When I ask my students what they or their parents typically make for supper, I get a lot of similar responses. Most tell me they make and or eat whatever is easy, comes out of a box, comes out of the freezer, can be made in the microwave or picked up from a fast food restaurant on the way home. It’s so sad that convenience foods are so heavily relied on instead of preparing foods from scratch. This is one of the reasons I like teaching about casseroles! Not only are they easy to make, include a variety of foods and nutrients, but they can be made in advance, put in the freezer for future meals and convenience and because they get us in the kitchen cooking and using a lot of staple ingredients from the pantry. Way to go casseroles!
Doing a unit on fish and seafood can be expensive so most programs leave it out. I had the privileged of working at a high school with a fish market adjacent to the school. We took a walking field trip to the fish market for a demonstration of how to select and cook fish. This was an awesome opportunity for students and helped mitigate the costs to the culinary department. With a little creative thinking, you maybe able to incorporate a seafood unit into your culinary program.
Looking for a guilt free, low calorie, alternative to pasta that will surprise your taste-buds? Look no more! Spaghetti squash is one of those best kept secrets that needs to be shared! Not only is it easy to prepare, but versatile too. So what are you waiting for? Swap out that pasta for spaghetti squash and encourage your students and their families to try experiment and try something NEW.
Thinking about some new ideas for middle school labs got me to thinking about a lab I did early in my teaching career when I taught a foreign foods cooking class. At the time we were studying French cuisine and the lab was making homemade CREPES. Initially I was intimidated by crepes because they looked too difficult and fancy, but after working through some demonstrations with my students I found they really were a lot easier to prepare than they looked! Crepes are basically really thin, delicate pancakes filled with a sweet or savory filling. Since I know teenagers love desserts and chocolate is a favorite filling, I thought I would explore a recipe that would combine the two popular ingredients along with fruit and work a creative crepe lab back into the curriculum.
One of my favorite things to do with students are taste tests. They absolutely love it if they are brave enough to give it a try. So many students never get the chance to try different fruits unless their parents expose them to them. Bring on this lesson that will be sure to be some students’ favorite.
Just in time for the Superbowl, this super easy appetizer is not only delicious, but a crowd pleaser too! The idea came from a local restaurant that serves something similar as an appetizer, however they make their own potato chips instead of using waffle fries. That’s definitely an option for the ambitious cook who wants to mess with a deep fryer on Superbowl Sunday.
After studying various cuisines from around the world students use technology to create their very own restaurant. Students decide on the type of cuisine they want to serve, the style of restaurant, the location, menu items, menu style & layout, and create a commercial. This is a project based unit incorporating 21st century skills!