Tag Archives: teaching

Mediocre Muffins and Voting for the best!

These muffins here are not mediocre!  They are fantastic.  You can find the recipe for them here

What we did yesterday as a demo and today as a lab was mediocre.  I really was questioning whether or not I should blog about this lab, but my students convinced me that I should share my opinion about the new Duncan Hines whole wheat muffin mixes.  So here goes. 

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FLUFFY PANCAKES

A little artwork here!

A little artwork here!

Just the smell of bacon and pancakes is GOOD!  The taste is even better.  It was a great day in the laboratory.  I love it, the power of “teacher persuasion”.  It is so funny sometimes how you can put a firecracker under students to get them motivated.  All of them worked so diligently today to beat the clock and they did!  Congratulations on a job well done.

I have tried many recipes for pancakes and coming from a make from scratch kind of cook this is not easy for me to say, but BISQUICK pancakes are the best. You can’t seem to go wrong with a little Betty Crocker.  I have been using this recipe for about 20 years in the classroom.  It is almost foolproof.  Alas, read my last paragraph and you can mess this up.

I used their website on my smartboard to show the recipe and to give tips for making pancakes.  It is a great way to start a demo.  I use a teflon skillet that will cook six pancakes at a time.  Along with this we discussed the labels on two different kinds of bacon and discovered how misleading they can be.  Who would have thought that companies would try to get us to purchase their product by fooling us????

As you can see from the photos they all turned out great.  To add a little extra each group invited an adult guest.  You know what that means–they have to talk!  Oh, wait they can do that well.  Table conversation with an adult is quite different.  It was all good though.  I was impressed.

One little”oops” that turned into a great learning experience.  I tasted a group’s pancakes that were quite horrible. I questioned them and “no ma’m we did not measure incorrectly .”  BUT looking at the box of Bisquick brought from home lo and behold the use by date was 2007. What can I say?   They made another recipe quite hurriedly and they were very good.

Another great day in my cooking world,

The Teacher Cooks

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Easy Danish – Our 2nd LAB

Easy to make!  Taste YUMMY!
Easy to make! Taste YUMMY!

Today was a learning experience all about judging cooking time.  The inexperienced cook has no conception of cooking time when it comes to baking.  In other words we had some Danish today to get a little on the “brown”  side.  BUT…It is all about learning.  Next time the little angels will know to check after 30 seconds when they aren’t quite ready and not wait two to three minutes. The majority of the Danish were very good. 

 

I did have to head  straight to the gym after tasting twelve of those yummy melt in your mouth  sweet things that go right to your hips.

While you are here  take a look at what we  cooked up in the kitchen today. 
Pictures are posted after the recipe.   The recipe  appeared on the Bisquick box awhile back.   Try it out!  EASY DANISH!!!
Easy Danish
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fruit pie filling

Icing

  • 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 T milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  If using dark pan decrease by 25 degrees.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.  Add 2 T sugar to Bisquick.  Cut in margarine into Bisquick with a fork.   Add milk and stir until blended.  Place a heaping tablespoon on the cookie sheet placing each mound  about 2 in. apart.  Makes 12.    Make a well with a spoon in each mound.  Fill with about a tablespoon of your favorite fruit pie filling.  Bake for 12 – 14 min. until lightly browned on the edges.   Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with milk  adding a little at the time .  Being careful not to get the icing too runny.  It should be thick enough to drizzle from a spoon.  Drizzle on top of the Danish.  Serve hot.  

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Blueberry Muffins – LAB DAY!!!!

Great muffins and a cute card

Great muffins and a cute card.

 The first lab of the semester is always interesting.  I never know what to expect.  A very quiet shy body can turn into a firecracker in the kitchen.  I’ll see a leader emerge in each group or some may look at them as “control freaks”… whatever…it is the in charge person.  Anyway, I find it quite interesting to watch the meshing of  personalities that in the end want one thing-  MY STAMP OF APPROVAL.

So was today a good lab day?  One of the best!  Problems were few – 1 glass broken, 1 oven turned off instead of on, 1 oven left on, some dishes washed in cold water, and some muffins a little too brown.  I cannot complain! I think that we are off to a great semester of cooking.  

Just take a  l00k at these amazing picture of muffins that were made by future chefs, cooks, family meal planners, or better yet OUR FUTURE.  It is just the tip of the iceberg and we are in for a treat!!

Just a note here.  I got a message yesterday on Facebook from a former student that said “I thank you everyday for my culinary skills!”  Of course I don’t take credit.  I just gave her a little nudge, she did the rest.  Things like that are so good to hear.  It makes me feel like I make a difference  and that is why I am….

The Teacher Cooks

Enjoy the pictures from “CHEFS IN TRAINING”

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Muffins and Getting to Know Your Kitchen

Lemon Poppyseed MuffinsToday was the first demo of the semester.  I made muffins from a box. ” Why?”  So you think I  should be making these from scratch.  I will later. This is a great way for the students to get to know who they will be working with, get familiar with their kitchen and figure out exactly how they will be graded.  They all want to make the perfect product and are most eager to hear what I have to say after I taste!!  

Notice that one of these muffins is really peaked!!  I promise I did not overmix them.  I am guessing that I put a little more batter in than I should have.  The rest are rounded as they should be. 

The first lab of the semester is always interesting.  I have a great variety of students some of which cook everyday and others that have only had the experience of eating in a kitchen. 

Will be posting pictures of tomorrow’s  pieces of work!!! Until then,

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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MEASURING INGREDIENTS

OK THIS COULD BE A BORING SUBJECT.   But it is necessary to those who have never stepped foot into the kitchen.   Believe me I have seen almost every kind of mistake that can be made by measuring incorrectly.  So I am giving you the basics here.

Measuring can make or break a recipe especially when baking.  Even a small ingredient such as salt  makes a big difference.  On the other hand if your are making spaghetti sauce  or something similar you can vary amounts of ingredients or leave some out all together and the sauce will still be tasty.

Measuring Liquids  – Liquid measuring cups come in various sizes. They should be glass or plastic with a pouring spout.   For those who have never measured ingredients pay attention to this small detail, when measuring 1/2 cup of a liquid do not measure it in a 4 cup measure.  The smallest amount you can measure is 1 cup.  Measure liquids at eye level.  Don’t measure liquids in a dry measuring cup!!

 

Measuring Flour

  • Use dry measuring cups
  • Sift if necessary or stir to add air if packed
  • Spoon lightly into a measuring cup
  • Level with a straight edge
  • Do not scoop flour out with the measuring cup or measuring spoon. You will almost  DOUBLE the flour you need. 

Wax paper is a great to use  on the counter when measuring because you can pour the leftovers back into the canister. 

Powdered sugar should be measured same as flour.

Brown sugar should be packed into a dry measure.

Use measuring spoons for small amounts of ingredients and level.

Shortening can be measured in two ways:

  • Pack into a dry measuring cup
  • Water Displacement method:  if you need 1/2 cup shortening measure 1/2 cup cold water and add shortening until the water level is 1 cup.  Keep shortening under water by pushing in to stick to bottom or side. Drain water.

Remember that measuring correctly is the key to great baking!!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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