Explaining Global Warming to Little Kids

Here is some basic information that might help when children ask what global warming is and what to do to help.

Weather vs. Climate

Weather includes lots of things that should be familiar – temperature, rain, snow, wind speeds, or wind direction. Climate refers to the average weather conditions in a certain place over many years. For example, the climate in Minnesota is cold and snowy in the winter, and the climate in Hawaii is warm and humid all year long. The climate in one area, like the Midwest or Hawaii, is called a regional climate. The average climate around the world is called global climate.

The Earth is wrapped in a blanket of air called the ‘atmosphere’, which is made up of several layers of gases, such as carbon dioxide. The sun is much hotter than the Earth and it gives off rays of heat (radiation) that travel through the atmosphere and reach the Earth. The rays of the sun warm the Earth, and heat from the Earth then travels back into the atmosphere. The gases in the atmosphere stop some of the heat from escaping into space. These gases are called greenhouse gases and the natural process between the sun, the atmosphere and the Earth is called the ‘Greenhouse Effect’, because it works the same way as a greenhouse. The windows of a greenhouse play the same role as the gases in the atmosphere, keeping some of the heat inside the greenhouse.

The Natural Greenhouse Effect

The atmosphere has a number of gases, often in tiny amounts, which trap the heat given out by the Earth. To make sure that the Earth’s temperature remains constant, the balance of these gases in the atmosphere must not be upset.

The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

Some of the activities of humans also produce greenhouse gases. These gases keep increasing in the atmosphere. The balance of the greenhouse gases changes and this has effects on the whole of the planet.

Burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Cutting down and burning trees also produces a lot of carbon dioxide. Cows flatulence -ask your parent what that means -produce methane which is linked to global warming.

Because there are more and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, more heat is trapped which makes the Earth warmer. This is known as GLOBAL WARMING.

A lot of scientists agree that humans activities are making the natural greenhouse effect stronger. If we carry on polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, it will have very dangerous effects on the Earth.

The Effects

With more heat trapped on Earth, the planet will become warmer, which means the weather all over Earth will change. For example, summers will get hotter, and winters too. This may seem a good idea, but the conditions we are living in are perfect for life, and a large rise in temperature could be terrible for us and for any other living thing on Earth.

All over the world, these weather changes will affect the kind of crop that can be grown and even the nutrients in that crop. Plants, animals and even people may find it difficult to survive in different conditions.
Sea Levels

Higher temperatures will make the water of the seas and oceans expand. Ice melting in the Antarctic and Greenland will flow into the sea.

Higher sea levels will threaten the low-lying coastal areas of the world, such as the Netherlands and Bangladesh, and closer to home, New York City, Florida and parts of California. Throughout the world, millions of people and areas of land will be at danger from flooding.


The changes in the weather will affect the types of crops grown in different parts of the world. Some crops, such as wheat and rice grow better in higher temperatures, but other plants, such as corn and sugarcane do not. Changes in the amount of rainfall will also affect how many plants grow.

The effect of a change in the weather on plant growth may lead to some countries not having enough food. Brazil, parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and China will be affected the most and many people could suffer from hunger.


Everywhere in the world, there is a big demand for water and in many regions, such as the Sahara in Africa; there is not enough water for the people. Changes in the weather will bring more rain in some countries, but others will have less rain.

In Danger!

Plants & Animals

It has taken million of years for life to become used to the conditions on Earth. As weather and temperature changes, the homes of plants and animals will be affected all over the world. For example, polar bears and seals will have to find new land for hunting and living, if the ice in the Arctic melts.

What can you do?

Reduce, reuse, recycle, repair: Remember your four R’s!

Reducethe most important. If you don’t buy so much stuff in the first place, then you don’t need to reuse or recycle it.

Reuse whatever you can (like plastic supermarket bags). If you can’t reuse something,

Recycle it! means that something is used again by converting it into something else. Broken class can be made into new glass!

Repair it! Do you know how to sew on a new button?- as just one example.

If you can’t do any of those things, the waste you generate ends up in huge landfills. Much of what you find in these stinking dumps is plastic waste.

Make your own climate… in your home or your room!

Turn off things that use electricity when nobody’s using them

Leaving lights, heating, air conditioning, computers, TVs and other electronics on when you don’t need them wastes a lot of energy.

If it’s warm in one room and cold in another, close the door. The door helps keep heat in.

Leaving things on standby (like TVs, computers and stuff) also uses a surprising amount of energy. Newer models mostly use much less standby power but if you’re away for a few days, it still makes sense to turn stuff off.

Make your own climate… around you!

When it’s hot, dress cool

When it’s cold, dress warm

Every little thing helps! You can make a difference.

Pine Ridge Reservation Kids

Some Native American Reservations are wealthy present day because they offer gaming and if they’re lucky they also have fertile land on which to grow crops. Others, like the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, have neither of the aforementioned.

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on the reservation and to interview kids there as the basis for DirectionFive. I had been in Harlem and  in South Chicago–places that are familiar to most as areas of poverty and crime. Pine Ridge was worse and left me mentally and physically ill.

At this time of year, they’re preparing for a brutal winter and often parents need to decide between the electric bill and food.

If anyone could help, please do so. It’s a shameful part of our history, which you and I can’t change, but today we can try to make a difference. Please give what you can.

From the Friends of Pine Ride reservation website:

Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe with an estimated population of close to 40,000. The reservation is large, and its needs immense, commensurate with grinding poverty.


