Friday, March 6, 2015

POSTED: Friday, April 4, 2014, 3:03 PM
At Henry Lawton School , (from left) Nysirah Hall, Kimberly Luu, and Aneza Abalo read their recipe. ED HILLE / Staff Photographer

Even before the others had shed their backpacks and donned their aprons, Nick Rodriguez, 10, was smashing a clove of garlic, slamming his fist on the flat side of a knife, at our second cooking class at Henry Lawton Elementary. Yes, he said, without looking up, he had already peeled it.

"Hey! I want a turn!" said Christian McKinney, 11, feeling like he was missing out.

"Hang on, guys," I said. While I was thrilled with the enthusiasm and the smashing skill retained from class the week before, I wanted to remind them to read the entire recipe before plowing in.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 3:03 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, April 4, 2014, 2:55 PM
The end result - tortellini minestrone soup.

 Makes 8 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 2:55 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 12:02 PM
Christian McKinney crushes nutmeg as Kimblerly Luu watches in the kitchen at Henry W. Lawton School in Tacony, one of 10 schools in an after-school program with 20 volunteers teaching 50 children to cook. DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer

My Daughter's Kitchen has taken on a life of its own!

What started as a blog to help my daughter do more of her own cooking has turned into an after-school program with 20 volunteers in 10 schools teaching 50 children to cook this spring.

What started as a lament that cooking has become a lost art, and then a challenge to come up with easy, healthy, cheap recipes, evolved a year ago into cooking classes at St. Martin de Porres in North Philadelphia.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 12:02 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:57 AM
Christian McKinney (left) and Nick Rodriguez start making the buttermilk chicken batter. (DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer)

As I walked through the front door at Henry W. Lawton School with five students in tow, all of us lugging pots and pans and bags of groceries, the school police officer stopped us cold.

"Hey, hey, wait a minute," said Raymond Mahon, getting up from his desk and blocking our passage. "What's all this? Where are you going?"

"Cooking class," I said, explaining that I had checked in earlier before retrieving the children to help me carry stuff from my car.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 11:57 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:53 AM
Ready for squishing: Fifth grader Kimberly Luu holds a bag of chicken, to be bathed in marinade.


Makes 6 servings

12 chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 11:53 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:43 AM
Spicing the sweet potato fries are Nysirah Hall (left), Maureen Fitzgerald, and Nick Rodriguez in the kitchen at Henry W. Lawton School in Tacony. (DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer)


Makes 6 side-dish servings

4 medium sweet potatoes, well washed, cut in half, then cut into thick fries

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 11:43 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, January 17, 2014, 11:56 AM
Kareema Brown laughs as her younger sister Kiara cuts onions wearing no-cry glasses. Watching them are Brian Fernandez (left) and Yariel Fernandez. Kiara was visiting her sister's cooking class on its last day when the students were preparing a final feast for their familes. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)

We had a lot on our plates for our final cooking class at Bayard Taylor Elementary in North Philadelphia, especially for fifth-grade cooks: We were preparing dinner for their families, cooking the favorite recipes from the ones they had learned. Each of the five children had invited two guests. At least that was the plan.

 Somehow, we ended up with three younger siblings in the kitchen: Kareema Brown's younger sister, Kiara, 10, and the little brother and sister of Yariel Fernandez, Bryan, 9, and Yarianna, 7. And Bryan, a high-energy boy, was already running laps around the prep area.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 11:56 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, January 17, 2014, 11:45 AM
Cooking crew at Community Partnership: (From left) Nicholas Bowersox, Adrian Seltzer, Jalia Hale, Katherine Rapin, Lucas Graham, Annette Grant, and Aniya Daniels.

Young Scholars Douglass

We were supposed to have guests for our last cooking class, but the children's parents had work commitments or other obligations and the teachers and administrators were involved with other after-school activities.

Maureen Fitzgerald @ 11:45 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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