not so much! One thing that I have noticed about my incoming 7th graders is that their culinary skills are severely lacking!  Sadly, many students aren’t allowed in the kitchen to cook or experiment with food preparation, others simply can’t be bothered because “convenience” is easier and has become a way of life. Lastly, many may want to learn, but have no role models in their lives that can or will teach them as their parents and even grandparents just don’t cook!  This lesson combines literacy and food prep as students learn the importance and benefits of why young children should be in the kitchen, helping to prepare foods with their parents. It also shows them how creating fun recipes can be an extension of the very books the children love to read.  So, take literacy and food prep to a whole new level and show students how they can enjoy a literary feast!

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Student Led Mini-Lessons for Food PreparationTerms & Kitchen Tools

The trend in education is to create student led activities, projects and presentations! After being inspired by a literary term assignment that my son had to create and teach to his AP Literature class, I thought, why not do this with food preparation terms and kitchen tools, letting students compile the information in a presentation and teach each other the materials!  This easily became a template that I could share with my students via Google Classroom, keeping entire presentations together. Since students had to orally, present their term or tool, I could grade as they presented, making my life easier at the end of the day!  

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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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One “Pot” Pourri Meals with Edible Flowers

Years ago, I took a class on edible flowers with my local extension office. Not only was it pleasing to the eye, but it was tastefully pleasant as well! Recently, I was reminded of edible flowers when meeting up with a former student and dear friend; Ashten Swartz. She shared with me that she developed recipes for GRIT magazine around the theme of edible flowers…you’ll find her recipes linked below! Anyway, one thing led to another, and we ended up getting together to experiment with edible flowers in one-pot meals. Ashten developed the below recipes and I must say they looked and tasted amazing! I plan to share these with my students in hopes that they utilize edible flowers in some of their recipes as they experiment in the kitchen.

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Design a Salad Bar: TableScape Project

Face it! There are just some food topics that are difficult to have a lab associated with them. Sometimes it’s because of the cost, the logistics, the equipment or the quantity/variety of foods you’d have to purchase in order to make the lab happen. When this happens, I try to do some kind of unique project in place of the lab. So, below you will see how I make the best of teaching about salad bars with a tablescape project in lieu of an actual foods lab. What are some unique assignments or projects you do in place of labs? Share in the comment section below.

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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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You Be the Dietician–Breakfast Foods

Do you teach an Advanced Foods and Nutrition class?  Looking for a rigorous assignment for students who have a strong understanding of the nutrients? You are in luck as Nikki Heflin, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher of Indiana shares this breakfast lesson, several lab ideas and concluding assessment, placing students in the role of the dietician.  Check out her lesson below!

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Exploring Pasta

Pasta is one of my all time favorite units to teach in my Foods unit! Pasta is so easy, versatile, and economical that I feel every student should know how to prepare before they leave high school! I always tell my students that they will never go hungry if they know how to cook pasta. Use the provided slide to navigate through a variety of resources to learn more about pasta as your students complete this assignment and work their way into the lab.

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Cheese Balls Pantry Raid Lab

Cheese balls are often associated with parties, holidays and potlucks! But why limit them to just those events? I get to a point in the year when I have “a little of this and a little of that” leftover from other labs and taste tests. So I decided to have a pantry raid lab and have students make “cheese balls”. All I had to do was buy a block of cream cheese for each group and provide some parameters for the challenge. See below for more details.

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