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CWK Second Annual Essay Contest Winners!

Cooking with Kids second annual essay contest winners are posted below! Students in 5th and 6th grade from SFPS schools that participate in Cooking with Kids were invited to submit essays. New this year is a Spanish language category. Winners each received a framed certificate and a Cooking with Kids gift bag that included a chef’s coat, Farmer’s Market tokens, and locally grown dried apples.

Special thanks to our essay contest judges:

  • Rocky Durham, Culinary Director, Santa Fe School of Cooking
  • Pat West-Barker, Publisher of The Zenchilada
  • Lynn Walters, Executive Director, Cooking with Kids


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay

Gonzales Community School

Kaila Neuenschwander (Ms. Pino, 6th grade)

Kaila Neuenschwander

Good Cooking for All!!!!!!!!!

Whenever I am in the kitchen cooking something I always feel great. I love to cook with my mom and make different foods. After I make the food, I love to share it with my friends and family.

When I am home, I love to cook lasagna and garlic bread. One of my specialties is pumpkin pudding. But one thing I don’t like is having to clean up and do the dishes. Sometimes for lunch my mom will make bruchette. I enjoy eating food a family member makes.

This is one memory that I will never forget. I remember for my 8th birthday party, my mom baked a cake. But she used the sea level baking mix and the cake sizzled over the top. It looked like the cake had been hit by an asteroid! Since then, mom has been sure to check for high elevation recipes.

When I started Cooking with Kids in 2nd grade I always enjoyed it. I loved making different food from different cultures, and coloring the maps. Also, I like measuring with the measuring cups and doing math. But my favorite part of Cooking with Kids was to get to eat the yummy food. I do wish we could have had seconds because the food was so good.

The truth is that I don’t care where I cook, I just love to cook. I am very thankful to have the supplies and people that could teach me different recipes. GOOD COOKING FOR ALL!


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay

Sweeney Elementary

Adriana Vargas (Ms. Sena, 5th grade)

Adriana Vargas

I love cooking!

I love cooking. Cooking is important because it teaches you to follow directions and it also teaches you not to do something you are not supposed to do. I also love cooking because it is very fun to do and when you finish cooking, the food comes out delicious. You can spend tie with your family when you are cooking. I am very glad I know how to cook and very happy we have Cooking with Kids to teach me.

You also make memories when you cook. In Mexico, my whole family made homemade tortillas and hot delicious green chile My auntie peeled the chile, my other auntie kneaded the dough and my other auntie cooked it. For the holidays my whole family in Santa Fe usually makes mashed potatoes and gravy, chile rellenos and steak. At my grandma’s house she makes the best beans and chile – sometimes it’s red and sometimes it’s green chile.

Things I learned how to make in Cooking with Kids were great and I didn’t even know I was going to like the kind of food we made. We made lentils, we made tamales, which were really a lot of fun to make and we also cooked white rice from China. That was my favorite thing we’ve cooked so far.

When I get older I know I am going to cook a lot. I am going to pass my recipes on to my nieces, nephews or maybe even my own kids someday. I also know I am going to cook with my family. Cooking with Kids was a great experience and a lot of fun.


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay

Salazar Elementary

Maya Vigil (Ms. Ballard, 5th grade)

Maya Vigil

A Wonderful Creation

Mmm. My favorite smells are spices. A little bit of cloves and a few dashes of pumpkin spice start one of the best pumpkin pie recipes ever. I put 1-2 cups of granulated sugar that make it sweet. As my sister sprinkled cinnamon I started to stir all of the spices together. It got a beautiful color of light brown. My sister and I moved on to the wet ingredients, starting to break the eggs. As she did I mixed in a can of pumpkin. When my dad walked into the kitchen I asked him to stir the spices, pumpkin, and egg. While he was doing that my sister added canned milk to my dad’s mixture as he mixed more. Then my other sister came by and tasted it. She said that it tasted great just like always. After that we put it in a pie shell and cooked it. When it was finished my family and I enjoyed our delicious creation.


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay


Camila Saluja (Mr. Romero, 5th grade)

Camila Saluja

Cooking in the Family Pot

Cooking is something people have enjoyed for ages. To me, it’s such an important thing. I think that children who watch or help their parents cook will become better chefs. In my family cooking is very important. My mom and dad cook almost every night. I usually help them. My dad comes from South America so he cooks different things. When he cooks, he cooks things like milanesas (chicken covered with bread crumbs) or empanadas (a pie with spinach and eggs in it). My mom is Italian so she cooks a lot of delicious things too. Cooking is also very important in my history, too. My great great grandmother, Enrichetta, came from Italy to America before she got married (to someone she didn’t like). She got a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant in New York City called Delmonico’s. One day the soup chef was sick. She took his place. People loved her soup. After that she became the first woman soup chef Delmonico’s EVER had. She fell in love with a man named Pasquale who delivered poultry to restaurants. They married.

