Foods 2 had their last lab of the year with a shebang. I wanted the students to have a real experience they would never forget. Okay, they will probably only make homemade pasta once in their lifetime, but hey, at least they will have said they’ve tried it.

After watching youtube emphasizing the importance of rolling out the dough THIN, the students still had a hard time grasping the concept. We had one group who did well rolling out thinly and had an end product that resembled egg noodles.

The other groups had a thicker noodle, much like fettuccine  which took much longer to cook than the indicated recipe from Pioneer Woman. I was hoping they would take the tips more seriously, but they were quite eager to get the noodles cut out quickly.

Overall, I think it was a fantastic experience for them to learn how to make scratch made pasta and the importance of rolling it out thinly and keeping the strips even.

The finished products looked beautiful which was a plus and the adapted Chicken Pasta Sauce from Pioneer Woman was a hit! Most of them preferred Alfredo over Red and we substituted the sauce. The flavor of the garlic and onion was outstanding and lured teachers over to the foods lab.

Here’s the proof they started from scratch:



Lots of rolling and re-rolling and lots of flour.


All smiles getting ready to let the dough rest for 15 minutes.


On with the scrumptious smelling chicken


Add the alfredo, yum


Rolling out the dough


It’s tedious work.


Adding the strips to salted boiling water.


Some liked it all mixed together.


Some liked it on top of the homemade pasta. This looks like restaurant quality!!!

I’m very proud of the Foods 2 students making homemade pasta without a machine for their very first time!


Blue Plate Special

Posted: May 23, 2014 in Foods 1

Blue-plate special or blue plate special is a term used in the United States by restaurants, particularly (but not only) diners andcafes. It refers to a specially low-priced meal, usually changing daily. It typically consists of a “meat and three” (three vegetables), presented on a single plate, often a divided plate rather than on separate dishes. The term was very common from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Our last lab project in meal planning the Foods 1 class had to make their very own “Blue Plate” special on a $5 budget calculating unit prices, using convenience, homemade or semi-homemade products. They also created a menu card with descriptive food words we’ve discussed.

We modified the original Blue Plate from the 1900’s and gave it a modern day theme with balanced nutrition, color, texture, eye appeal, appetizing menu description and so forth.

The kids came up with some great meals all under budget!

Third Period






WINNER for Most Beautiful Blue Plate Special






Fourth Period




WINNER for Most Beautiful Blue Plate Special










Foods 2 has wrapped up the business portion with its final meal catering to teachers. They’ve realized serving 20 teachers is a lot of hard work. All of their efforts have paid off with a little extra funds in the foods budget and some tasty meals to sample each Friday for four weeks.


One comment I received from a teacher was the best meal of them all!


The prep work for this final meal began on Thursday with homemade breadsticks.


The final product was baked on Friday.


The usual packaging was done on Thursday.

Menu: Chicken Alfredo Lasgana

Homemade Bread sticks

Copycat Olive Garden Salad

Lemon Chiffon Pie

As you can tell, very little pictures of final products, kids were in a hurry for prom night and Mrs. Brown didn’t capture quite as many pictures as she intended. The kids have learned the business aspects well through hands-on catering, marketing, etc.


Baked Potato Bar

Posted: May 19, 2014 in Foods 1, Recipes


Foods 1 wrapped up our study on homemade, semi-homemade and convenience products with a delicious baked potato bar. The kids learned how to make Restaurant style baked potatoes  in the microwave.


Our convenience products included shredded cheese, can chili, bakery bread, bottled salsa.

The kids were responsible for dovetailing baked potatoes with homemade cheese sauce.


They learned the secret to fluffing the potatoes was the way we squeeze the sides to open it up 😉


They were surprised how yummy the cheese sauce was compared to cheese whiz and it was so much healthier, not to mention cheaper!


Chili cheese potato, anyone? A definite college meal someday. I hope they’ll remember it.


.Satisfied guests….So full, they say


Waffle Lab {Foods 1}

Posted: May 9, 2014 in Foods 1


We are continuing our unit on convenience verses homemade with math skills in unit pricing. Today we took simple ingredients: self-rising flour, eggs, milk and oil to create everyday waffles.


The kids had to calculate the cost of the recipe and the unit price of one waffle.

They compared it to the cost of Eggo waffles on their lab review questions.


Breakfast is always a hit


We kept it frugal by students bringing in their own items beyond the waffles, butter and syrup Mrs. Brown provided.


Waffle Bar in motion.


Yumo waffles and syrup


Some like to add a little pizzazz


Did someone say chocolate chip waffles?


Belgian waffles…it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for these kiddos.



