The Mistake we refuse to make!

Chef Koochooloo is barely off the ground and already we got invited to pitch on several occasions. As I listen to various Angels and VC’s express their enthusiasm and feedback for our mission, I notice many have reservations about our mission to raise awareness about worldwide causes.  As I listened to their arguments against this aspect of our curriculum, I knew it was time to decide what I really wanted for the future of Chef Koochooloo, and make sure the team is on the same page.

A big part of the success of any organization is to define clearly their vision and I have personally worked for too many great companies who begin to sink because they cannot figure out, or forget what they stand for.

I decided this was not going to be a mistake we can afford, so yesterday, I brought the team together to define our vision statement and ensure everyone who wants to be a member of the team truly believes in our ethos.

Cindy, Helena, Claudia, Elina and I gathered in a room as we Skyped Milos in and expressed our respective objectives for wanting to be involved with Chef Koochooloo.

Our brainstorming started with the question: What do we envision Chef Koochooloo to be in the future?

As each team member presented what they envision Chef Koochooloo to become in terms of growth, values and contribution to society, I could not feel more proud. The essence of our shared goals and values is summarized below:

Vision Statement:

Bring families together to discover the world through healthier lifestyles. In order to realize our vision, we will need a set of winning strategies. The mission statement serves as a compass that will keep us on track on our journey towards our goals.

In defining our mission, we focused on the classic questions:

  • What do we do?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • How do we do it?
  • What value do we bring?

This exercise proved extremely helpful and we managed to define our mission as follows:

Chef Koochooloo Mission Statement:

Empower families and educators to engage in fun, interactive cooking activities, while learning about math, science and social responsibility.

We will:

–       Engage children in discovering countries through recipes and fun kid-relevant factoids.

–       Help parents safely involve kids in preparing a healthy meal while spending quality time together.

–       Raise awareness about current global issues.

With the “constitution” in place, the Chef Koochooloo team will start the journey towards making cooking and learning fun for both the Big and Little Chefs!

What do you think of our Vision and Mission Statements? Let us know what you think via comments!

The Chef Koochooloo Vision Statement and Team

The Chef Koochooloo Vision Statement and local Team

Milos Macura, Co-founder, Remote

Milos Macura

Anzac cookies

First of all we want to thank our contributor Holly for this incredible recipe, it will not only make a delicious snack for families it also has interesting fun facts about Australia and the life in the country!

Thank you Holly for sharing this with all the Chef Koochooloo readers!

hhb

Country of Origin: Australia

Continent: Australia

National Language: English (with an Aussie accent!)

Recipe Name in National Language: Anzac biscuits

Fun Fact about that Country: In Australia, kids start school at the beginning of the calendar year in January, and they finish the school year in December.

Serious fact about country The sun is much stronger in Australia, so kids always have to wear sunscreen outside. They stay out of the sun in the middle of the day because it’s so easy to get sunburned. Hats are a required part of all school uniforms!

Quiz question: Do you know why the sun is stronger in Australia?

Answer: Because there’s a hole in the ozone layer above Australia. The ozone layer is a layer of gas in the sky that stops the sun from being so harsh all over the world.

Website to take action, learn more, or get involved: sunsmart.com.au

Why is this recipe special? When do people eat this? It’s an Australian tradition to eat Anzac biscuits each year on Anzac Day, April 25th. Anzac Day is a national holiday to honor and remember all the soldiers who have fought hard for their country. The word Anzac stands for the Australian New Zealand Army Corps. It’s the Australian version of Memorial Day – and yes, that means no school!

Why Big Chefs Care: The oats in Anzac cookies contain healthy fiber that will keep your kids fueled for hours. Oats are not only a healthy ingredient that is digested slowly, but they are also a rich source of magnesium and are good for heart health, too. Coconut meat also contains dietary fiber, protein, iron, and zinc. Another great part about Anzac cookies is they won’t go stale as fast as your typical sugar cookie. Keep them in an airtight container and you can munch on them all week long!

Why Little Chefs Care: Anzac cookies taste sweet and delicious, and it’s fun to get your hands all dirty mixing the dough!

Serving Size: approximately 24 cookies

An Anzac biscuit is a sweet biscuit popular in Australia and New Zealand made using rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and water.

An Anzac biscuit is a sweet biscuit popular in Australia and New Zealand made using rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and water.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • ½ cup flaked coconut
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp boiling water

Instructions:

Step 1:

  • Little Chef: Measure out the oats, flour, sugar, and coconut into a bowl and mix them together with a wooden spoon.
  • Big Chef: Put on a small amount of water to boil, and preheat oven to 350° F.

Step 2:

  • Little Chef: Measure out 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a mug or small bowl.
  • Big Chef: In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the butter and syrup together. Add the boiling water to the baking soda, mix, then add to the butter mixture and mix well

Step 3:

  • Little Chef: Grease the cookie sheet with butter or cooking spray so the cookies don’t get stuck.
  • Big Chef: Pour the butter mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. When the mixture is cool enough to touch, you can let the little chef knead the mixture with his/her hands until everything is mixed in well.

