Memories of 2018 Around the World Camp

Highlights of Around the World 2018 Camp

In five short days, the campers had traveled to the food scenes of Latin America, Europe, and East Asia. At Passion For Spices™ Summer Cooking Camp, the kids learn about the food and flavor profiles of regional dishes native to a particular country, which changes every day. From fire-roasted poblano salsa to chicken shao mai, Passion For Spices™’ chef, Sam Kadko, kept the kids on their toes in the kitchen.

Summer Cooking Camp

Day 1: Mexican Cooking

During our brief stop in Mexico on Monday, the campers charred poblano peppers, removed the skin, and combined them with blanched tomatoes in a food processor to form a delicious sauce that the kids loved to spoon over their tacos. The kids also made chicken enchiladas smothered in green tomatillo sauce and stuffed with chicken and freshly grated Monterrey jack cheese.

Cooking Camp Summit NJ

Day 2: Spanish Specialties

On the second day, we visited Spain where the children prepared paella valenciana with chicken and chorizo. Older campers enjoyed browning the chorizo over the stove while our younger chefs enjoyed cutting summer squash and zucchini for a traditional Spanish tapas. The children made a roux sauce, frequently used to thicken other dishes.

Kids Summer Cooking Camp
Summit Cooking Camp
Summer Cooking Camp
Kids Cooking Camp

Day 3: Asian Dishes

On Wednesday, we stopped by China for some dim sum. The kids watched excitedly as Chef Kadko showed them how to make pleats for the chicken potstickers. They also enjoyed making shao mai, an open faced dumpling. They also had golden egg rolls packed with mushrooms, noodles, and aromatics like ginger and garlic. Surely enough, we sent home a class full of happy campers with stomachs full of lots and lots of dumplings.

Kids Cooking Camp Summit

Day 4: French Delights

On his last day of this week’s camp, Kadko gave the campers a taste of what has long been known as the culinary center of the world: France. He showed students how to swirl crepe batter around a lightly buttered pan to evenly distribute the batter so that the crepe cooks evenly, while others used a portable induction cooktop to make petite crepes. The flatbread was filled with either an apple or chicken filling. In addition to the crepes, the campers baked citrusy madeleines. Once baked, the campers dipped half into a rich chocolate ganache, that was so good, kids were demanding it by the spoonful!

Cooking camp for Kids
Cooking Camp
Apple Crepe Normandy

Day 5: Argentine Cuisine

Day 5 came with guest chefs Anita and Vicky of Summit’s own Anita’s Baked Goods. Together, they instructed the campers on how to prepare traditional Argentine empanadas, alfajores, and Argentinian gnocchi. Campers got to prepare everything from the empanada fillings to putting the alfajores together, which are cookies with dulce de leche (caramelized condensed milk) sandwiched between two sugar cookies. But the campers favorite part of camp that day way filling the empanadas.

Passion for Spices Cooking Camp
Argentine Cuisine
Kids Cooking Classes

Cooking this lent season: Using Whole grain Farro

I am born in a Syrian Christian family in Kerala in the southern coast of India.. I have great memories of my family observing the lent and preparing special food during the season. My grandmother used to not even have any milk products, eggs, or seafood ,but strictly vegetarian. But here in the US during the lent season,  I am observing lent and preparing  many traditional vegetarian meals. 

I can think of so many different varieties of vegetarian and legume preparations during this season.  Here are a few recipes for everyone to try for "meatless Mondays" or "meatless Fridays" in the Western world.

The recipe we are sharing today is the "Farro Tahiri," a fun and traditional one pot meal, which includes wholesome ingredients and flavorful spices and herbs.  In this recipe, we have featured an ancient grain,  Farro,  which is high in protein and filled with minerals and fiber. This product is available locally at the  The Meat House, a local grocer in Summit, NJ. We have many more recipes for this lent season in our recipe collection including a Classic Dal recipe. Hope you enjoy making them.


Recipe courtesy of Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook and the American Diabetes Association.

farro tahiri

Culinary History:

Farro, is a group of ancient whole grains comprised of 3 ancient wheat types. This ancient grain is sourced from Italy and is known for its complex nutty taste and it's similar appearance to brown rice grains. Because farro is so easily digested and so low in gluten, farro can often be eaten by people who are gluten intolerant. 

SERVES: 6 - SERVING: 3 oz 


2 cup farro, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium
2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt

(Veggies for the Tahiri)
2 pounds sweet potato (about 2), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
½  tsp salt
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 head of cauliflower, 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets into pea size
2 medium carrots,  ½ cup chopped diced ¼ inch cubes
12 french beans, ⅓ cup chopped into ½ inch sized
½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen

(Whole Spice masala)
3 cloves
3 whole green cardamoms
1 small cinnamon stick

(For the Masala)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 red onions, sliced thin, about 1 cup
1 tsp salt
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced, about ½ cup
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili, seeds removed slit into half
 2 tsp Keralan Curry Spice Blend

(For Garnish)
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
½ tbsp lemon juice


To roast the sweet potato:

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 tsp oil, and salt with sweet potato, toss until well combined. 
  3. Transfer the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet, spreading evenly. 
  4. Place the baking sheet into the oven to roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until fork tender, about 30 minutes. 

To Make the Tahiri:

  1. Preheat heat a dutch oven, medium high heat,  add 1tbsp of oil 
  2. Add the whole masala and sauté till the spices are fragrant for about 2 minutes
  3. Now add the sliced onions, and add  the 1 tbsp of salt and sauté until the onion become golden
  4. Reduce the heat to medium
  5. Now add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for about 2 minutes
  6. Now add the chopped tomatoes and and sauté for another 3 minutes
  7. Now add the spices and the chili and sauté for another minute
  8. Now add the rinsed farro and the salt and sauté for another minute.
  9. Now add the water + vegetable stalk cook on medium high and once the liquid boil close the lid and seal it with an aluminum foil and cook on low heat for another 30 minutes
  10. Take the lid off and add the roasted sweet potato, cilantro and mint and the lemon juice and fluff the faro

Cooks notes:

If the farro is not cooked, close the lid and turn off the heat and keep it for another two minute.