So you see, food and cooking are very important in my life. Past, present, and maybe even future. I may become a baker and own my own bakery. No matter what, I know that I will pass on the recipes to my children and they’ll pass it on to theirs. Cooking is a treasure. We need to keep it safe.


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay


Noelle Navarro (Mr. Cameron, 5th grade)

Noelle Navarro

The Magic Pans

Once there was a princess named Izinia. Her country was going through some hard times. There was not enough food. Izinia’s father, the kind, could not figure out how to fix the problem. He tried everything! Still nothing worked. Half of the population in the country dropped. Since there wasn’t enough food lots of people died, including Izinia’s sister. After 3 hard years Izinia’s father could no longer be king, so Izinia became queen.

One day Izinia was walking, when she fell. When she got up she realized she had fallen on top of a door in the ground. Izinia heard voices coming towards her calling “Find the queen!” She quickly hid the door with branches and called “I am here!” When she got back to the palace 50 doctors checked Izinia. Finally when they said she was fine Izinia ran as fast as she could back to where she had discovered the door. She opened the door and went inside. The young queen found pans and a book. The book was magic and so were the pans! The magic was was that the food she cooked in the pans was enough to feed the entire kingdom. Izinia went down in history as “The cooking Queen!”


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay


Marisol Chavez (Mr. Northup, 6th grade)

Marisol Chavez

Cooking with Kids

I love Cooking with Kids, because it is a place where we can learn a lot about food. We can learn where all the food came from, how to cook and much more.

It is awesome, because the whole class gets to experience different food from different countries and taste new food that us kids actually cooked. Plus, we get to learn about the countries, the spices that they use and what they like.

We have done fried rice with sour cucumbers and they were good. You should have seen Mr. Northup’s face! That was proof of the sourness of the cucumbers.

Cooking with Kids is so awesome and fun for everybody including Mr. Northup to go back to his childhood days. I think Cooking with Kids is important, because when you grow up you are going to know how to cook really good food for your family. You will know a lot of recipes.

That’s why I say Cooking with Kids is so fun and important.


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay

Cesar Chavez

Joshua Trujillo (Ms. Hamman, 5th grade)

Joshua Trujillo

Cooking With Fun

Yes, I do like to cook. Sometimes I help my mom cook. I love cooking, but when I cook I have to wash my hands first. Everyday I cook with my mom. I help her make tacos. I ask my mom if I can fry the meat. When I fry meat I have to be careful. I have good memories of cooking because I remember when my great grandma was alive. She was the bomb at cooking. We always made Sunday dinners, but not anymore because she died, but I still remember her because of her cooking.

When I cook I cook from my heart. I will never ever give up on cooking because I love cooking. When I go to restaurants I order something healthy. When my mom and I have visitors coming over my mom makes all kinds of food. Then my grandpa and all our visitors eat it all.

Last year for Christmas I made the greatest fruit salad ever. Everybody was getting seconds. That Christmas was the best of all, not because of the presents, but because of the family eating with each other. I wish everybody in the world could have food and Sunday dinners together.


Cooking with Kids First Place Essay

Cesar Chavez

Diddier Linares Ramirez (Mr. Rueda, 5th grade)

Joshua Trujillo

Caldo de Pollo

En este “essay” voy a hablar de como hacer un caldo de pollo. Preparar un caldo de pollo no es muy sencillo.

Primero, lo que tienes que hacer es hervir agua en una olla grande. Luego sacas el pollo afuera de el refrigerador y lo pones a descongelarse. Tienes que ponerlo a descongelarse por lo menos 20 o 30 minutos. Cuando ya se ha descongelado sacas el pollo de la bolsa. Sacas el pollo de la bolsa para ponerlo listo para meterlo en la olla.

Despues de poner el pollo en la olla tienes que poner las verduras como zanahoria, papas y otros ingredientes. Despues le echas “sopas de pobrecito” para que le de un saborcito. Despues tapas la olla. Luego le pones llama grande.

Despues de tapar la olla tienes que esperar por lo menos 30 minutos o 1 hora. Cuando ya ha parado ese tiempo, abres la olla. Sirves el caldo con varias verduras en platos hondos. Despues le pides a una persona que te ayuda a pasarlos a la mesa. Si tu quieres puedes tener uno o dos chiles y también puedes hacer tortillas.

English translation:

In this essay I am going to talk about how to make chicken soup. Making chicken soup is not very simple.

First, you have to boil water in a big pot. Next you take the chicken out of the refrigerator and you let it thaw. You have to let it thaw for at least 20 to 30 minutes. When it has thawed, take the chicken out of the bag. You take the chicken out of the bag to get it ready to put it in the pot.

After you put the chicken in the pot you have to add vegetables like carrots, potatoes and other ingredients. Next you add “sopas de pobrecito” to give it a little flavor. Then you cover the pot. After that you put the heat on high.

After you cover the pot you have to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour. When that time has passed, open the pot. You serve the soup with some vegetables in deep bowls. Then you ask someone to help you carry them to the table. If you want, you can have one or two chiles and you can also make tortillas.

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