Step 4:

  • Little Chef: Make little balls out of the dough that are about 1 inch thick (about one heaped teaspoon each), and place them on the cookie sheets. Make sure you leave an inch or two between each one so they don’t get stuck to each other.
  • Big Chef: Put the cookies in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Learn while you wait:

  • Question: What kind of trees do coconuts come from? Answer: Palm trees
  • Question: What’s the point of adding baking soda to cookies? What would happen if you didn’t? Answer: Baking soda makes the cookies rise up; if you didn’t have it, your cookies would be flat as a pancake!
  • Question: What shape is a coconut? Answer: Sphere. Challenge: Draw 3 more items in the kitchen that are the same shape.

Presentation:

  • Put the cookies on a cooling rack and wait until they are room temperature
  • Arrange the cookies on a nice plate, and then enjoy!

As they say in Australia, “Cheers mate!” 

anzac cookies2

Substitutions:

  • Whole wheat flour instead of regular flour
  • Maple syrup, honey, or agave instead of golden syrup
  • Brown sugar instead of white sugar
  • Rolled oats or muesli instead of quick oats
  • You can also make your own variations by adding different types of nuts or dried fruit.

Outback Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup main ingredients, the carrot, is a great source of vitamin. Lear more about it reading our recipe here!

Carrot Soup main ingredients is… the carrot! And carrots are a great source of vitamin. Lear more about them reading our recipe!

Country we are exploring: Australia

Continent: Australia

National Language: English

English Recipe Name: Outback Carrot Soup

Australian Name: Outback Carrot Soup

Did you know that Australia has been through many droughts, which is when there is not enough rain for a very long period of time. The worst recent drought lasted from 1995-2009 – that’s 14 years! When there is a drought, there are also water restrictions, which means you can only use a little bit of water. If you were a kid in Australia, you would have to forget about taking long showers and running through sprinklers for fun.

Discussion questions: How would you feel if you knew that your country was running out of water? What would you do differently to help save water?

Click here to take action and save water! 

Kids love this country because…

Australia is the only place where koalas live. They are not bears, but they look like cute and cuddly teddy bears with grey fur and big, round, black noses. Koalas live high up in trees, sleep all day, and only wake up for 4-5 hours at night. They only eat eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous to most animals. Koalas are hard to see in the wild, but you can pet them at the zoo!

Carrots have a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and your tummy. Many years ago, carrots were originally purple, red, yellow, and white, but not orange. Over time, humans grew carrots on farms and mixed together different colored carrots to get orange ones.

Carrots have a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and your tummy. Many years ago, carrots were originally purple, red, yellow, and white, but not orange. Over time, humans grew carrots on farms and mixed together different colored carrots to get orange ones.

Ingredient Spotlight

Carrots have a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and your tummy. Many years ago, carrots were originally purple, red, yellow, and white, but not orange. Over time, humans grew carrots on farms and mixed together different colored carrots to get orange ones.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 12 servings)

  • 8-10 carrots, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • Whole wheat bread rolls, sliced
  • Low fat vegetable oil spread or butter
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
  • 1-2 cups hot water
  • 1 jar of vegemite (If you can find it! Vegemite is a popular dark brown spread that Australians usually eat on bread or crackers. You can find it in some specialty food stores that sells international foods. If you don’t have vegemite, this will still be a delicious classic carrot soup. As they say in Australia, “No worries mate!”)

PREPARATION

Little Chef Duties:

  • Wash carrots and celery
  • Grate ginger and lemon rind
  • While the veggies are cooking, spread butter on each piece of bread and arrange them on a plate (If you can get vegemite to make it even more Australian, spread a tiny bit on the buttered bread).
  • Once soup is in bowls, add a spoonful of sour cream to each one.

Big Chef Duties:

  • Chop up the onion, celery, and carrots
  • Sauté onion, garlic, celery, ginger, carrots, and lemon until onions are transparent
  • Pour in broth, 1 tbsp vegemite, salt & pepper, and simmer until carrots are soft (about 20 minutes).
  • Pour into food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add hot water until soup is desired consistency.
  • Use a ladel to pour soup into bowls

Presentation:

  • Add a sprig of rosemary on top of the sour cream as a garnish.

Learn while you wait: (Introduce a Math, history or science related fact to your kids while the food is ready!)

Name 5 more foods that grow under the ground like carrots do!

Possible answers: Potatoes, Beets, Onions, Yams, Ginger

As they say in Australia, cheers mate!

carrotsoup

Possible substitutions:

  • Yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Crackers instead of bread

Finally we want to thank our incredible contributor Holly, she made this recipe to share with all our Chef Koochooloo readers and she did an amazing job sharing fun, interesting and important facts about Australia, the country and the culture.

Thank you Holly for the delicious recipe! We would’ve love to have more recipes from you soon!

hhb

A different educational and learning experience: Cooking with little hands

Why is important to educate your kids, but make it a fun learning experience?

There are different opinions about how learning should take place, especially at a young age, but now more than ever is proving true that long-term learning is related to a fun, engaging and entertained learning experience.

Discovery, experimentation and interaction make kids go ‘aha’ when they figure out knowledge on their own, and this is exactly what we are one step closer to accomplish with ‘Chef Koochooloo’  an educational learning experience that is fun, exciting and that kids will enjoy.

I want to share a special thanks to the Bahararestan Kids, Persian Immersion & Culture team who let us conduct a first interaction session with ‘Chef Koochooloo’ at their school where kids cooked ‘Khagineh’  a traditional Persian Omelet, all while learning about Persian, Iranian tradition and culture.

Here we share some pictures and the video of the day! Thank you all for your participation during this fun activity!


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