Carbohydrates & Protein

Today in class, we learned about carbohydrates and proteins and their main function for the human body.

Carbohydrates are main source of energy from the human body. Examples of carbohydrates are potatoes, brown rice and pasta.

Proteins is an energy yielding nutrients composed with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Examples of protein are meat and dairy products.

Today, we made our own dish that must contain both nutrients.

We had chicken, brown rice, beans, potatoes, greens and bell peppers.IMG_8366
Chicken in tomato sauce with onion and bell peppers.

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Potato Wedges

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Stuffed Potatoes with cheese, chicken, spinach, broccoli and greens.

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Make Your Own Sausage!

by Claudia Gerardo, Stephanie Lopez

We’re also doing a restaurant presentation. The theme of our restaurant is Italian. We’re calling it Augustus Italian Restaurant.

We wanted to add sausage to our pasta, but a lot of packaged sausage is unhealthy. It has added sugar and chemicals. So we made our own from Chef Cindy’s recipe.

We used ground turkey, some spices, and mixed it all together. Then we fried in a pan, and added to the pasta.

Easy!

Here we are with the pasta and sausage.

Here we are with the pasta and sausage.

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Make Your Own Ketchup!

By Alexias Vierra and Cyndy Gomez

Today we’re giving a restaurant presentation in Pam Deane’s English Class. We had to design a restaurant and menu with a social mission. Our restaurant , The Wonder Diner, is in Chicago. It focuses on women’s education. We have special night where part of our profits go to support a foundation that helps women get an education

Our restaurant is The Wonder Diner in Chicago. We’re making hamburgers and French fries. But people like ketchup with those things and regular ketchup has tons of chemicals and sugar in it. We made our own.

It’s really easy: We took some tomato sauce. We added some sugar (just a little!) vinegar, cloves, salt, and pepper. Then we simmered it until it was the consistency of ketchup.

Here's Alexias with the ketchup. Yum!

Here’s Alexias with the ketchup. Yum!

It was easy! Try it!

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Change the Food, Change Everything Cafe and Market Garden Open for Business!

by Eduardo Dominguez and Alison Armand

Alison: I’ve been friends with Cindy for 10 years. I knew that she was doing this school project. Every year, College Park has a Pops Picnic put on by the College Park High School Music Department. College Park is a neighborhood in Pleasant Hill, it’s near Diablo Valley College Last year, everybody had to rush and do their picnic. We thought it would be a good idea to provide meals for busy families. First I looked up Cindy’s restaurant, meals were $11.99, then I looked up Panera, $9.99. I didn’t know if would be possible for the school to do it. She said come on over.

I thought it would be neat to work together. We’re all in the same school district. We shouldn’t be like islands. I would like it if the class could come to the concert.

Eduardo: I dislocated my wrist in a bike accident, so I can’t really cook. So today, Chef Cindy and I helped Alison come up with a menu for the event. We chose three items: one sandwich, one salad and one vegetarian option:
1. Sesame Ginger Salad with Carrots and Napa Cabbage, with a brown rice cake.
2. Vegetarian Hummus Wrap with Avocado with Sprouts and Spinach
3. Open Face Roasted Vegetables with Tuna/Egg Salad.
We’ll serve fresh fruit with everything.

This was the first time I’ve come up with a menu like this. It wasn’t hard because Chef Cindy knows what she’s doing. And it’s really plain and simple, which is what people want.

Here's Eduardo, holding up the menu. See his arm?! Ouch!

Here’s Eduardo, holding up the menu. See his arm?! Ouch!

Alison: We’re not sure how many we’re going to order, maybe 50 to 75. They’re going to figure out how much it is. Cindy said the price would be around $5. We’ll sell it for a little more. It will be our fundraiser.

This new room is impressive! When I was in home ec, there was a mirror, and now there’s a screen.

The energy’s good. Everyone’s involved.

Eduardo: I’m looking forward to going to the concert!

Alison: We’re going to come back on April 26th, for a taste test. I’m going bring the head of the College Park Instrumental Music Boosters. We’re looking forward.

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Visitors from Children and Family Services

This week, we had visitors from the Contra Costa County bureau for Children and Family Services (CFS). The program coordinator, Don Graves, and Tim Hamm, the assistant program coordinator, came by to check out our new classroom.

Every year, CFS gives a recognition dinner for kids who’ve graduated from high school even though they have had big challenges in their lives. Chef Cindy has cooked for that banquet since 2009. Last year, kids from Mt. Diablo High helped cater that event. So Mr. Graves and Mr. Hamm came by to talk about the banquet, too. This year, our class is going to do the cooking for it!

It turns our that Mr. Hamm went to Mt. Diablo High. He took home economics in the classroom across the hall from the new kitchen. We’re using that classroom temporarily this year because it gives us access to the market garden we’re planting, and we used it for a while because our new space didn’t open up quite on schedule.

We asked our visitors what they thought about the contrast between the older classroom (the one across the hall) and our new kitchen classroom. Here’s what they said:

Here's Mr. Timothy Hamm, assistant program coordinator for CFS, in the old classroom

Here’s Mr. Timothy Hamm, assistant program coordinator for CFS, in the old classroom

Mr. Hamm: “I took classes in this room. It was home ec in those days and it was chaotic. There were sewing machines and cooking materials, everything thrown into one area. Also, as part of my job at CFS, I taught life skills classes in this room for years. But this old room is depressing. The color. Everything’s old.”

Mr. Graves: “The new room symbolizes a bright future, You’re talking about food. You re-training how kids think about food. You’re changing their palates. We’re in this fast food society, where convenience overruns health. I see this not only healthwise, but careerwise. Today, I talked to a student, Cyndy. She told me that she wants to be a lawyer, and that she still wants to be a lawyer, but that Chef Cindy’s class has helped open her eyes about business ownership.”

