Kitchen Notebook: Mini Italian Frittatas
The fall, 2019, semester of My Daughter's Kitchen kicks off with a power-packed spinach and egg frittata.
La Salle Academy
This past Wednesday was our first class this semester for My Daughters Kitchen. And what an ambitious group we had! Once they decorated their aprons, they were anxious to get right to the recipe. While Joseph Louden was decorating his apron, he thanked us for taking the time to teach this class. Boy did that make our hearts swell!
The frittata was an absolute hit. They cleaned their plates and were excited that they all had leftovers to bring home.
— Maureen Barrett and Mariann Owens
Lewis Elkin School
Due to a communication mixup, students at Lewis Elkin were not reminded to come to our class this week. However, one very enthusiastic and energetic student, Genesis Tenorio, remembered and bounced into the kitchen ready to cook! Although onion chopping was intimidating, Genesis jumped in and performed every step of prep, cooking and cleanup. Asked how she liked her first dish, Genesis said, “I LOVE it!!” She finished her frittata and happily brought the five other frittatas home to share with her family.
— Bette Begleiter
Community Partnership School
On the first day of cooking class some of the students were surprised by the actual size of the knife that they were going to use. Joseph Hale seemed a bit apprehensive initially but then successfully julienned the basil. Skyy Butler cut an onion without crying. Amiya Henderson made lemon water and helped cut the fruit. (We had a special side dish of some fresh-cut strawberries, bananas, and blackberries to accompany the frittata). Kayla Sills was our dishwasher. She eagerly took on the task of cleaning all the dishes.
Imani Heath folded the napkins in a very special way to make our table setting look wonderful.
Four new vocabulary words were learned that day:
Mise en Place
The kids were a blast.
— Barb Henderson and Denette Stetler
Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences
“The onions almost made me cry. I loved eating the cheese. I also liked mixing the eggs.” -Mariedwil Rodriguez
“My favorite [part] was shredding the cheese and sauteing the spinach and onions.” - Eliyanny Gomez
— Tijuanda Riddick, Jaclyn Cruz and Teresa Leedie
“Another year, another excited group of students ready to join the Comly Culinary Kid team. It starts with the cookbook and the ohs and ahs of the recipes. Followed by the announcements of, “I don’t like”.
We look over the first recipe with excitement. They are hungry and are happy that all the ingredients are familiar and tasty! McKenzie Hughes and Audrey stepped up to chop the onion. McKenzie Hughes said, ”This was my first time chopping onions. I thought I would cry but I didn’t!”
Joshua Matthews volunteered to saute the vegetables. He said, “This is the first time I have ever cooked spinach. I can’t believe how all that spinach wilted to such a small amount.”
Thomas Schwegel tried his hand at cracking the eggs. He announced, “The next time I go grocery shopping, I will bring the My Daughter’s Kitchen cookbook so I can get the ingredients to make this at home.”
Everyone had a part in today’s frittata and enjoyed working together. The table was set as we waited for the fritatta to cook. The Comly kids chatted about their own family dinners. Audrey Sylvester said, “I like how we make our meal and eat like a Comly family." The first meal together was a hit. The next 7 weeks will be fun and exciting.
— Lorrie Craley
Bayard Taylor Elementary
The start of a new class is always a time of hope and anticipation. It certainly was for our young chefs at Bayard Taylor Elementary School.
“I hope to learn to cook something!” Jaden Harvey said, getting right to the point.
“I hope to learn how to make different kinds of vegetables,” said Gyliani Ortiz, adding details. “I love vegetables.”
“I want to learn how to cut stuff and make different things,” noted Luis Asencio, revealing a practical side. “I’ve always wanted to cook.”
“I hope to learn to cook better so if Mom and Dad are away I can cook for the family,” asserted Nathaniel Trewick, thinking beyond himself.
Chatting with our students, we learned that all four at the first class are fans of cooking shows on TV. Did that make them want to take the class? “YES!” they exclaimed, all together. That enthusiasm paid off when we got down to business.
Our students proved once again how quickly kids can learn if given opportunity in a program like My Daughter’s Kitchen. Luis quickly learned how to mince onion and took great pride getting the pieces even in size. Gyliani tried out the “onion glasses” and discovered how they can soften the onion smell. Nathaniel — “they call me ‘Nate Dog’ ” — took care of the basil and exclaimed “oooo” in approval at his first taste. Jaden, meanwhile, learned the technique for cracking eggs and with an assist from Nate Dog, whisked in the milk and yogurt.
The kids were intrigued at how much the spinach cooked down. And when it came time to assemble the frittatas, everyone wanted a turn spooning the spinach into the muffin tins and pouring the egg mixture over them.
When the frittatas came out of the oven, our chefs lined up eagerly to see what they looked like. They were impressed at how puffy and golden brown they looked and couldn’t wait to try them.
“This is good,” Gyliani announced after her first taste. “I like the cheese and the egg,” Luis added. “It smells like pizza!” Nate Dog exclaimed. “I rate it a 1,000.”
“We are master chefs!” Jaden concluded. “I can’t wait to tell my cousin.”
— Angela Burke, Cindy DePasquale
The smiling faces of the five new students were not the least bothered by the 90 degree weather. In fact, they listened attentively to the class guidelines while waiting patiently to begin cooking. Haneen Alnatsheh told us, "My brother was in this class last year.” That was a good sign. Hand washing was first on the list, followed by knife skills. Valbona Basha and Bahora Shomurodova raised their hands to volunteer to cut onions. Mrs. Munafo showed them how to hold the knife properly, while always making a flat side to cut on. Ms. Pupis told them “never touch your eyes while cutting onions.” They watched the onions saute and the spinach cook down. Bahora showed us how she cracks eggs, by dropping them on the counter. Everyone followed her direction. “We did it, with no shells,” cried Djavry Tamaradadze.
While the eggs cooked, we set the table and cleaned up. The Mini Italian Frittatas looked great coming out of the oven. “What else could we add to these, maybe red peppers?” asked Mrs Munafo. “Nothing, they are delicious just the way that are,” answered Mukhammadrizo Rakhimov.
Everyone must have agreed because there were no leftovers.
— Susan Munafo & Jane Pupis
After going over rules and surveying the supplies, the students were ready to make Mini Italian Frittatas. Everyone took turns sautéing onions, cracking eggs, and whisking ingredients. Jaymian Sepulveda said he enjoyed watching “how the spinach goes little,” as the cooking lesson turning into a science lesson about evaporation. All enjoyed the frittatas while discussing vegetable options for the recipe. “These would even be good for dinner,” suggested Lizmarie Delgado.
— Susan Lore, Annamiek VanLaar, Edith Bobb
We had a great first class that was full of curious and excited future chefs! This week we made mini Italian frittatas. Overall I think the kids really enjoyed it. One student, Joel Torres, had never tried spinach before. After eating it he said that it was “good and not bad at all”. Caylie Martinez said she “loved the first cooking class and is looking forward to the rest.” Even when the kids didn’t love it they still had a great attitude. Especially Taliah Bettis who said, “I didn’t love the food but it was a good experience to try everything and I loved the cooking part.” I think we have a great group of kids with a great interest of food that will continue to grow as this class goes on.
— Mari and Olivia Bartram