The Importance of Snacks

According to one study of 31,337 children and adolescents, snacking can contribute up to 600 calories per day, mostly from high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar foods. Three snacks per day are common and more than 27 percent of children’s daily caloric intake is coming from snacks. These snack habits are eroding mealtime where healthier food is generally served. My guess is that adults aren’t too far behind in these statistics.

Snacks can be a healthy part of food intake, but should be eaten only when hungry, not as habit or from boredom.  Here are some healthy snack tips:

  • Choose snacks for variety and select foods from different food groups.
  • Snack only when you are hungry.
  • Eat snack size portions.
  • Plan ahead and bring snacks with you.
  • Read labels for serving sizes and portion control.
  • Drink water.  At least 8 eight-ounce glasses are recommended each day, unless you have kidney problems.
  • When you are snacking be sure you are only eating.  Snacking while studying or watching TV usually means you will eat more than you intended!
  • Plan snacks as a part of the day’s food plan.
  • When shopping, let children help pick out fruits, vegetables and cheeses, they will be more interested in eating them.
  • Set aside a “snack spot” in the refrigerator and cupboard; keep it stocked with nutritious ready-to-eat snacks.  Teach kids to only eat when hungry.
  • Offer snacks at regular times, such as midmorning and mid afternoon. Don’t let children nibble constantly during the day.
  • Avoid high sugar, fatty (the ‘wrong’ kind of fats like potato chips which have been fried in who-know-what kinds of unhealthy fat) and salty snacks, such as candy and soda pop.
  • Snacks are a good way to introduce new foods. Include a game or activity to learn about the new food; let the child help fix it.
  • Never offer food as a reward for good behavior.

Here are a few healthy snacking ideas:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables provides a feeling of fullness and only a small amount of calories. They also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients.
  • Ants on a log — Spread peanut or almond butter on celery sticks and top with raisins.
  • Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and healthy fats, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer. Nuts and seeds are high in calories, however; so don’t eat them in large quantities. Buy and eat raw nuts and seeds.
  • Pita and hummus — Cut whole-grain pita bread, non-gluten if desired)  into triangles and bake in the oven until crispy. Serve with carrot and celery sticks and dip in hummus. At our non-profit DirectionFive-a culinary and nutrition program for kids-this recipes is a favorite of the kids we teach. Try it!


Serves 6

Yield: 2 cups

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or 1-15 ounce can*

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Rinse and drain garbanzos and place them in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper, tahini, garlic, cumin and cayenne. Turn on the processor and slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Place in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.

Variation: Sometimes we add a handful of spinach and some fresh parsley to this. It’s delicious and adds more nutrients.

It’s Zucchini Pizza Season!

Zucchini everywhere! Try this delicious pizza recipe–it’s always a favorite!

Zucchini Pizza

Serves 6

4 cups zucchini, grated

2 cups brown rice, cooked

1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, or mozzarella, grated

2 eggs, beaten


1 pound ground turkey, optional

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

1 teaspoon oregano, or 3 tablespoons fresh, washed and chopped

1 teaspoon basil, or 3 tablespoons fresh, washed and chopped

1 ½-2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the grated zucchini, brown rice, jack cheese and the eggs. Press into a greased 15X11X1″ jelly roll pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

In medium skillet, brown ground turkey with onion and herbs. Set aside.

Pour marinara over crust, sprinkle with turkey mixture and top with cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If you have leftover pizza, try it for breakfast with a poached egg on top. Yum!

Recipe by:

Patty James www.pattyjames.com

Garden Cake–A Favorite!

Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s still cake and you need to watch your portion size and limit how often you make this. That said, it’s chock-full of veggies and is moist and absolutely delicious!

Garden Cake

This delicious cake is full of vegetables.

Serves 12

1/2 cup walnut oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup raw grated carrots

1 cup raw grated zucchini

1/2 cup raw grated beets

1 cup chocolate chips, optional

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13″ pan.

In a large bowl mix the oil, eggs and sugar, beating well with a hand mixer or whisk for 3-4 minutes.

Wash the vegetables well, but there is no need to peel any of them. Grate all the vegetables and set aside. Place the beets in a separate bowl so the other veggies don’t turn pink.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir into wet ingredients.

Add shredded carrots, zucchini, beets, chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir until blended and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


How About a Fruit Salad Contest?

Doesn’t this beautiful photograph of fruit make you want a fruit salad…right now? When it’s a hot day, and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen in the morning, place a lot of fruit on the kitchen counter, and let your kids have at it! Wash the fruit, cut up when necessary, and then the fun part, of making a bowl gorgeous! Perhaps offer a prize for the prettiest? Consider too saving some fruit and later in the day, place in a mason jar and cover with mineral water.


Day 2 Summer Camp for 6-9 Year Olds

Let us know how Day 1 went if you used our class outline. Here is Day 2 for you. Please note that we don’t go over everything in the culinary terms. Just pick and choose what you’ll be using on a daily basis. Please read through before you begin. There are notes with teaching tips.

Day 2

Smoothies for Breakfast/Lunch! We’ll use fruit and veggies and spread our creative wings!

We will use many of these terms.

 Cooking Techniques and Terms

You need to understand some kitchen lingo or terminology. If a recipe says to sauté and you braise, you will have an entirely different finished product.

Kitchen Terminology


Acidulated water: This is when water has lemon juice or vinegar in it that prevents certain foods from becoming brown such as apples, artichokes, celery root, Jerusalem artichokes, etc.

