Author Archive

A Tase of Japan

Mar 06 2018

Last week in our Kids in the Kitchen cooking class, our young chefs experienced the taste of Japan!
They started off with some warm and satisfying Miso soup! Many of our chefs were able to taste tofu for the first time. It “tasted like chicken” and was a hit!  

Then, the chefs got hands on rolling sushi! They chose either seaweed or rice paper to roll up carrots, cucumber, avocado and cooked shrimp. Many of our chefs were able to master the art of the roll after a few tries! It was hard work but our most rewarding meal to date! 

Kids in the Kitchen

Jan 30 2018

Our winter session of Kids in the Kitchen is in full swing here at Wissahickon Valley!

This time, 3rd and 4th graders are getting things cooking. Our winter session is following an “eat around the world” theme! Each week our Kids in the Kitchen members not only prepare and enjoy a dish from another country, but they also learn about the location, climate and traditions of that particular country. So many factors influence a nation’s cuisine and we are learning all about them!

We began two weeks ago in Jamaica where the tropical climate makes for tasty plantains and an abundance of citrus fruits. Our members snacked on Jamaican Tangors (a sweet and juicy cross between a tangerine and an orange) while they studied the geography of the country.

Next things started to heat up! The kids each seasoned some chicken to make the traditional and sought-after dish – Jamaican Jerk Chicken! Of course, Jerk Chicken has some spice to it. To bring down the heat a bit, a group of our little chefs prepared coconut rice with kidney beans to pair with it. While the rice simmered and the chicken browned, we worked on slicing plantains and frying them to make delectable plantain chips! We added cinnamon and sugar to create a light, satisfying end to our meal!

Our evening in Jamaica ended with our students serving each other and their teachers! Everyone devoured the Jamaican classics! Kids in the Kitchen is a group effort and we would not be able to create such incredible dishes without the help and eagerness of our kid chefs!

Check back to see what country we will “taste” next!

Wissahickon Valley’s Winter Wonderland

Jan 02 2018

This past holiday season was truly a magical winter wonderland in Wissahickon Valley! Our club members had fun getting into the holiday spirit starting with our winter movie night. On three different screens, students and community members alike enjoyed hot chocolate, popcorn and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

The following week, our club members rocked the Sugarplum Shakedown! This was a holiday event with all things merry… cookie decorating, holiday crafts, games and of course, a visit from Santa! Each student was able to pick a gift from Santa’s sack of toys. Santa and students had a jolly good time! Thanks for sharing your magic, Santa! 

For our final soiree of the season, our club hosted a Gingerbread House making event! A local dance troop, Fruitful Children, provided the gingerbread houses and fixings for our members and theirs! Our new building had never seen so many guests, but thanks to their helpers, we were able to make it a magical end to our winter wonderland season!

As winter break comes to an end, we are all looking forward to more magical moments that 2018 is sure to bring!


Introducing Wissahickon Valley’s Keystone Club!

Nov 29 2017

Wissahickon Valley is lucky to offer our middle school students a national Boys and Girls Club program – Keystone Club! This program provides members with responsibility, self respect and a sense of community through volunteer work and community involvement. To be a Keystone Club member is a privilege. With each community activity and service trip, the members earn an incentive trip! Incentive trips help our members understand that hard work plays off in more ways than one! Keystone Club runs for 8 weeks every Fall, Winter and Spring.

Keystone Club’s first Fall session at Wissahickon Valley was a success! Our members were able to visit a culinary school, play BINGO with a veteran, volunteer in the community and go on a college campus tour. Keystone Club helped beautify a new local grocery store by planting bulbs and collecting trash. With this particular opportunity, the kids felt a true sense of community and they even got to go shopping!

Our fall session also included a memorable college visit. Gwynedd Mercy University is a local university and although many students had driven past, they had no perception of what the campus was actually like. For most of the members, it was their first time visiting a college! After a short presentation providing information on the college application process, the kids took a campus tour! It was here where students came to the realization that attending college is a pretty awesome goal to have. As one student pointed out, “My mom won’t be at college to stop me from eating ice cream for breakfast!” Sparks ignited and the dream of going to college is now in full swing!

Because of the student’s responsibility and commitment to the club, they were able to vote on an incentive trip! It was a unanimous decision: Starbucks! We traveled down the street to Starbucks in Spring House where the kind staff helped each student order a signature Starbucks drink (decaf of course)! With good books in hand, the students relaxed while sipping their hard earned Frappuccinos!

We are looking forward to another successful Keystone Club session this winter. Keep an eye out for us around town!

Wissahickon Valley’s Kids in the Kitchen – Pasta Night!

Nov 06 2017

Did you know that there are over 350 types of pasta from around the world? Last Thursday during Wissahickon Valley’s Kids in the Kitchen cooking club, our members learned all about pasta!

During Kids in the Kitchen lessons, we focus on the four parts of a healthy plate: fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains. This means, that when we eat lunch or grab dinner, we should try to incorporate a food from each part of the healthy plate to ensure maximum nutrients so our bodies can be strong and healthy! Our Kids in the Kitchen members have learned about different foods from each part of the plate over the past six weeks. Last week, we tackled grains with our pasta lesson! They got hands-on and made two Italian classics – Fettuccine and Gnocchi.

Our little chefs used their muscles to knead the dough and roll it into long “snakes”. From there, we flattened it to put it through the pasta maker for Fettuccine and cut it into pieces for Gnocchi! While everyone enjoyed the process, the best part of course, was eating it! The future chefs were having so much fun that they made enough pasta to share with their parents!

If you are interested in making a simple, delicious, homemade pasta check out this recipe!

Classic Italian Gnocchi

Italian Potato Dumplings: Yields 4-5 servings, Prep time – 1 hour, Cook time – 3 minutes

Ingredients: 2-3 large Russet potatoes, 2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1TBL. Romano cheese, 1 egg yolk and tomato sauce to serve


Preheat oven to 350F

Bake Potatoes for 45-55 minutes (until soft) & let them cool lightly

Peel potatoes & push through a sieve/ricer or mash finely with the back of a fork into a large bowl

Mix in salt, yolk and cheese

Gradually mix in flour

Knead into a soft dough – about 2 minutes – add flour if too sticky

Cut a piece of dough and roll it into a 1/2in thick “snake”

Cut “snake” into 1in pieces (while working, wrap extra dough in plastic wrap so it doesn’t harden)

Fill large pot with water, add a pinch of salt and let boil

Once all dough is cut, add 1in cubes into boiling water – about 3 minutes

Add tomato sauce and ENJOY!

*to get all parts of the healthy plate in this meal, make a side salad and add apple or berries

Pasta = grain, cheese = protein, salad = vegetable, apple, berries = fruit