Camp Make It & Bake It in City Kitchen!

Food is fuel. And so much more!

Cooking involves science and creativity. It requires patience and working with your hands.

The ability to make good food decisions is one of life’s most important skills, but that doesn’t mean learning and working with food can’t be fun!

City Kitchen is partnering with Megan Haupt, of Hungry Education, to bring food and fun to the focus for Camp Make It & Bake It.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Children aged 6-11 can still be registered for this Culinary Camp inside the Reading Terminal Market. Camp runs July 11-15 from 9am-1pm and has an engaging curriculum that will keep your child hungry for life (but not hungry).

Pizza Pizzazz Monday

Campers will arrive at City Kitchen and will spend a few minutes getting to know Megan, the rest of the staff and each other!

We will go over the camp and kitchen rules before we begin our first food science lesson: yeast & gluten with pizza dough.

Before the Market gets too crowded, we will take a small tour of the market. Today we will focus on the meat and cheese sections.

Campers will then make and eat their pizza.

At the end of each day, campers will write and reflect in their provided journals.

Wacky Veggie Tuesday

Campers will start off the morning making smoothie popsicles!

We will then head to the produce section to pick out some wacky fruits and vegetables. The ones that look the wackiest often taste the best!

We will then prepare for lunch: fresh salad with homemade biscuits and lemonade.

Campers will then prepare a homemade salsa.

Time for journaling.

Pastry Party Wednesday

Campers will start off the morning making cupcakes.

We will then head to some of the Market’s pastry shops to get some creative inspiration.

We will prepare the kid-favorite lunch: Macaroni & Cheese

Campers will then learn some frosting basics before they get to decorate their own cupcake.

Journal time

Super Science Thursday

Food science activities: gelatin & starches

Campers will make juicy spheres with gelatin

Making ice cream uses a lot of muscle! The treat will be well-deserved.

Lunch: wraps

Campers will make glow-in-the-dark slime and then break for journal time!

Finale Friday

Campers will start off the morning making cupcakes, this time, in preparation for their finale project: a styled cupcake display

We will take some time to plan out our display dioramas then break for lunch

The afternoon will be designated for completing the display. We will leave some time for pictures and journaling!

Register here to give your child a fun and foodtastic week they will be sure to remember!

Advertisements

Renaissance Women Michele Haines joins us in City Kitchen

Chef Michele Haines of the Spring Mill Cafe creates beautiful and tasty french-inspired dishes. Food, however, is just one of Michele’s passions.

Haines continues to jet-set her way around the world, bringing flavors and stories back to the Philadelphia region. Her philosophy stems from connections between food, literature and art.

We reached out to Michele to see if she had time to talk and share some of her wisdom, but we weren’t too surprised to find out she was out of town. Via email she told us, “I am far away in Iran cooking my way through pistachios and saffron!!! I am south of Tehran in the desert.”  

Still, she was able to answer some of our questions through email and it made us even more excited for her story-telling brunch class on June 12.

City Kitchen: When did you realize that you wanted the culinary arts to be part of your career?

Michele Haines: I realized the potential of the impact of food as a tool for peace and communication after creating literary dinners and travel log dinners in my house in Germantown while I was teaching at GFS.

CK: When did you start cooking and who was your first teacher?

MH: I started cooking with my grandmother in France, she was my teacher. I never went to culinary school, I am self-trained. I was a professor of Spanish and Cultural Anthropology. I went to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island as a graduate student in Slavic Studies.

CK: The Spring Mill Cafe seems to be more than just a cafe or restaurant. What inspired you to make the Cafe a community space?

MH: I became bored with academic life so I opened the restaurant in Conshohocken. The Spring Mill Cafe at the beginning had 5 tables and was only  lunch service. I had $500 in my pocket!!

CK: You’ve talked about your time growing up in France. What made you decide to settle in the Philadelphia suburbs? How has your cuisine changed since you’ve moved to the US?

