Saturday, August 29, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 3:24 PM
Camden students learn cooking techniques. (STEVEN M. FALK / Staff)


Kitchen studies

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 3:24 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 2:14 PM
At Camden's Sacred Heart School, students (from left) Bryson Barnes, Ruth Biemer, Isaiah Brown, Jason Stevens, Sylvia Wilson, and Angelica Marrero prepare shrimp with linguine. (STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer)

"Shrimp!" called out Angelica Marrero, 10, raising her fists in celebration as she entered the kitchen. She and her classmates at Sacred Heart School in Camden had been looking forward to this cooking lesson: shrimp with lemon garlic linguine. "I'm so excited for shrimp," she said.

The students had flipped ahead in their cookbooks to see what recipes they would be making during the eight-week healthy-cooking class, and this was the one they were all waiting for. Last week, when Bryson Barnes, 10, said his mom made the dish with broccoli instead of peas, the other students wished for broccoli, too.

So the volunteers, Ruth Biemer and Sylvia Wilson, two retired elementary-school teachers with decades of experience, taught the children a lesson before the class even started: A recipe need not be followed to the letter. If you like broccoli better than peas - use broccoli.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 2:14 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 2:12 PM
Young cooks at Sacred Heart in Camden pinch the tails off the shrimp. (STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer)


Makes 6 servings

2 pounds frozen shrimp (large, cooked, peeled and deveined), thawed overnight

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 2:12 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6:16 PM
And they were not disappointed!
Maureen Fitzgerald @ 6:16 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6:10 PM
I wrote about another class at Sacred Heart School in Camden this week, but the girls at Roberto Clemente did a fabulous job with the shrimp linguine. And they loved it.
Maureen Fitzgerald @ 6:10 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 16, 2015, 8:37 AM

My Daughter's Kitchen The My Daughter's Kitchen cooking program, founded by Philadelphia Inquirer Food Editor Maureen Fitzgerald, spends eight weeks at Roberto Clemente Middle School -- one of 20 schools participating this year -- to teach kids simple, easy, nutritious and delicious meals to make at home. ( CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )  

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 8:37 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 16, 2015, 8:18 AM
Tatiana Castillo gets a taste of cheese from classmate Brittany Jones while cutting vegetables for a quiche that will be made at Roberto Clemente Middle School. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

The most rewarding part of teaching kids to cook is watching them progress. They not only build very practical skills in the kitchen - learning how to hold a knife, chop onions, peel carrots, sauté and roast - they also learn to keep an open mind. They learn to be willing to try something new. And they are often surprised at how much they enjoy things they never thought they would.

Two weeks ago, when we were making honey mustard chicken wings with eighth graders at Roberto Clemente Middle School, Emily Gonzalez lamented: "I don't like mustard, can I have mine plain?" And Jodallis Pabon announced: "I don't eat cooked vegetables."

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 8:18 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 16, 2015, 8:10 AM
Dajah Bryant (left) and Beinushi Jean-Pierre measure mustard and lemon juice. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer)

The Philadelphia Montessori Charter School is housed in a former city rec center on the corner of Island and Saybrook Avenues in Southwest Philadelphia. The grand, weathered old brick building has been retrofitted into a thriving elementary school for about 170 children, mostly from the neighborhood.

The kindergarten classroom there, equipped with nothing but a sink and a convection microwave oven, serves as a teaching kitchen for after-school cooking classes twice a week. The sixth graders squeeze into chairs meant for children half their age, prepping and measuring ingredients at the tiny classroom table to prepare easy, healthy dinners from the My Daughter's Kitchen cooking program.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 8:10 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

The mission. To teach schoolchildren to cook healthy, easy meals on a budget.

The reach. Volunteers are teaching 20 classes in Philadelphia and Camden, with intent to expand.

The partner. Vetri Foundation shares the goal of encouraging healthy eating for children.

To support. Send donations to Vetri Foundation for Children, 1113 Admiral Peary Way, Quarters N, Philadelphia 19112; note "My Daughter's Kitchen" or go to

To participate. Submit recipes to be considered: Simple, 500-calorie, nutritious meals, prepared in less than an hour, for $20 or less for six servings. Send recipes to

Reach My Daughter's at

My Daughter's Kitchen
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