FACS Image Shake Up, For the Love of FACS, Reading in the FACS Classroom

Channeling My Inner Sophie

Master bedroom reno 012Sophie is the main character in the novel Pizza, Love and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams.  That’s the novel on which Four-Course FACS,  my newest curriculum for incorporating reading into FACS, is based.  Here are a few things you need to know Sophie Nicolaides.

  1. She’s of Greek-Italian heritage.
  2. She was practically raised in her family’s restaurant Taverna Ristorante.
  3. She loves to cook!
  4. In the novel Sophie is developing her professional culinary skills as she competes in a reality TV cooking competition for teen chefs.

As I developed the recipes for Four-Course FACS, I did a lot of recipe testing.  I mean a lot!  Something I learned after teaching foods for more than 25 years is that a foods lab can only be successful if the recipe that the students are preparing is tested and formatted for classroom use.  Here are photos of a few of the 50+ recipes I tested for Four-Course FACS:  Apple Galette, Mini Chocolate Soufflés, Everyday Lasagna, Beef Barbacoa, Ratatouille, Tomato-Basil Jam, Chicken Piccata, Tiramisu.

One of the easiest and most successful methods for linking a novel to classroom instruction is through food or food preparation.  In Four-Course FACS, I was able to also correlate the recipes to specific cooking skills. 

Here’s a recipe that does not appear in Four-Course FACS, but it could easily be featured on the menu at Taverna Ristorante.  This is my personal recipe for Marinara Sauce.  It’s full of flavor and healthy vegetables!  Slow simmering makes it challenging for use in the classroom but it’s great prepared in the slow cooker.  If you try this recipe, I’d love for you to share your photos and reviews!


Marinara Sauce

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper

1/3 cup chopped red sweet pepper

1/4 cup chopped celery

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


In frying pan cook onion, sweet peppers, celery, garlic and mushrooms in hot olive oil until vegetables are tender.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/3 cup water, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper.

4 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes (6 large) or two 14 1/2-ounce cans tomatoes, undrained and cut up

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Sauce 2

Bring sauce to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer covered 30 minutes.  Uncover and simmer an additional 10 to 15 minutes more or until sauce is desired thickness, stirring occasionally.  Slow cooker method:  Combined ingredients (prepared as above) in slow cooker.  Cook on low heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Yield:  6 servings

Guaranteed delizioso!  I think Sophie would be pleased!

Looking forward to the Q & A with author Kathryn Williams!  We’ll be sharing that Fresh FACS exclusive on Thursday and Friday!