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  • Writer's pictureChef Lisa

Spring Break Cooking Camp on Weed Beach

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Monday - Mexico - Tacos and Apple Crunch


(Do not make on a rainy day)


• 4 cups masa harina (Maseca is the best - found at Shop-Rite)

• 3 cups water

• 1 teaspoon salt


1. Mix together the masa harina, water and salt until smooth and pliable.

2. Preheat a griddle or skillet to medium high.

3. Divide the dough into 24 equal sized balls.

4. Press each ball between two sheets of plastic wrap and press flat with a rolling pin or tortilla press. These presses can be found in Mexican grocery stores.

5. Place the flattened tortilla on a preheated griddle or pan for 30 seconds or until slightly browned.

6. Turn the tortilla over and cook the other side for 30 seconds.

7. Repeat and keep all tortillas covered and warm, until ready to serve.

Instead of using a packet of taco seasoning from the grocery store, we combined our own taco spices, which did not include the preservative maltodextrin to improve flavor and prolong shelf life. We stir fried ground beef using these spices. Each person made their own taco plate and garnished it with their favorite ingredients.


Taco Seasoning


  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1 tsp.garlic powder

  • ½ tsp.onion powder

  • ½ tsp.dried oregano

  • ¼ tsp.paprika

  1. Combine all the above spices in a small bowl.

  2. Stir fry meat, chicken or tofu until done.

  3. Add the bowl of spices to the cooked chicken, beef or tofu along with a 1/4 cup of water.

  4. Stir together until mixed well.

  5. Serve with tortillas, cheese, greens, salsa, guacamole, sour cream.

  6. Everyone builds their own tacos.


Fresh Farmers’ Market Salsa


  • Tomatoes, chopped.

  • Yellow or red onion, peeled and chopped.

  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime.

  • Fresh cilantro leaves chopped.

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.


Mix together in a bowl and serve.

Fresh Guacamole

Mash soft avocados with a fork until it reaches a creamy constancy. Add a 1/4 cup of the salsa from the recipe above, the juice of a lime and salt to taste.


Apple Crunch Recipe


4 large apples, pealed and cut into small pieces

1 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cups butter


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, gently toss together apples, white sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

3. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and


4. Cut butter into flour and oat mixture, until crumbly.

5. Sprinkle half of mixture into the bottom of a 6" pie pan.

6. Cover with apples.

7. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the apples.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until fruit is

bubbly and topping is golden brown.

9. Serve hot with ice cream.


Tuesday - Italy - Pasta, Cherry Tomato Sauce & Bundts

Homemade Pasta Recipe


  • 2 cups flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil

  • 3 large eggs


  1. Mix the three ingredients together in a bowl until the dough forms a ball and the bowl is clean.

  2. Knead the dough until it is the consistency of play dough.

  3. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough enough to roll through the pasta maker.

  4. After the dough has been flattened into one big sheet run it through again to make divide into noodles.

  5. Hang the individual noodles to dry on a pasta tree.

  6. Cook the pasta in boiling hot water, until al dente, about three to five minutes.

  7. Drain and serve with pasta sauce.


Cherry Tomato Sauce


  • 1 pound pasta

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch of sugar

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

  • Freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)


  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain and transfer to a large bowl.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12" skillet or wide heavy saucepan over medium-high. Add garlic, then tomatoes, pepper, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and release their juices to form a sauce, 6–8 minutes.

  • Toss pasta with tomato sauce and basil. Top with Parmesan.

For dessert they made a mini bundt cake in a mini bundt maker which can be purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $20. The recipe follows.


Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cakes

(Found in the cookbook that comes with the bundt maker)


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 baking powder

  • 1/4 baking soda

  • 1/4 salt

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 sour cream

  • 2/3 whole milk

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter softened

  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Plug in the Mini Bundt Maker to preheat for 10 minutes.

  2. In medium bowl, sift together flour cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

  3. In second bowl whisk together egg, sour cream, milk and vanilla.

  4. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar with a handheld mixer medium until fluffy and light. Add were ingredients, blending until mixed. Using slow speed, mix in dry ingredients just until combined. Small lumps are okay.

  5. Brush Mini Bundt Maker and Removal Tool with butter or baking spray. Faill the Mini Bundt Maker 3/4 full with 1/2 cup batter. Makes five mini cakes

  6. Bake for 12 minutes. During camp we found that 12 minutes was too long. Check after 6 minutes by inserting a tooth pick into the cake.