Our cupcake project continues on day two with frosting. The kids had the responsibility of selecting a youtube for the frosting technique and using the appropriate tip. They also had to set-up their own photo shoot using prop(s) for the the blog.

They came up with some gorgeous photos and realized that beautiful pictures speak volumes. These are the types of cupcakes that we hand delivered to the teachers with their meals from the Underground Cafe on Friday.


Key Lime Cupcakes


Yummy graham cracker frosting


Funfetti Cupcakes


Sprinkles makes everything better;0


Hot chocolate cupcake, yum chocolate…


What a blue pop on the white icing!!!


Cinnamon Bun cupcake, can’t you just taste the cinnamon?


Love the green and purple for Spring.


The gorgeous red velvet cupcake


The red sugar takes it to the next level.

Way to go Foods 2 for baking homemade cupcakes from scratch, making frosting and creating an awesome photo shoot!



Our cupcake project began with the Foods 2 selection from

The Foods 2 class chose the cupcake and frosting they wanted to make.

We had quite the selection of cupcakes when it was all over.


Funfetti and cinnamon bun cupcakes


Hot chocolate and key lime waiting the yummy frosting.


Gorgeous red velvet waiting screaming for the cream cheese frosting.

We will frost these on day 2.



This is a great way to stretch food costs of chicken marsala, yet enjoy all the same flavors. We all agreed it was fantastic when we ran this protype for the the business. Here it is on our week 3 menu with homemade caesar salad, store-bought french bread and a homemade cupcake from our cupcake lab this week.



The Foods 2 do an excellent job with packaging and presentation. This week we delivered 12 meals and sold 5 in the classroom.

Can’t you just taste the marsala chicken?



We continued our study of store-bought verses homemade with day two making homemade tortillas. Yesterday our store-bought tortillas were made into choco tacos for Cinco De Mayo Day. I wanted to use the self-rising flour we had on hand and I found this tortilla recipe using this ingredient. Usually I prepare my own recipe with hot water and white wheat flour, but I’m trying to practice cost saving strategies and we are coming close to the end of the year.


Our simple ingredients we used.


Learning to roll the tortilla flat from the center out…


Learning when to flip…


Yummy, lightly browned…


It got a little messy…

We watched this youtube to acquaint them to the tortilla technique.

The kids were asked to bring their own fillings for their homemade tortillas. Suggestions were:

  • refried beans
  • cheese
  • fresh fruit for rolling up in a cinnamon sugar tortilla
  • meat or chicken {which no one brought}

I actually suggest keeping the fillings simple to beans, cheese or fruit since it took the kids a while to get the hang of rolling out the dough thinly.


The tortillas got yummier with the fillings.

Now for the math lesson on unit pricing:


We discovered homemade was 10 cents cheaper per tortilla!


The end result was a soft, lightly browned tortilla with a fresh, homemade taste. Now the students can say they have made homemade tortillas at least once in their life 🙂

Our discussion questions:

  • How do the prep times differ?
  • How does the cost per serving compare?
  • How do the appearance and flavor compare?
  • Which product do you prefer? Why?
  • In what situations might you use the store-bought tortillas? The homemade tortillas?




Friday I introduced Cinco De Mayo Foods with interesting facts and Dude Food’s choco taco recipe. We finished with a locating a recipe with a Mexican culture discussing herbs and spices common to the area.

Today we celebrated Cinco De Mayo with Chocolate Covered Ice cream Tacos.

This opened up our last unit on cost-saving strategies, homemade verses store-bought and menu planning.

Today, we used store-bought tortillas for this lab and tomorrow we will make homemade tortillas comparing the cost. We had a discussion on time saving factors for using store-bought and pre-made items such as the tortillas, ice cream and even magic shell.


The homemade magic shell we made today was excellent. I made two batches in a double boiler, enough for both Foods 1 classes.

My recommendations for doing this as a class:

  • Make the magic shell ahead of time so it has time to cool off.
  • Cool the taco shells about 5 minutes before filling them with ice cream. {I used one 5 gallon generic tub of Laura Lynn for 2 classes}.
  • Fill the taco shells with ice cream and allow them to harden in the freezer as long as possible. {We waited while we had a 15 minute class discussion}.
  • Dip the shells in the magic shell or use a spoon to pour the chocolate on top if the ice cream is melting.
  • Sprinkle with candy sprinkles in the cake isle or nuts {we had a student allergic to nuts}.



Make ahead and allow to cool. It lasted through two classes without setting up 🙂



Freeze for about 15 minutes or longer.



One bite and they were in love…



The kiddos devoured 40 of these on Cinco De Mayo.