Salad Daze

Hi there, Adventurous Young Chef!

It’s warm here in sunny Southern Cal, my favorite time of the year for SALADS!  You might think that salads are not “kid friendly,” but you would be very wrong.  Yesterday in cooking camp we made a total of five different salads, just to make sure that everyone would like at least one of them.  Even avowed salad-haters loved the Watermelon-Mint-Goat Cheese salad, but most everyone else adored the Nicoise with Tarragon Vinaigrette, the sundried tomato pasta salad with red bell peppers, the Roasted Baby Beet Salad with Lavender-Honey-Lemon goat cheese and toasted pecans… Oops, almost forgot about the mixed baby greens with strawberries, feta and toasted hazelnuts. We talked about how bottled dressings are never as delicious as homemade, and then my adventurous student chefs created  their own signature salad dressings from over twenty different oils and vinegars! (Remember how you used to love making “potions?” This was similar, only with more delicious results!)  You can imagine what delicious combinations came out of quality ingredients like Blood Orange Olive Oil, White Peach Balsamic (see my post on We Olive to find out where to get that!),  Aged Balsamic, Champagne Vinegar, Orange Muscat Vinegar, Fig Balsamic, Basil Oil and more… not to mention the Asian inspired dressings with sesame oil, rice vinegar, peanut butter… Have YOU ever tried to make your own salad dressing?  If not, I think you should!  Here are some photos of my Session 2 students with their creations… Oh, before you sit down with your salad, don’t forget the crusty baguette!!  Bon Appetit!

Little Feet in the Kitchen chefs make signature salad dressings in the outdoor kitchen

Our Nicoise-in-progress... before our Tarragon Vinaigrette - delicious!

The Fry Girl Comes To Camp

Wow – what a day!  This morning, a pink truck pulled up in front of the Little Feet in the Kitchen summer cooking camp, and The Fry Girl herself got out!  That’s right, founder Shelley Beals was our special guest chef in camp today, to the delight of not just the cooking students, but to Jennifer’s neighbors as well!  Within the hour, the scent of warm sugary doughnuts was wafting through the streets of Studio City, rousing neighbors for samples of the warm mini-doughnuts in flavors such as Vermont Maple, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Raspberry and Oreo Cookie, to name a few!  Shelley showed the kids how she makes her incredible doughnuts and explained how she got her start cooking at her family’s home in Canada growing up.  She was gracious, lovely, and we can’t wait to see her again… like maybe at my next birthday party?  Here are a few photos of Shelley with her amazing machine which can make up to 1200 mini-doughnuts in ONE HOUR.

Little Feet in the Kitchen campers with The Fry Girl Inc. founder Shelley Beals

Here’s a peek at her very cool machine…

You can only imagine how happy we were after all of those delicious doughnuts!  After we said goodbye to our new favorite person in the world, we headed back inside to begin our day of Marvelous Meringue.  On the menu today?  Ile Flottant with Salted Caramel Sauce and Toasted Almonds.  Check it out…

Ile Flottant with Salted Caramel Sauce & Toasted Almonds... an ode to Thomas Keller, our hero

To see more photos of our day with The Fry Girl, click on the FACEBOOK icon on the left and become a fan!  To learn more about cooking camp for kids, email me… Jengardner@roadrunner.com

Remember, this is the cooking camp for ADVENTUROUS YOUNG CHEFS.  No kid food allowed!

Bon Appetit!!

Blood Orange Curd Meringue Pie

Hi everyone!

We are getting ready for another great week of cooking camp!  In the meantime, I wanted to post a photo of a pie that we are submitting to KCRW’s “Good Food” Pie-A-Day contest.

We had just created a batch of blood orange curd to pipe into tartlets when we had the idea of turning it into a blood orange curd meringue pie!  Of course, we could have eaten the blood orange curd on its own with a spoon with no problem, but the KCRW contest called for an actual pie.  Our creation was even more luscious with mounds of that gorgeous cloud-like meringue piled high on top… When we took it out of the oven, we let it cool, then grated a bit of blood orange zest on top, though we later realized that dark shaved chocolate would be even better!  Here is a look at my adventurous young chefs with our gorgeous pie, which I just submitted to the contest.  Wish us luck!!

Little Feet In The Kitchen cooking students with Blood Orange Curd Meringue Pie

Stay tuned to find out what this week’s students create…  and Bon Appetit!

Field Trip To Big Sugar Bake Shop

Welcome to my blog for adventurous young chefs!  At Little Feet In the Kitchen, campers ages 5-11, or ages 10-14, make awesome dishes like Tarte Flambes, Blood Orange Curd Tartlets, Gnocchi di Patate, Chilaquiles & more!  We simply don’t believe in “kid food” — there is way too much good food out there to be eating dinosaur chicken nuggets!

