For our last class before the Family Dinner, our chefs were excited to learn they would be making tacos. They were even MORE excited to learn they would be making a dessert.

After hearing we had made strawberry shortcake last semester, they were eager to make “something sweet” and asked almost every week if that would be the class they would do it.

In Week 7 they got their wish, when we announced we would be making Jelly Donut Muffins. Baking requires a different skill set from the recipes we had done earlier. Instead of chopping and dicing, chefs need to measure ingredients precisely so that the baked dish will turn out right.

For this task, Madeline Rookwood and Magavi Cortes jumped at the chance to work with Ms. Linda to whisk the dry ingredients, break the egg and measure the butter and milk required. They learned that the ingredients work together like an experiment in science class to produce something delicious and sweet. In this case, they used two kinds of jelly to provide sweetness — grape and strawberry — and they discovered that each would provide a different flavor when the muffins were finished.

Meanwhile, Jamal Gill and Dariel Cordero were busy chopping the vegetables we would need for the taco mix. Some of our chefs had never eaten mushrooms and didn’t like the taste when they sampled them raw. But Madeline assured them they are good when cooked by saying “I like them on steak.”

Making the taco mix was a challenge with our little hot plate, because we had to have two skillets going at once for the mushrooms and meat. But our chefs learned that you can solve problems by being flexible, as they shifted the skillets back and forth on the burners to evenly distribute the heat. Everyone liked breaking up the ground turkey and how we built the taco mix ingredient by ingredient — first the onions, then the peppers, then the tomatoes and spices. Then it was time for the fun of assembling the tacos in the hard shells, spooning out the meat and vegetables and topping with cheese.

Our chefs love cheese and couldn’t wait to get the tacos to the table. They were not disappointed. “This smells absolutely delicious,” Jamal said, forming an A-OK symbol with his finger and thumb for emphasis.

The jelly muffins were also a hit, though the chefs liked the grape jelly more than the strawberry. Overall, Dariel gave the meal “a 10 out of 10,” and when the class was asked if everyone liked it, all four hands went up.