Using Your Cooking Skills To Teach Others About Good Nutrition

cooking class, culinary, food and people concept - happy group of friends and male chef cook cooking in kitchen

The more you know the easier learning something new becomes. That also applies to cooking. Yes, anybody can acquire cooking skills. When you know and understand the basics of cooking, that leads to preparing good nutritious meals, something you can’t find at a sit down, or drive through restaurant.

Some individuals have taken their knowledge of cooking and preparing nutritious meals a step further. How so?

With their knowledge of cooking and nutrition, they want to share with others the benefits of turning food preparation in a home kitchen into a healthy nutritious meal.

Our guest today is one such individual. Her name is Keisha T. Prosser, and she calls herself: The Mobile Cooking Teacher.

Keisha T. ProsserAn Interview With Keisha

Splendid Recipes: Hey Keisha, how are you today?

Keisha: Doing just fine. Thanks for asking.

Splendid Recipes: Ready to answer some questions?

Keisha: Sure, but not to personal.

Splendid Recipes: No, nothing personal. Okay Keisha tell us, where are you from?

Keisha: I am a native of Philadelphia (USA).

Splendid Recipes: How long have you been working in the food industry?

Keisha: I have over 20 years’ experience in the food service industry.

Splendid Recipes: Wow, over 20 years. Where have you worked during those 20 years?

Keisha: I worked at Whole Foods Market, School Distract of Philadelphia, and as a Private Chef.

Splendid Recipes: What did those jobs teach you then, which have helped you now in the food service industry?

Keisha - The Mobile Cooking Teacher

The Mobile Cooking Teacher – Teaching a hands on healthy cooking class cooking class

Keisha: I learned how to be a better person and cook, and with that I have helped others to become good at healthy cooking. I don’t really look at it like a job, more like making new friendships.

I really enjoy cooking and showing others to prepare and cook different cuisines. Just seeing my client’s faces when they taste the food is priceless.

Splendid Recipes: Where did you learn your cooking skills?

Keisha: I graduated from “The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College” with an Associates of Science in Pastry Arts.

Splendid Recipes: For those of you who may not know where Walnut Hill College is, it’s in Keisha’s home town of Philadelphia.

The college was founded in 1974 and at the time was America’s first private college to offer career training in fine dining and the luxury hospitality industry.

The college offers four majors: Culinary Arts, Restaurant Management, Pastry Arts and Hotel Management. The majors are offered at the Associate and Bachelor’s degree levels.

Splendid Recipes: Keisha tell us what inspired you to want to work in the food industry?

Keisha: What inspired me was a nutritionist who came to our middle school. There was this one particular time, I believe it was March, yes the National Nutrition Month.

She came to our school and talk about the eating healthier and why we should. Though, I will say she brought food that I was not really familiar with.

Splendid Recipes: Oh really, what food was that?

Keisha -The Mobile Cooking Teacher - Talking to school children about homemade sugar cookies and life

Keisha -The Mobile Cooking Teacher – Talking to school children about homemade sugar cookies and life

Keisha: Green tomatoes, I don’t know much than about green tomatoes and personally I didn’t like green tomatoes. The nutritionist always seemed to bring food that to me did not make sense from where I come from.

Splendid Recipes: I guess at the time you might have not realized it, but March is also Dr. Suez Month, and Green Eggs and Ham is a favorite for many children. I guess therefore the green tomatoes and connection to good nutrition.

Keisha: Yes, that would be right.

Splendid Recipes: Tell us Keisha, what are you doing now with what you learned at Walnut College?

Keisha: I enjoy cooking, and I teach, “Healthy Cooking and Food Safety Workshops” at the local library, and Jenkintown Day Care Centers, both in Philadelphia.

Splendid Recipes: Is that all you do?

Keisha:  No, I also do public speaking at the local middle and high schools to teach the kids about the hows and whys of eating healthy.

Splendid Recipes: What is your hopes and desires when you are either talking about eating healthier, teaching others cooking skills and using that to preparing good nutritious meals?

Keisha: Since I have gone into food service, I always make sure that when I am teaching cooking skills, I do it in a way that people can understand, so they can prepare food in their own kitchens that is nutritious. I show them how to cook to benefit their health.

Splendid Recipes: Would it be fair to say Keisha, you have put cooking and nutrition into one package that will benefit your clients health?

 Keisha: Yes, that is right. My hope is that with the knowledge the individuals and families get from my workshops, will continue on to their own kitchen. Cooking and preparing food for themselves in a healthier way.

Splendid Recipes: Tell us Keisha what else you would like to share with us?

Keisha: I would like to share the importance of cooking together as a family.

Splendid Recipes: Great, we look forward to that Keisha. Thanks for your time.

Keisha: You’re welcome.

Please return for another interview with Keisha on cooking together as a family, March. 17,2016.

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Beat the Summer Heat with Crock Pot Cooking

Beat the Summer Heat with Crock Pot Cooking

As the weather outside warms up, the kitchen can be a terrible place to be. There are many things you can do however, when it comes to cooking a nice homemade meal that doesn’t require traditional stove top or oven cooking.

Learn to utilize some of the lesser heat producing equipment in your kitchen, such as the crock pot, in order to truly beat the summer heat and keep your cool while preparing a nice hot meal for friends and family.

