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Jerkins' Family Favorites, Winter Edition -Part 1

The holidays are well underway, and I am excited to share two more of my prized family recipes. I hope that you and your families enjoy these delicious new menu items and that these tips help you incorporate learning into your food preparation.

The first recipe is JOY SALAD, from my Aunt Shirley.


JOY SALAD (Serves 10-12)


2 large heads of romaine lettuce

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup sugar

1 cup sliced almonds

2 packages chicken Maruchan ramen noodles, crushed

5 tablespoons butter

½ cup sesame seeds

Salt to taste


Wash, dry, and tear lettuce. Stir oil, vinegar, sugar, and ½ packet from the Maruchan ramen noodles together and refrigerate. Melt butter in large skillet. Add crushed noodles. Sprinkle the other ½ packet from ramen noodles on the noodle mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until noodles are golden. Remove from pan and cool. Mix lettuce, nuts, and seeds. Mix in noodle mixture and dressing mixture right before serving.


Younger children can look at the recipe directions and demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling as you ask the following questions.


Kindergarten: LAFS.K.L.1.2

  • Take a look at the sentences in the directions. What letters are capitalized? Why are they capitalized and others not?

  • What is at the end of each sentence? Are there other types of punctuation?

  • We need to wash the lettuce. Listen to the end of “wash.” What two letters work together to make the sound “sh?”

  • We need to mix the lettuce, nuts, and seeds. Can you spell the word “mix” by sounding it out?

Second Grade: LAFS.2.L.1.2

  • Notice the word Maruchan. Why is that word capitalized? What other types of words should be capitalized when writing?

  • How do you spell “mix”? How do you spell “fix”? How do you spell “six”?

  • Do words that rhyme always use the same letters?

  • How do you spell “seeds”? How do you spell “beads”? How do you spell “weeds”? How do you spell “leads”?

  • Do you know how to spell “mixture?" Let’s check by looking it up in the dictionary.

The Florida Standards outline that a Kindergartner will learn to capitalize the first word of a sentence and the pronoun “I,” and first graders will learn to capitalize dates and names of people. Second graders will then add to this list by capitalizing holidays, product names, and the names of geographic locations. This is just one example of how the Florida Standards build knowledge from grade level to grade level.

Take a look at for additional resources.

Kindergarten students can practice LAFS.K.L.1.2 with this resource

Second grade student can practice LAFS.2.L.1.2 with this resource.


My family and friends gather at my home on Christmas Eve to enjoy dinner, play games, and exchange gifts. We have a wonderful time celebrating and enjoying each other, and we always look forward to having my sister-in-law’s amazing STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD. We serve this as a salad, but it is so good that it could certainly be characterized as dessert!



½ cup melted butter

Butter for greasing dish

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 ½ cups crushed pretzels

8-ounce cream cheese

½ cup white sugar

Small carton frozen whipped topping

1 large and 1 small box of strawberry gelatin

3 cups boiling water

1 pound package frozen sliced sweetened strawberries


Combine melted butter, brown sugar and pretzels. Mix well and pat into lightly buttered 9” x 13” glass dish. Bake at 350°for 10 minutes. Cool completely. Cream the cream cheese with the white sugar. Add whipped topping and mix well. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust. Make sure you seal the edges with the mixture. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. While still hot, add the frozen berries. Stir and refrigerate. When the gelatin mixture begins to set, pour it over the cream mixture. Refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.


This recipe offers a ton of practice adding, subtracting and using multiplication to represent real-world problems. There will be many ways to calculate the answers to these questions, so don’t to use forget paper and pencils to show your work. Your child may even find more than one way to add, subtract, and multiply. Try to steer clear of the calculator when completing these operations, but you could use it to check your answers.

First Grade: MAFS.1.OA.1.1

  • Grab the two boxes of strawberry gelatin. How many ounces is the large gelatin box? How many ounces is the small gelatin box? How many ounces of gelatin does this recipe use?

  • How many more ounces of gelatin are in the large box than the small box?

  • If you doubled the recipe, how many ounces of cream cheese would you need?

  • If you doubled the recipe, how many tablespoons of brown sugar would you need?

Third Grade: MAFS.3.OA.1.1

  • Take a look at the ingredients. If you tripled the recipe, how many tablespoons of brown sugar would you need?

  • If you needed four recipes of the salad, how many cups of water would you boil?

  • When the salad is finished, how many total pieces will there be if you cut them into 4 slices by 6 slices?

  • If you make the pieces smaller and cut them into 4 slices by 8 slices, how many total pieces will there be?

If you are looking for additional resources and practice, check out or Khan Academy. Here are a few of my favorites:

First Grade:

Third Grade:


Thank you for joining me in the first post of my winter edition of Jerkins’ Family Favorites. Maybe you will even try one for your holiday dinner. I hope you #LEARNWITHME next week as I share my recipe for pineapple casserole and my cousin’s recipe for cornbread pudding!

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