by Sheridan Lane, interim director, culinary program and operations, Lincoln Land Community College
As many of us are probably taking the time to tackle some spring cleaning during our shelter in place, I too am cleaning out drawers, closets and stored away totes in preparation for a move we have planned for July. The best part of the extra focused time for cleaning and organizing has been uncovering old memories and long forgotten treasures.
One that made me chuckle this week was my first cookbook. I cannot remember whom I got it from, but I was fairly young. I do remember it was something all mine. I could read it by myself. I could complete the recipes with little to no help, and I quickly found that what I made could make people smile.
I certainly haven’t strayed much from the kitchen since then and very much enjoy passing that on to the next generation. When our teenage daughter wants to make homemade waffles from scratch (not the box) or my nieces and nephew come over and want to set up a “restaurant” or help me make something in the kitchen, I relish in their early attempts in hospitality. While we haven’t mastered the motivation to clean up afterwards, the time spent doing something together is always very special to me.
As I was doing a bit of reading in preparation for this article, I came across a few additional resources (that I know were not around when I was a kid) that might be of use if you have a child in your life that has an interest in the kitchen:
Finally, assuming our new routines will return to normal in the future, additional fun culinary and baking activities for aspiring chefs are the cooking classes offer through LLCC’s Culinary Institute during College for Kids.
Below I have included two fun snack recipes that can be made getting the littles involved and are tasty treats everyone can enjoy. From all of us here at LLCC, please continue to be safe and healthy at home.
Caramel Chocolate Nougat Bars
20 soft fresh dates (400g), pitted
1/3 cup (95g) smooth natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (30g) puffed brown rice (Rice Krispies)
1/2 cup (70g) unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cups (80g) 60-70% dark chocolate
1. Line a bread loaf tin with non-stick baking paper
2. Place the dates, peanut butter and vanilla in a food processor and process for 2–4 minutes or until the mixture comes together into a paste. Transfer to a large bowl, add the puffed rice and peanuts and mix to combine. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of the loaf pan.
3. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, microwave in 30 second increments stirring after each time until melted. Pour the chocolate over the mixture and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate for 20–30 minutes or until set. Remove from the tin and cut into bars using a hot knife. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or keep bars refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
4, 2oz squares vanilla almond bark
1 T. vegetable oil
1 microwave bag of popcorn, popped
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
Pop 1 bag microwave popcorn according the bag’s instructions. Placed the popped popcorn in a large shallow bowl.
In a small microwave safe bowl, combine almond bark with vegetable oil. Heat and stir in 30 second increments until the almond bark is thoroughly melted and smooth. Once melted, drizzle over the popcorn and gently fold the almond bark and popcorn together to coat the popcorn. Sprinkle the warm popcorn with the cayenne pepper and kosher salt. Fold together a few more times and then turn the mixture out onto wax paper. Once cooled, it is ready for snacking!