Well the school year for 2019-20 is officially over.

What a wild ride it has been since spring break! I have been so proud of my students for their diligence and hard work. I also want to thank their parents, grandparents and friends who helped during the last two months.

There were so many things left that I wanted to do with them. I have taught sixth grade for most of my almost 30-year teaching career. Every year there are certain activities that I look forward to doing with them.

One of those activities is a story that I read with them about a restaurant and gourmet food. We discuss different types of restaurants and what makes some of them our favorites. After brainstorming and a lengthy class discussion, I assign my students a special class activity.

Each student will create his or her own restaurant. The assignment is to create a menu on which they would have a name, slogan, full menu along with foods and prices, as well as something to give a sense of the restaurant’s atmosphere. After that is completed, each student performs a commercial for the class to encourage people to visit their establishment.

I am constantly amazed at the creativity of my students. Just give them a direction, and hang on. You never know what they will come up with. We always take a class vote to choose the best restaurant idea and menu. Then we voted on the best commercial. Sixth graders are very competitive, and they usually pull out all the stops, especially when it comes to the commercial.

While cleaning out my desk, I found the file on this activity. Today I want to share some of my past favorites.

Favorite Slogans

• White Rabbit Grill: “If you’re hungry, hop on in.”

• Outback Grillin’: “Have a seat and eat.”

• Jeanmarie’s Mexican Grill: “Eat here and leave full.”

• J.J.’s Seafood and Meat Shack: “E.A.T. here and get F.A.T.”

• The Meat House: “Eat here and fill good.”

Special Ideas

• Mexican Volcano Grill: Located in an extinct volcano.

• The Redneck Country Club: Here they serve everything from steak to pigs’ feet.

• Chubby’s: Their Friday special is to bring your own food, and they will cook if for $1.

• The Meat Shack: Lives up to its name by serving deer meat, moose meat, cow meat, pig meat, turkey meat, chicken meat, goat meat, squirrel meat and frog meat. Prices range from $2.99 to $17.99.

• Buddy’s Restaurant: This restaurant covers 66 acres and includes a zoo, museum, Bass Pro Shops, swimming pool, Walmart and a hotel. You may choose from American food, Mexican food, French and German buffets and a sushi bar.

My favorite was The Hunting Camp Restaurant. The slogan is “A hunter’s home — Eat here and drink beer!” A friendly place to go, except on Friday. On Friday night, they have a cake-throwing contest and Friday night fights. The man who can knock the most people out in five minutes wins $100.

I hope you all have a safe and happy summer. I have baked more cookies in the last few months than I ever have in my whole life. I hope you will give this week’s cookie recipes a try. Thanks for reading.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE COOKIES

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

¼ cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (4-ounce) bar German sweet chocolate, melted

1¼ cups plain flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined. Add melted chocolate, beating until combined. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Stir in coconut and pecans. Drop by heaping tablespoons 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until center of cookies are set. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes, and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about three dozen cookies.

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP RAISIN PEANUT COOKIES

1½ cups butter, softened

1½ cups brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3½ cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 (11.5-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup raisins

1 cup honey roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Beat in oats, chocolate chips, raisins and peanuts. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes, and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 60 cookies.

CHOCOLATE MACAROONS

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons plain flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (14-ounce) package sweetened flaked coconut

6 (1-ounce) squares white chocolate, coarsely chopped

½ cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. With mixer on, add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, combine flour and cocoa powder. Add to beaten egg whites, stirring gently. Fold in remaining ingredients. Drop mixture by rounding tablespoons onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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