MH: I do not think the cuisine has changed very much. I was raised believing in local food , fair-trade, and no chemicals, balanced diet of fruit, vegetables and a small portion of meat or fish and good cheeses. My life now is divided by programs in Philadelphia and programs all over the world, cooking and telling stories, from Russia to Cambodia to Hawaii!

Michele seems to be an all-around life-lover!  Follow her on Instagram @chefhaines and make sure to sign up for this exciting, delicious class!

“Chopped Challenge” Heats Up City Kitchen

Three Reading Terminal chefs faced off for some friendly, food-network-style competition on Saturday, May 21.  Guests were lucky enough to sample dishes from Chef Bobby Fisher of Molly Malloy’s, Chef Jason LeDee of Pearls Oyster Bar and Chef Careda Matthews of Kevin Parker Soul Food Cafe.

The mystery basket was filled with a dragon fruit from Iovine Brothers Produce, fresh duck from Guinta’s Prime Shop and a chocolate covered onion from Chocolate by Mueller.

Once things got cooking, the smells brought in the crowd.

IMG_3839

The chefs had 30 minutes to prepare the entree, meaning guests had 30 minutes to salivate in anticipation.

 

IMG_3868
“Careda’s Caribbean Cabbage” waiting to be plated

 

 

IMG_3871
Jason LeDee plating up beautifully

At the end of the day, judges scored the dishes on plating, taste and the use of mystery ingredients. Careda’s creative, Caribbean flavors won her the challenge.

Careda said at first she was fine with the duck, but the chocolate covered onion and dragon fruit, “threw me off.” She admitted that dragon fruit can often be bland and it takes some effort to bring out any flavor. She used sherry and some of the caramelized chocolate covered onion to enhance the dragon fruit’s sweetness.

She used thyme, allspice and turmeric to season the duck and she used the onion in the cabbage slaw. She said, “cabbage is a go-to vegetable in the islands.”

Careda will be back in City Kitchen on September 24, 2016, to cook a Caribbean-American fusion brunch. Tickets are available now.

 

 

Notes on Recipes & Cookbooks

Recipes & Cookbooks

Cookbooks are collections of recipes. But what makes a good cookbook? Here are some of our tips when it comes to identifying a valuable cookbook.

A good cookbook is one you aren’t afraid to use. 

While high-quality pictures and glossy paper are ideal for coffee table books, a cookbook needs to be able to take some heat. Literally.

A good cookbook includes different cuisines and flavors.

A go-to Italian or French or Chinese cookbook certainly has its place, but every home needs a cookbook that incorporates different styles of food. Novelty plays a big part in being excited to cook and to eat.

A good cookbook accounts for access. 

Today, we have access to more ingredients than ever before. Still, a cookbook should account for regional and seasonal changes. A really good cookbook will help you find specialty ingredients not available in basic supermarkets.

A good cookbook has a narrative. 

A cookbook can read more like a novel when the author connects the recipe to a time or place. When creating new recipes, with new flavors and ingredients, you get the opportunity to be part of the storytelling.

And of course, a good cookbook has yummy recipes. 

The Reading Terminal Market Cookbook has all of these elements. It is easy to use and read. It incorporates different flavors and cuisines and tells the story of the historic Reading Terminal Market.

An amazing cookbook comes with a live demonstration class. 

On June 2, join authors Ann Hazan and Irina Smith in City Kitchen to learn how to prepare Market favorites from their new edition of The Reading Terminal Market Cookbook.

Samples include appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert. Whether for a family dinner or entertaining friends, Ann and Irina will take you step by step in preparing an impressive and delicious menu. An autographed Reading Terminal Market Cookbook is included in class price.

Tickets are available now

The best Phans have the best Phood

Pretzel Dogs

It is hard to read the word “tailgate” and not get excited about nicer weather and finger-licking good food.

Classics like dollar dogs, peanuts, and traditional soft pretzels always make the ballpark experience, but when the family gathers in front of the TV, it is worth trying to “up-your-game.”

Join us in City Kitchen at noon on April 9th, for a free demonstration and learn how to upgrade ballpark basics into something really worth smiling about.

