I would say the most challenging foods lab for me was when we made quinoa salad/buddha bowls. I think this was the most challenging because of the amount of knife skills involved. I wanted each vegetable to be sliced a certain way; equivalent in shape and size. Along with the hard and specific vegetable cutting, I had to lay each ingredient down in a nice pattern for presentation. We had to choose at least 3 vegetables, 1 protein, 1 leafy green, and 1 type of seed for our salad. For the vegetable portion, I picked carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. For my protein, I added chickpeas. I layered some spinach as my leafy green, and lastly used pumpkin seeds to top it all off. My buddha bowl was very colourful, making a nice presentation and meeting the product standards. The veggies were fresh and crunchy while underneath was the soft, moist quinoa which gave off a sort of earthy scent. Personally, I didn’t like the mix of cold, crunchy vegetables with warm soft quinoa so this wasn’t my favourite thing we cooked. We also had a drizzle of Miss Bolli’s homemade dressing which had a sour-ish taste and definitely added more flavour to the salad. It was quite challenging and time consuming to cut up each vegetable so categorically, but I think the end product was worth it. The different shapes and sizes of the veggies were balanced and complimentary to each other.
I think my most successful lab was when we made “Chocolate Crinkle Cookies”. The cookies were deliciously soft, moist, and sweet. Since it was the day before halloween, we decorated one with icing and liquorish, making it into a spider! As soon as we opened the oven to take the cookies out, I could smell a chocolatey scent. I chose this as my most successful lab because me and my partner’s cookies turned out the perfect shape, size, and texture. They tasted great as well! I think we definitely met the product standards; a light brown colour and very soft texture, with no large bumps or cracks on the outside. I don’t think we really had any challenges in this lab. We worked quickly and always knew what to do, I’d say that was quite a success. If there were any little problems, we worked together and got past them easily, but I don’t think we struggled with much. We probably could’ve conversed more but everything still worked out right. We made these cookies using the “molding cookie method”, meaning we mold the dough in our hands. We didn’t use any tools or equipment that we haven’t used before. The cookies weren’t very healthy; I would rate the nutrition a 2 out of 10 because there wasn’t anything healthy in it except egg and there was a lot of sugar.
Although it is a basic and easy recipe, my favourite foods lab was when we made grilled cheese sandwiches. It was probably the most simple food we made, yet one of the tastiest, in my opinion. We watched lots of videos on how to create a yummy grilled cheese, and I learned some tips to make mine taste amazing. For example, you can put salt on the buttered side of the bread for some extra flavour, melty cheeses work the best, and pressing down your sandwich while it’s cooking with a spatula helps the bread toast evenly. That last one didn’t really work out for me- my grilled cheese was almost burnt on one side and a pale golden colour on the other, but it didn’t affect the taste! My sandwich was crispy, melty, and perfectly flavourful (I think the salt made it that much better). I think the reason it wasn’t evenly cooked is because I might not have had the pan directly in the centre of the element. I decided to put sliced up cherry tomatoes in my grilled cheese… which is funny since I don’t even like tomatoes that much, but it turned out delicious. I think I’ll add them to all my grilled cheeses from now on. My greatest success in this lab, although you can’t see from the picture, was my knife skills with the tomatoes. Since as I said I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes, I wanted to cut thin slices and evenly spread them out so they wouldn’t taste too strong. I was quite impressed with how even the slices were, since cutting isn’t usually my strong suit.
For my breakfast home lab, I created a very tasty and filling breakfast sandwich. I chose this instead of the other breakfast choices because our foods class hasn’t made anything like it yet and I know that my mom would prefer it over the other options. The two bread slices on the outside of the sandwich, I fried in a pan with an egg in the centre; “egg in a hole”, and seasoned with salt and pepper. In another pan, I cooked 3 full slices of crispy (not TOO crispy) bacon- of course, enjoying the aroma of it wafting through the house. As the bacon sizzled away, I prepared the veggies. I chopped fresh green onions, sliced half a medium ripe tomato (overripe tomatoes are gross and unappealing), and tore up some crisp leaf lettuce. For added flavour, I sprinkled salt and pepper and drizzled hot sauce in the sandwich. My breakfast sandwich was colourful and cooked nicely, and the different flavours worked well together. My mom, who loves her bacon and eggs, enjoyed having fresh veggies incorporated with her favourite dish. A challenge could have been that my eggs were somewhat overcooked, but my mom and I like them that way so it wasn’t a problem. I think that to improve my breakfast home lab, I could have been more creative and added less basic ingredients to it. Overall it was a balanced meal, and although I call it a breakfast sandwich, I think it is suitable for any time of day.