Posts Tagged ‘Chef Raquel’

Holy Guacamole!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Miss Sue came into the cooking class at summer camp just before the session started and said,” Boys and girls I have a surprise for you today.”

chef raquel makes guacamoleWith that Chef Raquel, stepped out from behind Miss Sue, saying, “Is everybody ready to learn how to make Guacamole? It’s a great summer dip you can prepare with your mom or dad or a grandparent.”

The “Can Dos” all clapped and called out, “We’re ready!”

Chef Raquel smiled, opened the door and said,”It just do happens I stopped by the senior center on my way here. Look who all volunteered to come and help all of you cut, slice and chop the ingredients for the Guacamole.”

With that the grandmas all came into the class! There was Grandma Maureen, Grandma Hattie, Grandma Frances and Grandma Sue. Each of the grandmas joined a group of “Can Dos” around their individual food prep tables.

“Hmmm,” said Chef Raquel, “What is the first thing we have to do before we start making our Guacamole dip?”

As usual, Orrie was the first to raise his hand and answered, “We have to wash our hands really well and then dry them with a paper towel before we handle the ingredients for the Guacamole.” Orrie led the group to the wash sinks in the room and everyone took turns washing up. Then they went back to their food prep tables.

Soon the room filled with the sounds of chopping and slicing and conversations about what they were making. Before long the Guacamole dip was ready and it was time for tasting. Chef Raquel passed around pita wedges and everyone sampled what they made.

A couple of the “Can Dos” liked the Guacamole so much they popped their tops!  Willie was so excited about the taste he yelled out, ” Holy Guacamole!”         Willie says Holy Guacamole

Here’s is Chef Raquel’s recipe for Guacamole, in case you want to make it at home for your family.

Additive Guacamole with Pita Wedges Serves 6


2 Haas avocados – peeled, pitted, and smashed

1 Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and medium diced

1 lime, zest and juiced

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ cup yellow onion, minced

3 tbs. chopped cilantro

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 clove garlic, minced


  1. In a medium bowl, have child mash the avocados, lime juice, and salt.  Add onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic and cayenne pepper. Have him or her stir.
  2. Gently fold in diced avocado. Don’t not over mix or it will get too mushy.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately with pita chips.
  4. For Homemade Pita Chips: Cut pita bread into 8 slices. Lay flat on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano.
  5. Bake for 6-10 minutes at 400 degrees until golden. Allow to cool and serve with Guacamole.


Chef Raquel Surprises the “Can Do” Kids Cooking Club

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

The “Can Do” Street Cooking Club got a wonderful surprise when they met over Christmas vacation at the community center. Chef Raquel came to help them with a recipe they can do with a parent, grandparent or other adult. Together they made pumpkin brioche french toast. Then came the best part…they got to eat it! Then came clean up, not much fun but necessary.

Here is the recipe in case you and a family member want to make it at home:

Frosty Pumpkin French Toast:


4 slices of Brioche or Challah Bread, sliced thick

¼ cup of milk, whole or 2%

¼ cup of heavy cream

3 tbs. of pumpkin puree

2 eggs, large

1 tbs. of granulated sugar or light brown sugar

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. of salt, fine sea salt or kosher

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1-2  tbs. of butter, unsalted

confectionary sugar, for dusting

maple syrup, optional


1.   Child(ren) can help make custard by mixing eggs, milk, cream, pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk to combine.

2.      Adult preheats a pan or skillet, adds  butter and allows to foam.

3.      Adult can supervise and assist  child dipping bread into custard, coating both sides well and put in pan.  Allow to brown, turn over. Repeat with remaining bread.

4.       Child can dust warm French toast with confectionery sugar.  Drizzle with maple syrup.

Chef’s Notes:

Substitute cinnamon for cardamom to change it up.

Eliminate pumpkin puree and replace vanilla extract for almond extract.  Top French toast with sliced almonds before adding to skillet.

Chef Raquel teaches classes in the NYC public school system and is part of Chefs Move to Schools” program, which is a part of the “Let’s Move!” campaign to end the epidemic of childhood obesity. The program pair chefs with schools across the country to help teach kids healthy habits.

Chef Raquel will be a regular contributor to the parent/teacher blog on “Can Do” Street. Look for her recipes in the Recipes section of the pull down menu. to learn more about her, visit her site: