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COOK OF THE WEEK - WENDY BEAN

This week’s cook, Wendy Bean, has turned her love of baking into a business. Wendy, the owner of the Sweetest Things Bakery, is an Otho native and the daughter of Tim and Linda Troutwine. Wendy is a graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High and is the fiancé of Jeremy Harvey. Jeremy, a Renwick native and a Humboldt High School graduate is the owner/manager of Miller’s Landing. The two met when Wendy worked at Fountain City Restaurant, which Jeremy owned and ran. Wendy also works at Miller’s Landing as a waitress.
Three children complete the family: Andrew Montgomery is 22; Alexandra Bean is 16 and attends Humboldt High School and Elizabeth Bean is 14 and attends Humboldt Middle School. Besides baking and cooking, Wendy also loves animals. Jeremy is a lover of cars. Household menu favorites are Italian dishes and breads.

PIZZA BURGERS
18 mini hamburger buns
2 pounds ground beef
2) 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
2) 8 ounce cans tomato paste
4 to 5 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon onion powder
16 ounce bag shredded
mozzarella cheese
Brown ground beef, drain grease. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, and onion powder to beef. Heat on low to medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Scoop meat mixture onto bottom half of buns. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Place all buns on a foil-lined pan, place in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Top all bottom half of buns with top bun, then bake another 5 minutes. Take out of oven, serve and enjoy.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN CASSEROLE
16 ounce bag of egg noodles
3 cooked chicken breasts (cut in
bite-sized pieces)
16 ounce (big can) cream of
mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2) 16 ounce bags shredded sharp
cheddar cheese
2 sleeves of Ritz Crackers
Boil egg noodles in large pot for 10 minutes or until tender, drain. Combine cream of mushroom soup, milk, chicken and 1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese to noodles and mix until combined. Top mixture with remaining shredded cheese and crushed Ritz crackers (both sleeves). Cover pot with foil. Bake in a preheated oven set at 375 degrees for 60 minutes. Take out of oven, remove foil, and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

THREE MEAT/THREE CHEESE LASAGNA
1 package oven ready lasagna
noodles
1.75 ounce package pepperoni
cut up with kitchen shears
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground sausage
15 ounces Ricotta cheese
15 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces shredded cheddar
cheese
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
cheese
24 ounce jar any pasta sauce
8 ounces pizza sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In large pan, brown together ground beef, sausage and diced pepperoni. Add oregano and garlic salt for seasoning. Drain any extra grease from pan. In medium bowl, mix together Ricotta, cottage cheese, both eggs and 4 ounces each mozzarella and cheddar cheese. In another bowl mix together both pizza and pasta sauce. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray. Spread 1 cup or so of sauce mix across bottom of pan. Layer 3 or more lasagna noodles in pan. Spread 1/3 cup or more of Ricotta cheese mixture, 1/2 the meat mixture, 2 cups of sauce mix and a handful each of the shredded cheeses. Layer another 3 or more lasagna noodles, 1/3 cup or more Ricotta cheese mix, remaining meat mixture, 2 cups of sauce mix and another handful of each shredded cheese. Layer one more time of 3 noodles or more, remaining Ricotta cheese mix, remaining pasta sauce mix and top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove foil, bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

CROCK POT BEEF STROGANOFF
2 pounds beef tips
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion gravy mix
8 ounce container of sour cream
Pepper to taste
Garlic salt to taste
1 package wide egg noodles
Mix soups and gravy mix together in crockpot. Add beef tips, pepper and garlic salt. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Twenty minutes before serving, stir in sour cream. Boil egg noodles in a large pan on the stove according to package directions. Drain. Serve stroganoff over egg noodles.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
FILLING
5 medium-sized sweet potatoes
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
TOPPING
1 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup flour
I like to put my sweet potatoes in a crock pot set on low with 1 cup of water and let them simmer for 6 hours or until soft. Remove the skins and mash. Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl. (I like to use a hand mixer.) Pour into a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
*If you don’t have time to cook sweet potatoes in a crockpot, bake them in a 425 degree oven for 60 minutes, peel and mash.

BUTTERSCOTCH MUFFINS
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3.4 ounce instant butterscotch
pudding mix
3.4 ounce instant vanilla
pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups butterscotch chips
Brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, pudding mixes, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl combine the milk, eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Fold in the butterscotch chips. Use and ice cream scoop to scoop muffin mix into large muffin cups. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of each filled muffin cup. Bake 15-20 minutes or until top of muffins are golden brown. Yields 9 large muffins.

BLONDIES
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
12 ounces M&Ms
12 ounces chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Melt butter, add brown sugar and mix well. Add eggs and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture and blend well. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing well. Spread in a lightly greased 9x13 inch cake pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and M&Ms on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool then cut into bars.