The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Galit Roasts the Turkey!


Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.”  Each week throughout the semester, a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words.  This week features Galit, who braved some drama to deliver a roast turkey dinner with her grandma.

“Grandma’s Turkey Dinner” has become famous in my family, and it’s an event each year. My family are Ashkenazi Jews from a smattering of countries in Europe such as Poland, Germany and Russia. But because of the Jewish tradition of kashrut, we do not consume non-kosher meat and therefore are unable to eat the turkey at the Thanksgiving dinner we attend each year. So, the need for turkey is always fulfilled when we visit our Grandma’s house in Florida each February.

As I mentioned, this dinner is quite the event for us and last year was no exception.  In addition to the ingredients and love, she also added a dose of drama to the evening! Grandma and I made the mistake of basking in the hot Florida sun that afternoon before we made our meal and it turned out the turkey was not the only item to get cooked. When Grandma was slaving away in the kitchen later that evening she collapsed next to the turkey. We called an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital. In the end, my Grandma was fine and although she gave all of us a panic attack, she insists that we overreacted and she would have been fine if she just got up and had a glass of orange juice. Oh Grandma!

This year, making a turkey with my grandmother was thankfully less dramatic and now I can appreciate all the dedication that goes into this tradition which I hope will be continued for years to come.”


Turkey (13.8 lbs.)
Garlic Powder
Pure Ground Black Pepper
Sweet Peas
Whole Kernel Corn
Dinner Rolls
Jellied Cranberry Sauce


  1. Defrost Turkey for two days (in fridge).
  2. Pre heat oven to 325 F.
  3. Line pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Unwrap Turkey and take off extraneous feathers.
  5. Wash Turkey (inside and out!) under cold water.
  6. Remove extra fat, neck, and any loose internal organs.
  7. Place Turkey on pan.
  8. Take a handful of Margarine, and rub all over the Turkey (including under its wings and legs).
  9. Sprinkle paprika, pepper, salt, and garlic all over Turkey (about 1 tablespoon of each).
  10. With aluminum foil on pan, and more if needed, completely wrap the Turkey so that no part of it is visible.
  11. Place Turkey in oven and bake at 325 F for 25 min/ pound. When there are 30 min left, remove aluminum foil and allow Turkey to continue cooking (to brown).
  12. Remove Turkey from oven and cool for 1 hour, then carve to your liking.
  13. Wash large, plump baking potatoes and prick three times with fork.
  14. Place in oven at 350 F for one hour.
  15. Remove and mash with salt and margarine.
  16. Remove lids of cans of peas and corn, and allow water to leak from cans.
  17. Pour contents of cans into bowl and microwave each for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  18. Open can of Jellied Cranberry Sauce and pour into bowl and slice.
  19. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  20. Remove rolls from package and separate.
  21. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
  22. Bake seven to ten minutes.

The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Taieesa Conquers the Sticky Bun!

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Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.” Each week throughout the semester, a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words.  This post features Taieesa who made sticky buns with her mom.

If I had to pick a traditional dish from my family I would have to pick up a shelf of cookbooks because I don’t think that my mom ever cooked anything more than twice. Her cooking expeditions have ranged from sushi to paella and from habichuela con dulce to lobster with coconut. Her comfort food is freshly baked bread.

The rest of the cooks in my family bring in highly contrasting Russian, American, Dominican, and Argentinean cultures that have widened my world, but failed to provide me with a traditional dish that defines me and my family. However, a spontaneous decision on what to eat that night (no matter if the cookbook needs to be translated), as well as cooking side by side with my mother, is something that I can say is my family’s tradition.

Cooking with my mother brings back memories of early childhood when I would put both hands in the flour container or move the electric beater through the batter in spiraling patterns. It also reminds me of how even though one half of my family can not communicate with the other, the food that we’re eating makes us a collective unit.

To cook a traditional dish from my family background I grabbed my mother and we made the impromptu decision to make delicious sticky buns.” – Taieesa

Sticky Buns (Recipe from Rose Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible, 1988)


Brioche Dough:

  • 2.5 tablespoons of water
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsifted bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large cold eggs
  • 10 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

Sticky Bun Filling:

  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of dark rum
  • ¼ cup of boiling water
  • ¼ cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Sticky Bun Topping:

  • ¼ cup of soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

Sticky Bun Glaze:

  • reserved raisin-soaking liquid
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Brioche Dough

1. In a small bowl combine the 2 ½ tbsp of water, ½ tsp of the sugar, and the yeast. Set aside in a draft-free spot for 10 to 20 minutes, or until mixture is full of bubbles.

2. Place 1/3 cup of the flour and 1 egg in the food processor (using dough blade) and process a few seconds until mixed.

3. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a rubber scraper until smooth.

4. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the mixture, but do not mix it in. Cover and let stand for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

5. Add the remaining sugar, salt, and remaining two cold eggs.

6. Process 1 ½ minutes, or until the dough is smooth, shiny, and cleans the bowl.

7. Let rest for 5 minutes with the feed tube open.

8. Add the butter in 2 batches and process for 20 seconds after each addition.

9. Scrape the dough into a lightly buttered bowl. Sprinkle lightly with flour to prevent crust from forming.

10. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

11. Deflate dough by gently stirring it and refrigerate for another hour.

12. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently press into a rectangle.

13. Fold the dough into thirds and again press it into a rectangle. Fold it once more into thirds and dust it lightly on all sides.

14. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate for 6 hours.

 Sticky Buns Filling

15. Place raisins and rum in a small bowl. Add boiling water, cover, and let stand for at least an hour. In another bowl combine the sugars and the cinnamon.

16. Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface into a 14in by 12in rectangle.

17. Brush with 2 tbsp melted butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture and raisins. Roll up from short end.

18. Using a very sharp knife cut the roll into 4 pieces, and then cut each piece into thirds.

 Sticky Buns Topping

19.  In a small bowl stir together the butter and the sugar until well mixed. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Top with pecan halves, top sides down.

20. Place each dough piece in the prepared pan.

21. Cover with well-buttered plastic wrap and let rise for about two hours.

Sticky Buns Glaze

22. In a small saucepan over high heat reduce the raisin socking liquid to 1 tbsp. Add the butter and stir until melted.

23. Brush the buns with the glaze.

24. Preheat oven to 425°F and bake 10 minutes. Lower heat to 375°F and bake 15 minutes.

25. Let bus cool for 3 minutes and unmold onto a serving plate.

26. Enjoy!!

The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Sofie’s Witloof


Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.” Each week a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words. This week features Sofie, who has turned to her Belgian roots to cook up witloof, endives wrapped in ham and cooked in cheese sauce. A perfect winter dish! Enjoy!

As a little kid I was fairly open to the food that my parents fed me even if it were Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or endives. So whenever my dad made witloof, a Belgian dish of ham-covered endives cooked in cheese sauce, I always finished it and went back for seconds. It’s a simple dish that can be considered Belgian comfort food. In my family we don’t really have a traditional dish that we always make on holidays or birthdays but there are a few dishes, including this one, that I have enjoyed since I was a little kid. My father grew up eating it and he has made for us for many years. When my dad first came to the US 30 years ago, it was very difficult to find endives, but now they’re easy to find at most grocery stores.

Endives, unlike other leafy vegetables, have white leaves because they are grown underground. Taste-wise, they are unlike other vegetables; they are both bitter and sweet. This particular dish is very different from the usual ways that Americans eat endives, raw and on top of salad. But in Belgium they are almost always cooked.

This dish is quite meaningful to my parents. It is one of my mom’s favorite Belgian dishes and it was the last dish that my dad had with his grandmother. And since my dad has made it for me since I was a little girl, I will continue to eat it throughout my life. — Sofie

Belgian Endive with Ham and Cheese (Witloof)
Recipe by Sofie’s dad, Stefan
Serves 6-8


  • 12 endives

In a pot, boil the endives for 20 minutes. Drain the water. Let them cool and then squeeze any extra water out of each endive.

Cheese Sauce

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound of grated Gruyere

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, making sure not to burn it. When melted add the flour and stir till it is a thick golden paste. Slowly add all of the milk while continuously whisking. Bring the sauce to a low boil. Continue stirring till the sauce thickens. Once it thickens stir in the salt and remove from heat. Immediately add the grated cheese and stir until it is a smooth sauce. To achieve this silky cheese sauce make sure it is no longer on the heat otherwise it will be lumpy.

Putting everything together
  • Cheese sauce
  • Cooked endives
  • 12 slices of cooked ham

Preheat oven to 350. Wrap each endive in a slice of ham and place them next to each other in an ovenproof pan. Pour the cheese sauce over the endives and place them in the oven for 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes has passed you can turn on the broiler to brown the top, be careful not to burn it though.
Serve with mashed potatoes.

The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Mateo’s Bandeja Paisa


Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.” Each student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words. This post is contributed by Mateo who comes from Colombia and he decided to make a dish from his region, Paisa.

Bandeja Paisa by Mateo
The bandeja paisa is a culmination of various ingredients, generously served on large plates or platters popular in the Paisa region of Colombia, my home country. Having been born in Colombia, I was blessed with the ability to experience its raw culture and with it, the delicious food. This particular dish contains many ingredients and although slight variations may exist, the one I learned to love consists of beans, rice, chicharrón, steak, plantain, fried egg, and an arepa.

Bandeja paisa covers a great deal of the food pyramid and surely requires an empty stomach to fully devour it. As a child, I would always have to share the dish with my brother, unable to eat it all by myself. Consequently, the bandeja paisa represents stability in the household and gives rise to a feeling of gratitude for all of the things we have.

