Big & Little Cooks: Jean and Autumn

Big & Little Cooks: Jean and Autumn


Hi, we are Big Sister Jean and Little Sister Autumn, and this is our blog to share our experience from our first cooking class.

We have been matched since August of 2009. It has been more than five years of good times together. We have baked cupcakes in the past and are both self-proclaimed “foodies” who go out to eat a lot together, but this is the first time we are cooking a meal together. Autumn is interested in cooking, so we are both very happy to be invited to participate in the Big & Little Cooks program through a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA, Kitchen Cred and Spogue Kitchens & Bath.


Our first cooking session was fun and very informative. We learned the importance of hand washing, prepping and cleaning your workstation, and prepping and cleaning your vegetables properly before you prepare your meals.

We also learned how to use the sharp knives more effectively and safely, and learned some good tips.
We learned to use the “claw” and “bridge” methods when chopping, rocking the knife back and forth, and trying not to lift it off of the cutting board. This will take practice for us both to get faster and more efficient applying what we learned in the kitchen when cutting vegetables, herbs and fruit.

During this first session, we made black bean and corn salad, the perfect healthy side dish. It’s loaded with black beans, roasted corn, avocado, fresh tomato, cilantro, and tons of flavor. This black bean and corn salad will now be one of our favorite side dishes, especially when serving tacos, burritos or enchiladas for dinner. The combination of ingredients plays oh so well together.

Black Bean Salad Recipe

15 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. canned corn, drainedBigLittleCooks_Wk1_Photo3
8 scallions cut thin
2 jalapeno peppers diced small
1 red pepper diced small
1 green pepper diced small
1 avocado pitted and diced
3 tomatoes seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1½ limes
½ cup olive oil
1½ cloves of garlic minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, toss and mix with the oils and spices, chill and serve.


Voilà! We have one incredibly delicious salad. We enjoyed making this salad together and our first Big & Little Cooks session. We will have a Mexican night in the near future and combine this recipe with tacos, burritos or enchiladas. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Thank you for reading our blog. Bon appétit!