Cooking Club

Helping Hands Food Bank offers Free Farmer’s Share at the Clubs

Sedro-Woolley City Councilwoman Germaine Kornegay and Nolan Thompson, an avid member of the Sedro-Woolley Boys and Girls Club’s gardening group, share a discussion about the fruits and vegetables in Nolan’s bag. Photo by Cookson Beecher.

Sedro-Woolley City Councilwoman Germaine Kornegay and Nolan Thompson, an avid member of the Sedro-Woolley Boys and Girls Club’s gardening group, share a discussion about the fruits and vegetables in Nolan’s bag. Photo by Cookson Beecher.

Both the Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Clubs lucked out with perfect weather for two consecutive weeks in September for an outdoor Farmer’s Share orchestrated by Helping Hands Food Bank, where Club youth and their families were able to stock up on free fresh vegetables and fruits. 

To celebrate Hunger Action Month, Helping Hands Food Bank gathered fresh produce from local farms & grocery stores, such as Viva Farms, Hayton Farms, Ralphs Green house, and more. A bounty of colorful boxes filled with potatoes, carrots, squash, apples, plums, peaches, and broccoli, just to name a few, were arrayed out for kids to select from. 

Two WSU Extension staff were on hand representing the Farmers Market Flash program, to talk about nutrition and farmers markets with the kids while making it fun, with prizes, temporary tattoos, and stickers. WSU Extension’s brand new program, Farmer’s Market Flash, is focused on spreading the good news about the Double Up Bucks Program, where SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) dollars are stretched at farmers markets so that families can buy more fruits and vegetables, at no cost extra cost to them. By simply swiping their EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card at the information booth, farmers markets will give an additional $2 in Douple Up Bucks for every $2 spent in EBT, to purchase fresh and healthy food. “We believe good, healthy fresh food should be available for everyone, regardless of their economic situation.” said WSU Extension’s Farmers Market Flash Coordinator, Shannon Bachtel.

Club youth were certainly thrilled about the selection to choose from, and especially loved seeing the rows of raspberries at the end. Although, one kid did exclaim “broccoli!” heartily as he added it too his bag. As Club member Michael Worley was busy helping to unload and set up boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables at the Sedro-Woolley Boys and Girls Club, he said he really liked seeing everyone joining together and working toward the same goal. When asked what that shared goal was, he said “Helping get healthy food into people’s homes.”

Rebecca Schlaht, Operations Manager of the Food Bank hopes that these Farmer’s Share events can be expanded and plans to reach more Clubs, more often. “Our goal is to showcase the amazing produce that is available at local food banks,” says Schlaht. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County would like to thank Helping Hands Food Bank and the WSU Extension for putting these Farmer’s Share events together.

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Calling all Volunteers

Back2SchoolVolunteer_webslideDo you have a passion for helping? Do you love to cook? Maybe you really love sharing your interest in photography. Or you would love to help design a youth community service project. If you have a passion for youth, a passion for serving your community, and interest in helping to teach others, we need you! With the return to school, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County are calling all volunteers to come & help make our Club programs great. Open after-school Monday-Friday, from 2:45pm- 6:00pm, our Clubs serve youth ages 6-18. All programs run for 30-60 min, and fall under Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Good Character & Citizenship. We would love to include you! Contact Katelynn Sullivan at ksullivan@skagitclubs.org, or 360-419-3723 x8.

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New Cooking Club for Teens

Zeke and Patricia

Zeke and Patricia

On Wednesdays this last spring, teenage members of the Sedro-Woolley Boys & Girls Club were given the opportunity to participate in a special Cooking Club. Thanks to the efforts of volunteer Patricia Stephens, and the Helping Hands Food Bank, the Woolley Teens learned how to make a variety of unique, interesting, and often, healthy dishes. 

“I liked learning new things to make for when I’m at home, because I didn’t know how to make most of that stuff” said Brandon Deleon “It was really fun to learn new things to bake and cook.”

Some of the dishes they created included homemade pop tarts, using jelly and pie crust, and spaghetti made with squash. They were shown how to make homemade pizza and introduced to bread pudding, which most of them had never even heard of before, but now love. 

Great programs like Cooking Club are made possible because of the support of the community and awesome volunteers like Patricia. The Club is extremely grateful for their support. Cooking Club will be taking a short break over summer but the teens are looking forward to its return in the fall.

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Cheesy Gold Potatoes are a Hit

#ClubCooks

#ClubCooks is a weekly program for Teens to learn how to meal plan on a budget. Thanks to a partnership with the La Conner Sunrise Food Bank.

This week during #ClubCooks, members made some garlicky gold potatoes with a homemade cheese sauce. Every Monday, Teen Coordinator Jennifer gets a box of food from the La Conner Sunrise Food Bank. The teens help craft a menu from the items received and learn more about meal planning on a budget.  Here is the recipe so you can try at home with your family.

Ingredients for Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Potatoes:

3 pounds shredded hashbrowns
4 or more cloves garlic peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour until combined. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth and lump free. Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in salt. Set aside.

Potatoes: Grease a 10 inch baking dish. Layer the bottom with 1/3 of the potatoes. Sprinkle 1/3 of the garlic evenly over potatoes. Dot the potatoes with 1/3 of the butter. Repeat with 2 additional layers of potatoes, garlic and butter. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the dish. Cover and bake and for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cheese topping is browned and melted.

#ClubCooks takes place every Wednesday afternoon at 4:30pm. For more information about #ClubCooks or any of our Targeted Programs hat focus on Healthy Lifestyles, please contact the Club Director, Kendrick Davis-Pittmon at (360)-466-3672 or email: kdavis@skagitclubs.org. Don’t forget to follow @laconnerteens on Instagram for Teen Programming news, updates, and photos from The Club.

