Nicole & Natalie – Group Leaders
Overview of schedule:
Monday 10/24: Our group began our Rensizzle Week by visiting the Union Square Greenmarket. We prepared for our trip by reading about the various types of farmers that sell their produce weekly, as well as learning about reasons to buy local food. When we arrived in Union Square, we embarked on our NYC Market Scavenger Hunt. Students had three tasks: 1. Find various types of produce and take pictures of them. 2. Record the price per portion. 3. Find a recipe that uses as many of the ingredients on the list as possible! Some of the foods students found were romanesco cauliflower, kale, tomatillos, and purple potatoes, just to name a few! We were even able to sample some tasty food along the way. Next, we made the walk over to Eataly, which is the largest Italian marketplace in the world. We ate some delicious focaccia bread and gelato, which made us feel as if we were in Florence itself! Eataly had various restaurants throughout the store, which we thought was very creative! The store had a huge cheese section, where they make fresh mozzarella daily. Yum!
Tuesday 10/25: Our second day of Rensizzle was all about the food! We headed to Greenwich Village to get in touch with our Italian side – via pizza! We stopped at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, which is famous for it’s giant slices of artichoke pizza. Students sample both the artichoke and margherita pizza. The artichoke pizza was unlike anything we’d ever tasted before! Made without tomato sauce, its creaminess was surprising! While the pizza was very filling, our day of food was just beginning! Next, we headed to the Amdo Kitchen food truck, located in our very own Jackson Heights! There, we tried beef and chicken momos that were made right on the spot! They were so delicious and warm on a cold day. After, we stopped for a treat at Lety’s Bakery, located just a few blocks from Renaissance. Our group was a big fan of the Oreo cheesecake, as pictured below! Illias was brave enough to try the pumpkin cheesecake, which was the perfect fall treat.
Wednesday 10/26: This Culinary group was sizzling on Wednesday! We were lucky to have visitors from Bubble Foundation Ltd. join us for a day of nutrition and cooking. In the morning, the founder of the foundation, James, talked to us about the types of sugars we find in our diet and which ones are healthy. We discussed what we would need to make some healthy pancakes. Surprisingly, there was some chemistry involved! We learned that to make pancakes, we need a starch (chickpea and brown rice flour), a binding agent (egg), a leavening agent (baking soda), and a liquid (milk). Our pancakes was not your traditional Sunday morning breakfast – these pancakes had no sugar in them! We balanced the flavor with some natural maple syrup, which we learned is a healthier alternative to Aunt Jemima. After enjoying our pancakes, we were joined by Emily, Alicia, and Nathalie, who are dietitians at the Bubble Foundation. We learned some more about what healthy living means. Healthy living includes physical, emotional, and mental health. The dietitians taught us about reading food labels, and how we can pick which foods are healthier. For example, the first ingredient listed is the most abundant in the food. When a product has sugar as its first ingredient, chances are it’s not very healthy! To put our new skills to the test, we headed to the supermarket. Our task was to pick a food at C-Town and write down information about the nutrition label. Then, we had to find the same type of food at the local healthy market and compare the labels. Students had various findings, dependent on which foods they chose. We were surprised to find that some foods that claimed to be “healthy” weren’t much healthier. Once we were back at school, we got back to business. We made three recipes: a salad, chocolate avocado mousse, and fruit seltzer.
Thursday 10/27: Now that we learned some things about cooking, we embarked on our second day in the kitchen. We were joined by our very own Chef Mo. Our menu was composed of red rice, green curry with chicken/tofu, and chocolate mousse. First, we put the rice in the oven to cook, because that takes the longest. Next, we got to work on the mousse. We whipped egg whites and cream, and melted the chocolate. We then learned about folding the chocolate into the egg whites, rather than mixing. Once this was finished, we set the mousse aside to cool in the refrigerator. We got to work on the curry next. You can find a picture of the recipe below. Mo taught us how to properly prepare chicken. We chopped up the vegetables for the curry and began cooking them. Once everything was cooked, we mixed it together in a giant pot and mixed the curry in. Then, the food was ready to eat! Everyone was happy to enjoy a warm meal after a day of hard work. After our entrée, we enjoyed our chocolate mousse, which had some fresh whipped cream and raspberries on top.
Photos, Videos, Writings, Blogs, Links: