I’ve been spending my Mondays with kids this summer – either teaching my own groups of kids in my kitchen (called Cooking with Michele on Mondays – space still available in the last two classes) or with the Slow Food Seed to Table school gardens program – but today I’m off so I’ll share some of what I’ve been doing.
These adorable munchkins were all smiles making cupcakes and homemade ice cream in my kitchen! I’ve had groups of 8-16 year olds making everything from pizza on the grill to Mexican food to dessert and am looking forward to the final 2 classes.

Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy is a DPS school boasting a very large school garden that is flanked on the other side by a Denver Urban Gardens community garden. The school hires student gardeners to work over the summer, paid for in part by a grant and in part by funds raised through their weekly farmer’s market which begins this Saturday from 9:30-11:30. Stop buy, get some great fresh produce, and support the kids!

I’m doing cooking lessons with the kids every other week using what’s in harvest in the garden at the time. Last week we had radishes and herbs, so we made radish and butter sandwiches (very French and very good)…

…along with a fruit salad that used mint from the garden and a pico de gallo that used cilantro. Not sure who enjoyed themselves more – the kids, me, or my mom who went along to help! The recipe I’m sharing today has nothing to do with the market, but is fresh on my mind from this weekend. We had friends over for the 4th and I wanted to cook burgers, but only have grass-fed ground beef on hand, which is quite a bit leaner. I invented (well, probably someone else already invented it, but I decided to use it!) a trick to making them tasty and juicy.
I mixed into the ground beef about 1 tablespoon of my porcini mushroom rub that I used on steaks and tenderloins along with 1 tablespoon of grated jack cheese for each burger. When you shape the burgers, push in the center a bit so it will puff up and end flat instead of a dome.
The cheese added just enough fat and the rub added incredible flavor. These burgers were delicious, easy, and a keeper – give ’em a try soon!