  7. Lift out the cake using the Removal Too. Cool cake completely before glazing.


Wednesday - China - Ramen Noodle Bowls

and Cutout Sugar Cookies

Ramen Noodle Bowls

On this day the class came up with their own recipes for the ramen noodle bowls, using chicken broth and teriyaki marinated chicken as a start. The noodles were fresh not dried. We threw away the flavor packets and used fresh veggies for flavor. Each group gave me their list of needed ingredients the day before. Not only did they have their chosen ingredients, but they could pick out other things to chop up for their creations. We had tomatoes, onions, zucchini, snow peas, peas, celery, sweet peppers etc... This is a great way to clean out the refrigerator of ingredients. The possibilities are endless. At the end all soups were consumed. This may have been the favorite lunch this week.

Teriyaki sauce, for Chicken, Beef or Tofu

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 1 t garlic chopped

  • 1 square inch of fresh ginger, chopped

Let the meat marinate from 30 minutes to 1 day. Stir-fry until browned.

Due to our time restraints, we used a sugar cookie mix to make cut-out cookies. When time is not a problem, the following recipes are good for a relaxed family cookie making party.


Cutout Sugar Cookies


  • 1 lb. of butter, softened

  • 4 cups white sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 6-8 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.

  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  4. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  6. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

  7. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter.

  8. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

  9. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in a preheated oven.

  10. Cool completely before decorating.


Sugar Cookie Icing


  • 4 cups of powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon almond extract

  • 1/4 cup water

Directions: Mix together until smooth.

For our cooking class, we did use commercially made icing. Piping bags can be created by putting icing in sealed Ziplocs, with a hole poked in the corner.


Thursday - Japan - Bento Boxes and Ice Cream

A bento box is a Japanese lunch box. When putting the meal together, the chef should think about choosing foods that are all the colors of the rainbow. Include something hot, sour, bitter, sweet and salty. Everything should taste good cold. There should be a protein, cooked veggies, fresh veggies, rice or bread and a fruit or sweet.

We made tuna fish sandwiches and pimento cheese as our protein. The recipes follow.

Pimento Cheese Sandwich Spread


4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded

1 4oz. jars pimentos

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl and spread on bread.

  • Reserve any remaining pimento cheese in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Tuna Fish Sandwich Spread


  • (5 ounce) cans tuna packed in water drained )

  • 1 cup mayonnaise or less to taste

  • 1/3 cup celery finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons red onion minced, about 2 small slices

  • 2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 clove garlic minced

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, relish, lemon juice, and garlic.

  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving.


Homemade Ziplock Ice Cream


  • 1 cup half and half

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Lots of ice

  • 1/4 cup kosher or rock salt

  • 1 gallon sized freezer bag

  • 1 smaller freezer bag


1. In the smaller bag, combine cream, milk and vanilla. Remove as much air as possible from bag, before sealing tight.

2. Fill the larger bag halfway with ice. Add salt over the ice. Mix the bag to help distribute the salt.

3. Place the bag of ice cream mixture inside and seal the larger bag well. Shake the bag continuously for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture become firmer. Use a kitchen towel or oven mitts to protect your hands from the cold.

4. Remove the ice cream filled bag from the ice, wipe the bag clean from salt, and scoop out the ice cream to serve.

Friday - Korea - Bee-Bim-Bop and Cake Decorating

There are as many versions of bee-bin-bop as there are cooks who recreate it. All the ingredients below can be found at Shop-Rite. The length of the recipe may appear intimidating, but it is easy and fun to make. Just have all the ingredients prepared and set out to stir fry.



Prepare marinade ahead of time and marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes:


1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 garlic cloves chopped 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger


  • 1 lb. of lean beef cut into small strips


  • 2 cups of white rice and 4 cups of water cooked for 20-30 min. until tender


  • 2 carrots, grated

  • 1 bag of fresh spinach

  • 1 bag of bean sprouts

Other ingredients:

  • 4 eggs

  • salt and pepper

  • Vegetable oil for frying

Turn the wok on high or heat a nonstick frying pan on medium high. Cook the egg and sauté the meat and veggies individually and set aside. Once everything is cooked, combine everything in the pan, heat it through and serve.

Bop is the Korean word for rice and bee-bin means mixed-up.

We ended the session with cake decorating and a cake tasting. I will post the recipes once I have perfected the ingredients. With the suggestions from this weeks SproutChefs I'm getting closer to doing just that. It was a great week!

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