I remember when traveling in Spain being super disappointed in the churros. They were definitely not like the kind we get at Costco or Disneyland. They were crunchy, skinny and dense and not very sweet. But they were authentic to Spain. These are very "Americanized" churros and they are not hard to make. You can even make the dough a day ahead and store it in the piping bag in the fridge before using. Then you can fry up fresh churros for dessert.
We eat black beans about once a week in my house. I make a large pot once every three weeks or so and freeze jars of black beans so they are always available for a no-prep, ridiculously inexpensive and super healthy meal. I make my beans with garlic, chile peppers and onions that are roasted in oil in a hot oven first and then blended into the beans as they cook. I add ancho chile powder, cumin, and kosher salt. I try to jazz up the way we eat the beans. Sometimes it's with brown rice, other times it may be with eggs and tortillas or even black bean soup (adding chicken stock and blending it all together). But I may have some beans left that aren't enough for another complete meal. These gorditas are a wonderful way to use those beans (or left-over shredded chicken or beef). Making the gordita dough is easy and can be made up to two days before using. Just be sure to keep a moistened towel on top of the dough and wrap it well with plastic wrap. Once you get the basics down of making the gorditas, you can change up the fillings - including things like seasoned cilantro, cabbage and pickled onions. Salty cheese is a must - like cotija or queso fresco.
I don't know too many kids who love squash. In fact, it's a hard sell in my house. But, if covered with a rich sauce and a juicy meatball, suddenly the squash doesn't seem so bad. Spaghetti squash is fairly flavorless and is so fun to work with. When cooked, it shreds and resembles spaghetti (sense the name) which is why pairing it with sauce and meatballs sounds so perfect. Try this. You will not be disappointed.
I am confident that these students had fun planning, prepping, mixing, baking, eating and displaying these cookies for our annual cookie contest. Three periods were involved in the competition and there was one winner declared each period. The winners enjoyed a Starbuck's beverage of their choice:) and cookies were judged by members of our Luther staff. The winning cookies were a: peppermint cookie sandwich with homemade vanilla ice cream (Sarah, Alexis and Isabel); a cocoa macaron (Evie, Sydney, Valerie and Abby), and a snowman coffee cup cookie (Jasleen, Sofia, and Katy).
Our second annual "Dinner with Friends" event happened last Friday and by the accounts of my catering kids it was loads of fun (and a TON of work:). Parents, students and friends gathered in rooms 602 and 701 to eat food that had been prepared throughout the week by periods 1, 2 and 4. We served spaghetti and meatballs, manicotti with garlic cream sauce, Italian slaw (romaine lettuce was unavailable due to the E. coli breakout), garlic bread, tiramisu and pumpkin cheesecake. It was lovely and super impressive to see middle schoolers waiting tables, serving, and cleaning up!
These are so much better that traditional s'mores that use store-bought graham crackers, a piece of chocolate and store-bought marshmallows. The brownie center makes these bars stand out and adding homemade marshmallows would make these bars feel even more special. Making marshmallows can be a bit tricky. It's important that you use a candy thermometer and that you let the mixture get to the right temperature. Once you make a large batch of marshmallows you can store the left-overs in an air-tight container for a month. They are wonderful on hot cocoa and are a spectacular topping for Thanksgiving candied yams. Click on the recipes below to get a print/full-page view.
This breakfast casserole is super filling, easy and tasty. If you pair it with a side salad it makes a great lunch or dinner meal. Or serve it with toast and some fresh fruit for a lovely brunch. It can be assembled the night before and baked fresh in the morning. This is great to have on hand during the holidays and you can always change up the types of cheeses and meats you use.
This week students had the opportunity to create their own pasta dishes. They first learned some commonly used noodle types and sauce ingredients. Then, with their kitchen, they scoured the internet for inspiration. Most students followed a recipe they found to sound appealing but some modified and created something uniquely them! On Friday, all pastas were reviewed by other students in the class in a Collaborative Food Review activity (like a cooking show) whereby the pastas were rated based on their taste, presentation and adherence to a recipe (did they follow the steps). I tasted about half of the pastas and honestly, what I tasted was really good! Below are their dishes.