Cooking Camp: Best of NYT Cooking, 2017 version

Last week A and I taught a cooking camp for kids age 10-15. It was the second year we have taught together, and the third year I have been involved in this cooking camp program. Most of the kids were 10-13 years old, a great age for cooking together. We developed the curriculum around the best recipes from the New York Times cooking site, using the 2016 list (since we are only 1/2 way through 2017, that list has not been posted yet). Each day we had a main dish, a salad/pasta, and a dessert. Two of our recipes were slow cooker recipes and one dessert took two days. Here was the plan we used:


Skewered Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Kale-Romaine Caesar Salad

Mississippi Roast (slow cooker)


Eat Mississippi Roast

Make curd for Lemon Angel Food Cake with Preserved Lemon Curd

Summer Berry Buckle (with peaches, nectarines and plums)

Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil


Bake cake and assemble Lemon Angel Food Cake with Preserved Lemon Curd

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

Corn Salad with Tomatoes, Feta and Mint


Crunchy Berry Almond Crumble

Weeknight Fancy Chicken and Rice

Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork Tacos (slow cooker)


Prepare slaw and eat Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Salted Caramel Brownies

One-Pot Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Kale

Fresh Mint and Ginger Lemonade (not NYT, but we had a ton of mint left over!)


  • Students really like the Skewered Chicken with Peanut Sauce, and it was easy.
  • Lemon drizzle cake had too much lemon drizzle
  • Kale-Romaine Caesar Salad was a winner, learned how to poach an egg in the microwave
  • Mississippi Roast was also a winner, made one batch as a group project
  • Preserved lemon curd was amazing, and it was very fun to make the angel cake from scratch
  • Summer Berry Buckle was ok, need to emphasize keeping it light and fluffy
  • Students really liked the Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil, and it was super easy. Would be great with farmers market corn!
  • We like our family chicken enchiladas better than this recipe, using Hatch green chili enchilada sauce
  • Feta cheese was a little strong for the corn salad, but the recipe was very easy. Corn kernels everywhere!
  • Did not like strawberries in the Crunchy Berry Almond Crumble, but blackberries, raspberries and blueberries all good.
  • Would use thighs for the Weeknight Fancy Chicken and Rice, recipe could also use more spice.
  • Tomato and Pomegranate salad was easy, although poms are hard to find in the summer. Would be great with farmers market tomatoes!
  • Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork Tacos were probably the best recipe all week. Very easy in the slow cooker, definitely worth repeating. Made one batch as a group.
  • Salted Caramel Brownies turned out to be tricky because of the caramel. Should have done this one as a group, we ended up with two burned batches of caramel which in the end was fine, because we also ended up with two full batches of brownies which was more than enough.
  • One Pot Spaghetti: 1 quart = 4 cups. Remember that!