How does crock pot cooking really help beat the heat? Simply put, the crock pot in and of itself puts off far less heat when cooking than an oven or stove top. This is the first and possibly the best reason to utilize the crock pot in your summer meal planning.

You should also consider the fact that using a crock pot to cook with will not heat the house and therefore preventing your air conditioning (or other cooling methods) from working overtime in order to compensate for the additional heat that other cooking methods introduce.

This makes crock pot cooking a win-win situation as the costs involved in operating a crock pot are far less than the costs involved in operating a stove or oven in general. Whether electric or gas, your stove and oven are often serious energy hogs. Add to that the fact that you are not raising the temperature in your home by traditional means of cooking and you are using even less electricity.

Unfortunately, the general consensus has been that crock pots are meant for comfort foods and hearty winter meals. The truth is that the crock pot should be one of your best loved and most often utilized cooking methods if you can manage it.

When it comes to cooking with a crock pot, the options are almost limitless. Almost anything that can be baked can be made in the crock pot. That includes many wonderful, enticing meals and treats.

Benefits of Crock Pot Cooking

In addition to the cost benefits mentioned above when it comes to crock pot cooking there are many other benefits that are well worth mentioning.

First of all, the bulk of the work involved in crock pot cooking takes place early in the day when you are refreshed rather than at the end of a hectic work or play day. This means that you are less likely to forget an ingredient or make other mistakes that often occur as we hurry to prepare a dinner when we are exhausted from the activities of our day.

Second, many great crock pot recipes include the vegetables that insure we are getting the nutrients we need. So often, when preparing a meal at the last minute, we may open a can of vegetables (in most cases canned vegetables have little to no nutritional value) in favor of expedience. Crock pot cooking in many instances is a meal in one dish.

Another great reason to use a crock pot for your summertime cooking is the ease of clean up. Unlike pots and pans, most crock pot meals are made in one dish. This means that there will not be mountains of dishes to be either hand washed or loaded into the dishwasher afterwards.

You can spend less time cleaning just as you spent less time slaving over a hot stove. Once cleanup is complete you can get back to enjoying the sun set, chasing the lightening bugs with your little ones, or waiting for the first star.

While there will never be a one size fits all best cooking method, crock pot cooking comes very close. If you have a crock pot collecting dust somewhere in the back of your pantry it is time to get it out, dust if off, and dig up some great summertime crock pot cooking recipes.

Here’s a great article we posted on the safety of crock pot cooking: Slow Cooking, Is it Safe?

 

Header Image credit: Restore Community Center

 

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What to Look for When Buying a Kitchen Timer

What to Look for When Buying a Kitchen Timer

Regardless of whether you are a master chef or a novice cook, the key to getting the best results is knowing what to look for when buying a kitchen timer. Depending on your level of cooking experience, the types of dishes you cook, and your individual kitchen, you may need different features in a timer.  Here are a few things you may want to consider when buying a kitchen timer.

Price – As a beginner, you may find that you can get away with a cheaper timer but you’ll also have to forego some of the advanced features. Experienced cooks will probably require a more feature rich kitchen timer, which is also more expensive. Set your price limit.

Casing – Most timers have a plastic or metal casing. If durability or matching stainless steel appliances is important, you may want to go with a metal casing.

Mounting – Think of where your timer will live in your kitchen. Do you need to move it around the room? Does it need a magnet for the refrigerator door? Would you prefer to have it sitting on a stand?

Number of timers – The more multi-tasking you do, the more timer sections you’ll need. When in doubt, go with multiple time sections.

Number of functions – Many timers include multiple functions with may include things like a clock, a timer (to count down) or a stop-watch (to count up) the time. Consider the dishes you cook or want to cook to choose the version that is right for your kitchen needs.

Time range – Timers range in their time limits from an hour or two up to almost a full day. For everyday use, a timer with a limit of a few hours will probably do but if you plan on cooking a turkey in the oven or drying items in the oven, opt for a longer time limit.

Memory – Are you cooking items that require the same cook time like 12 dozen batches of cookies? Make sure the kitchen timer has a good memory so you can just hit the button to restart the timer.

Power source – Some timers are powered by an electrical cord while others run off of batteries only. When in doubt, go with batteries or better yet, a timer with both!

Here are comparison specifics for three types of kitchen timers.

Kitchen timers

Brand West Bend

# 40053

Maverick

Professional

Polder 891-90
Price $15.00 $10.00 $20.00
Casing White Plastic Stainless Steel White Plastic
Magnet/Stand Clip, magnet, stand & hole for hanging Stand, magnet and hole for hanging Stand & Magnet
Number of Timers 3 3 3
Multi-Function Timer & Clock Clock, Timer & Stopwatch Clock, Timer & Stopwatch
Time Range Up to 100 minutes Up to 100 minutes 20 hours
Memory Recall Yes Yes Yes
Batteries 2 AAA (included) 2 LR44 button battery cells (included) 2 AA (included)
Amazon Reviews Overall Score/5 3.5 3.2 2.1

Now that you’ve identified what you want from your timer, settled on a price limit, and seen a few of the available options in this comparison chart, you will be more equipped to find and purchase the perfect kitchen timer for your needs.

 

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