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Karla Meinke is extra busy in the fall, as her husband, Curtis, is a farmer who raises hogs and cattle, but hires extra help for harvesting and Karla feeds all the farm help, sometimes even delivering all of it out to the fields where the men are working. Together, Karla and Curtis manage the Boone Valley Electric Cooperative out of their home.
Both Karla and Curtis attended Boone Valley High School and were high school sweethearts! Karla continued her education at Iowa Central Community College. Curtis went to Iowa Lakes Community College. They were married July 20, 1985. Karla’s parents are Donna Steele from Renwick and the late Gary Steele. Curtis’ parents were the late Kay and Elmer Meinke. They have three children. Anthony and his wife, Miriam, live in Goldfield. He is Project Manager for Woodruff Construction in Fort Dodge; Miriam works at the Pharmacy in Clarion. Mitchell and his wife, Hilary, are also from Goldfield and he helps his dad with the farming. Hilary works at Centrum Valley Farms in Clarion. Erica is their daughter and is a freshman at DMACC in Ankeny. Karla and Curtis attend Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Eagle Grove.
Karla volunteers in Renwick, helping with the Annual Easter Egg Hunt and the Annual Halloween Party. She enjoys Pinterest, cooking, baking, Zumba class (which Miriam teaches) and spending time with family and friends. Curtis collects toy tractors and has a special room in their home just for that. Their favorite family meal is roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, cheesy green beans, homemade noodles, beer bread and dessert. Karla says her kids call this “The Meal!” Some of Karla’s recipes for her family’s other favorite foods are shared with us today.

2 pounds hamburger
1 cup oatmeal (quick)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Lawry’s seasoning salt
onion (optional)
Form into balls. (Karla uses the large Pampered Chef cookie scoop). Put in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Pour Countryside BBQ Sauce (or the BBQ sauce of your choice) over the top. Bake for one hour in a 350 degree oven. This recipe makes approximately 16 to 20 meatballs, depending on what size you make them.

Crock Pot Ham and Potato Casserole
32 ounce bag tator tots
1 pound cubed ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 cups milk
1/2 cup onion, chopped
8 ounces sour cream
Mix all together in a crock pot. Cook on high for approximately 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
(2) 10 ounce cans all white meat
chunk chicken, drained
(2) 8 ounce cream cheese
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar
Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and Ranch dressing. Cook; stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese; transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cover and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with chips, crackers or celery.

Grape Salad
4 pounds purple grapes
1 cup sour cream (lite)
8 ounces cream cheese (1/3 less
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Stir above ingredients together then stir in grapes. Put in a 9 x 13 inch glass pan.
Sprinkle on top:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups glazed pecans,
NOTE: Karla buys the glazed pecans at Wal-Mart in the baking isle. They are Diamond brand and come in an 8 ounce bag.

Beer Bread
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 can beer, room temperature
Mix ingredients. It will be very thick. Spoon into a greased loaf pan. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and pour 1 stick of melted margarine over the top. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Ho Ho Cake
Betty Crocker Super Moist
Devil’s Food Cake mix
Mix according to the directions on the box, adding 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour half the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, and the other half into another 9 x 13 inch pan lined with wax paper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 14 to 17 minutes. Cool.
For filling cook together:
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup water
Cook until thick and paste like texture. Cool completely. Set aside.
Beat until thick and fluffy (5 to 10 minutes) the following:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
1 stick margarine
2 tsp. vanilla
Add the flour and water mixture and beat another 5 minutes.
Place on top of cake in pan. Spread evenly. Flip wax paper lined cake onto another piece of waxed paper and then flip again onto the top of the cake in the pan.

Salted Nut Roll Bars
1/2 stick margarine
10 oz. bag Reese’s peanut butter
16 oz. jar Planter’s dry roasted
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened
Condensed Milk
10.5 oz. bag miniature
Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle half a jar of peanuts in bottom of pan. Melt margarine and peanut butter chips together. Take off heat and stir in sweetened condensed milk and marshmallows. Pour over the peanuts in pan and then top with remaining peanuts. Press peanuts down.

Marbled Chocolate Bars
German Chocolate cake mix
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box. Pour into a greased 15 x 10 x 2 inch baking pan. Mix together cream cheese and sugar. Beat well. Stir in 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons over batter. Cut through the batter with a knife to swirl the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.

French Silk Pie
9 inch graham cracker pie crust
small box chocolate instant
small box vanilla instant
2 cups milk
2 cups vanilla ice cream
Mix above ingredients together and pour into pie pan. Place in freezer. When set Karla uses a cake decorator with a star tip and decorates with an 8 ounce Cook Whip. To make chocolate curls, Karla uses a large Hershey’s Chocolate bar and makes curls with a vegetable peeler. Freeze or keep pie in refrigerator. YUMM!

Angel Food Cake
1 cup Softasilk cake flour
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 dozen extra large egg whites
1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
Sift together cake flour and powdered sugar. Mix egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Add sugar, vanilla and almond flavoring. Fold in cake flour and powdered sugar mixture. Bake in a 9 x 13 inch sheet cake pan (Karla uses Wilton cake pans) for 25 to 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Invert pan to cool. For a larger sheet cake double the recipe.

Angel Food Cake Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup Crisco
2 egg whites
1/4 cup melted oleo
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla
Beat above mixture together until creamy. Spread evenly on cake. This frosting can also be used to decorate.

Caramel Pull Aparts
2 loaves frozen bread, thaw, but
don’t let rise
1 stick margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 large box vanilla pudding
(NOT instant)
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cut one loaf into one inch pieces and place in bottom of pan. Mix together remaining ingredients. Place half of the mixture over the pieces, repeat with the other loaf and then mixture on top. Let rise until it gets to top of pan (about 3 hours). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Flip out onto a cookie sheet.

If you are reading this, then you probably enjoy new recipes. If you would like to share some of your recipes with the community YOU could be Cook of the Week. Please contact me, Sally Cuthbertson, if you would like to be in this column some week. I can be reached by phone at 515-373-6346 or email me at sacuthbe@msn.com.
I will be happy to email or send you my short questionnaire and set up a time to come and visit you at your convenience. I’m always looking for NEW Cook’s of the Week. Also, if you are new in town, this is a good way to introduce yourself to the Humboldt community and surrounding communities. I look forward to visiting with you.
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.