What a great year this has been for our kids programming here at SoFAB! This Sunday, we wrapped up our 2016 Kids in the Kitchen programs with Cookie Stations, and it was an absolute sold-out, sugar-filled success. We had 5 cookie stations and made thumbprint, hot chocolate, and eggnog chocolate cookies (recipe below!), along with chocolate covered pretzels and a gingerbread and sugar cookie decorating station.
Celebrity judges Judy Walker (formerly Times-Picayune), Tariq Hanna (Sucre), and Patty Morton (Restaurant August) wrapped it all up with a little contest with Amelia Griffin winning for Best Decorated, and Dinah Smith winning Best Tasting! Chef Morton was with us all day running the eggnog cookie station, where she had the kids taste the ingredients individually before going into the mix. The general consensus was that unsweetened chocolate is better left for the birds, but how great that they got to see the difference it made in the end product!
2016 ended with Kids in the Kitchen bringing in 133 registrations, about 20% of those are repeat attendees! We had 170 camp registrations this year, with a similar multi-week registration percentage. One of the coolest things this year is the cross-over we had. It seemed in the past that kids either attended Kids in the Kitchen or Summer Culinary Camp. We would see familiar faces each summer and others once a month, but there weren’t a lot of folks attending both. This year, however, we started seeing those faces all year round! Our “counselors” or teachers reflected that as well! Lizzy Denton has been with Kids in the Kitchen for 2 years, and we were joined by Harleigh Schumer from Tulane this semester; but we also got to see Carli Harvey each session, and sometimes Mimi Wirth, both counselors at Camp this year who joined up for the year round fun!
From chicken nuggets and ice cream sandwiches to mini lasagnas and macaroni and cheese, we have had kids learning all sorts of skills in the kitchen both through hands-on practice and through taste-testing. I sincerely hope from our end that you’ve seen the growth in your own kitchen. Confidence and growth look different for each kid, maybe they are more confident with appliances, or familiar with spices and herbs, or maybe they are just more willing to try unfamiliar foods. Either way, we are looking forward with excitement, and frankly hunger, at 2017! Using the feedback we’ve been collecting all year, we have an incredible line-up in the New Year. We have breakfast foods, pizza, and *sigh* yes, cupcakes, and the middle schoolers will get their turn at making macaroni and cheese. We will also be making some cool adjustments to the Middle School program so keep your eyes on our website and kids newsletter to be the first to discover the exciting changes.
Finally, a pitch for gift certificates! For the first time, we have gift certificates available for Kids in the Kitchen programs. They are $20 each and you can pick them up at the front desk of the gift store, call 504.569.0405 and order by phone, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in stuffing some stockings with an experience (and an adventure!) in the kitchen. Our next class will be January 22nd!
See you on the flip side,
Chocolate Eggnog Cookies
My Aunt Judy's famous eggnog cookies! I'm not a huge eggnog fan, but you can sign me up for this recipe! We would look forward to Aunt Judy's Christmas tin every year...
- 1 cup margarine (room temp)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup eggnog
- 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons soft margarine
- 1/4 cup eggnog
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cream margarine, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Melt 4 squares of unsweetened chocolate, blend into mixture when cool.
- Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- Blend a little of the dry ingredients (flour mixture), and then a little eggnog, and then the dry ingredients, and then some eggnog, back and forth until both are blended into the batter.
- Add a spoonful of batter to an ungreased baking sheet for 8-10 min.
- Take cookies out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. While cookies are cooling, mix the frosting and spread on the cookies when they are cool to the touch.