Monday, September 26, 2011

pasta with brie

Bowtie pasta with brie is so easy. Chopped tomatoes and basil are added to garlic sauteed in olive oil
and slightly cooked down. Brie cheese is added on top of the tomato mixture and melted.
All of this is stirred into hot pasta and topped with toasted pinenuts.
Always check for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.
I prepare 50 lbs of pasta.

As usual we served plain pasta for those students who prefer boring pasta.
Roasted broccoli was served, as well as farm fresh nectarines and peaches.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

bbq chicken sandwich

Family group lunch Monday

On Mondays the students are put into groups with older and younger students and an adult. The groupings stay the same for the entire year, and its a great way for students to become friends with kids who are not in their class. The group always has a moral topic of discussion to chat about between bites. Each Monday a different sandwich is featured. The most popular sandwiches are bbq chicken, chicken salad and caprese. Besides the featured sandwich we also offer peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese. The students pre order their sandwich the week before so we know how many to make. Besides the sandwich we also pack string cheese, chips(baked), a juice box and a piece of fruit.
Sometimes a small bag of carrots or a cookie will be served.
Each family group order is put into a large picnic style bag and one representative from each group comes and picks it up.
The lunches are eaten picnic style all around the school.

It sounds a lot easier than a regular lunch day, with no dishes, or time spent serving each child. However, Mondays are not easier, as I am here on Sunday preparing for tomorrow. It takes a lot of effort to feed the entire McGIllis school at one time.
I prep the chicken on Sunday, so that there will be time to prepare, wrap and sort all of the family group lunches on Monday.
With some careful planning, and hustle, hot foods are served hot and cold foods are served cold. We try hard to make this an enjoyable lunch for all. Most students like the change of pace and scenery from the dining hall.
For us in the kitchen, its a day to catch up on our cleaning schedule, and planning for the upcoming week.

I really like the idea of the students becoming friendly with students of other ages. At the soccer game last week, I overheard a student cheering, his mother asked him who he was cheering for, he smiled as he answered, " my family group friend".

Friday, September 23, 2011

tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich

1/2 cup olive oil (I use 1/4 cup)
1 large carrot diced
1 large onion diced
3# tomatoes chopped use fresh or a very good brand of canned tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper
pinch to tablespoon of sugar
feta cheese for serving

Heat a large stock pan over medium high heat, add oil, add onions and carrot. Stir and cook til onion is translucent, and carrot begins to soften (about five minutes.)
Add tomatoes and basil and stir to combine. Bring to a boil , then cover the pan and simmer until all veggies are soft, (about 30 minutes.)
Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar to taste. If you like this consistency serve as is, I use a blender to puree this soup. You can also add water if you like.
This is the recipe for the tomato soup that McGillis students love. Its a favorite with grilled cheese.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

chicken drumsticks

Eeeek my new recipe failed me. The Rosh Hashanah inspired sauce for the chicken did not turn out well. It did not thicken at all and luckily I had another pre made sauce on hand to substitute. Well I had high hopes for the sauce, but the students really liked the chicken so it was not an absolute failure. It was a four napkin lunch and I saw lots of happy faces while they held their chicken leg with their hand.

It is always scary for me to try some thing new. I can pre plan and calculate servings over and over but it is always scary when those little faces see something new. Most times they like new things but I never know for sure.

We also served farm fresh cantaloupe and corn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

mac and cheese

Macaroni and cheese was served today. As usual we served plain pasta as an option. I really like this shape of pasta, its a long corkscrew called Cavatappi. It holds the cheese really well.

We had some peaches that really needed to be used so we peeled and sliced them. Katherine made a quick crumble topping and baked them. It tasted great even without sugar or butter, just sweet ripe peaches and a crumble topping.

Italian plums and bananas and kiwi were offered at the fruit bar today.

Salad bar fact... Peeled hard boiled eggs and black olives are the salad bar favorite this week. Fourth and Fifth graders love them.

