Newnan Carnegie Library

Chef Carlin introduces kids to healthy spring meal at Carnegie Library

by Marianne Thomasson

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Marianne Thomasson

Chef Carlin made grilled chicken wraps and “Strawberry Fool” with the help of children at the Newnan Carnegie Library recently. Left to right are Chef Carlin, Madelyn Recesso, 12-year-old daughter of Art Recesso; Daphne, sixyear- old daughter of Eric and Jovonne Thomas; and Sofia, seven-year-old daughter of Deana and Tim Young.

Years ago a woman named Carlin Breinig was a project manager for a large telecommunications company.

Then one day she decided life was too short to endure the stress and emergency weekend calls and elected to do something she loved instead: cooking.

Recently she appeared at the Newnan Carnegie Library, where she taught children how to create a quick, light spring meal.

Chef Carlin specializes in classes for kids age 3 to 17 and “loves to give them the tools to feed themselves delicious, healthy meals.” Letting the kids stir, serve and wrap, she showed them how to make “Strawberry Fool” and Italian Balsamic Chicken Wrap.

She said a balsamic vinegar dressing could be substituted for the spices in the chicken and made sure children understood that chicken must be thoroughly cooked. “You’ve all probably heard of salmonella,” she said and cautioned that utensils used for raw chicken should not be used for cooked chicken for the same reason.

In discussing whipped cream, she noted, “Full-fat is better for you than low-fat milk. When fat is removed from milk, it leaves the sugar to slam your body. Your body processes full fat better and leaves you more satisfied.” Plus, she noted, only a small portion of the whipped cream would be consumed by each child, not the whole bowl.

Her recipes follow:

STRAWBERRY FOOL

Serves 4

1 pint strawberries (could also use raspberries, peaches, nectarines)

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1/2 cup sugar or to taste

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1 cup heavy cream

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1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Hull strawberries. Then wash them and chop into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Toss with half of the sugar and wait 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they give up their juices.

Place half the strawberries and all the juice in a blender and puree. Pour puree back in the bowl with chopped strawberries.

Whip the cream with remaining sugar and vanilla until cream is stiff and holds peaks easily. Fold berries and cream together and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two hours.

ITALIAN BALSAMIC CHICKEN WRAP

Serves 6 - 8

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

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1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

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2 tablespoons olive oil

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2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

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1/2 teaspoon black pepper

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2 cloves garlic, minced

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1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

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Cooking spray

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8 flour tortillas

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Romaine lettuce leaves

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1 bunch green onions, sliced

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top bag. Add chicken to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Prepare grill or grill pan.

Removed chicken from bag. Discard marinade. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cool and cut chicken into 1/4-inch strips.

Place two lettuce leaves on tortilla. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas. Sprinkle with onions and roll up.



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