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COOK OF THE WEEK - KRISTI RUSSELL

As with most of us, Kristi Russell will certainly be happy to see the nice weather finally arrive, as Kristi and her husband Todd both enjoy riding motorcycle. They try to take at least one short trip on motorcycle each summer. Kristi and Todd met when she was working a part time job in Humboldt. They were married on Oct. 3, 1998. Kristi grew up in Algona and graduated from the Algona High School. Her parents are Judy and the late Larry Evers from Algona. Todd grew up in Humboldt and graduated from the Humboldt High School. His parents are Carol and the late Roger Russell of Humboldt.
Kristi is employed at the Humboldt Newspaper, working in customer service. Todd works in sales at R and J Material Handling. They have three children. Their daughter is Myndi Gorham (fiancé Jake Hilsabeck). They have two sons, both attending Humboldt High School. Drake is a senior and Zane is a sophomore. They have one granddaughter, Willow, who is 2 years old. They will soon have a grandson, due in April. Along with enjoying the motorcycle, they also attend sporting events that their children are involved in. Kristi says their free time during the school year is spent watching football, wrestling and trap shooting.
Kristi lists their family’s menus of choice as Mexican dishes or pizza. She shares some of those favorite recipes and a few others with us today.

Taco Casserole
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion
8 ounce bottle taco sauce
3/4 cup water
4 ounce can green chilies
1 package taco seasoning
1 package soft taco shells
2 cups shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 11 by 7 inch baking dish. Cook ground beef and onion until brown, drain. Stir in taco sauce, water, chilies and seasoning mix. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Layer meat, cheese and taco shells. Bake until heated and cheese is melted.

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups cooked chicken cubed
1 cup shredded cheese
6 tortillas
1 tomato, chopped
1 green onion sliced
Stir together soup, sour cream, salsa and chili powder. Stir with chicken and cheese. Divide among tortillas, roll up and top with remaining soup mixture. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

Cheeseburger Soup
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
8 cups chicken broth
6 to 8 potatoes, peeled & cubed
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 block Velveeta cheese,
cubed
3/4 cup milk
pepper
Brown ground beef and onion. Drain. In another pan boil chicken broth, carrots and potatoes until potatoes are tender. Add hamburger and onion. In saucepan, melt butter and slowly add flour. Stir until smooth and bubbly. Add milk and cheese, stir until melted. Slowly add this to broth mixture. Pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
1 pound bag baby carrots
2 pounds stew meat
2 large potatoes, cubed
10-3/4 ounce can tomato soup
1 cup water
1 envelope beef stew season mix
Cut carrots in half crosswise. Place beef, carrots and potatoes in slow cooker. In a bowl, whisk together soup, water and seasoning packet. Pour over beef and vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Macaroni Casserole
1 package macaroni and cheese
1 pound ground beef
14 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
cheese
Prepare macaroni and cheese according to box directions. Brown ground beef, drain, stir in spaghetti sauce. Layer half of meat mixture and macaroni and cheese in an 8 inch baking dish. Repeat layer and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or heated through.

Hawaiian Chicken in Slow Cooker
3 pounds boneless skinless
chicken breast
1 can pineapple slices
1 can mandarin oranges
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
Combine all ingredients in crockpot, stir well. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
6 ounces chocolate chips
Cream butter together with sugars and peanut butter. Blend in the eggs. Stir in flour and soda. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes.

Clone Crunch
12 ounce box Chex corn or rice
3/4 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Pour cereal in large bowl. Heat corn syrup, sugar and butter until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanut butter and honey. Pour over cereal and stir until well coated. Spread on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips. Drizzle over cereal mixture and refrigerate until firm. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Shortbread Salad
2 cups buttermilk
2 small packages instant vanilla
pudding
8 ounces Cool Whip
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 package fudge striped cookies,
broken
Mix buttermilk and pudding mix. Fold in Cool Whip and oranges. When ready to serve, stir in broken cookies and serve.

Grape and Broccoli Salad
3 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1-1/2 cups seedless red grapes,
halved
3 ounce package sunflower
seeds
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
Mix all ingredients except sunflower seeds. Chill. Add sunflower seeds when ready to serve.

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 counties. 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.