Friday, March 30, 2012

A huge thank you to Christian with the assitance of Junius for their outstanding work. This mural was painted in the serving area of the main building. Notice the shapes of the blocks are the same shapes in the HCZ logo. Excellent work Christian and Junius! Thank you again!
- Educated Eaters

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Menu Change for March 27, 2012

Today Chef Sharif created a dish for us. He decided to make BBQ Chicken Wings, Ranch Infused Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Spinach. Sharif Made the bbq sauce this morning from scratch. Great job Sharif. Please join us.
Bon Appetit!

The precise origin of barbecue sauce is unclear. Some trace it to the end of the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus brought a sauce back from Hispaniola, while others place it at the formation of the first American colonies in the 17th century. References to the substance start occurring in both English and French literature over the next two hundred years. South Carolina mustard sauce, a type of barbecue sauce, can be traced to German settlers in the 18th century
Barbecue sauce (also abbreviated BBQ sauce) is a flavoring sauce or condiment ranging from watery to very thick consistency. As the name implies, it was created as an accompaniment to barbecued foods. While it can be applied to any food, it usually tops meat after cooking or during barbecuing, grilling, or baking. Traditionally it has been a favored sauce for pork or beef ribs and chicken.
It sometimes carries with it a smoky flavor. The ingredients vary, but some commonplace items are tomato paste, vinegar, liquid smoke, spices, and sweeteners. These variations are often due to regional traditions and recipes.

Friday, March 23, 2012


GLAM – Girls Learning to Achieve More – aims to equip young women with life skills and social/emotional competency in order to be successful academically and personally. It is a sorority type organization for the 6th grade scholars and aims to build positive friendships while encouraging the young woman to learn about and who they are as a unique individual. "Cupcake Secrets", a program developed by Ms. Leah Foster, used the fun activities of baking and decorating cupcakes to explore personal fears, insecurities, anxieties, and goals. Each girl was able to hide a secret message within their own cupcake and then decorate the outside to represent how they portray themselves to the world. The GLAM girls had a great time sharing their secrets and then decorating and eating the cupcakes!
Here is a picture of the GLAM girls assembling Carrot Cupcakes.

Menu Change for March 23, 2012

Today we have are featuring a delicious dish created by our very own, Chef Kim. Chef Kim prepared a Cajun Style Shrimp and Chicken Alfredo over Linguini. A special salad was also prepared using Romaine, Mandarin Oranges and Red Bell Peppers topped with a Creole Salad Dressing. Please join us! Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cold Minted Pea Soup

Today at the main building we are offering a Cold Minted Pea Soup during lunch. A great way to start off Spring!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas (20 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
6 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese


1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Add the peas and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the soup cool to room temperature.

2. Transfer the soup in batches to a food processor or blender. Add the ricotta and process until smooth.

3. Adjust the seasonings, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until chilled.

Serves 6

Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Menu Change for Monday March 19th

Good Morning! Today we have decided to change the menu and incorporate a personal favorite from one of our team members. Chef Daniel decided to make one of his favorite dishes. Baked Ziti with Turkey accompanied by Cesar Salad. Stop by and have lunch.

Ziti is Italian for "a bridegroom." Although the common form of modern ziti is about two inches in length, the name makes more sense when considering the original, classic form of ziti, which was over 18 inches long.

Baked ziti is a popular baked Italian casserole dish made with ziti macaroni and sauce. In many recipes, the ziti is first cooked separately while a tomato and cheese sauce is prepared, which may include meat, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and more. The cooked and drained ziti is then combined with the cooked sauce, which may be layered with additional varieties of cheeses, baked in the oven, and served hot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Menu Change for Thursday March 15th

Tomorrow we will have a menu change for lunch. We will feature a dish created by our very own Chef Lori. She has decided to make a Spring inpired Chicken Primavera. Grilled chicken, Roasted Spring Veggies over Rotini. Lori will also prepare a spinach salad to be served with her delicious pasta dish.

Chef Lori and Chef Chewy

Please join us. Bon Appetit!

Roasted vegetables add wonderful flavors to dishes without a lot of fat and calories. Roasted veggies like garlic, potatoes, and carrots can also work wonders as fat substitutes in recipes for mashed potatoes, sauces, cream soups, and casseroles.

Why Roast Vegetables?
The process of roasting brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables and intensifies their natural flavors. Think about how wonderful roasted onions; carrots; red, orange, or yellow peppers; eggplant; and asparagus taste. Roasted garlic is another perfect example. While raw garlic is pungent, roasted garlic has a sweeter, milder flavor. You might be hard pressed to choke down a clove of raw garlic, but you can spread six cloves of roasted garlic over a slice of bread as you would butter.

To me, there's no comparison between steamed vegetables and roasted vegetables. Roasted veggies have browning, carmelization, and crisping happening, while steamed ones are just cooked. Roasted vegetables are just more tantalizing to most all of the senses -- sight, taste, smell, and even touch.

How to Roast Vegetables
You might have had roasted vegetables at a restaurant or friend's house that seemed to be nearly as much oil as veggies. But roasted vegetables really don't need to be made with a lot of oil. Here are the four basic vegetable roasting steps:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a jellyroll pan with foil, and coat the foil with canola or olive oil cooking spray. Cut your vegetables into small chunks or hearty bite-sized pieces.
Add vegetables in a single layer to the foil-lined pan and spray the top with cooking spray or drizzle with a bit of canola or olive oil (use no more than a teaspoon of oil for every cup of vegetables). If you use oil, toss the veggies about on the pan to coat as much of them with oil as possible.
Sprinkle on any desired seasonings, such as rosemary or basil, parsley, marjoram, salt and pepper. Coat the tops of your veggies again with canola or olive oil cooking spray, if desired, especially if you didn't drizzle with oil in Step 2.

