November 2010 Archives

New Tastes and Smells

Guest Student
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A Day in After-school RFS Programming
By Dominique, 3rd Grade RFS Student

In the after school class, the "pizza dough" was my favorite recipe.  First, we got some flour and added it to the sticky dough.  After it got soft and dry.  We made it flat and chose our favorite toppings and shoved it in the oven.  When all of them were out we tried to remember which toppings we chose.  When i was cutting the grapes for the Wellness Wagon i saw a very tiny one.  I asked Chef Kendall if i could taste it - it tased very sour!
In the garden i heard a green and yellow parrot hiding in the tree.  I got to smell the new plants that were coming out.  it was fun because I got to touch and discover what was in the garden.  I saw other people playing but I was doing some detective work. We observed catarpillars, plants and new things in the garden. I even got to smell the big plants! It smelled like peppermint.  We planted radishes and beans.  We pulled out the weeds and removed bad things from our garden.

Bon Appétit!

Guest Volunteer
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A Rodriguez Elementary Volunteer Experience 
by Rakhi Desai

Rakhi Desai_2.jpg
Hearty quinoa, nutty garbanzo beans, colorful fruit and vegetable smoothies... these aren't usually associated with elementary-aged kids.  Unless you're talking about the students at Rodriguez Elementary that is!  Every six weeks, students rotate through RFS programming in Chef Kendall and Mrs. Healy's Culinary Classroom.  The time flies as they work in the garden and learn concepts such as the food pyramid or the difference between a fruit and a vegetable. 

It is such a pleasure to spend my Thursday afternoons with them as they prep, chop, and measure their ingredients.  There are so many lessons the kids learn through the RFS curriculum- practicing proper hygiene in the kitchen, math and reading skills (while measuring out ingredients for a vinaigrette), good table manners (waiting for everyone to be served before lifting a fork), and heck, even a little French!  Hearing them all say "Bon Appétit!" in unison just before tasting their creation is absolutely priceless!  All of these benefits are reaped without the kids even realizing it because they are too busy having so much fun in this interactive setting outside the traditional classroom.  They are so curious and excited to work in the kitchen and proud to eat something that they prepared all by themselves.  I am lucky to have the opportunity to join them each week by volunteering for RFS.

The highlight in each class, by far, is watching our little junior chefs taste the results of their hard work.  Last week, upon tasting the 1-2-3 Salad, one of the 2nd graders commented "Wow, I feel like I'm in a different country when I am eating this salad!"  Which country, you wonder?  After much debate and thought...she finally decided on Australia.  

Fifth Annual RFS "My Favorite Holiday Food" Story Writing Contest Anounces Winners

Alyssa Dole
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Over the past few weeks, more than 1,000 Houston area students were asked to write about their Favorite Holiday Food for the Recipe for Success  2010 Annual Story Writing Contest. Each story tugged at the heart strings of the judges, and made their mouths water. The essays were judged by faculty at the school level, with six semi finalists emerging, before going head to head to claim the grand prize. 
Final judge, Gwendolyn Zepeda, author of "I Kick the Ball,"  selected Vanesa Velasquez from Lyons Elementary as the overall winner.  Vanesa will become "Chef for a Day" with Chef Jeffrey Everts at The Houstonian and have her essay published on Arte Publico's website.  Other prizes awarded included RFS boutique gear, and a catering party with Chef Kendall Watson. 
Read Vanesa's story below along with some semi-finalists.  And think about your favorite holiday food!
Winning Essays
Yummo! Grand Prize Winner, Vanesa Velasquez, a Lyons Elementary student, discusses the delicious ease and consistency with which her family prepares the Thanksgiving turkey each year. It turns into a heart melting cautionary tale of how her mother learned to cook. Lyons066.pdf

This MacGregor Elementary student likened her family's sweet potato pie to a good friend you only get to see on special days.  MacGregor064.pdf
OMG you'll be glad you read this essay by a Briscoe Elementary student! This student shares her overwhelming joy at waking up to the Thanksgiving smell of a roasting turkey.Briscoe065.pdf
A Rodriquez Elementary student shows individuality and their multi-cultural background with this essay.  The essay gushes love for delicious home made tamales in their native language. Rodriguez067.pdf
Finally, a Whittier Elementary student shares their win-win situation. Whether or not they win the grand prize, every time this student takes a bite of their families pumpkin pie, they feel like they have one a million bucks. Whittier068.pdf
Envious of these students wonderful, tasty memories? Make your own precious award winning family memories this holiday season.  Here is a RFS special recipe to get you started. Roasted Fall Vegetables with Pecan Gremolata.doc

What a Party!

Gracie Cavnar
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On Tuesday, October 26 Chairs Roz Pactor and Isabel David kicked off their Dress for Dinner Season with a blowout party at 30 Sunset.  Thanks to sponsor Houston Magazine, hundreds of Fashion Fans appeared to enjoy the evening.  Take a look at the photos, and mark your calendar now for the next happening: "Dress for Dinner with Zang Toi on December 1 at Saks.  For more information and to book, see

In the meantime, enjoy photos from our kick-off: