who's in the kitchen: judy joszef

Pandemonium in the kitchen, and it’s a blast!


Last week, I started the third year in my volunteer job at Kulanu’s Camp Discovery. I love meeting up with my campers from last year, and look forward to meeting the new ones in my baking and decorating groups. The camp director, Jonathan Cooper, always thanks me profusely for volunteering, and I respond with my thanking him for letting me have the opportunity to work with these wonderful campers.

Each week is always an adventure, starting out with choosing a recipe or project to make with the kids.

In the beginning I made a few mistakes Now I know it’s best not to just have all vanilla or all chocolate — not all campers love both. It’s also safer to have sprinkles in every color, and it’s much more fun for the kids to eat their creations in camp than to bring them home.

My apologies to the parents, for you not getting to see your child’s handiwork, but let me tell me you, watching their creativity and gusto is only paralleled by their devouring a treat after they create it. 

As cliche as it sounds, they teach me way more than I teach them. The way I view it, I’m the lucky one! 

The counselors are a wonderful bunch of kids (shout out to Brittany and Shannon Kaufmann, who I’ve know since they were born), eager to make sure their campers are ready to tackle the project we are working on.

Last week we made clown cupcakes; this week we’re going to make Panda cupcakes. They seem much more difficult to make than they really are (try it with your kids, grandkids, or even yourself).

If any of the camper’s parents happen to read my column, thanks for sharing your kids with me. They make my day!

Panda Bear Cupcakes


16 standard vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners (recipe below for both regular and mini cupcakes)

16 mini vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners

40 chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies 

2 (16 ounces) plus 1 cup vanilla frosting you will have some leftover

Black food coloring 

16 mini marshmallows

32 mini chocolate chips

8 black jelly beans cut in half

32 pieces chocolate cereal O’s either Cheerios or gluten free Crispy O’s Post cereal O’s are no longer available

Cupcake recipe

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

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