New Entree Thursday. Never served at McGillis before..... Chicken drumsticks made with honey and apple juice in honor of
Rosh Hashanah. If its a hit I will post the recipe Thursday. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

chicken and rice with curry veggies

Roast chicken in gravy was served over basmati rice. Veggie curry was offered as a side dish.
The curry has asparagus, green beans, broccoli, onions, chard, carrots, coconut milk, and a bunch of other yummy ingredients.
Grapes, plums and kiwi were fruit options today.
The students really like this lunch and almost half of the upper grades love the curry.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

farmers market

Just got back to McGillis from the farmers market. Oh the smells of fall are in the air .Squash, pears and apples were every where.
My farmer friend was pleased to give me his favorite apple, Akani. Its a smaller sweeter apple and mostly red. I bought two cases with the promise that he would bring me more next week. I found Italian plums that are so sweet and just the perfect size for small hands. I bought plenty of cantaloupe, enough for the whole school. Farmers are so glad to hear about the McGillis School and I make lots of friends when I want to purchase such large amounts. Usually the farmers make the prices lower if people buy in bulk.

Lets talk veggies, I found some beautiful peppers, red green and almost white. I found yellow cherry tomatoes, red and pear shaped baby tomatoes. Two types of green beans which I will roast and put on the salad bar. Lovely armenian cucumbers and red onions will look and taste wonderful on the salad bar. Fresh red potatoes will go in our veggie curry as a side to chicken and rice
Now here is the part that will cause moaning and whining aplenty from the rest of the kitchen staff.......... corn on the cob!!!!!!
I bought lots and lots of corn. It will take quite a bit of work to shuck corn. Cleaning all of the hairs and trimming each ear.
Oh well fresh corn only comes around one season a year.

Friday, September 16, 2011

chicken teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki was served today. Basmati rice and edamame were the sides.
I steam the chicken, then shred it, baking it with the teriyaki sauce.
Most students really like edamame, but a few teachers thought they were lima beans!
Im not against lima beans but I certainly would not serve them with chicken teriyaki.
We served a variety of fruit today.

I am off to the farmers market again this weekend. Looking forward to a new variety of apples.
The farmer I have been buying from expects pears as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce sicilain

Home made fresh tomato sauce sicilian style was served on the spaghetti today. Katherine made chocolate cake from scratch.
We believe that a treat should be just that, a treat. At McGillis we do not serve sweets very often (about once a month), but when we do they are home made and wonderful.

An interesting tidbit about the salad bar, we use a spring mix and romaine blend with spinach. Lots of students pile the lettuces on to their tray and a student recently asked me for arugula ! It made my day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sandwich option

This year we are pleased to add a turkey sandwich to the list of sandwiches that students can opt to eat instead of the main entree.
We know that some students are putting the turkey on their salad and so we are offering it with or without the bread.
Its a great quality turkey no preservatives, no fillers.

Peanut Butter and Jelly is another sandwich available daily. Ingredients are Adams peanut butter no sugar added and I use a strawberry preserve that the majority of the students like.

Cheese sandwich is the last option. Its pretty plain, just a good slice of real cheddar cheese.

Mustard and Mayo are available in the dining hall to put on the sandwiches.

The bread that I use is Granny Sycamore honey whole wheat. Its been a journey to find the bread that suits the majority of our students. If its too grainy, the students really dislike it. Whole wheat is a must.

I try to make healthy, tasty main entrees that all students enjoy, but its impossible, so sandwich choices are available daily.
Sandwiches are served with the same sides that the main entree is served with, unless it is an additional starch like a roll.

chili beans

Chili beans with black, pinto and white beans. A bit of cheese and a few corn tortilla chips go a long way in tempting kids to eat the chili. Our yogurt is organic vanilla and low fat. Fruit options continue to be farm fresh apples and bananas. Today we tried garbanzo beans on the salad bar and were surprised so many students liked them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

farmers market and our new salad bar

Every weekend I have gone to the Murray Farmers market and purchased peaches, apples, pears, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and anything we can use for lunch. I have made some good friends with farmers and hope to continue our arrangement even after the market ends. Different varieties of apples arrive weekly and our students really enjoy the different tastes. I love the colors and smells of all of the different vegetables and fruits. The students have enjoyed all of this bounty at the salad bar, where they get to choose all that goes on their salad.

baked potato bar

We had baked potato bar today. Baked potato with every imaginable topping, cheese sauce , mushrooms, broccoli, onions.
We served fresh peaches and apples. The salad bar was a big hit today.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chicken Tenders(fritters)

We had baked chicken tenders with lemon smashed potatoes and fruit salad.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pancake Bar

We're playing catch up!

Last week we had pancake bar...a student favorite. It's an indulgence we allow twice a year.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Alfredo Pasta

PASTA ALFREDO was served with or without sauce. The sauce was homemade and had lots of steamed veggies like zuchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and carrot, broccoli and cauliflower . Vanilla organic yogurt and farm fresh peaches, and bananas were sides.