 

 

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Club Kids ReMix a Party Classic

Chex ReMix

Club members put a spin on the classic Chex Party Mix.

This week at the La Conner Club, members made a Chex ReMix during Cooking Club. Here is the recipe so you can try at home with your family.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Cups Wheat
  • 4 Cups Corn Chex Mix
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter
  • 4 Tablespoons of taco seasoning
  • 1 Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Optional Mix-Ins: Pretzels, dried fruit, chocolate chips, peanuts, goldfish crackers.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter and seasoning together in a mixing bowl then set aside. In a larger mixing bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients.  Take the melted butter and seasoning, pour over the dry ingredients and mix all together until well coated. Pour mixture on a large cookie sheet. Spread out evenly on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and heat in oven until melted. Let the Chex Mix ReMix cool off and enjoy!

Cooking Club  takes place every Tuesday & Wednesday. For more information about Cooking Club or any of our Targeted Programs that focus on Healthy Lifestyles, please contact the Program Director, Leah Vazquez at (360) 466-3672 or email: leahv@skagitclubs.org.

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Cooking Club Turns Up the Heat

Saucy Salsa

Club members enjoying some saucy salsa!

This week at the La Conner Club, members made some saucy salsa during Cooking Club. Here is the recipe so you can try at home with your family.

Ingredients:

  • (This recipe calls for a blender)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeno chiles
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 dashes salt (to taste)
  • 2 dashes pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

Remove the skin from the tomatoes and chiles. Add tomatoes, chilies and salt to blender and blend for thirty seconds.Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, pour in salsa from blender and fry for one minute. Add eggs, salt and pepper to salsa and cook until eggs are set. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Cooking Club  takes place every Tuesday & Wednesday. For more information about Cooking Club or any of our Targeted Programs that focus on Healthy Lifestyles, please contact the Program Director, Leah Vazquez at (360) 466-3672 or email: leahv@skagitclubs.org.

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SW Teens Make Vegan Truffles

Libby, Heather, and Haley making vegan oreo chocolate truffles

Libby, Heather, and Haley prepare vegan oreo chocolate truffles

Most Teens love eating, but they can still be picky. Words like “vegan” will scare them away while words like “chocolate” will attract them. Despite their first reactions, Teens decided to make vegan oreo chocolate truffles at the Sedro-Woolley Boys Club Teen Center.

They are easy to make with only 4 ingredients. Oreos (which contain no animal products), vegan cream cheese, vegan chocolate chips, and coconut oil.

To make the truffles, the Teens simply mixed crushed oreos with vegan cream cheese and melted the vegan chocolate chips and coconut oil together. They then dripped the melted chocolate over balls of the oreo/cream cheese mixture. Lastly, the truffles were placed on wax paper and put in the fridge until they hardened.

Teens enjoyed learning the cooking process, and especially liked the delicious treat with no cholesterol and no animal products.

 

 

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LC Kids Go Power Snacking

Healthy Habits Fit Club

Members taking a break from making trail mix during a session of Fit Club

This week in the Healthy Habits Fit Club, new Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator Leah Vazquez, and Healthy Lifestyles Assistant, Taysha James brought in examples of healthy and not-so-healthy snacks and quizzed Members on which ones were which. Powdered donuts, greasy french fries, and fried chicken squared off against unsalted  popcorn, organic apple slices and baby carrots in an epic battle to be digested by Club Members. In the end, the healthy options won out, and Members were rewarded with the opportunity to create their own signature trail mix that they could take home and share with their families.

Members were challenged to spot the healthy versus not so healthy snacks. (baby carrots, powdered donuts, unsalted popcorn, potato chips, organic apple slices, french fries, and fried chicken)

Members were challenged to spot the healthy versus not so healthy snacks (baby carrots, powdered donuts, unsalted popcorn, potato chips, organic apple slices, french fries, and fried chicken).

Healthy Habits Fit Club is a portion of the “Mind” component of Triple Play, and its goal is to encourage our Members to eat smart and maintain physical activity as a way to improve their overall health and well-being.

Healthy Habits Fit Club will teach Club Members about the benefits of good nutrition and physical activity, equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to adopt healthier habits and encourage them to take small steps toward positive behavior change. 

Healthy Habits Fit Club meets every Fridays  from 4:30pm-5:00pm  If you are interested in signing up your Member for this great way to achieve Healthy Lifestyles, please contact Leah Vazquez or Program Director Annie Webb.

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Healthy Habits Kicks Off

Club Members utilizing their brand new kitchen during Healthy Habits.

Club Members utilizing their brand new kitchen during Healthy Habits.

Members at the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club kicked off the Healthy Habits Program by exploring their new kitchen space. Members learned about safety in the kitchen and proper hygiene when handling food. Additionally, Members learned that being healthy requires more than just performing physical activity; it also requires eating nutritious meals. When Members complete a Healthy Habits activity they are then allowed to sign up for a Cooking Club activity the following week. This week, Members were able able to simultaneously enjoy both activities.

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Cooking with Old Bananas

Kids Mashing up Bananas

For our cooking club this week, members at the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club learned that ripe banana can still be used and don’t have to be tossed away! Members learned that by mashing up some of those old bananas, they can make some amazing homemade chocolate chip banana bread.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Heat oven to 350°F.

Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch loaf pan. Put all ingredients except chocolate chips and in a large bowl. Blend well, using medium speed. Stir in the chips. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Full disclosure: I realized as I was typing these ingredients in that I actually used a whole stick of butter instead of a half. (That’s pretty typical of my “cooking.”) So mine was extra rich – but still delicious!

 

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