Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Tuesday had a little bit more planned than chopping carrots. We started off the same as Monday; getting the cutting boards, and knives set up for finishing off the carrots. It wasn't long before the full carrots had deminished. Next came shocking. Staci, and Alexis set up by the kettles, while Orlen and I drained the water from the carrots. One kettle was heated while the other was filled with ice. After Orlen and I got all the carrot slices in dry containers we brought them over to Staci and Alex for shocking.
First they would cook for a few minutes, and then they would be moved to the cold water to stop the cooking process. Orlen and I quickly took over shocking duty and Alexis and Staci began cryovacing them.

We finished off the day testing pizza again, we also brought out the lemon tarts that the group had yet to try. They were a success but the crust is going to need a different recipe.


Monday was somewhat of a long day. We prepared the kitchen with green and white cutting boards to cut about 100 pounds of carrots. It started off slow but cutting the carrots sort of became an art. We knew this was only the first step but cutting the carrots took up most of our day. Before we knew it time flew by and it was 12. Jamie, and Megan had begun cooking pizzas for tasting. We were done with the carrots for the day but it wouldn't be the last of them. We stopped cleaned everything and placed our cutting boards and knives back in the storage closet.

When the pizzas were ready we test tasted them. We were finding the best crust, and sauce. I think the majority winner was Sauce 2, Crust 2.

Monday, June 28, 2010

6/25/10 Sweet and Spicy

Megan, and I were paired up for recipe testing day on Friday. Our first project was the Lemon square bars which included items such as whole milk, all-purpose flour, eggs, lemon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and confectioners' sugar. We started off making the crust which was then placed in the fridge. While it was cooling we mixed everything else to make the filling. We removed the crust and placed it in the oven, and let the filling cool down. We'd put the filling in soon.

Next we got our barbeque sauce going... For which I got all of the ingredients together; onion, garlic, vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, honey, beef stock, ketchup, dry mustard,  worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. We cut the current recipe in half so it seemed our ratio might have been off a bit (a terror to come). Megan had the beef stock boiling as I sliced, and measured everything else out. We finally mixed the ingredients together and let it cook. When we tasted it, it was quite bitter, and left a weird after taste. Not the best recipe in my opinion.

We went back to finishing our lemon bars. I held the oven open as Megan poured the filling over the crust. Next was the Pasta Primavera which aside from the Linguine called for: olive oil, vegetable oil, snow peas, broccoli and cauliflower flowerettes, red and yellow pepper (we only had red), a baby carrot, shitake mushrooms, fresh basil leaves, fresh chervil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Megan got the noodles cooking as I sliced the mushroom heads, cut the flowerettes from the broccoli and cauliflower, and readied everything else. We got everything sauteed, emptied the linguine into the pan after turning the heat off, and let vegetables and noodles mixed together. We added the sliced basil, and the parmesan cheese at the end.

Last came our vegetable stir fry which was supposed to have pork but we didn't have any. Megan mixed the orange juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, hoison sauce, and everything else that would be needed or the sweet and sour sauce as i cut the carrots, and broccoli. We cooked the carrots, and broccoli and finished it off with the sweet and sour sauce.

We tested everything partially in between and then at the end. We then cleaned dishes, mopped and swept the floors, and cleaned and sanitized the counters. The day was great.

6/25/10 3 "Wonderful" Recipes

On Friday, Ms. Jamie and I worked together to make three wonderful recipes. Quesidillas, Watermelon Salsa, and a Black Bean Dip.

We started with the Watermelon Salsa. Which included lots of watermelon, onions, anaheim chile, balsamic vinegar, and garlic salt. Our other recipes included some of these ingredients, so we had to cut up enough to be used again. Next was the black bean dip. The dip was pretty simple; it included black beans and frozen corn.

Last, but not least were the quesidillas. The ingredients were basically the same as the Black Bean Dip. There was red pepper, chili, onion powder, corn kernels, and shredded cheese. Once we got all the ingredients together we made the quesidillas.

When everything was done it was time to clean. There were a lot of dishes to wash, then there was the sweeping and mopping of the floor, and finally wiping down the counters. I was the runner helping with everything until the job was done. Friday was a very busy, and successful day!

