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.
I didn't really discover the versatility and deliciousness of squash until recently. I am not a fan a cooked zucchini or yellow squash, but butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash are my new faves. I like keeping it simple and started off by roasting the squash in it's skin at a high temp in the oven. I lightly spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before baking. Once squash are soft to the touch I know they are ready. It's cool to see the caramelization around the edges which just makes the squash even more flavorful and sweeter. This recipe uses the squash as a base for a quinoa salad. This is a healthy meal that is super filling and nutritious. Quinoa has lots of fiber and protein making it a great substitute for animal protein. You could try this using butternut squash instead of acorn, but acorn are just so cute!
These pancakes are moist and tangy. The trick to making pancakes look good is being patient with the batter on the skillet. Wait for large bubbles to form on top before flipping. Another key is to use a dry measure cup to pour the batter. In this way you should get pretty consistent-sized pancakes. Topped with the homemade berry sauce, this makes for a perfect weekend brunch/breakfast. Click on the recipe below to get a printable view.
Fresh, warm bread is a simple pleasure. It calls for few ingredients, but the results can be amazingly delicious. This week we are making focaccia bread which some people think of as thick pizza dough. Not quite. It's really like a bread of its own. It's oily and flavorful from the toppings and can be eaten as-is or dipped in soups or used as sandwich bread. I love that it bakes in a sheet pan and looks cool cut up into squares in a bread basket.