Here's Mr. Hamm, left, and Mr. Don Graves, right, in the new classroom.

Here’s Mr. Hamm, left, and Mr. Graves, right, in the new classroom.

Mr. Hamm: “When you walk into the new room, it’s like walking into another world. It gives kids hope. It gives kids quality of life. It’s investing in careers, and in longevity of life. It’s awesome.”

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We’re Going to Earn This Kitchen

So, as we said in our previous post, we’re in the new kitchen now. The school district spent a lot of money so that we could have a new, clean space to learn about healthy cooking and eating. Here are some of the super cool things in this new kitchen:

We've got beautiful cabinets and counters. Here, John Marquez is getting ready to put some quiches in the oven.

We’ve got beautiful cabinets and counters. Here, John Marquez is getting ready to put some quiches in the oven.

This commercial-grade oven can get super hot. It's also a "convection oven," which means it circulates the air around so that things cook faster.

This commercial-grade oven can get super hot. It’s also a “convection oven,” which means it circulates the air around so that things cook faster.

There are shiny new hoods over each cook station to whisk away steam and cooking smells.

There are shiny new hoods over each cook station to whisk away steam and cooking smells.

We've got open shelving, so that we can see what's where.

We’ve got open shelving, so that we can see what’s where.

We've got room for industrial shelving for spices so that we can see everything. Plus, a second video monitor!

We’ve got room for industrial shelving for spices so that we can see everything. Plus, a second video monitor!


We've got a walk-in fridge. Here's our assistant teacher Kristin showing it off!

We’ve got a walk-in fridge. Here’s our assistant teacher Kristin showing it off!

We are so happy to be in this new space. When you walk through the door, it just makes you feel good to be here. But there’s still one problem: We have this beautiful new space and all this equipment, but we still have the old stoves and ovens we had when our class was in a temporary trailer. Don’t get us wrong: We cooked some awesome lunches on those old stoves. But they’ve got problems: They’re electric, so you can’t adjust the stove temperature quickly. The ovens don’t get too hot, and they don’t heat evenly. You can make decent food on these stoves, but not the best. You just don’t have enough control.

Here's one of the old stoves. They're OK, but not great.

Here’s one of the old stoves. They’re OK, but not great.

Chef Cindy says that we can learn more if we have stoves and ovens that are more like the ones professionals use. She’s found a supplier who will give them to us “at cost.” That means he won’t charge us extra so he can make a profit. Still, buying the ovens for all of the cook stations will cost about $10,000.

Chef Cindy told us that at some schools, parents have organizations that make it possible for them to donate money so that schools can buy extras like these commercial stove that we need. We don’t have anything like that at our school. Many of our parents work really hard. They might have two or three jobs to make ends meet. They don’t have much extra money. They don’t have much extra time. So what do we do?

Chef Cindy says it doesn’t matter how much money you have. What matters, she says, is how hard you’re willing to work. Never say you can’t; just say you’re willing. We believe in our class and we believe in our new classroom. We’re going to raise the money that we need!

We’re going to have a grand opening party for our classroom on May 7, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

It’s going to be a celebration, and it’s going to be a fundraiser.

We’re going to divide up into several cooking teams and we’re going to cook up our best recipes. We’re going to invite several hundred people. We’re going to show them why they should support our class in this way. We’re going to show them how we are going to make a difference.

Chef Cindy says the supplier is willing to deliver the ovens now if we pay him by July. She says she’s putting her credibility on the line. She asked if we’re with her in this project. We cheered and shouted, “Yes!”

Chef Cindy said, “OK.” Then she went to call the supplier.

Here's Chef Cindy calling the supplier. You can see what the new stoves look like from the picture on the catalog.

Here’s Chef Cindy calling the supplier. You can see what the new stoves look like from the picture on the cover of catalog.

We can’t let Chef Cindy down. We can’t let ourselves down. So save the date!

New Kitchen Open House
Mount Diablo High School
Home Economics Building
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Drop by, see our new space. See how we’re changing ourselves and our community. Eat some delicious food. Make a donation! If each guest makes a donation we can reach our goal.

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Our First Day in the New Kitchen!

by Vanessa Big Bear

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Today we moved into the new classroom. We’re getting situated. We putting things away, building shelves, getting organized. At the same, we’re making soup. Food for today!

Here are Blake and Eddie, building shelves for the pantry.

Here are Blake and Eddie, building shelves for the pantry.

I think the new classroom is awesome. It’s beautiful. It will be better for us to do more stuff now.

I like the hoods over the stoves.

There are shiny hoods over each station. Here, you can see them at the top of the frame as Jessica and Stephanie cut carrots for veggie stew.

There are shiny hoods over each station. Here, you can see them at the top of the frame as Jessica and Stephanie cut carrots for veggie stew.

We’ve got a new walk-in fridge, and a walk-in closet pantry. We’ve also got an camera. So when Chef Cindy shows us how to do something, it’s projected onto a big flat screen behind her. That way, we can all see her. Today, she showed us how to chop celery using the new camera.

Two Chef Cindys! One is chopping celery on the counter. The other is on the video monitor on the wall so that we can all see clearly.

Two Chef Cindys! One is chopping celery on the counter. The other is on the video monitor on the wall so that we can all see clearly.

Everything seems more organized now. I really like this new kitchen. It’s a bigger area. We have more room in the new cooking stations. We also have new Kitchen Aid mixers and a baking area.

I never knew how to cook before I took this class. Now I’m applying for jobs in restaurants. Yesterday, I applied for six different jobs in restaurants. I’ll keep coming here, though, and learning about cooking.

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