Everyone loves food, right? Well, this week at Cook Like a Chef cooking camp at Penn State University, I got to make and eat many different kinds of food that I probably wouldn't try at a restaurant or at home. Some foods included watermelon gazpacho (a cold soup), corn fritters, and sweet potato doughnuts. Though some foods seemed a little odd, they really surprised me with their flavors. The theme this week was MyPlate, which is a program for eating healthier. We made many everyday foods with ingredient substitutes to make them better for you. The foods didn't taste any different than they would with the usual ingredients. Everything was great; I certainly liked the fact that you got to make your own food. Everyday, each group would make a different dish and then serve it at a big lunch at 11:30. We were also given a booklet of all the recipes we made at camp. I am excited to be able to try some camp recipes at home. Some of my favorite things about cooking camp were the counselors, the foods, and the freedom. The counselors were really kind and they taught you a variety of things each day. The foods were different than what I would normally eat and very fun to make. I also loved having freedom to do things that I couldn't do at home, like using all sorts of kitchen tools. Not everyone has to watch you either. You get to make the food and use all the tools and we are given independence to work. Some of my favorite foods we made were manicotti, puppy chow, pecan crusted dijon tilapia, ice cream, chili, peanut butter bars, and linguine with clam sauce. Also, if you are lactose intolerant or a vegetarian, there are always options for you like veggie burgers, which were very good. All in all, I loved cooking camp. I enjoy cooking and this was a chance to explore my creative cooking side. I recommend this camp to anyone and everyone. It was so fun and anyone who loves to cook will enjoy this camp.
-- Emma Henry