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Cook's Corner

Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette
Katie Mullins, left, and Haley Downer lead cooking classes at the Kendallville Public Library.

Librarians spend time in kitchen with teens

– Once a month, Katie Mullins and Haley Downer host “Now You’re Cookin’,” a cooking class for teenagers at the Kendallville Public Library.

Mullins, the teen librarian, says that the class includes a variety of recipes, such as making doughnuts, brownies in a mug and even beef and noodles.

“In 2008 we did a cooking program with bugs. Our theme was ‘Catch the Reading Bug.’ We did Chocolate Chirpie Chip Cookies With Crickets,” she says.

“Live mealworm stir fry,” adds Downer, Mullins’ assistant.

Basic skills such as washing hands before cooking and the difference between a strainer and a colander are also taught, Downer says.

“We try to find a teachable moment with every class. We teach them what the difference is between a tablespoon and a teaspoon,” says Mullins, 31.

Mullins is happy about the positive feedback she’s heard from others about the program.

“We run into the teens’ parents or grandparents and they’ll say, ‘Hey, Danielle is cooking more,’ ” Mullins says.

Presidents Hot Chocolate

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 cups milk

2 1/2 cups light cream

Cinnamon, to taste

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped cream, as desired

Add sugar and cocoa to milk and heat in a saucepan until dissolved. Add the cream, cinnamon and vanilla. Heat until almost boiling, mix well and serve-topped with whipped cream. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Queso Blanco

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

4 ounces chopped green chiles

1/4 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Serrano pepper, chopped fine (optional)

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped fine (optional)

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium. Cook until melted, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 2 cups.

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-0088; fax 461-8648; or email