Al dente: Cooked just enough to retain a somewhat firm texture. It Italian it means, ‘To the tooth.’

A La Carte: French meaning – “According to the menu,” off the card.

A La Mode: Pie with ice cream on it.

Au Beurre: This means that the vegetables, fish, meats or whatever it may be, has been cooked in butter, or glazed with butter.

Au Gratin: To cover a prepared dish with breadcrumbs or cheese (or both) and brown to a golden color in the oven or under the broiler.

Au Jus: (French) Served with natural juices


Bain-Marie: A dish containing ingredients is placed in another of warm water in the oven, so the food is kept moist and does not become dry or overheated. Make sure oven temperature is correct and that the outer dish does not contain too much water, otherwise, it will bubble over into your ingredients.

Bake: To cook or dry heat in an oven and this applies to all ovens cooked foods except meats which when baked, are usually known as roasts.

Barbecue: To roast slowly on a spit or rack over heat, usually basting with a highly seasoned sauce or marinade.

Bard: To wrap meat with bacon or salt pork.

Baste: To moisten meat or other food while cooking, in order to add flavor and prevent drying of the surface. Melted fat, meat drippings, lard, fat, water or sauces, can be used for basting.

Beat or Beating: To lift a mixture rapidly up and over with a fork, spoon, wire whisk, rotary or electric beater, for the purpose of introducing air or making the mixture smooth, stiff in the case of egg whites, or fluid in an omelet mix.

Binding: Adding liquid, egg or melted fat to a dry mixture to hold it together.

Blanch: To dip in boiling water for a few minutes to loosen skins, or whiten foods, or to partly cook in hot oil or fat; e.g. blanching potato skins before frying. When blanching items in boiling water leave for only a few minutes, then remove and refresh under cold water for maximum crispness of color.

Blending: Means beating OR combine ingredients with a fork, spoon or spatula.

Boil: To cook in water or other liquid, in which the bubbles are breaking rapidly on the surface and steam is given off. (The boiling point of water is 212ºF or 100°C)

Bouquet Garni: A bunch of herbs consisting of parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and celery tied together or inserted into a cheesecloth, or paper- bag.

Braise: To cook by shallow frying followed by baking or stewing. The food is first browned in hot fat or oil, then slowly baked or simmered in a covered pan or baking dish, sometimes with a small amount of fluid added.

Broil: To cook by direct heat. This may be done by placing the food under or over an open flame or heating unit.

Browning: Searing the outer surface of meat to seal in the juices.

Bruise: Release the flavor of foods, especially herbs and spices, by crushing them.

Brush With: To lightly apply melted fat, cream, etc., with a pastry brush on food.


Caramelize: To melt sugar slowly over a very low heat, until sugar is liquid and brown for the purpose of flavoring and coloring other food. Or to caramelize onions, meaning to brown slowly.

Chevre: This is the term given to French goat’s cheeses.

Chop: To cut into small pieces with a sharp knife or a chopper.

Clarify: To make clear or transparent and free from impurities. Clarified butter, as an example.

Coat: To cover the surface of one food evenly with another.

Coddle: To cook or simmer an item just below the boiling point for a short period of time. Eggs are frequently coddled.

Cream: To soften or beat one or more foods until soft and creamy. This term is usually applied to the mixing of butter and sugar.

Crepe: (French) Thin pancakes

Croquettes: Finely chopped foods usually combined with potatoes or a thick sauce and molded into cylinder shapes, coated with egg and milk and fried in oil till golden in color.

Croutons: Usually small cubes of bread fried in oil and/or butter, or baked, until a golden color. Served in salads and as a garnish for soups.

Cube: To cut any food item into square pieces of many sizes.

Cut-in: To combine a solid fat with dry ingredients, by a horizontal motion with knives or pastry blender.


Deglaze: A process of adding liquid to a hot pan in order to collect the bits of food, which stick to the pan during cooking. This is most common with sautéed and roasted foods. Wine, stock, and vinegar are common deglazing liquids.

Dice: To cut into small square pieces. There are four sizes of dice.

Dock: To pierce pastry dough before baking to allow steam to escape and prevent blistering of the dough.

Dot: To scatter small pieces of fat, such as butter, on top of foods to be cooked. Pies are commonly dotted with butter before the top crust is put on.

Drain: Remove extra fat or liquid from cooked food or raw vegetables.

Dredge: To sprinkle or coat a food evenly, with a thin coating of dry ingredients such as flour, so that it is completely covered.

Drawn butter: Melted butter.

Dust: To sprinkle with flour or powdered sugar.


Emulsify: To completely blend together oil with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. This term is usually used while making salad dressings.


Fillet: A boneless, lean piece of fish or meat.

Flake: To break or pull apart gently into natural segments, e.g., to flake cooked fish.

Fold: To add ingredients, such as whipped cream, beaten egg whites or sugar, with a gentle cutting or folding motion (rather than beating), to preserve air bubbles.

Fricassee: Pieces of poultry or meat stewed in a liquid and served in a sauce made from the same liquid.

Fry: To cook in hot fat or oil
(a) To sauté or pan fry, food is cooked in a small amount of fat or oil on top of a stove.
(b) To deep fry, food is partially or totally immersed in fat or oil.


Garnish: To decorate a dish with an item that will improve its appearance and quite often, add to its flavor too.

