For those who aren't sure how hot that serrano chili pepper is once it hits the soup, remember this: The seeds aren't what make the pepper hot; that's been a misnomer for years. What gives the pepper its heat are the veins inside it — at the base, not the tip.
So if you don't want whatever it is you're cooking to be too hot, just cut a small vein out of the tip and you'll be OK.
As for pomegranate, if you want to look cool around school, just buy a few pieces of fruit at the grocery store, roll them around on a hard counter top to "juicen them up," then stick straws in the top of them.
Newport Harbor High School students received these and other tips in culinary arts last week in a two-day presentation given by Miki Hackney.
She's the executive chef for Melissa's, a fruits and vegetables distributor based in Los Angeles.