Bake until veggies are lightly browned in areas, and tender. If your vegetables look like they are starting to dry out during the roasting period, drizzle some broth, apple juice, or low-fat Italian dressing or vinaigrette over the top. Different vegetables require different cooking times. Check your roasted vegetables after 25-30 minutes (this is probably the halfway point), turn them over with a spatula, then cook until they're tender and nicely browned around some of the edges (about 25-30 minutes more.)

Team WIT!

As a way to support each other in our attempt to not only talk the talk around Healthy Living but also walk the walk, (and I guess run the run too) HCZ is starting an exercise club called “Team WIT”. That is right, Team “Whatever It Takes”. This group of employees is committed to doing Whatever it Takes to:
· Support each other in making a lifelong commitment to Healthy Living;
· Encourage each other to commit to a consistent exercise routine, which will include training together;
· Support each other to make healthier food choices at work and beyond; and
· Support each other in our attempts to manage our stress and help to boost staff morale.

Team WIT will participate in physical activities such as walking, running, biking, swimming, as well as iron man/woman competitions, biathlons, half marathons, and mud runs. This will be a fun way for us to stay healthy and build camaraderie at the same time.

We will post the events on the HCZ intranet and on the Healthy Living website. You should check these sites regularly to see our menu of activities and opportunities to train together at the Armory and other outdoor venues. Our first event is the Revlon Run/Walk on May 5th –. Look out for the details.

There are no better leaders in this country than the hard working employees of HCZ. We want to ensure that we keep ourselves strong, healthy and focused so that we can continue to serve the children and families of Harlem.

If you have any questions, please contact Deborah Carroll ( or Anne Williams-Isom ( .

Team WIT- Keeping Ourselves and the Community Strong!

Monday, March 12, 2012

How New York Ate in 1900

New York City has five geographic areas, "boroughs", that were incorporated into one city in 1898. Of these, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn had their own city governments, tax base, etc. The Bronx had been more connected to Manhattan administratively and much of the development from farmland followed the advent of public transportation to Manhattan. With the exception of the border between Brooklyn and Queens, each borough is separated from the others by a river or harbor; local food production, industry, neighborhood markets and restaurants developed their own flavors and functions in the communities.

How New York Ate 100 Years AgoAt the turn of the last century nearly 3.5 million people saw the birth of the newly consolidated City of New York. In their food supplies, Manhattan had ceased to be self-sufficient decades before, and relied on imports and the bounty of the other four boroughs.

The New Yorkers in these boroughs cultivated orchards, trapped wild fowl in the teeming woodlands, foraged for edible plants, fished in the surrounding waters of New York Harbor, Long Island Sound, and Jamaica Bay, and worked 250-year-old farms raising cattle, horses, hogs and grain.

In the urban neighborhoods of all boroughs, residents bought bread, milk, ice, fish, hot corn, pie and more from horse-drawn wagons and pushcarts. Children bought snowballs of shaved ice and sweet syrups for a penny.

As for restaurants and hotels, they fed millions, from single five-cent meals to $10,000 banquets. Ethnic foods helped establish immigrant enclaves, and dishes and markets were starting to find cross-cultural acceptance. As the largest port and market in North America and a leading manufacturing area, New York City provided food and food products for the entire country.

The variety of ethnic communities and the diversity of immigration to New York created a wealth of cultural traditions, each community taking on a different character as it grew, strengthened, diversified, assimilated, dispersed, specialized in industry or faced special discrimination.

When communities were substantial, their food dynamics affected food quality and prices (for more on the Kosher Meat Riots, click Manhattan on the map above) stimulated import trade, created manufacturing and farming opportunities as in the Chinese farms and restaurants, restaurant chic and frequently food industries, needing limited English language skills or American certifications (see pushcarts for one example, current restaurant practice for another--links from Retail section at left).

Opportunities in the food business led to advancement in other food-related businesses, and fostered restaurant ownership and ethnic food manufacture. For recent immigrants, a neighborhood that practiced familiar food traditions meant a place of security, fellow countrymen and women, news from home.

Immigrant communities, particularly Greeks, worked truck farms near Bull's Head that provided the Manhattan markets with vegetables and livestock for Washington Market.

please visit :

Book of the Month.

The Great Kapok Tree is set in the Amazon rain forest. A young man begins to chop down a kapok tree, following the orders of a "larger man". After he has hit the tree a few times with his axe, he sits down to rest and falls asleep. While he sleeps, several rainforest animals and a child whisper into his ear and beg him to spare the tree, explaining its importance in the fragile ecosystem. When the man awakes, he leaves his axe at the foot of the tree and walks away.

This is the most recent book chosen by Ms. Francois for the students to read. Excellent Choice!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Truce Fitness Culinary Arts

Truce Fitness recently had it first culinary arts class. The students created a dish using fruit. The dish had to be creative in creating their fruit personality.

The students used pineapple, watermelon, grapes, melon and either fruits to get their dream to come to life.

Every Friday the culinary arts students create something new. The blog will be updated periodically so you can see what the culinary arts students are doing at Truce Fitness.

Great work Truce Fitness!!