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Cooking Remotely: After School Matters instructor hosts online culinary class

Cooking Remotely: After School Matters instructor hosts online culinary class

Chef Gloria Hafer wanted to make sure her culinary students would still have the opportunity to learn new recipes after their cooking class was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So Hafer, instructor in Chicago's After School Matters program, is now taking to social media to teach cooking techniques and recipes. Her cooking class/webcast is titled "Cooking with Everyday Ingredients" and it's filmed in Hafer's home kitchen.

She and other After School Matters personnel had a meeting after all classes were canceled to figure out what they could do for the students.

"We thought 'How are we going to keep the kids involved and connected?'" she said.

The After School Matters program is a nonprofit agency offering youth a chance to work in various fields and professions. The culinary program offered by Hafer is usually taught at the East Side Methodist Church on Chicago's Southeast Side.

Hafer said she's concentrating on offering recipes for comfort food and easy dishes during this trying time in society.

"The show allows kids, their parents and anyone else tuning in to use ingredients they readily have available at home," she said. "You just want comfort food and satisfying food now." The recipes fit into comfort food in the economical category.

The online class, which airs at 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, has already featured recipes for pasta salad, pizza dough, meatballs, meatloaf, chicken soup and more. Hafer said the April 8 show will star a recipe for peach cobbler.

All shows can be seen on Hafer's Facebook page as well as via the After School Matters Facebook page.

The chef said it's interesting to teach the cooking show remotely.

"I'm having a good time with it," Hafer said, adding her husband Bob, who her students know as Uncle Bob, is the cameraman. They're learning as the weeks go on.

"It's a work in progress for sure," Hafer said with a laugh.

To tune in to the cooking shows, visit Gloria Dattulo Hafer on Facebook or After School Matters on Facebook.

Here are some recent recipes featured on "Cooking with Everyday Ingredients."

Chunky Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce or paste

1 teaspoon white sugar (cuts the acid of the tomato)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 4 minutes until tender, stirring frequently.

2. Mix in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, oregano and salt.

3. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until flavors are blended, stirring frequently.

Italian Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef (can use a blend of sausage, veal or pork)

2 eggs

3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (use regular breadcrumbs for plain meatloaf)

1 small onion dice finely

1 tablespoon parsley

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional if making regular meatballs)

DIRECTIONS: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended.


Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9X13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Roll meat into 1-inch balls and place in prepared pan; bake 20 to 25 minutes until brown on all sides and cooked through.

Drain excess fat on paper towels.


Fry on medium heat until golden brown and add to sauce and continue cooking



Preheat oven to 350 and put into covered baking pan

Shape into an oval shape and bake 40-45 minutes until thoroughly cooked.

Meatloaf Glaze

1 cup ketchup

1 -2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar

Mix and brush on top of meatloaf and bake.

Gallery: Feeding the Region's front-line COVID-19 fighters


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Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.

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