Such a thrilling finale to our Cooking Through Asia week: rolling our own sushi rolls!These middle-school chefs showcased their knife techniques by chopping a rainbow of fresh veggies into thin matchsticks-- perfect for rolling up into sushi!Our chef teacher Andi demonstrated four different ways to roll sushi: Maki, Inside-Out, Nigiri, and Hand Rolls!Everyone enjoyed their own unique, edible creations and made enough leftovers to bring home and share with family members.For the final sweet treat of the week, we made Chocolate Mochi Cupcakes with sweet rice flour and Ghirardelli chocolateStudents loved whipping up this easy batter, spooning it into the tiny muffin tins, and watching them bake in the oven.What they loved even more was EATING the chewy, fun texture of these little chocolate mochi cupcakes! Camp staff absolutely loved cooking with this group of chef campers and hope they all have a delicious rest of the summer, and maybe preparing some of the dishes we made this week! Bon appetite!

View today's Japanese inspired dishes, here!

Our morning cooking session was spent exploring the beauty and bounty of Indian cuisine.Chef campers were smelling and getting familiar with the myriad of spices used in Indian dishes, such as: turmeric, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and coriander!Their attention to spice content, vegetable chopping, and flavor building paid off in two delicious recipes: Chickpea Curry and Biryani Rice! Also, the heat of the spices was perfectly paired with a cool, refreshing Mango Lassi drink.After becoming knowledgeable in spices, we created our own Chai spice blend for our dessert cooking session!A blend of cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves gently added some warmth and depth to our mini cupcakes! Check out today's Indian recipes, here!

Day One of middle-school Baking + Pastry week was just like an episode from the show "Great British Bake Off!"These chef-campers got straight to the first baking challenge: Irish Soda Bread!After learning about this "quick bread" and its special leavening agent, the magical ingredient of baking soda, our groups mixed together the dough, shaped into rounds, scored the tops in order to... as the Irish say "let the fairies out", and sprinkled with seeds!Warm out the oven, this hearty bread was a lovely addition to a delicious chickpea kale soup. Baking challenge one, complete! Lunch day one, complete!Our second baking challenge of today's "Great British Bake Off" episode was the classic British dessert called Sticky Toffee Pudding. The students mastered the making the date-filled batter, scooping it into the tins, baking to perfection, and creating a toffee sauce for drizzling on top. What a winning combination in both flavor and texture! Congrats little chefs!

View today's British baked good recipes, here!

Today's Tasty Travels: Taiwan! In our journey around the Pacific, we visited the small but mighty island nation of Taiwan today! Using our well-honed knife skills, we sliced, diced, and chopped up some seasonal veggies to make a filling for some dumplings.

Once our fresh veggies were sauteing in a pan - and smelling so fragrant and delicious - we began work on making and rolling out our dumpling skin dough.

 

We worked hard to roll the dough thin enough to be toothsome, but not chewy, and thick enough to hold in all of our fillings - what a fine line!

We formed our dumplings in so many shapes! We also colored our dough with some natural food coloring - turmeric for yellow, paprika for orange, and a mixture of kale and cilantro for green.

YUM! We ate them allllll up! BUT! We didn't stop there. No visit to Taiwan would be complete without a nice cold cup of fruit boba tea, with chewy tapioca pearls. We mixed our tapioca starch with some hot water, mixed it up, and shaped our pearls.

Such abundance! After a quick boil on the stove, our pearls got soft, clear, and chewy.

To complete our delicious beverage, we blended up some mangoes and peaches into a fruity slush, placing our fresh boba pearls on the bottom of our cup.

Thanks for a delicious day, Taiwan! If you're feeling adventurous (and we hope you are!) see our recipe page and try your hand at homemade boba tea!

Day 2 of Cooking Through Asia landed us in Korea-- a land of delicious and nourishing foods. Chef campers received extensive knife and cutting demonstrations this morning. Their skills and attention to detail were showcased in the perfect piles of chopped produce: matchstick cucumbers, diced onions, half and quarter moons of mushrooms and zucchini, strips of baked tofu, and ribbons of rainbow carrots!Each child had the opportunity to express their creativity through plating their own bowl of Bibimbap-- a Korean dish known as "mixed rice". What incredible colors, textures, combinations, and flavors these bowls had! The lunch table was such a beautiful sight: lemon balm and chamomile iced tea paired with empty bowls of what was Bibimbap!In the afternoon, we explored the multitude of gifts the "coconut" gives us! From locating the hole, creating a incision and spout, draining out and saving the water, carefully cracking the shell, removing the white meat from the shell, thinly slicing the meat into "chips", toasting them in the oven with salt, combining the coconut water, coconut milk, and lime juice into our ice cream machine, and serving up a refreshing cup of slushie coconut sorbet!

