Home community Spoon and Spatula offers variety of cooking experiences gleaned from real-life experience

Spoon and Spatula offers variety of cooking experiences gleaned from real-life experience

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Whether it be kids cooking classes, crock pot freezer meals, family night cooking, date night cooking, summer cooking camps, college cooking or even a baby shower and birthday party at Spoon and Spatula Cooking School, owner Staci Lane lets real-life experience serve as her guide. A lot of my recipes I have had for years, and I know kids will eat them because my kids eat them, she said. I am always trying things at home and searching for fun new things, especially kid-friendly foods and foods the whole family would love. For on-the-go families, crock pot freezer meal cooking classes are perfect. I think family dinners are important, but I know life is absolutely crazy, running here and there and everywhere, said Lane, mother of six children. It is easy to just put it in the crock pot in the morning and not think about it until meal time. In three hours, class members can make 20 meals for about $11 each and leave the mess behind. Two people can split the 20 meals and walk away with 10 meals each. With up to 30 menu choices ranging from chicken cacciatore, BBQ pork ribs and honey glazed ham to potato soup, Italian beef sandwiches and white chili, Lane said the offerings are things her own children would eat. Children as young as 3 can get in on the action of cooking school. Lane said sometimes weekly cooking classes are a better fit for some children than piano, dance or sports. For $65 a month, the 3 to 5-year-old kinder cooks, 6 to 10-year-old junior cooks and 11-year-old and up senior cooks learn how to prepare three savory dishes and one sweet dish each month. Students learn cooking vocabulary words, find the correct measuring device, correctly measure ingredients and operate equipment during their classes. There is so much learning going on, Lane said. After each class, students take home a recipe card so they can re-create the dish at home. Single classes are $20 each while enrolling for three months at $180 is the best deal. Don’t forget to use the coupon in this week’s Mountain Valley Extra for even further discounts. Reminiscent of her children’s karate belts, Lane has created a Chef Advancement Program where cooks advance through eight levels earning a different color apron until the final black chef’s jacket. Testing for colored aprons includes cooking vocabulary, working with measurements, cooking skills and completing a recipe. The one-hour tests are family events, similar to a piano recital, where spectators and photos are welcome. Kids thrive on praise. If family comes and watches, it is more incentive for kids to continue to grown and learn, Lane said. A lot of cooking is very basic techniques, but as you practice, the more and more refined those techniques become. Like everything else, the more you practice the better you get. Move on over MasterChef, Top Chef, Iron Chef and the Next Great Baker! Lane said learning to cook has other side benefits such as encouraging reading, math and measurement including fractions. It is important for children to learn the importance of following directions and accomplishing something from beginning to end. Cooking is so helpful with kids, especially with math. Cooking is a tangible thing they can see. Measurements, fractions and math make much more sense when they are cooking, Lane said. Kids are so receptive to learning. Anything you are willing to teach them they gobble up. Lane said she loves cooking and loves teaching, so opening Spoon and Spatula Cooking School in October was the best way to combine both. Seeing that sense of accomplishment on their faces when they go through a recipe top to bottom and complete it is the biggest reward, Lane said. They are just amazed they could create something. She said cooking classes entice cooks to try new foods. For example, kids may not like pumpkin or zucchini, but they seem to like pumpkin donuts and zucchini fries, Lane said. And the fact that they made them creates a sense of ownership that propels them to try new foods. I try to introduce foods that may not be common in their house, so they can at least taste it, Lane said. I didn’t like vegetables when I was growing up, but I try to introduce them in different ways that kids will be willing to eat them. I tell them they don’t have to like it, they just have to give it a shot and try it. The attempt is often a successful one, she said. Sometimes, the secret is labeling a dish correctly. Kids are much more apt to try a Southwestern egg roll than a vegetable egg roll, she said. Cooking can also teach students not to give up. Not every time we cook is it successful, Lane said. You are always learning from your mistakes and successes. Cooking classes today can translate into life-long skills and even a stack of tried and tested recipes that children can carry with them into adulthood, Lane said. Cooking is a lifetime skill, one that will last the rest of their lives, Lane said. Once they get the basics down, they are willing to try anything on their own. Too often she sees young adults who lack cooking skills. As my kids got older and got married, I realized how many of their friends didn’t know how to cook, Lane said. Hence the college/mission cooking classes and even the date night cooking classes. For $25, which beats the cost at many restaurants, a couple can cook an entrÌ©e and dessert (or appetizer and entrÌ©e) and then enjoy the meal together. You eat chicken manicotti, and I do the dishes, Lane said. Plus, you get the camaraderie that comes with cooking together. For a different twist, date night cooking can also be turned into a competition for the couple or even larger group dates. And what better gift for a new bride or expectant mother than a freezer full of meals just waiting to be heated up? The Spoon and Spatula kitchen is the perfect place for a shower where guests can help the bride or mom-to-be prepare the meals. Family Night Cooking is another favorite where the whole family can learn new cooking skills, eat and leave the dishes to someone else. Cooking together makes a fun family night activity. All-inclusive birthday cooking parties without any work or mess for Mom and Dad include a snack, cupcake, invitations and paper products for guests, as well as an apron signed by party-goers for the birthday boy or girl. Themes include sports, teddy bear picnic, P.J. party, Harry Potter, princess, pirates, pizza party, chocolate lovers, mad scientist, and spa-licious to make your own lip balm, foot scrub and lotion. Or, customize your own theme. The Spoon and Spatula kitchen is located at 1867 E. Skyline Drive in South Ogden in the Adventure West Complex, just off Highway 89 near the mouth of Weber Canyon and at the top of the dugway. It is a central location for residents of Morgan, Davis and Weber counties to access. Check the website at www.spoonandspatula.net or call (801) 540-5407 for schedules and other details. Also watch out for online special coupons such as the $50 off birthday party booking available on the website now.

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