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COOK OF THE WEEK - RACHEL HILL

When I entered Rachel Hill’s kitchen she had been baking cupcakes and cakes and was still in the process of decorating the cakes. She had the cupcakes decorated with white frosting and a little bit of pink sugar and tiny silver balls.
I’m sure there must be a name for these little silver balls but in the absence of being able to think what they are called we will call them little silver balls.
The cupcakes were arranged on a board in the shape of a wedding dress. How clever! These cupcakes were going to be served at a wedding shower. The picture of this arrangement is included with Rachel’s article today. She was also decorating sheet cakes but was only applying the first layer of frosting to these. So I have no more of a description of these cakes. I’m sure they turned out beautiful!
She also showed me some cookies that had been cut out, baked and decorated.
Rachel and Scott Hill were married in December of 2012. They met through mutual friends. Rachel is the daughter of Don and Alice Gord of Dakota City. She graduated from Humboldt High School in 1995. She is the head cook at Mease Elementary School and the owner of Aunt Rachie’s Sweet Treats.
Scott’s parents were the late Delmar and Georgia Hill. Rachel grew up in Dakota City. Scott was raised in Fort Dodge and graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 1980 but has lived in the Humboldt area ever since graduation. He is the Supply Chain Supervisor at United States Gypsum in Fort Dodge.
Together they have six children and four grandchildren. They attend Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Humboldt.
Scott has one stepdaughter, Lisa Stalzer (Wade Satern) who live in Livermore. They have two daughters, Olyvia and Madysen. Scott also has two sons and a daughter: Ryan Hill of Humboldt, Chris (Brittany) Hill of Eldora and Brooke Hill of Humboldt. Ryan attends ICCC and works part-time in the summer at United States Gypsum. Brooke attends ICCC and works part-time at Kossuth Regional Hospital in Algona and also at Pasquale’s in Humboldt. Chris and Brittany’s children are Shyann and Alexis. Rachel has two daughters. Jordan (11) will be a sixth grader at the Humboldt Middle School in the fall. Kaysen (7) will be a second grader at Taft Elementary School when school starts again in the fall.
Rachel says her hobbies are baking and crafts. Scott enjoys custom airbrushing and painting. Their hobbies make both of them sound quite artistic! A favorite meal of theirs is Spinach and Feta Stuffed Pork Loin, which Rachel has shared with us as well as a few other good sounding recipes.
I get hungry every time I write these articles!! It’s a good thing that I don’t consume calories just by typing the recipes!

Snickerdoodle Crescents
1 Pillsbury Crescent seamless
Dough Sheet
caramel candies, one per each
doodle
1 cup cinnamon/sugar, blended
to your taste
Cut out about a 2 inch by 2 inch piece of dough and wrap it gently and snuggled around one caramel. Roll it in the cinnamon/sugar. Place them onto a baking sheet about 1 inch or so apart. Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until they are firm and slightly puffy.

Fritos Bars
1 package (9.75 to 10.5 ounces)
corn chips
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
Spread corn chips in a greased jelly roll pan (10 inch x 15 inch). In a saucepan over medium heat, bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil, stirring frequently to help dissolve the sugar. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter until smooth. Pour over corn chips. Cool, break, tear or cut into pieces.

Blueberry Yogurt Cookies
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line pans with parchment paper and spray paper with Pam. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, yogurt, egg and vanilla until creamy. Combine flour, baking powder and salt together, then blend it into the wet yogurt mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries. Drop tablespoonsful of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies start to barely brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, and then move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Chicken Gnocchi
1 ounce package potato gnocchi
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finally chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 skinless, boneless chicken
breasts, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup chicken broth
Cook the gnocchi according to package directions; drain. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, season with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until toasted, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened. Whisk into the chicken mixture, then stir in the gnocchi. Bring to a simmer, then season with salt and pepper.

Bacon Tortellini Bake
4 slices bacon, sliced in small
pieces
1 small white onion, diced
medium
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
(2) 8 ounce packages cheese and
spinach tortellini
1/2 cup mozzarella
Heat broiler, with rack in top position. In a medium saucepan, cook bacon over medium until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to drain. Add onion and garlic to pan and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Add tortellini and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer; cook, stirring often, until liquid has thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in bacon and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Broil until top is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Spinach snd Feta Stuffed
Pork Loin
3 to 4 pound pork loin
salt and pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic salt
Stuffing:
2-1/2 cups fresh chopped
spinach
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 egg
Butterfly the pork loin straight down the middle, on the top of the loin, the long way. It should look like an open book. If it’s not that big butterfly the left flap down the middle and then butterfly the right flap down the middle. Pound it out to a big rectangle shape. (Rachel likes to cover the loin with 5 layers of plastic wrap, then pound.) Season the side that’s going to be the inside of the roast with salt, pepper and garlic salt.
Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing together. Spread stuffing evenly on seasoned side. Roll the longer end up so it looks like the loin you first started with. Tie up with cooking string. (Sometimes Rachel uses toothpicks.) Season the top and sides with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. It’s ready to remove from oven when internal temperature is between 155 and 160 degrees.

Kung Pao Crockpot Chicken
6 or 7 small to medium boneless
skinless chick breasts
1/4 cup pineapple preserves
1 bottle of Kung Pao Sauce
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Cook chicken in crockpot on high for 3 hours. Remove chicken, drain juice and chop into cubes, then return to crockpot. Chop red pepper and green pepper, and set aside. Mix together pineapple preserves and Kung Pao Sauce. Pour sauce mixture and chopped peppers over chicken, stirring well, and cook on high for 30 more minutes. Serve over rice.

Cinnamon and Sugar
Pull-Apart Bread
Dough:
2-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons
flour
1/4 cup sugar
2-1/3 teaspoons active dry yeast
(1 packet)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Filling:
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, melted
In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and milk. Once the butter is completely melted, take off the burner and add the water and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Whisk together the eggs and add to the batter. Keep mixing. Add 3/4 cup of flour and mix well. The mixture will be very sticky which means it is perfect. Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Cover with wrap and let it sit in a warm place to raise for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Once the dough has doubled its size, knead in 2 tablespoons of flour. Cover the dough again for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, start on the filling. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside. Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface. Brush the melted butter on the dough and add the sugar mixture. Make sure everything is covered.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into equal sized strips (about 2 to 2-1/2 inches wide). Then cut the strips into equal sized squares. Stack the squares on top of each other to make 3 to 4 piles and place them in a bread pan. Take any sugar that fell off the squares and sprinkle over the top and around the sides of dough. Cover the dough for another 10 to 15 minutes to rise. While dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet under the bread pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until outside of bread is golden brown.

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.