6/25/10 Blueberry cobbler, crisp, and strawberry shortcake.

On Friday Rhonda and I made blueberry crisp, blueberry cobbler, and strawberry shortcake. For the strawberry shortcake we made biscuits that had a little hint of sweetness and hand cut the strawberries and mixed with sugar and served them on a plate usually were supposed to put a dollop of yogurt or cool whip on top, but we didn't have that available. We taste tested it and it was good. Blueberry cobbler vs. blueberry crisp. Our second and third recipes were blueberry cobbler and blueberry crisp. The cobbler had a cinnamon and whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, and corn starch. But with the crisp we used honey, oats, brown sugar, and lemon. The difference in ingredients prove to be much needed texture that the cobbler didn't have. The blueberry sauce was just an sauce to go with meat. We didn't have any, so we didn't get to taste it. We used sugar, corn starch, water, cinnamon, and blueberries. We stirred them until they became a sauce.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Carrots Carrots Carrots!!6/24/10

Yesterday was a very fun yet busy day. The carrots came in and we went to Student Services which was held by Susan Gale. There were lots of carrots to be washed and stored away, but with team work we got the carrots done in no time. First we had to pull the stems off of the carrots and make sure there was no dirt in sight on them, then they were put into a bucket which was filled with water and put into the refrigerator. We started washing carrots until we went over to Student Services with Mrs.Gale. Over at student services, Staci, Anthony, and I got packets which will help us prepare for any career we plan on pursuing in the future. Ms. Gale was really nice and explained to us how to speak during a job interview, things that shouldn't be done on the job and are considered rude, and even how to write letters to supervisors and people we plan on working with in the future. After we got back from Student Services, we finished the carrots and made sure the kitchen was clean after we were done. The carrots are now stored away in the refrigerator until further usage.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pizza Dough Making and more 6/21/10

On Monday at SLU we had a busy day doing lots of different things. We made the pizza dough for our recipe testing day on Friday, cleaned the kitchen with the powerwasher, and finished cyrovacing our blueberries. We needed up with a grand total of 105 pounds of blueberries. Great job guys! :) Making the pizza dough was pretty simple there were three recipes using the same ingredients, but different amounts. One recipe used sugar the other didn't, and one used whole wheat flour, but at the end of the day our dough didn't rise long enough. So back to the drawing board. Maybe we will have better luck tomorrow when we remake the dough. Everything wasn't all fun and games though, we had to do some dirty work. I didn't get to do the powerwasher, my coworker Anthony told me it was alot of water but it was pretty fun. With the cryovac, we weigh everything by the pound, so with our blueberries we put 5 pounds in each bag. Once the blueberries are in the bag they're put into the machine flat the air is vaccumed out and the bag is sealed. After all the blueberries were sealed, we labeled each bag and put the blueberries in a crate to go in the freezer. We will use these blueberries for cobblers and a blueberry sauce for our MRH menus this coming year.

Blueberry Picking :) 6/22/10

Up early to be picked up at 7:30... Thar's right, another round of blueberry picking. Everyone was in the van, Jamie, Megan, Rhonda, Staci, Alexis, and I, well everyone except for Leif who was in Boston. The Farm we were going to this time was about an hour away Huckleberry Hollow in St. Clair Missouri. Seems like the other students and I passed out during the trip. When we got there the farmer gave us buckets that had the amount of quarts written on the side, now it was time to start picking. There were way too many beetles to count, knocking our bunches as we picked. Buzzing filled the air each time. There were many more places to pick here from the other farm, and many varieties of blueberries. It begun pretty warm but got extremely hot, though it progressively got warmer. The sun became annoying, as I starved for shady places to pick though I couldn't really seem to stand still. In the end Rhonda and Megan picked the most berries giving us a grand total of 41 quarts. We were even picking with less people and were only 6 quarts short of our total from last time. We gathered all of our berries to be taken back and took a picture with the farmer. To our surprise it turns out he graduated at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blueberry Picking 6/17/10

We the student workers, our bosses Jaime and Rhonda, and Millie Chair person of the HELP grant; all got up nice and early to go blueberry picking at Reinhardt's Berry Patch in Alhambra, IL.

The sky was covered in clouds, and it was raining the entire trip there. By the time we got to the farm the rain had come to a "temporary" halt.We met the farmer, who got us set up to start picking. They gave us boxes to place the blueberries in, and canisters with rope to carry on our necks to carry the berries we pick then dump them into the full boxes. The weather was really nice when we started picking; the air was cool, and the sun was covered by the clouds so it wasn't hot. All was well even as the light showers began. Then things got worse, the rain picked up, and formed into a downpour. Stacy, and Alexis were the first two under the tent. Leif was next, and I followed with our full box of blueberries, not wanting to stop empty handed. Our clothes were soaked. After a few minutes I took off my hoodie, grabbed another basket, and started picking again. After a while the rain quit, and the day was nice again. Soon after that another distraction appeared; the neighbor's dog. His name was Toby, and he wanted to play. We pet him, and played fetch for a little bit, and tried to get back to work. At the end of the day we came out with a haul of blueberries. We had almost 50 quarts!

During the next few days the blueberries had been cleaned and frozen in a single layer so they wouldn't stick together. Friday we took them out to cryovac them and freeze for use in MRH school lunch next year.

Italian Sasuage 6/18/10

    We made home made Italian Sausage as a step toward integrating homemade pizza into the  school lunch  menus.  We took ground pork added some yummy spices and watched it simmer over a low heat.  We continuously kept it moving and flipping to ensure that it wouldn't have any opportunity to burn.  Once it got a little brown we cranked up the heat and still never let it sit in the same place.  We made sure to slice it with our spatulas as we cooked it so it could be sprinkled over pizza as a topping.  Once it was that perfect brown we took it off the stove and we were ready for a taste test, and man was it GOOD!  The kids having it on their pizzas are LUCKY!  We are also testing pizza sauces.  We are doing so by taking gutted (only the shell) Roma Tomatoes and mixing them with those yummy spices we mentioned before, we let the stew of tomato shells and spices simmer over a medium heat and it slowly broke down into a paste that smelled like heaven.  We used about 13 pounds of Roma's to make our two different options of sauces.  One was a tomato basil , and one was your original fresh tomato.  Both award winning in my opinion.  There is no doubt, these pizza's are going to be a hit!

Here's our recipe, make some Italian Sausage in your kitchen, today!
Serving: 1 
4 ounces ground pork
1/2 garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cracked fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground Spanish paprika

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cook until brown.

Mint Lemonade- 6/15/10

Last Tuesday at SLU we all made lemonade, homemade mint lemonade. Anthony, Staci, Leif, Ms Rhonda, and I all went over to the Nutrition Food Lab to make lemonade for the Maplewood Farmers Market that happens every Wednesday at Schlafly Battleworks. First we had to find fresh lemons but unfortunately we didn't have enough, so we found fresh squeezed lemon juice which was very helpful. On the first try the lemonade was perfect, but we had to think about everyone else's taste buds and not just ours. It was a little sweet so we added more lemons, and at the end of it all the lemonade turned out perfect. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

2010 Recipes from Home Winners

The second annual Recipes from Home contest wrapped up with the end of the school year. Recipes from Home is designed to give kids input into the school lunch menu. They submit recipes that use local produce, which are then judged by Les Dames d'Escoffier, a group of female chefs in St. Louis. Five recipes are chosen to be cooked in the test kitchen by the student and chef.

These recipes are then taste-tested in each MRH school and voted on by the student body.

The 2010 winners are:
First Place - Josh's Awesome Applesauce by Josh Golberg
Second Place - Fruit and Spinach Salad by Ethan Steingruby
Third Place - Carrot and Grape Slaw by Ramaneshwer Ghandi
Fourth Place - Lemon Ginger Green Beans by Race Simmons
Fifth Place - Not Your Grandma's Spaghetti (Squash) by Ellie Lunte

Congratulations to all our winners! Each of these recipes will be featured in the MRH 2010-2011 School Lunch Menu. All 5 recipes are up on the HELP website at