Get ready to do the twist and the chicken wing with the best dancer in Philadelphia, the Philly Phanatic.

Rob from Giunta’s Prime Shop will show us how to make boneless stuffed chicken wings that will be perfect for your next tailgate! Learn how to make them yourself using ingredients from the market or buy them fresh from Giunta’s!

foodie.gif

Also, Roger from Miller’s Twist will be showing us how to wrap ballpark franks in delicious pretzel dough just in time for the Phillies home opener on Monday, April 11th.

IMG_3659.JPG

This will be a family (and taste bud) friendly event. Can’t wait to see you there!

 

5 Reasons Your Family Should (Sometimes) Stick to Scratch

Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines may have their place in the kitchen, but when it comes to family time, sticking to scratch can have advantages. It can take more time or effort, but it is important for children to interact with their food.

It’s beautiful when your kids can see that a meal is greater than the sum of its parts– just like your family.

Ambrosia Food Group gave us 5 more reasons to consider ditching the mix when making food with your kids.

  1. More time = more bonding.

Recipes can be difficult. They can sometimes be hard to visualize or time exactly right. But what better way to bond as a family than to overcome a challenge?

Pro Parenting Tip: Are you mixing in ingredients one at a time? Are you creating the perfect gourmet sandwich? Start an assembly line and get the whole family involved! All of you will have contributed to the yummy finished product.

2. It is empowering.

Kids live a life of being told what to do and when to do it. Their food options are often dependent on when food is ready– or worse, they rely on the snack drawer full of processed food. Give your kids the ability to turn nothing into something. It is a lesson they can take far beyond the kitchen.

Pro Parenting Tip: It can be difficult, and it may not work with every child, but try making food shopping a treat for your kids.  Let them pick out a few vegetables on their own. This way, they will be more inclined to participate in the actual food preparation. They will be able to see something through from start to finish.

3. It makes math fun.

When your child goes to school, they will learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.  But doing these equations on a worksheet does not highlight real life application. When you prepare recipes at home, your children can double them, cut them in half or use a smaller measuring cup multiple times. If only every math problem had a final solution so yummy and delicious…

Pro Parenting Tip: If you have an ample amount of time and want to challenge your kids, try “losing” your bigger measuring devices like a cup or a tablespoon. Let your kid work through the math in their head.

4. Taste buds can fuel creativity.

School art and music programs are being cut left and right, but part of being a child is having access to creative expression. We all have to eat, so why not make the kitchen a canvas?

Pro Parenting Tip: In reality, you just aren’t going to cook every meal or every baked good from scratch. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on being creative.

Make sure you have ingredients like vanilla extract and cinnamon to add to your sweeter items.  For savory creations, let your child add a small amount of fresh herbs and spices. These little tips will help make boxed items seem, well, less boxed.

5. Julia Childs said, “no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

Sometimes we fail. It is human. But in the kitchen, every mistake is a lesson for next time.

*****Super Pro Parenting Tip***** : Sign your child up for an Ambrosia Kid’s Sunday cooking class. It is a social and educational way to jump start your child’s passion for food.

 

Kid’s Classes run every other Sunday and are available for children aged 6-11 and 12-16. Join us April 10th for our chocolate making classes! 

Kids in the Kitchen

Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment and creativity. — Guy Fieri

Some of us remember helping in the kitchen as a kid. We remember the messes and the smells and the tastes– and the love.

Others may not have such experiences. The kitchen may bring flashbacks of worried warnings: “beware of this and don’t touch that!”

Regardless of our backgrounds, we all hope to instill our children with important life skills. Nothing could be as important as fostering a love and respect for food.

Real life prevents us from including our kids in every meal. Sometimes we just need to get the chicken in. the. oven.

City Kitchen is running a series of Sunday cooking classes for kids. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage childhood independence and enrich the entire family’s passion for food– while making the mess in someone else’s kitchen…

Want to learn more?  Join City Kitchen this Sunday for our Meet, Greet & Eat to get to know the chefs from Ambrosia Kitchen and snack on some delicious samples.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.