by Jolene Adams, coordinator, LLCC Culinary Institute
This week the campus of Lincoln Land Community College will be filled with chatter from hundreds of kids attending the annual College for Kids summer camp. There are many programs for kids of all ages, from art and science to reading and culinary.
I look forward to teaching baking to the young chefs. It is surprising how much they know about food compared to what I knew at their age. I was fortunate to grow up cooking and baking, but my experiences barely compare to some of the food knowledge of today’s 11-year-olds. Kids today watch cooking shows on the Food Network, search for creative food ideas on Pinterest and look up how-to videos on YouTube. They no longer have a need for a cookbook; they can Google a recipe for anything.
Watching cooking shows on television and how-to videos online are great for learning some basic knowledge; however, they don’t compare to hands-on experience in the kitchen. Cooking and baking are skills that take practice to master, and those skills are slowly being lost. With all of the convenience of pre-packaged foods, a plethora of restaurants and a busy lifestyle, it is easy to skip cooking at home and just grab something already made. Today, schools face tight budgets and many have cut food classes from their offerings. Kids now more than ever need to be in the kitchen to learn the basics of cooking and baking. Plus, it’s a great way to spend some one-on-one time with kids.
Here are a few simple, fun and tasty recipes to make with kids of all ages. They require minimal ingredients and are a snap to put together. The After School Cupcake is one of my favorites. It is so easy, makes one cupcake at a time and uses the microwave.
Strawberry Yogurt Bark
Yield: (1) 9×13 pan
*16 ounce container of your favorite yogurt, plain or vanilla flavored works best
*2 ounce bag freeze-dried strawberries
Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave overhang around the edges. Spread yogurt in bottom of pan. Top with strawberries. (Freeze dried strawberries have the best texture; however, you can use fresh or frozen but they will add moisture and may become soggy when thawed.) Freeze for 1 hour, break into pieces and serve cold.
Peanut Butter Banana Quesadillas
Yield: (1) 8 inch
*1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
*2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
*1 banana, sliced
*1 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips
Spread the peanut butter over the entire surface of the tortilla. Layer banana slices on half of the tortilla. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the banana slices and then fold the tortilla in half. Cook the quesadilla in a skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown and crispy on both sides, 1-2 minutes on each side.
Yield: (2) 6 ounce glasses
* Ice cubes (about 1 cup)
*1 tablespoon kosher salt
*1 cup fruit juice
* Fresh fruit (optional)
Place ice and salt in a gallon size freezer bag. Place juice in a smaller quart size bag, press out all the air and seal tightly. Place bag of juice inside the bag of ice and seal. Shake for about 3-5 minutes or until juice is partially frozen and slushy. Pour slushies into cups, garnish with fresh fruit if desired and serve immediately.
After School Cupcake
Yield: 12 servings
*1 box angel food cake mix
*1 box cake mix (any flavor)
*Candy sprinkles (optional)
*3 tablespoons water
Mix dry cake mixes together and store in air-tight container. Put 1/3 cup mix into a coffee cup or mug. Optional, add sprinkles. Stir in 3 tablespoons water and mix thoroughly. Heat in microwave for 1 minute on high. Caution, mug will be hot. Remove the mug from the microwave immediately and remove baked cupcake from the mug.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org