Today was the last day of Session 1 summer cooking camp 2010… We started the day with a field trip to the Big Sugar Bake Shop here in Studio City where owners Mary Odson and Lisa Ritter gave the class a lesson in baking science, a chocolate tasting (yum), and a behind-the-scenes tour of their awesome kitchen where we got to see how they make those delicious cupcakes & other baked goods!  The campers even got to frost and decorate their own cupcakes, which they took home in Big Sugar Bake Shop boxes.  Later we made custom candy bars and chocolate lollipops, then packaged them up with cello bags, ribbon and custom-made chocolate bar wrappers to take home.  Oh – we even got to take a quick dip in the pool… how many cooking students get to do that?  Check out this photo of session 1 campers outside Big Sugar… you can bet we’ll be back really soon!  FOR MORE PHOTOS, CLICK ON FACEBOOK ICON TO THE LEFT & BECOME A FAN OF LITTLE FEET IN THE KITCHEN!!

waiting to go inside our favorite bake shop

Iron Chef Day @ Little Feet in the Kitchen Cooking Camp

Welcome to the blog for adventurous young chefs!  I created this site so that kids who love to cook can get together online, share recipes and talk about food.  Check in often to learn about new recipes, contests, prizes and more. Happy Cooking and Bon Appetit!

Can you imagine how much fun I am having, hanging out with 9 wonderful cooking students, ages 7-12, this week?  I have been joking that the secret ingredient for today’s Iron Chef contest was going to be anchovies, but in the end, it was….

LAVENDER!!!!

Lavender shortbread cookies with tangerine zest & lavender sugar

Team B made the cookies above, which were divine, as you can only imagine.  What do you think Team A made? Sure, they talked about lavender creme brulee, lavender tuile cookies, even a lavender omelet (!), but in the end, on this very hot day in Studio City, they decided on…

Lavender-vanilla bean ice cream with fresh lavender, chocolate sprinkles & a simple syrup of lavender-vanilla to pour over the top

The simple syrup isn’t shown in this photo, but it was gorgeous, trust me.  So here’s how the judging went… for Originality, Team A(ice cream) won out, for Taste, Team B (lavender cookies)… however, for Presentation, it was a tie, which means that the winner was… BOTH TEAM A AND TEAM B! That’s right — it was a tie.

Team B - Lavender Cookies!

Team A - Lavender-Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tune in next week… what will the secret ingredient be next?

I Olive You

Welcome to the blog for adventurous young chefs!  I created this site so that kids who love to cook can get together online, share recipes and talk about food.  Check in often to learn about new recipes, contests, prizes and more. Happy Cooking and Bon Appetit!

I AM GETTING SO EXCITED about starting cooking camp on Monday here at Little Feet in the Kitchen! The first day of camp is “Cupcake City,” and we’re going to make some really cool cupcake toppers, along with some delicious butter cream, royal icing and more.  On Tuesday, the folks from Evan Kleiman’s radio show “Good Food” are coming to visit us, which is such a big honor — we can’t wait to show them how we make striped bass in a salt crust with lemon-herb vinaigrette! (Check out “Good Food” at  #mce_temp_url#)

As with any vinaigrette, the trick to making it extraordinary is in the quality of the olive oil… you want to use the very best extra virgin olive oil you can find.  Which is what I wanted to talk to you about.

Several months ago, I was in the charming little town of San Luis Obispo when I discovered a little olive oil boutique called We Olive. I purchased some aged balsamic vinegar as a gift for my husband (the We Olive Collection Balsamic $32.90), and because I am insane for blood oranges, also had to try the Blood Orange Olive Oil ($12).  Incredible!!!  Even my son Kellen was shocked at how delicious a simple salad of fresh arrugula could be with just a drizzle of that olive oil, the sweet aged balsamic vinegar, and a bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  We couldn’t get enough, and the olive oil was gone before we knew it.

Now that cooking camp is starting — and because I am going to do a whole day of salads — I wanted to share this delicious olive oil with my campers.  I discovered that We Olive not only has a nifty website where you can order all of their delicious treats, but they have 8 boutiques in California!  Though I had a great experience in San Luis Obispo, I decided to check out one a little closer to LA, which happened to be Long Beach.  When I called, the owner was so lovely (he had a lovely accent to boot), that I wound up purchasing not just the Blood Orange Olive Oil, but their award-winning White Peach Balsamic Vinegar as well.  I know that I could have just ordered online, but did I mention how NICE and HELPFUL he was? He even called me back to tell me he could get it to my front door earlier than expected!  To me, that’s huge.  Not only that, but We Olive cares about the environment, too — you can take your bottle back to be refilled with their fresh, delicious olive oils for a discounted price!  Please check them out — I have a feeling you will love them as much as I do. And as much as I love you 🙂 You can call We Olive in Long Beach directly at (562) 433-8000, or go online and take a peek at their selection…

That’s all for now… I promise to keep you posted as to the happenings at Little Feet in the Kitchen summer cooking camp in the upcoming weeks.  Happy Summer!!