Wednesday, March 4, 2015

POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 7:38 PM
(Left to right: Bethany Swan, Liz Fitzgerald, Christina Brown, Maureen Fitzgerald, Dayanna Shoms, and Aelyn Estevez) Everyone keeps busy during Monday's My Daughter's Kitchen cooking class at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch. Monday, December 8, 2014. ( C.F. Sanchez / Staff Photographer)

The fifth graders from Russell Byers Charter School had learned plenty of kitchen skills since we started our cooking classes back in October. Now, it was time to put them to the test: cooking dinner for their families, a group of about 20.

Glazed salmon was the students' first choice, but in our mission to teach healthy and affordable cooking, here was another lesson: When feeding a crowd, don't choose an expensive protein. "Salmon is too pricey," I said.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 7:38 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 7:29 PM
fd1daughter11v (Right) Laurada Byers shares some personal cooking stories with (left) Bethany Swan during Monday's My Daughter's Kitchen cooking class held at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch. Byers started the Russell Byers Charter School near Logan Square, where all the cooking students attend school. Monday, December 1, 2014. C.F. Sanchez / Staff Photographer

The faces of the fifth graders lit up as they arrived for their seventh week of after-school cooking classes.

"Hello, Mrs. Byers!" Kaylah Nobrun called out. A chorus of greetings from the others followed.

"She's our founder," Kaylah said proudly, referring to Laurada Byers, who started the Russell Byers Charter school - named for her late husband - that these students attend, and who had come to visit the class they walk to at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 7:29 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 7:26 PM
fd1daughter11n Oven roasted chicken skewers made during Monday's My Daughter's Kitchen cooking class at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch. Monday, December 1, 2014. C.F. Sanchez / Staff Photographer

Chicken Skewers

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 7:26 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 3:07 PM
Chicken stir fry with vegetables. (C.F. Sanchez / Staff Photographer)

Stir-Fry With Chicken Thighs

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless (make sure each is completely dry)

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 3:07 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 1:52 PM
Amber Wiggins (left) and Bethany Swan get a quick lesson from chef Marc Vetri on how to score a zucchini for grilling. Vetri helped instruct "My Daughter's Kitchen" cooking class at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and taught a kitchen good-luck trick involving flying salt. (C.F. SANCHEZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 12:56 PM

'So why aren't we making real grilled cheese?" said chef Marc Vetri, who was visiting our after-school cooking class.

"Well, we're going for something healthier," I said. Baked whole-wheat pitas stuffed with cheese and homemade tomato soup - a reinvention of the classic pairing.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 1:52 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 1:48 PM
Vetri sits down with students to enjoy the tomato soup, toasted pita, and grilled zucchini dinner they all helped prepare. A couple of students thought the soup could use more salt, and Vetri agreed with the young assistants. (C.F. SANCHEZ / Staff Photographer)
Homemade Tomato Soup

Makes 6 servings

1 pound roma tomatoes, cut in half

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 1:48 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 1:43 PM
Students in the after-school cooking class at Wissahickon Charter watch as teacher Lisa Krader (left) drains the broccoli. The fifth graders marveled at the bright green of the vegetable. Making the salmon glaze came next. (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)

Lauren Bolger, 10, was the first to arrive for the after-school cooking class at Wissahickon Charter School, and she started pulling out the cutting boards and arranging them on the prep table.

"We know what to do," she said confidently, as Amaarah Abdur-Rahman and Renee Howard, both also 10, joined her.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 1:43 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 1:40 PM
Teacher Linda Todorow and the students marinate the salmon. Left to right, Renee Howard, Todorow, Zora Jackson and Lauren Bolger. ( ED HILLE / Staff Photographer )
Glazed Salmon

Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 1:40 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Maureen Fitzgerald, Inquirer food editor, has been cooking dinner for 30 years. Her blog started with teaching her daughter, but has been continuing for the past two years with school children, this fall with fifth graders from Russell Byers Charter in Phila. The program continues to expand with 32 volunteers teaching 75 children in 15 classes this fall in Phila and Camden, in partnership with the Vetri Foundation for Children.

Reach My Daughter's at mfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

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