Luckily for me, bandeja paisa has become a common dinner at my home. But of course, due to its size and preparation time, my mother has made some adjustments to the ingredients (just rice, beans, chicharrón, and an egg). Nonetheless, this blend of different elements just works. From a young age, I can remember devouring the beans with rice and always preserving the last bit of crunchy chicharrón until the end.

More than anything, the bandeja paisa brings my family together, connecting us beyond our original borders, making it the ultimate comfort food.

Recipe for Bandeja Paisa by Mateo’s mom,
Serves 4

• 3 cups red beans
• 1 yellow plantain (maduro)
• 1 green plantain
• 1 tomato
• 2 scallions
• Salt
• Oil
• 1 cup of white rice
• Water
• Steak
• Chicharrón
• Arepa
• 1 egg for each person
• 1 avocado

Wash the beans and remove any faulty ones. Place them in a large pot. Add enough water so that the beans are covered. Place pot on high flame until the beans are soft (about 1 hour 30 min). Grab a green plantain, peel and cut into small pieces and add to the pot of beans. Consistently stir for about 25 minutes. Add salt to taste and leave to cook until the plantains are soft. On a separate plate, wash two stalks of scallions and a tomato. Cut the scallions and tomato into little pieces. Add oil onto a frying pan and let the scallion and tomato cook for about 5 minutes under low flame. Then add into the bean pot.

Get one cup of rice, wash it, and add it into a pot along with 2 cups of water. Add salt to taste and 3 spoons of oil. Cook the rice on medium fire. When the rice begins to absorb the water, place a cover on the pot and lower the flame. The rice is ready when it is fluffy.

Wash meat, add salt (other meat spices/sauces are up to you). Add oil to pan, and heat up the pan. Place meat on pan after the pan has heated up on medium fire (5 minutes on each side).

Wash the chicharrón, cut crevices into the meat so it is fully fried. Add salt to taste. Add enough oil into a frying pan to deep fry the chicharrón. Keep the chicharrón on medium fire until it is crunchy (make sure to place a top on the pan!)

Maduro (yellow plantain)
Wash the maduro, peel off the skin, and cut the plantain in half (the long way). Deep fry the plantain until it obtains a brown color (5 minutes).

Egg, Arepa & Avocado
Use one egg and add oil on a pan and fry it. The arepa is placed on a grill pan, on medium flame for about 10 minutes. The avocado is sliced into four pieces and can be shared with 4 dishes.

All of these elements are then placed on a large plate or platter. Enjoy!

The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Juvella’s Sinigang


Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen!” Each week a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words. Juvella is our star this week and she prepared a traditional Filipino soup called, sinigang.

Filipino cuisine is an absolute joy and a large part of my identity. I grew up tasting two sides of the cuisine. My mother prefers to cook vegetable or “farmer’s” dishes while my father opts for fatty, creamy, and savory meat dishes. With so many options to choose from for this project, my mother finally chose for me: sinigang, a tamarind based soup that can be varied according to preference. Fish, shrimp, pork, or beef are the choices for the main protein, which is accompanied by loads of vegetables such as okra and gabi (taro corm), my favorite veggie choices.

As a child and even now, I prefer having fish in my sinigang. In the Philippines, milkfish is the usual fish associated with sinigang but because it has a lot of tiny bones my mother feared that my brother and I would swallow and choke on them. To play it safe, my mother substituted salmon, either a fillet, the head, or both. When she did use the fish head, my father would always try to get my brother and me to eat the eyes! I ran in horror and begged my mother to only use salmon fillet. But I grew out of that phase and my insatiable love for food is too great to fear the “weirdness” of any dish.

Since the soup has a tamarind base, it is sweet and sour in taste. But no matter how my mom prepares it, I usually go for a sour-salty kick at the end and I load on the patis (fish sauce) and kalamansi (lime). — Juvella

Salmon Sinigang
Recipe by Juvella’s mom, Veronica
• 1 yellow onion
• 2 pieces salmon filet
• Tamarind soup mix
• 2 medium taro corms (gabi)
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes (or equivalent)
• Leafy vegetables (bokchoy, spinach)
• 6 cups water
• 1 lb green beans
• Salt or patis (fish sauce)
• Any other vegetables (eggplant, okra, daikon radish)
• 3 pieces long (hot) peppers

Peel the gabi and daikon radish. Wash all vegetables before cutting into serving size pieces. Cut the onion in half then into quarters; repeat for the gabi and half of the daikon radish. Cut off the tips of the green beans. Wash the salmon and cut into serving size pieces.  Boil the water in a large pot, then add the onion and either diced or cherry tomatoes. When the tomatoes are soft, add the green beans and gabi. Boil the vegetables until the beans and gabi are half cooked, which can be determined using a fork. For the beans, the fork should be able to go through but still be crisp and the gabi should be partially soft. Then, add the salmon. Season the soup with the tamarind soup mix and salt or patis to taste. Add the leafy greens and long (hot) peppers. Do not stir or else the vegetables and fish will be mushy. Cook until the salmon flakes easily. Serve hot with rice or quinoa.