Glaze: A shiny coating, consisting of a mixture of water or sugar and fat, egg white etc., applied to certain foods such as pastry, fruit, bread, rolls and baked ham.

Grate: To rub on a grater (a utensil with a rough surface) and produce fine particles.

Juice exuded by roasted meat or poultry, made into a roux, then liquid added slowly to it.
Grease: To rub with butter, oil, etc.

Griddle: Flat metal plate used to bake breads and pancakes on the top of the stove.

Grilling: Cooking directly under a flame in an oven or on a grate over hot coals.

Grinding: Grinding meats or other foods into smaller pieces to use in sausages and for other uses.


Hor d’oeuvre: Petite appetizers or relishes.


Julienne: To cut into matchstick shapes about 1/8 inch across by 2 inches long.


Knead: To fold and press dough firmly with the heel of the hand, turning between folding. Usually done to bread and yeast dough’s.

Kosher (meat): Meat sold within 48 hours after being butchered in accordance to Hebrew religious laws. The style of Jewish dietary cooking.


Larding: Salt pork strips inserted into meat with a special needle. Used to add flavor and moisture to meat.

Leek: Small onion like plant, used as an aromatic seasoning or vegetable.

Legumes: (French) Dried beans, peas, lentils and such.

Lentil: A brown or yellow flat seed resembling a pea used for soups, garnishes, and as a vegetable.

Lukewarm: A mild, tepid temperature of approximately 95 degree F.


Make a Well: While kneading the dough make a heap of the dry ingredients by creating hollow space in the center to pour the liquid. Work it in a round motion, taking in the flour, little by little, till all of it is blended.

Mash: Pound the food and crush it into pulp.

Melting: Heat the ingredients till they are changed from solid to liquid.

Marinate: To soak a food in a liquid, usually an oil or acid mixture containing spices, seasonings, vegetables and aromatic herbs, for a certain length of time to enhance the flavor and act as a tenderizer
Mince: To cut very finely, to obtain smaller pieces than those produced by chopping.

Mise en Place: A French term meaning, ‘everything in its place’ or ‘putting in place’.

Moisten: To add or sprinkle with liquid in order to dampen.


Omelet or Omelette: Seasoned eggs those are beaten and sautéed. The eggs will puff up at which time they are rolled or folded over. Often times, cheese and other ingredients are inside the omelette.


Pan-broil: To cook uncovered in a hot frying pan. The fat is removed as it accumulates. Liquid is never added.

Pan Fry: Fry with very little fat in the pan.

Paste: This is the term used by most cheese makers to describe the inside part of the cheese.

Par-boil: To partially cook a food by boiling, the cooking being completed by another method. Potatoes par-boiled before frying or roasting makes for fluffy light inner and crisp outer.

Pare: Removing the outside skin or peels of vegetables or fruits.

Pat (as in: pat of butter): Portion of ingredient shaped into a small, flat, usually square shape. Approximately 1 Tablespoon.

Peel: To strip off the outer covering, as with oranges or bananas.

Pickling: Is where vegetables like cucumbers are “pickled” in sugar, vinegar and spices for a day or two before eating.

Pinch: Just that–the tiny amount of seasoning that can be held between your thumb and forefinger; an immeasurably small amount.

Pitted / Seed: To remove seeds from fruit or vegetable.

Poach: To cook foods such as eggs or fish just below boiling point in water, milk or stock, similar to simmering but usually for a short time only.

Puree: This is when you puree your ingredient, usually vegetables or beans. Often soups are pureed or you can puree beans to use as a thickener of a soup or sauce. You can use a food processor, food mill, immersion blender, or potato masher to puree.


Quiche: A pie made of custard and cheese.

Reducing: This procedure is used to intensify a flavor. As an example, you can place carrot juice in a pan and simmer it, uncovered, so the liquid evaporates and the flavor intensifies. I will give you examples throughout the book of reductions.
Reduce: To thicken and intensify the flavor of a liquid by evaporating it through boiling.

Render: Cook fatty meats, such as bacon, until the fat melts.

Rest: A term mostly used for dough or batters that need fermentation. That means when the dough needs to be set it is kept aside for a certain period of time.

Roasting: To cook food uncovered in a hot oven. It is often done in large ovens over a high temperature. This method is more commonly used in restaurants rather than regular households.

Roux: Equal parts of flour and fat cooked together and used to thicken fluids when preparing sauces, soups and gravies. The measurement is 2oz fat, 2oz flour to 1 pint of liquid.

Rub: in Add fat to flour and rub them together to mix.


Sauté: To cook in a small amount of fat or oil on top of a stove.

Scald: To heat a liquid, usually milk, to a point just below boiling, about 185 degrees. Minute bubbles appear around the edge of the vessel.

Scallop: To bake food, usually cut into slices in a liquid or sauce, such as scalloped potatoes. The food is usually covered by a liquid, sliced onion when baking potatoes, a little oil or butter and seasoning.

Score: To make lengthwise and crosswise cuts across the surface with a sharp knife.

Sear: Cook at very high heat for a little while. Scorch.

Season: To add salt, pepper, herbs, spices etc. to improve the flavor of a dish.

Seasonings: Dry herbs and spices used to enhance the taste and appearance of food.

Shred: To cut or tear into thin strips or pieces.

Sift: To put dry ingredients through a sifter or sieve.

Simmer: To cook in a liquid, in which bubbles form slowly and break just below the surface. The temperature usually ranges from 110ºF-130ºF (55° to 60°C).
Skewer: Metal or wooden pin used to hold meat, poultry or fish in shape during cooking.

