Talk to anyone and you know that cooking at home has become commonplace again! Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a tremendous surge in home cooked meals. People are staying closer to home and choosing to take up the culinary arts. This trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future as we brace for the next wave this fall/winter.
The food habits of Canadians have changed due to COVID concerns and it means that home cooking is becoming the norm for families. Increasingly we are seeing people planning for their weekly shopping needs and taking the time to learn to cook from scratch! Home cooking is on the rise and people are learning to cope whether they are naturals in the kitchen or not. As a result, in store and online grocery purchases have soared since the onset of the pandemic. Sobeys parent company Empire Co. Ltd. is continuing to see profits surge. Recently, the Globe & Mail reported that Empire Co. Ltd. (Sobeys parent company) is continuing to see profits surge: “Nova Scotia.-based grocery retailer reported on Thursday that net earnings grew 47 per cent in its first quarter, to $191.9-million, or 71 cents a share, compared with $130.6-million, or 48 cents a share, at the same time last year.”1
When families first started cooking and baking at home, many parents were looking for quick and easy ideas, but now many people are hunkering down and interested in learning how to cook healthy dishes. In addition, more parents are hoping to get their kids in the kitchen to learn some valuable cooking skills. As a result, foodie websites, cooking blogs, cooking videos and online cooking classes are all the rage.
Virtual cooking classes focus on teaching individuals and families about the benefits of home cooking, meal planning, and healthy eating. And what better way to learn to cook than in the comfort of your own kitchen?! Set up your laptop or tablet and connect to your Zoom session and you are ready to roll.
Here’s why we love virtual classes, and we know you will too:
To help get your kids into the kitchen, check out these FUN cookies!! Since Halloween is just around the corner, we have a ghoulishly delicious recipe for the whole family: Spooky Zombie Finger Cookies!
Chef Shai’s Spooky Zombie Finger Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or 1:1 gluten free flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room tempertaure
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- green food colouring as needed
- 28 blanched and skinned almonds
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
- Preheat your oven to 325℉, and line 2 baking sheet pans with parchment
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape sides as needed with a rubber spatula to ensure mixture is even. ! PARENTAL SUPERVISION RECOMMENDED
- Beat in egg, vanilla and green food colouring until smooth
- Whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
- Gradually beat in the flour mixture until it just comes together and a dough forms.
- Divide dough into 28 equal balls. One by one, roll the dough between your palms into a 5-inch long finger shape. Lay fingers on sheet pans with ¼ inch in between.
- Press 1 almond in the tops of each cookie, resembling the fingernail.
- Using the back of a butter knife, make several horizontal cuts to make the knuckles.
- Press the dough on either side of the cuts to form the shape of the knuckles.
- Bake cookies for 16 minutes, right before browning begins. Remove from the oven and let cool. ! PARENTAL SUPERVISION RECOMMENDED
- In a small pot, heat jam over medium heat until warm. ! PARENTAL SUPERVISION RECOMMENDED
- Carefully remove the almonds. Dip the blunt end of the fingers into the warm jam and lay back on a sheet pan to dry. With what is left of the jam, dip the bottom half of the almond into the jam mixture and stick back on to look as if the nail is bleeding.
- Let cookies dry before plating and serving.
About Chef Shai: Inspired by her passion for food and education, chef and teacher Shai Mandel founded Rooks to Cooks with the goal of teaching kids cooking, life skills, and important lessons they can use both in and out of the kitchen. Chef Shai’s student-centered workshops emphasize empowerment, healthy eating, and fun. To learn more about Rooks to Cooks visit: www.rookstocooks.ca
Contact info: Chef Shai Mandel | 833-243-3862 | [email protected]
1 Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-sobeys-parent-empire-sees-profit-surge-says-cook-at-home-trend