Friday, November 14, 2014


I can't even say that word without creeping out. But it's a term for a new way to cook a turkey. Quickly. And it's crispy. I don't have strong hands. But you might. Check out this clip.
How to spatchcock a turkey,AAAAAF4roOA~,_cZ2T95wYIp0j187CVXHi8tizeesnEnZ&bclid=0&bctid=3849082201001

Ok- any interest?
I still like to do it the other way!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Appetizers in a cup

                                                Mini 7 layer Dip

Slaw on bottom, Fried Chicken on top!

Vegetables in bread cups

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kitchen Magicians - PLAYING WITH FOOD

My little darlings from my summer cooking class created some great looking items -
We made crabs, snails, bugs, caterpillars and a toy scooter-
The scooter was not easy. One little darling was determined to make it work. She got it constructed- check it out! So funny....

Here is a picture of what she wanted to make ~

And here is her product ~

And here are other creations :

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lake County Fair- Illinois

Rock Candy

I decided to try making rock candy at home before having the Kitchen Magicians try it. Really good idea as it took so much longer to make than what I read and saw on You Tube.
I supersaturated the sugar; 3-1.

And stirred till it was all liquid. I added my food coloring and flavoring- I made an orange kind and the second one, I liked the colors but didn't have any mint or other appropriate flavoring.
I poured it into a bowl and all the directions said, cover it with foil and let it sit for 48 hours.

Two weeks later this is what I got:
I am tipping the bowl so you can see some crystals but there was much more liquid still in the bowl than there were crystals.

I also made an orange kind- that one sat for 3+ weeks. It worked much better but it certainly took longer than 48 hours!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cooking Adventures

I am finishing the fourth week of the 5 week Adventures in Learning Program in District 36.
It has really been fun- more so than last year because this year I knew I was teaching the class 11 months before it happened. Last year, I knew I was teaching it 2 days before the first day.
Some of the many new things I introduced this year was "Play with Your Food Day'-
so I found these pics on Pinterest and thought, let's see what the kiddos could do.
Here are some of the pictures I got off Pinterest:

Chocolate Pudding Pops

Snails and Caterpillars

Hot Dog Mummies

Crabby Apples


                                                      Rock Candy



The Pretzel bites were easy. And simple. In fact, most things we made each day were completed quickly in our 40 minute period. So I often had to find something else to fill the 15 or 20 minutes that were left. For example, the Chocolate Pudding pops were easy for the kids to prepare but then we had to freeze them overnight so while it took 12 minutes to make the pops, we had so much time left. ( Something I learned from last year). What makes it even more challenging, is the fact my periods usually have 18 children- and they range in age from 6 to 11!
Here are some of the pics  of the things the children made from the pictures I found on Pinterest.


celery bugs

   Snail- we made with can cheese because of PB alleriges- it was easier to use too. For the eyes we used peas.

 The SCOOTER! I had 3 girls who wanted to work on creating the scooter- and this was the best  picture- because she didn't give up. Others complained their wheels were crooked ( because they didn't cut them right) or they couldn't get their pretzel rod to stay in place. Well, it's not the most appetizing looking thing, but she did it- she got it done. Such perseverance for a little second grader.
    In the background you can see a plate of the popcorn they voted to make. So many recipes/ideas out there and all 4 periods voted to make Chocolate Marshmallow Popcorn. And it was very good!


And the Crabby Apple ~
Not Bad- and in most cases, I gave them no direction. I just told them to see what they could do. I was so impressed.
And then there was the rock candy- big disappointment. When I looked at the recipe for the above end result, I realized it would work given my work environment. I hunted for another recipe and found one with a You Tube video. I had big trouble getting it to crystallize. I went to Chowhound to ask for advice.
First step is to supersaturate the liquid and I did. Then it is to be put in a foil lined bowl and cover it and let it sit. Over night. WEll, I had to let mine sit for two weeks and this is what I have:
But I can't get it out of the bowl. You need to use a bowl with an easy slope.

I tried it again.

I covered it and let it sit.
And seven days later, this is what I have~
Some crystals but !!!! This is taking too long...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chicago themed menu

From Designed Cuisine ~


Chicken Lo Mein
Wonderful blend of Chicken, Sno Pea, Carrot, Straw Mushrooms, Scallion
and Lo Mein Noodles, stir fried in our Medium Spicy Szechwan Sauce
and served in a Red and White Chinese Carryout Container
along with Chop Sticks
Chicken-Spinach Potstickers
Served with Chili Mint Sauce
Miniature Egg Rolls
Served with Sweet and Sour and Hot Mustard Sauces

Click for enlargement
"Little Italy"
Tri Color Radiatore Pasta
with Grilled Chicken, Julienned Red Pepper, Wilted Spinach Leaves
and Pine Nuts, sautéed in Garlic and Olive Oil
Slices of Deep Dish Cheese, Mushroom and Onion and Sausage Pizza
Spicy Wild Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Frittata
Miniature Italian Beef Sandwiches
with Sweet Peppers, Hot Giardinara Peppers and Pepperoncini Peppers
"At the Parthenon"
Souvlaki Kebobs
Served with Shredded Lettuce, Diced Tomato and Onion, and Tzatziki Sauce
Village Salad
Sliced Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion and Green Peppers, Kalamata Olives
and Cubed Feta Cheese, tossed in Horiatiko Vinaigrette


"Chicago Style" Red Hots
Served on Freshly Baked Poppyseed Buns
Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, Pickle, Sport Pepper, Sauerkraut and Diced Onion

Miniature "Slider®" Burgers
with a Dollop of Ketchup
Nacho Chips
Served with Jalapeño Nacho Cheese
Cracker Jacks®

"Chicago’s Sweet Tooth"

with Novelty Ice Cream Bars
Miniature Cheesecake Cups
Assortment of Homemade Turtle and Cheesecake Brownies and
Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Chip, M&M®
and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Fortune Cookies
Chicago-Made Candy
Baby Ruth®, Tootsie Rolls®, Jolly Ranchers®,
Milk Duds® and Fannie Mae Candy®
Fresh Fruit Display
Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon, Pineapple,
Red and Green Grapes, Strawberries and Kiwi