Skin: As in tomatoes; to peel the tomato skin by immersing them for two minutes in boiled water.

Smoking: Glowing charcoal is placed in a small katori, or bowl, cooked meats are placed around this. Dry spices and ghee are poured on top of the coals and a lid is quickly placed over the meat. This smoking adds a delicate flavor to the prepared meats.

Soak: This means to put food in liquid.

Soften: Allow cold butter to remain at room temperature until soft and easily blended.

Squeezing: Drain out the liquid from the food by crushing.

Steam: To cook over or surrounded by steam.

Steep: Soak in a liquid at a temperature just under the boiling point to soften or extract a flavor

Stew: To simmer in a small amount of liquid with or without a lid.

Stir-frying: This is quick cooking over high heat in a small amount of oil, tossing and turning the food during the cooking. With this method, meats stay juicy and tender and vegetables come out slightly crisp with all their vitamins intact.

Straining: Separating liquids from solids by passing them through a sieve or through muslin.

Syrup: A thick sweet liquid made by boiling sugar with water or fruit juice.


Tempura: A form of deep frying from Japan, to lightly coat food items with an egg, flour and ice-water batter, then deep fry and serve with dipping sauce.

Tear: Break into pieces, using your fingers.

Tenderize: Lay meat out on level surface and continuously pound with flat, spiked utensil.

Toast: Lightly brown food in oven or toaster.

Toss: Tumble ingredients lightly with two utensils using a lifting, fluffing motion.

Torte: A rich sponge cake, often multi-layered and filled with whipped cream, jam, chocolate or fruit.


Vegan: A person who does not eat meat or any animal products, including bacon, cream, eggs, milk and honey.

Vegetarian: A person who does not eat meat or poultry and fish but may eat cheese, milk and eggs in their diet.


Water Bath: One bowl of ingredients placed inside a baking dish filled with hot water in order to cook food with gentle heat.

Whipping: Beating an ingredient until frothy and thick.

Whisking: Means to incorporate air, usually in eggs.


Zest: The colored outer rind of citrus fruits.


We’ll make this Marinara Sauce next and let it simmer while we make our Sandwiches and Brownies!

 Marinara Sauce

Just toss with cooked spaghetti or fettuccini noodles and a salad and you’re set. Always a favorite!

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup celery, sliced

1/3 cup zucchini, sliced

3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes, 1 28-ounce can

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

3 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon pepper


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and zucchini. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, bring to a boll, then turn the heat down and simmer covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the herbs, fresh tomatoes and salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes.


You may add some red wine to the sauce if you like, about 1/3 cup, when you add the canned tomatoes.

Variations for eating seasonally:

Spring: Peas, asparagus, green garlic

Summer; All fresh tomatoes, eggplant, red peppers, corn,

Autumn: All fresh tomatoes, Jerusalem artichokes,

Winter: Cubed winter squash, parsnips, turnips


Here are some wonderful ideas to make creative sandwiches. We’ll have lots of great ingredients for you to create a healthy and delicious sandwich!


Sometimes the spread can really perk up your sandwich. Try the Chipotle Dressing on the Mexican Wrap, Garlic Herb Aioli on the Peasant Loaf, or spread your High Tea sandwich with Maitre d’ Butter. Sometimes it’s all about inspiration.

Peasant Loaf

Cut crusty French or Italian bread in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil or butter, fill with thin slices of Gruyere cheese, fresh thyme leaves, mixed salad greens, thinly sliced tomatoes and red onions, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste.

High Tea Sandwiches: Have a tea party!

Use thinly sliced bread of your choosing, spread with butter or mayonnaise (regular or vegan-type) and fill with thinly sliced radishes, thinly sliced English cucumber, chopped scallions, watercress, and fresh or dried dill.

Tuscan Grill

Fill wholegrain bread, rolls or pizza dough with leftover grilled vegetables–bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini or summer squash, tomatoes, onions. Use season-appropriate vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh herbs. Ratatouille will work if you have leftovers.

Asian Inspired

Sauté onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and Asian greens (Chinese cabbage, bok choy, etc) in a little sesame oil and soy sauce until tender. Spread a piece of pita bread or a wrap lightly with peanut butter and stuff or roll with veggie mixture.


Spread one half of a chapati or other soft bread, flatbread, or pita with egg salad made with diced green or red onions, radishes and curry powder to taste. Add lettuce or spinach and fold in half to serve.

Middle Eastern

Spread halved whole-grain bagels with cream cheese and hummus or baba ganoush, thinly sliced cucumbers, chopped lettuce and tomato, and toasted sesame seeds.

The Herbal Power House

Place the following on a whole-grain roll — mayonnaise, sliced Monterey Jack cheese, alfalfa sprouts, sliced tomato, grated carrots, and a sprinkling of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano.

Mexican Wrap

Mix leftover cooked beans, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack, chopped jalapeno chilies, chopped fresh tomatoes, grated jicama, salsa, sour cream, and chopped fresh cilantro in a wrap.

Portobello Sandwich

Slice leftover grilled or pan-fried Portobello caps, toss with barbecue sauce, aioli or pesto mixed with a little mayonnaise, and add to your favorite bread (focaccia cut horizontally is nice) with as many seasonal veggies as you can!

