Kids Cooking Birthday Parties

As many of you know, Food Jules teaches at some local schools as part of their After School Enrichment Program. Food Jules also offers Kids Cooking Birthday Parties for those that are celebrating birthdays. This has been a growing area for us as many kids are looking for fun, new ways to celebrate their birthday. It’s a great opportunity for them to enjoy designing their own party from picking the theme, menu and being the top chef!

kids cooking cartoon

These parties are a lot of fun and a great way to introduce more children to the benefits of preparing and eating real food, especially for those kids that don’t go to our local schools and aren’t involved in our after school curriculum.

The themes and menu options are endless from Lasagna Rolls, stuffed with fresh ricotta, mozzarella and spinach from our Tutto Italiano party, to these Maple Oatmeal Scones from our English Tea party and Quiches, Waffles and Pancakes from our Breakfast All Day party. Plus, Food Jules always uses all-natural, whole grain, natural ingredients.

Maple Oatmeal Scones

We have designed many fun themes for these parties and you’ll find all this information here on our website, in our Cooking Classes section. If your child or the child of someone you know, is interested in hosting a Food Jules Cooking Birthday Party, we’d love to hear from you.

Sun equals Happiness

Finally, we are enjoying some warm weather and sunshine!!!

spring sunrise

I have to admit, it has been a very, very depressing last few months. Winter started back in October and really didn’t end until last week, so it’s been a solid 6 months of cold, dreary, snow filled days. I am done and ready to welcome the chirping birds, the sunshine on my face and most importantly, my flip flops! It feels so good to not have to bundle up in a coat, socks and my winter boots anymore. I don’t know about you all, but when the sun is shining, my face is smiling! Welcome, SPRING!

Our spring session is starting in our after school enrichment programs and our theme is Celebrating the Gardening Season, because as you all know, springtime also means its time to clean up that home garden and plant those seeds. We’ve already started doing that here in our home. The kids are so excited, as am I, to start seeing the vegetables grow and the plants, trees and flowers bloom. It is my favorite time of year.

garden pics

Hope you all get some time to enjoy the beautiful, warm, sunny weather. Here’s to new beginnings!

Chicken Pot Pie

In one of our After School Cooking Programs, we are learning all about Comfort Foods. The children are having so much fun filling up their little bellies with warm, nutritious and absolutely delicious foods from Turkey and Bean Chili to Pasta Fajioli, Morning Glory Muffins, Buttermilk Biscuits and Corn Chowder, just to name a few!

chicken pot pie 2

Well, in yesterday’s class, we made Chicken Pot Pie. OH MY! It was so scrumptious that some of the kids were licking their plates, seriously, I saw them. I don’t blame them, I had a tiny bite of the bottom of the casserole dish and wanted to lick it all up myself.

chicken pot pie

First of all, this makes me so proud. Some of these students have really become expert little chefs and they have all grown such an appreciation for good quality, fresh food, I just love it!

This recipe for Chicken Pot Pie is superb, so easy to make, just please be sure you make the pie dough from scratch, like we did. The recipe for the Homemade Pie Dough is so simple, just five ingredients from your pantry. It literally takes just a couple of minutes to put together and it makes all the difference in these recipes. Besides, the list of ingredients in the store bought pie dough is a mile long, many of which I can’t even pronounce.

pie dough

I know you will all enjoy this recipe and you too will be licking the bottom of your plates!

P.S. If you are a vegetarian, you can easily substitute the chicken for other vegetables such as mushrooms, cauliflower or broccoli and it will taste just as good!

Italian Wedding Soup

When it’s cold and snowing outside, I like to fill up my belly with a warm, savory bowl of Italian Wedding Soup, a true comfort food.

wedding soup

I love this soup, it is one of our favorites! My friend Lisa introduced me to it a couple of years ago and I’ve since made my own adjustments to it. For example, instead of using the traditional escarole, I use chopped frozen organic spinach. It’s easier and full of iron and fiber. I also add beans to my soup. I really enjoy a nice hearty soup that can suffice as our entire meal. I guess you could say it closely resembles a minestrone soup with mini meatballs.

italian wed soup

For the meatballs, I keep them light and healthy, by using ground turkey instead of beef and adding grated onion, carrots and zucchini. This keeps the meatballs so moist and full of flavor. I use this exact same recipe for traditional meatballs that I cook with marinara sauce. Absolutely delish!

meatballs

If you’re gluten free, you can substitute the whole wheat bread crumbs for brown rice bread crumbs and the regular pasta for corn pasta. If you’re vegetarian, you can substitute with tofu meat or omit them all together. Your options are endless.

This soup is a winner in our family and in my Food Jules classes. The kids enjoy it so much that they ask for it each semester. It makes me very proud that they are so excited to eat such a nutritious meal.

Hope this delicious soup warms you up on this cold, winter day.

Welcome back Food Jules students!

It’s back to school again! The Winter 2013 session of our Food Jules After School Enrichment Programs has begun.

kids cooking cartoon

The holidays are finally over and we’re all back to school, yippee! Our winter session started up again this week at local schools. It was such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces again and some new little ones too. The students are all wonderful, full of excitement and so eager to learn (and eat)!

We have a fun curriculum planned for each of our schools. For the new ones, we’re “Creating My Plate”, learning how easy and fun it is to eat all of our five food groups. Students are learning how to create a healthy, fun and delicious meal using simple ingredients, building their own “plate” filled with vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy items.

myplate

 

In another school, we are cooking around the world, enjoying different cultures and cuisines. Students will be creating global dishes, exploring the food and culture of a different country each week from the United States, to Cuba, England, Portugal, Italy, India, Thailand and the Middle East. All the while, learning healthy eating habits and fostering a love of wholesome food and cooking.

pad-thai

Back in our home town classes, we will be enjoying cooking comfort foods that warm our tummies during these frigid, cold days. We’ll make hearty soups, chili, lasagna, muffins and even pies. Each week, this hands-on class will teach students the skills necessary to make these wholesome, savory meals, packed with tons of flavor and nutrition.

minestrone

So, a warm WELCOME to all of our students, both sous-chefs and executive chefs!

Food Jules in Action

Food Jules volunteered again this year, at the Minds in Motion program. MIM is an enrichment program, a fundraiser, to help support the Connecticut Association for Gifted Children. Food Jules offered Healthy Cooking workshops for grades 2-3. It was a fun filled afternoon. A special thanks to all the parents and students that volunteered to help us make this a successful event.
Here is a short video clip and photos of the event yesterday, on the Monroe Patch.