I moved!

I moved! You can find me at my new online home, KaylaPins.com!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FACS Culinary Essentials Chili Cookoff 2014

This week the Culinary Essentials held a chili cookoff. They learned to adapt recipes to suit their own tastes. We also touched on regional cuisine. This fits nicely between the sauces unit and the soups unit.
We invited the teachers to taste our chili during conferences. We got rave reviews for the creative combinations! The results are still being calculated.

Stay tuned to find out which talented students are the Chili Cookoff 2014 Champions!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Popcorn Race Vocabulary Game

I'm always looking for ways to make our sexuality unit a little less awkward for my Teen Insights students. I came across this idea from Regurgitated Alpha Bits, the blog of an elementary teacher. She uses this game to review multiplication tables.

I have several decks of cards with vocabulary words and terms.  I distribute all of the cards to the class being sure that every student has at least two.

I choose a word to start. The student with the definition reads it. That same student reads a new word. On and on until the deck is finished.

After I demonstrated this to the whole class I divided my students into two smaller groups with their own deck. The groups race to see who can make it through their deck first.

I like this activity because the students are under pressure to find their words quickly and review the definition.  They don't have time to hesitate or feel awkward about the words they are assigned. The light peer pressure also encourages the students to study their words so they are not the student to hold their group behind.

Monday, April 28, 2014

How much money can we save by cooking our own beans instead of using canned?

The Culinary Essentials students are hard at work preparing chili for their cook off tomorrow afternoon. Teachers have conferences right away after school and won't have time to eat. That makes it the perfect time to have them vote on our chili.

The teachers are paying $5 for 16 ounces of chili, four side dishes, and a bottle of water. To maximize our profits we will be using dried beans instead of canned. 

My math question posed to my students is: How much money are we saving the department by cooking our own beans?
A 15 oz can of beans costs $.89.

One pound of dry beans equals about two cups. They triple in size when cooked.
I am giving Instagram a try! You can follow me @kaylapins and #chilicookoff2014.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ethical Communication Game

Today students played an old children's game- with a bit of a modern twist- to show the importance of ethical communication.

This is a variation of "Hot and Cold." Have three (tough skinned) students leave the classroom. The remainder of the class decides on an object to "lead" the students to.

The first student enters and can be given only negative comments. The second student can only be given positive comments. Only the third student can be given both positive and negative comments.

Inevitably, students will find that they get the best results with both positive and negative comments. They get the worst results with only negative comments.

Sometimes students think that ethical communication means letting other people have their way, even if they disagree. This activity demonstrates that ethical communication means that people communicate openly and honestly.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Five Mother Sauces Culinary Essentials FACS Lab

Yesterday I demonstrated an Espagnole sauce to my students. It takes several hours to make. Today students demonstrated the other four basic sauces:

The students were so proud of themselves, especially the ones who made the Hollandaise sauce. I was so impressed by their hard work!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stock up on Easter Sale Items

It's Easter time! Of course the true importance of this holiday is a personal one, it is also a good time to stock up on items that will keep your budget down for next year.
Things you will find at great prices this week include:

  • Ham Bones are a great way to demonstrate stock. They could also be used in cooking dried beans demonstration.
  • Pork products. No matter how much I hate the smell of cooking meat, my students still insist on sneaking bacon into every creative project. I hope this trend ends soon! :) The Iowa Pork Checkoff offers vouchers for purchasing pork for classroom use.
  • Peeps are great for demonstrating how a microwave works.  They are so much more fun than plain marshmallows. (And they are CHEEP! this time of year ;) )
  • Sugar! My local HyVee has it priced for just $.99 for 4 lbs, limit four per customer.
  • Flour! HyVee has it for $1.68 for 5 lbs, no limit!
  • Not a sale item, but fun to note that pies cost $10 on sale! What a great fundraiser or business idea!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sensory Perception Experiments

Students performed a variety of experiments showing the importance of sensory perception and how it applies to food appeal.

First, students evaluated how color and appearance affected perception of flavor.
I purchased three flavors of sparkling water and poured them into six clear cups. One of each of the flavors was clear and one of them had a drop of food coloring in them. 

I didn't tell students ahead of time what the objective of the experiment was. Students had the liquid poured into a dixie cup. Their partner timed from the time they took a drink to when they identified the flavor of the beverage.

As predicted, students correctly identified the clear liquids although it took them some time. They identified the blue drink as "Blue Raspberry" although it was strawberry. The drink that took the least time to identify was the lime drink that was also colored green.

Then, just for fun, we tried some jellybeans. We put them in our mouth without looking at them, but plugging our noses. We couldn't identify the flavor until we unplugged our nose. This demonstrated the difference between taste and flavor, as well as the importance of aroma.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Face Value" Drama, Cliques, Bullying Activity

To order my students for our conflict topics poster show I assigned each student a playing card. The students are not to look at their card, but to tape it to their forehead. They are to treat others according to their "face value." A "2" would be ignored or picked on while a "Queen" would be complimented. Obviously it's a good idea to give higher cards to your students who need some cheering up and lower cards to students with a good sense of humor.

It's too bad to see how fast students get each other in line!

Then, when students are signing up for topics, I go from lowest card to highest.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Attractive Plate Contrast Project

Students are understanding the importance of the visual appeal of food and how food can be attractively arranged on a plate.

We started by watching Confessions of a Food Stylist which is a very interesting look into, of course, the career of a food stylist. The students are always interested to see how the food they see photographed is often inedible! It is a nice video, only 18 minutes long, from Learning Zone Express.

Then I assign our Attractive Plate Contrast project. Our textbook, Culinary Essentials, refers to seven contrasts that should be considered when plating.

  • Color
  • Temperature
  • Garnish
  • Texture
  • Height
  • Shape
  • Flavor
Students trace a platter onto large construction paper.  Then they search through magazines to find examples of beautifully designed plates. I require students to include at least five pictures because many plates show more than one contrast. They write a sentence about how each contrast is demonstrated on their plates.

A Pinterest board could work for this project as well, but I like the tactile experience of the magazines.  There is a great discussion that happens as students leaf through the magazines.  Sometimes technology just makes things too easy. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ways We Communicate Journal

I use this journal entry to introduce our unit on Effective Communication. It is a great way for students to brainstorm all of the ways we communicate.
It's your birthday! During the day, several members with you a happy birthday and let you know that they care about you. You enjoy receiving their messages. One person in your family says, "I love you, have a happy birthday!" Another gives you a hug. You get cards in the mail from distant relatives. Your Facebook wall is filled with good wishes. For dinner your family prepares your favorite foods. Someone else even does your household chores for you! As you begin to open your gifts, you think of all the different kinds of loving messages you have received from family and friends that day.

Identify all of the ways that communication occurred in the events of your day. List some other ways "Happy Birthday" could have been communicated.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thrifted Magnetic Picture Frames

Just a quick note to share how excited I am for these little picture frames! I picked up 12 of them for 10 cents each from a thrift shop last weekend. They are 4 x 6 which is the perfect size for posting pictures and recipe cards on my vintage metal cabinets and magnetic white boards.