Egg Sandwich

Butter each side of two slices of bread-any type you like, including an English muffin. Place in a cast iron pan or other skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Flip and do the same on the other side. If you like, place some cheese to melt on this side of the bread. Remove from pan. Fry a large egg in a little butter and when you flip it, sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper. You may also fry a small slice of ham with the egg for your sandwich if you like. Not a sandwich to be eaten often!

The importance of pan sizes:

You just made your favorite brownie recipe, which calls for a 9” X 9” pan. If you cook brownies that call for a 9” X 9” pan in a 9” X 13” pan, the batter will be thinly spread across the pan and the brownies will end up more like a cookie. You’ll be disappointed in the results. Pan size is a very important part of baking and cooking.

As an example of how to alter some-not all- recipes; if you are making a cake and it calls for a 11 X 4 1/2 X 2 ¾” pan, which by the below chart is 50 square inches, and you don’t have such a pan, then you can use the 8 X 1 ½ “ round pan as it is the same square inches. Cooking time might have to be adjusted, as a greater surface area would take less time to cook. Pans are measured across the top of the pan between the inside edges.

Square and rectangular pans

7 ¾ X 3 5/8 X 2 ¼”…….28 sq. inches

8 X 8 X 1 ½” ……64 sq. inches

9 X 5 X 2 ¾” ……45 square inches

9 X 9 X 1 ½” …..81 sq. inches

11 X 4 ½ X 2 ¾” …….50 sq. inches

11 X 7 X 1 ½” …..77 sq. inches

13 X 9 X 2” ….117 square inches

15 X 10 X 2”….150 sq. inches

15 ½ X 10 ½ X 1”……163 sq. inches

16 X 5 X 4 “ …..80 sq. inches

Round pans

8 X 1 ½”…….50 sq. inches

9 X 1 ½”……..64 square inches

10 X 1 ½”…….79 square inches

Another note regarding cake pans is that the type of pan it is has an effect on the end result. A glass or enamel pan or pans of a dark color will hold more heat and make for a browner crust. If you have these pans, but do not want the darker crust, you can reduce the heat by 25 degrees, but use the same baking time. If you have shiny metal pans, your crust will be thinner and less brown.

Oven temperatures:

Remember to always pre-heat your oven at least 10 minutes before baking to allow it to come up to temperature. High temperature recipes can take 20 minutes for the oven to reach the required temperature.

Very slow …250 degrees or below

Slow …300 degrees

Moderately slow….325 degrees

Moderate ….350 degrees

Moderately hot…375 degrees

Hot….400 degrees

Very hot…425 degrees or higher

Lastly, you need to know how to measure dry and liquid ingredients.

Dry ingredients:

With dry ingredients, you scoop up the flour (or whatever) and level the top of the measuring cup with a knife. Do not press ingredients down before leveling.

3 teaspoons=1 tablespoon=1/2 ounce

2 tablespoons=1/8 cup=1 ounce

4 tablespoons=1/4 cup=2 ounce

5 1/3 tablespoons=1/3 cup=2.6 ounce

8 tablespoons=1/2 cup=4 ounces

12 tablespoons=3/4 cup=6 ounces

16 tablespoons=1 cup=8 ounces

32 tablespoons=2 cups=16 ounce

Liquid Ingredients:

Place the measuring cup on a flat service to make sure the liquid is at the proper line on the measuring cup.

2 tablespoons=1 fluid ounce

¼ cup=2 fl.oz.

½ cup=4 fl.oz.

1 cup=8 fl.oz.

1 ½ cups=12 fl.oz.

2 cups or 1 pint=16 fl.oz.

4 cups or 1 quart=32 fl.oz.

1 gallon=128 fl.oz


Patty’s Brownies

No, it’s not healthy, but we don’t have them often and when we do we use organic ingredients. We’ll double this recipe and use a 9X13” pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

½ cup walnut oil or melted butter, cooled slightly

1 cup unrefined sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

½ cup whole-wheat pastry or all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa

¼ teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup chopped walnuts, optional

Blend oil or butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and beat well.

Combine flour cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired.

Grease a 9X9” glass pan and spread in the brownie mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies start to pull away from the pan or a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan. Makes 16 brownies




















A Class for 6-9 Year Olds

Here’s Day 1 of a 5-Day Camp for 6-9 years olds. We have taught this class to many, many kids and they love the food, and especially love knife skills.

Day 1


Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives is the mantra for this program.

When you understand the foods that support your health, and then you learn to create sumptuous meals for you and the people in your life, you feel satisfied and contented.

In the Kitchen:

Kids, like most adults, simply want to jump in and make homemade pizza, but there are basics that need to be learned first, for safety and sanitation reasons, of course, but also so one knows how to measure properly, what size and type of pan to use and other basic information needed for a successful kitchen experience.

Safety and Sanitation:

Before you enter the kitchen, tie your hair back if you have long hair, and if you’re sick, stay out of the kitchen altogether. Next wash your hands in warm, soapy water. If you have any cuts or sores, be sure to cover with a bandage. While you’re in the kitchen, if you sneeze, cough, touch your hair, nose or any other body part, or eat, please wash your hands again. You obviously wash your hands well after you use the restroom. If you handle raw meat or fish, please wash your hands before touching any other food. Ideally your clothes and aprons should be clean.

