Preparing this week’s recipes of Chicken Tortilla Soup and Guacamole with Corn Chips within the two hours of class time, proved challenging for our budding cooks.

Coordinating two different recipes, with lots of ingredients and steps, called for two teams and careful attention to task. One team focused on making the guacamole dip and baking the corn chips while the other team took on the multi-step process of putting together the soup. Both teams had to make frequent reference to recipe instructions to stay on track. Students have more to learn about mis en place or getting all the ingredients lined up, prepped and ready-to-go before combining and/or cooking. Mis en place is one of the most important skills of cooking, especially for new cooks.


Everyone’s efforts were finally rewarded with a hearty and, as Olivia Quinn described, “flavorful” meal of hot soup, accompanied by a rich avocado dip and corn chips. Several students added that they found the melted topping of Monterey Jack cheese “gooey delicious.” The big hit of the meal was the fresh-made guacamole with crispy corn chips. Lime juice was substituted for lemon and provided an extra tang, along with fresh, chopped cilantro. Next week will feature another vegetable-rich meal that meets the 3 vegetables per day nutritional recommendation — Ratatouille with Quinoa.


Finally, broadening students’ openness to new eating experiences will remain a priority goal for future classes. Students will be expected to sample, even in small amounts, new or foods they think are not tasty. Many foods with the right preparation and/or combination of components can be surprisingly appetizing. As the saying goes: Try it. Maybe you’ll like it!