What’s New in the Kitchen

Here are some highlights from the Cook Shack!

The cilantro/avocado/yogurt dip with yummy pita chips!

The cilantro/avocado/yogurt dip with yummy pita chips!

The campers get creative with the cheese crisps.

The campers get creative with the cheese crisps.

We’ve been reaping the benefits of the new hydroponic garden, using the mint for our smoothies and the cilantro in our avocado yogurt dip.  (With homemade pita chips, of course!)

Are oatmeal cookies better than cheese crisps?  That depends:  are you a sweet or a salty person?

Are oatmeal cookies better than cheese crisps? That depends: are you a sweet or a salty person?

What I did on my day off...

What I did on my day off…

Chef Robin strikes a pose with the cheese straws.

Chef Robin strikes a pose with the cheese straws.

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Camp Scatico ’15, Here We Go!

Cooking Cabin with awning!

Cooking Cabin with awning!

It’s that time of year again!  The month that I head off to Camp Scatico, with the knowledge that my (relatively intact) sanity will start to dribble away.  But even though I know that it’s going to be a crazy summer, I am so excited I could just burst.  Camp Scatico brings out the good crazy in everybody.  It’s only 90 minutes from New York, but it feels like such a retreat.

This year brings its own unique set of challenges.  I am looking forward to seeing so many returning campers!  But this also means that I have to find new, camp-friendly recipes to trot out this year.  (“Can’t you throw in a few of the hits from last year?” my social media manager Molly suggested.  “Like making cheese.  They should do that every year!”)  Maybe she’s right, but regardless, I’ll have my hands full.

Fortunately, I have some new helpers this year.  Chef Robin joins me again in a larger capacity this time.  He washed dishes at Camp Scatico last year, and since I spend, like, a LOT of time in the kitchen, I got to know him.  I am so happy to have him on board.  I have a few fearless and intrepid counselors from last year.  Chef Robin headed to Camp Scatico early to clean and scrub and get everything looking nice.  However, I’m taking coziness to a whole new level this summer as I attempt to squeeze a full-size bed into my cabin’s tiny frame.  I will definitely post pictures!

A Very Special Celebration

'Ramune,' Japansese "marble sodas" for the kids' bar.  Adults enjoyed them too!  (How could we not?"

‘Ramune,’ Japansese “marble sodas” for the kids’ bar. Adults enjoyed them too! (How could we not?”

This past weekend Herbnpeach got to cater my first post-camp event with Camp Scatico campers.  The Newman family hired me to cater their daughter Miko’s bat mitzvah.  It was a very special celebration, as bat mitzvahs often are.  I am so grateful to the Newmans for bringing Chef Ally on board before they had a chance to get to know me!  (Dr. Jessica, you should consider moonlighting as an event planner!)

On another note, it was amazing to see the campers all spiffed up and out of green and white uniform.  Only two months has gone by and already they seem so grown up!  Oy vey, I sound like a Grandma.  Enough of that!

Everyone enjoyed mini-matzo ball shooters, pigs in blankets, and a mac-and-cheese station with mini -chicken parmesan and meatballs. Sushi rolls were made to order!

Everyone enjoyed mini-matzo ball shooters, pigs in blankets, and a mac-and-cheese station with mini -chicken parmesan and meatballs. Sushi rolls were made to order!

Another #Scatico staffer, Cory Schwartz, was hired to photograph the event.  I look forward to posting some of his professional shots, but for now I will just share mine…

A grand entrance at the Helen Mills Theatre for Miko and her guests!

A grand entrance at the Helen Mills Theatre for Miko and her guests!

Blueberry Crumb Bars!

Blueberry Crumb BarsAs requested by loyal Herbnpeach followers, here is the recipe for blueberry crumb bars.  Celebrate the summer by indulging!

BLUEBERRY CRUMB BARS

Recipe makes 1 9×13-inch pan

Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions
1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2.In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the shortening and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3.In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4.Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.