Here are some very important tips to always keep in mind when you’re in the kitchen:

  • When you work with food, keep raw foods away from cooked foods.
  • Keep food away from cleaning products.
  • Wash all raw fruits and vegetables before preparation.
  • Rinse off your meats and fish as well, pat dry and leave in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Raw and thawing meats and fish should always be kept on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to avoid dripping and contamination.
  • Do not thaw foods at room temperature; thaw in a proper container in the refrigerator. Do not refreeze food after it’s been thawed.
  • Food needs to be held at proper temperatures to avoid the growth of bacteria that can make you sick. Cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuffed meat and reheated leftovers should be kept at 165 degrees, beef and other hot food, 140 degrees, fish and poultry, 145 degrees and cooked pork, hamburgers and eggs, 155 degrees.

Kitchens can be dangerous places, with sharp equipment and hot stoves! It was my experience when I had my cooking school that, in order of accidents, potato peelers, graters, knives, and hot stoves and ovens, were the major culprits. With some very basic and very important rules, well learned, accidents rarely happen.

A tip for adults working with kids in the kitchen is to try not to hover. I understand the nervousness about watching an eight-year hold with a knife, but hovering only makes them nervous and makes the kitchen a stressful place, when it should be a warm, nurturing place. When they understand basic kitchen safety and the proper use of equipment such as knives, they’ll be fine.

There is one basic rule when working in the kitchen-stay focused on the job at hand! If you are grating or chopping, your eyes are on that knife and cutting board and nowhere else. When this is learned, accidents rarely happen.

Let’s begin with knives. When choosing a knife, how does it feel in your hand? A ten year old with relatively small hands wouldn’t be comfortable using a twelve-inch chef knife. A good knife can last a lifetime, so choose your knife carefully. A knife store with salespeople who really understand all the intricacies of knives is an invaluable source of information. Here are some basics:

The knife has a blade, which does the cutting. The example, below, is a typical western knife that is sharp on both sides. Japanese knives have blades that are sharp on only one side, as they believe they cut more effectively.

There are various types of blades:

Carbon steel- Our ‘knife –guy’s’ favorite knife because it takes a great edge but discolors when they come in contact with anything acidic like tomatoes or citrus fruit. A carbon knife will rust so be sure to clean and dry them after every use.

Stainless Steel- They don’t rust so taking care of them is much easier, however, they are difficult to keep a good sharp edge.

High carbon stainless steel – Tough, holds an edge and they don’t discolor. The carbon adds strength to stainless but also more cost. A good choice.

Titanium- Much lighter than steel, holds its edge, and is also flexible, so it is a better choice for boning and filleting knives.

The spine is opposite the blade and adds weight and stability. The tip of a knife is at the point and is used for inserting the knife into something and for cutting small items. The tang is that piece of metal that extends from the blade to the back of the knife and the handle attaches to. The tang also gives a knife some weight and balance. Better knives have tangs.

The bolster is that little collar that separates the blade and the handle and adds strength and balance. The bolster can run from the spine to the edge or just part way. You hold onto the handle and it’s important for the handle to feel good in your hand. It can be made out of wood, plastic, composite or stainless steel.

Knives are blocked, forged or sintered.

  • Blocked knives are cut from a single sheet of metal usually of the same thickness. Think of using a cookie cutter on rolled dough. The blades are then ground to form the edge and handles are added to the tang. They typically don’t have bolsters and are less expensive to make and therefore buy.
  • Forged knives, as the name suggest, are forged, and not stamped. The manufacturer takes metal, heats it up and pounds it into the correct shape using a drop forge machine. These knives typically have bolsters, more weight, and thicker bolsters and cost more to produce. They are better balanced knife that when taken care of properly, can last a lifetime.
  • Sintered knives, or Eastern-style knives, is a process where they take a separate blade and fuse it to a separate tang.

Whatever type of knives you choose, you must frequently sharpen them, as a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. With a dull knife you exert more pressure on the knife, which generally means more accidents. Always hand-wash your knives, dry properly and store where they won’t rub against other knives. Besides a chef’s knife, you will also need a paring knife, which has a short blade and is used for small jobs, a bread or serrated knife, a boning knife for removing meat from joints and a carving knife, for carving and slicing meat.

A few last tips: never try to catch a falling knife! When you carry a knife it should point down and the blade should face backwards. Carry it close to you but not against your body. When you carry your knife to the sink, carry it by itself and not on your cutting board where it could fall. Do not place knives in a sink full of dirty dishes as in retrieving them; you could grab the blade by mistake.

Cutting boards can be made of any number of material, wood, plastic, bamboo or composite, which are various material fused or glued together. Wood boards are the easiest on your knives, but cannot be put in the dishwasher, plastic boards and composite boards can be washed in the dishwasher, but gouges can harbor bacteria, bamboo is a sustainable wood product; whichever you choose, wash it carefully between uses.

Now that you understand more about knives, you need to learn basic knife cuts. The proper knife cut affects cooking time and visual appeal.

Basic Knife Cuts:

Julienne: A stick cut. Strips 2-2 ½ inches long. 1/8” X 1/8”

Brunoise: A dice cut. 1/8” X 1/8” X 1/8”. Made from cutting a julienne.

Batonnet: A strip cut. Strips 2-2 ½ inches long. ¼” X ¼”

Small Dice: A dice cut. ¼” X ¼” X ¼”. Made from cutting a Batonnet.

Medium Dice: A dice cut. ½” X ½” X ½”.

Large Dice: A dice cut. ¾” X ¾” X ¾”

Mince: Small cut with no specific dimensions made by rocking the knife back and forth.

Chiffonade: Stacked leaves, rolled up, then sliced thinly.

