Learning to measure slice, dice and chop ingredients were just a few of the life skills learned at the 4-H Chopping Block day camp. The cooking school was held one day for 4-H members, and one day for local Girl Scouts.
The 4-H members participating in the event were in grades four through six. Twenty-five youth attended the day camp, along with seven teen leaders and four adult volunteers. While at the camp, participants were broken up into five groups with each group having three recipes to prepare. While in the groups, kids learned how to read a recipe, prepare healthy foods and many more skills.
This year’s theme was “Tiempo de Fiesta” (Time to Party). The groups prepared 15 different Mexican recipes that included, but were not limited to, Alambres, Mexican Cornbread, Tostadas de Pollo and Spicy Refried Beans.
“I thought Chopping Block was a lot of fun. We cooked foods I had never tried before,” said Mollie McGinnis. “My favorite was the homemade Mexican rice and I thought it was delicious. I also enjoyed making new friends while cooking.”
During the festivities, Austin Barry, dairy month chairman, spoke to the participants about the benefits and importance of dairy products in a child’s life. A United Healthcare representative also attended and provided treats for the children. At the end of the day camp, participants were given an apron with their name on it, a cookbook of the recipes that were made in the class, a bag of goodies from United Healthcare, and a T-shirt.
Some of the recipes made by Chopping Block attendees were:
Mexican Corn Bread
2 cups yellow corn meal
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup butter (melted)
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup canned chopped green chilies
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, stir together corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, chili powder and salt. Stir in chilies, milk, butter and egg. Pour into a greased 8 x8 inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 (14 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup shredded colby cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, and stir in the taco seasoning and tomatoes. Line a 9x13 in dish with half the tortillas. Spoon the beef mixture into the dish, then top with the remaining tortillas. Spread salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 min or until cheese melted and bubbly.
(Mexican Sugar Cookies)
3 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cream butter with a blender. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter while still beating until it is all incorporated.
Use a teaspoon to spoon out small pieces of dough and shape into a cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle warm cookies with sugar and cinnamon.