Today we "traveled" to Thailand, for the inaugural day of our week-long session: "Cooking Through Asia!" After a morning spent getting to know one another, touring the kitchen and campus, and reviewing our five day menu, these new batch of middle-school-age campers went straight to the chopping block.Knife safety and chopping techniques were introduced through slicing a variety of vegetables. Our goal was to create thin matchstick shapes, necessary for fitting into neatly rolled fresh spring rolls. Campers enjoyed dipping the dry rice paper sheets into warm water to create a pliable, edible wrap. A complimentary dipping sauce was whipped up to dip our rolls in a pool of Asian flavors: fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, ginger, and garlic!Pictured here, our "chef teachers" are finishing their groups' Pad Thai dish over the woks' high heat. Our hungry little YUM chefs absolutely loved the taste of fresh tamarind in this warm noodle dish! For the afternoon cooking session, mango and coconut were the shining stars of this dessert dish. The sticky rice was drizzled with a sweet coconut milk-based sauce and topped with freshly chopped mango slices.

For today's Thai recipes, check them out here!

We had a delicious week here in the Y.U.M. Chefs kitchen! We ended the week with a Fancy Taco Fiesta and some delicious, caramelly, homemade Dulce de Leche em-"pie"-nadas.

We honed our knife skills by making some tangy mango salsa:

 

In order to make our nachos, we had to start by making tortillas from scratch! We mixed up our masa, pressed our tortillas, and cooked them a la plancha!

We woke up our palettes with some herbs and spices, grated some cheese, and made some hearty nachos!

We finished out the day with an oh-so-special batch of homemade dulce de leche, which we stuffed into mini-pie shells.

Que Rico! So sad to see these students move on from our camp, but glad to know they'll be moving through the world with ever more culinary curiosity! See you next year!

Oh how we explored the culinary spectrum of eggs today! From breakfast, to lunch, and in dessert, these YUM Chefs got to work with eggs all day.For our "breakfast for lunch" edition, we prepared cheese, onion, and chive soufflés by vigorsly whisking egg whites and gently folding into the yolk mixture and then sending them off to bake.Students chopped a variety of seasonal produce to layer into their frittatas which began on the stove and finished in the oven-- and off their plates!Chef teachers showed students how eggs can be used in dessert by cooking up a fresh batch of crepes. Toppings included, lemon and sugar, chocolate sauce, and a berry compote!We all can agree that today was an egg-cellent day in the YUM Chefs kitchen!

Enjoy today's egg-centric recipes, by viewing (and cooking, later) them here!

Back for another day cooking in the YUM Chefs kitchen, our student campers headed straight to the cutting board to practice, refine, and try new knife techniques. The thin, matchstick shapes of the veggies were a perfect filling for today's lunch: Rainbow Sushi Rolls!Each student rolled a variety of different styles of sushi including: Maki (seaweed on the outside), Inside-Out roll (rice on the outside), Nigiri (sculpted mound of rice with a veggie centerpiece) and a hand-roll (similar appearance to an ice cream cone). What incredible skill these middle-school students have!Look how beautiful these rolls look (and imagine how delicious they taste!)For dessert, we had a fun time using sweet rice flour in our baked treat: chocolate mochi cupcakes!The chewy, sweet consistency of these cupcakes was a major hit amongst the campers (and the staff!). We couldn't get enough!

View today's  Japanese inspired recipes, here!

Day two of Cooking School 101 involved the impressive task of making pasta from scratch!Our flax seed-speckled pasta dough was entirely prepared by the campers! The dough was assembled during the first hours of the morning and by lunch time, our kitchen was full of pasta dough cranks, sheets of pasta, and a variety of shapes and sauces!Three groups created three shapes: angel hair, Pappardelle, and Farfalle (bow-tie); and three sauces: traditional tomato sauce, roasted red bell pepper, and "Cacio e Pepe". What a lovely aroma and atmosphere to cook and eat in!In the afternoon cooking sessions, summer fruit hand pies were made, assembled, baked, and eaten. Students practiced their knife skills in slicing peaches and plums, as well as, baking techniques such as chilling and rolling out pie dough.We love teaching and learning alongside these inquisitive little chefs! Bon appetite!

Check out these Italian inspired recipes, here!