Roll Cut: Slice vegetable on the diagonal, roll vegetable 90 degrees and slice gain

Diagonal Cut: Oval shaped slices. Made by cutting the ingredient at an angle. The knife is held at an angle–the more the angle the shorter the cooking time.

Slice: A thin, flat piece of something, such as a slice of bread



Today we will practice our knife skills doing the following:

Medium and large dice using strips of watermelon. Slice bananas and apples. Mince a little mint for a lovely Fruit Salad.


Ready to begin!

You are almost ready to begin, but before you do so, read the recipe completely to make sure you have all the ingredients. Next mise en place (meaning everything in its place) your ingredients, get out all necessary equipment and you’re ready!

Recipe Tips:

  • Read through the recipe carefully to make sure that you understand the ingredients and directions. Make sure all ingredients meet your dietary needs.
  • Make sure that you can perform all the techniques.
  • Look at the recipe yield and decide if the number of servings is what you need. Check that you have all the necessary equipment and ingredients.
  • Make sure that you have adequate time to prepare and cook, if needed, the recipe.
  • Check whether you can (or need to) make any part of the recipe ahead of time.
  • Check whether an ingredient is divided, so that you don’t make the mistake of using that ingredient all at once.
  • Find out whether you need to preheat the oven.


Recipe grammar is important! One cup chopped nuts is not the same as 1 cup nuts, chopped.  Sometimes you measure an ingredient and then prepare it and sometimes you prepare the ingredient and then measure it.


Turkey Meatloaf

Can be made with ground beef or ground chicken

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Serves 10

3 pounds ground turkey

3 large eggs

1 cup oatmeal

1 medium red pepper, chopped fine

1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine

1 small carrot, grated

1 stalk celery, chopped fine

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

Place the all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. I find it easier to use my hands for the mixing. Place the mixture in the 9X9 pan and shape into a loaf. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until light brown.


If you are sensitive to oats you may substitute leftover brown rice or brown rice breadcrumbs.

So many choices!

You may form the turkey into meatballs and place on a cookie sheet to bake. Cooking time for meatballs is about 30 minutes, depending on the size. You may also sauté them in a large frying pan in a little olive oil. After they have browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and keep them warm on a plate in the oven. Into the pan drippings add one tablespoon flour and cook for one minute. Whisk in 1/2 cup of white wine (or broth) and 1/4 cup of freshly minced parsley and cook for about 3 minutes, or until some of the wine/broth have evaporated. Season with sea salt and pepper, as desired. Pour over meatballs and serve.

For a beautiful presentation, try stuffing the meatloaf with additional vegetables. After you have prepared the meatloaf, place a 18″ piece of waxed paper or parchment on a hard surface. Press into a 9 X 12″ size. Into the center of the mixture place some grated carrots, cooked and drained spinach and whatever else you choose. Using the waxed paper roll up the meatloaf and place in pan, seam side down. When you slice into it, you will se spirals of colors. You may also sprinkle your stuffing mixture with about 1/2 cup of grated cheese if you like.

Basic Brown Rice

We will double this recipe

1 cup brown rice, long grain, short grain or basmati
2 cups water or stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tb olive oil

Place olive oil in a pan and turn heat on to medium. Add brown rice and stir for a minute or two to coat rice. Add warm liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook, undisturbed until done about 40-50 minutes.

Long grain rice cooks to a fluffier texture and short grain to a stickier texture.

We’ll make a salad and dressing while the meatloaf and rice cook.

Mustard Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced

3/4 cup olive oil, can also use flax oil

Place the mustard, shallots, garlic and lemon in a bowl and slowly whisk in the olive or flax oil. Or….throw it in a jar and shake!

We’ll use this basic salad dressing on a simple green salad.



 We are all biochemical individuals and therefore nutrition information as well as exercise programs and health advice should be altered to suit your particular needs. The intake percentage for fats, carbohydrates and proteins are estimates based on the “average” person of good health. Some people need slightly more protein to feel their best and some need less. An individual with, for instance, diabetes, might consume fewer carbohydrates.

Growing children might require increased protein and good fats, etc. Most food guides use a base of a 2,000-calorie a day diet though an individual’s calorie requirements depends on their stature, level of physical excursion and any health anomalies.

Recommended portions are based on this caloric number. Portion sizes have increased dramatically over the past 20 years and a portion of brown rice might now be 1-2 cups, when, for most, it should be 1⁄2 cup. Do be cognizant of your portion sizes.

There are certain constants for all; antioxidants, natural body chemicals that reduce the oxidative damage caused by free-radicals, are necessary for everyone’s health. A free radical is an unstable molecule with an unpaired electron, which can cause oxidative damage to cells or tissues. Antioxidants scavenge and destroy free-radicals and are found in leafy green vegetables such as kale and chard, as well as the carotenes such as carrots, yellow squash and sweet potatoes, etc. Free-radicals are created by such health-diminishing activities as smoking, alcohol consumption and exposure to toxins, to name a few. Phytonutrients (phyto means plants) are nutrients found in plants and are protective against many diseases, including cancer. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be a useful tool to help maintain health and a good-quality multivitamin is recommended to boost anti-oxidant levels and other important nutrients.

A whole food, also known as an intact food, is a foodstuff that is in its natural, unaltered state, unrefined state, i.e., brown rice, not white rice. Whole foods offer the health-supporting nutrients required for optimum health and should be a part of everyone’s diet. Avoid processed foods and consume nutrient-dense whole foods.