Saturday, February 13, 2016

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
POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2015, 1:26 PM
Spaghetti and sausage with fresh basil and parmesan to garnish. (C.F. Sanchez / Staff Photographer)

 Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce and Turkey Sausage

Makes 6 servings

1 pound whole-grain spaghetti (suggestion: Barilla or Ronzoni)

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 1:26 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 3:45 PM

Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2014, 3:01 AM

 For our second class in the new kitchen at the Free Library of Philadelphia, we upped the ante, with a recipe for spaghetti and sausage with homemade sauce.

 Several of the five fifth graders from Russell Byers school said their families made spaghetti. But like many American families, that often means opening a jar. This sauce is going to be so much fresher and so much better than sauce made in a factory with extra stuff like corn syrup and preservatives, I told them. And it's pretty quick and simple.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 3:45 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 5:04 PM
Samiek Miller, 11, sprinkles cheese on top of the tuna melts, one of the final steps before they're placed in the oven to bake. Behind him, Dayanna Shomo, 11, works on the zucchini fries. (ANDREW THAYER / Staff Photographer)

The new commercial kitchen at the Free Library of Philadelphia is, by far, the most beautiful, tricked-out kitchen in which I've ever cooked.

We made lovely meals in the simple convent kitchen at St. Martin de Porres in North Philadelphia when the after-school cooking program began in 2012, and then in the public school cafeteria kitchens the following fall and spring.

As the program grew over the last two years, with volunteers cooking in schools in Philadelphia and Camden, some classes made feasts with just an electric frying pan.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 5:04 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 4:58 PM
Fresh from the oven, the tuna melts - and a few bean-mash melts - are ready for the hungry first-time chefs from Russell Byers Charter School. (Andrew Thayer / Staff Photographer)

Makes 6 servings

6 English muffins, whole-grain if available

12-ounce can albacore tuna packed in water, drained

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 4:58 PM  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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