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This week’s cook, Stephanie Peaton, not only enjoys cooking, but she also enjoys experimenting with a recipe to make it her own. Stephanie, the daughter of Molly Peaton of Humboldt and Charles Peaton of Montana, was born in Mesa, AZ, but grew up in Humboldt. Stephanie graduated from Humboldt High School, attended Iowa Central Community College, and currently works as support staff for West Fork Services. Stephanie attends Zion Lutheran Church and in addition to cooking enjoys gardening, canning, grilling, trail walking, biking, skiing and Hawkeye Games.
Mexican, Italian and Chinese are favorite menus for Stephanie. She enjoys her garden in the summer and tries to plant so that nothing goes to waste. Budgeting is as important for Stephanie as it is for most of us. Some of her tips for saving money on food are buying certain vegetables (such as onions and peppers) when they are on sale and cutting them up and freezing them; freezing and canning items from the garden; buying meat in bulk when it is on sale and freezing it; looking through the advertisements for sale items that are needed; and making a grocery list and sticking to it.

Taco Rolls
1 cup sour cream
8 ounce package cream cheese
1 small can chopped ripe olives
1 small can chopped green
2-3 chopped green onions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas
Mix the first six ingredients and spread on flour tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and chill in refrigerator for several hours. Remove the tortillas from the refrigerator and cut into 1/2 inch pinwheels. Serve with Picante sauce.

Stephanie’s Minute Steaks
4-6 minute steaks, cut up into
bite-sized pieces
4 large peppers (red, yellow,
green) seeded and cut into
small bites
1 small onion, diced
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large and 1 small can tomato
Place all ingredients in a crockpot and cook for 4-5 hours. Enjoy! May be served with a variety of potatoes.

Pizza Burgers
1 can pizza sauce
1 can mushrooms
1/2 pound ground beef
1 package buns
1 package cheese of your choice
(any other pizza toppings you
Preheat oven to 250 – 300 degrees. In a frying pan, brown the ground beef and drain. Place bun halves on a greased cookie sheet. Top with pizza sauce, beef, mushrooms, and any other toppings. Lastly, add the cheese. Bake at 250 or 300 degrees until the cheese has melted and the buns are lightly browned. Serve with sweet potato fries, French fries or waffle fries.

Herbed Chicken And Vegetables
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
leaves, divided
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken
2 sheets (18 x 12 inches each)
heavy duty foil lightly
sprayed with non-stick
cooking spray
1/2 cup pasta sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium green bell pepper,
cut into squares
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper,
cut into squares
1/2 cup chopped fresh
1/4 cup chopped onion
Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Place chicken on foil sheets. Sprinkle each chicken breast with half of oregano mixture. Combine pasta sauce, garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano in medium bowl. Pour half of sauce mixture over each chicken breast.
Double foil sides and ends of foil to seal packets, leaving head space for heat circulation. Place packets on baking sheet.
Bake 23-25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Carefully open ends of packets to allow steam to escape. Open packets and transfer contents to serving plates. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with noodles. Makes 2 servings

Orange Cream Fruit Salad
3.5 ounce instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup frozen orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
20 ounce can pineapple tidbits
15 ounce can peaches
11 ounce can Mandarin orange
2 bananas, sliced
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
6 strawberries, sliced
In a medium mixing bowl, combine pudding, milk and orange juice concentrate. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Mix in sour cream. In large bowl combine fruits. Place dressing in one container, fruit in another. One hour before serving, mix fruit and dressing together. Add bananas.

Pink Fluff Salad
1 can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounce container frozen
whipped topping (thawed)
1 can cherry pie filling
1 small can crushed pineapple,
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
Mix milk and whipped topping until well blended. Fold in cherries, pineapple and nuts. Store covered in the refrigerator. (This is a family favorite!)

Peanutty Brownie Pizza
1 package (19-21 ounces) fudge
brownie mix (plus the
ingredients to make the
8 ounce package cream cheese,
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
(2) 1.6 ounce packages peanut
butter cup candy, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts chopped
2 bananas sliced
2 tablespoons (1 ounce)
semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut circle of parchment paper to fit large round stone. Place on baking stone. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour brownie batter onto parchment, spreading evenly into 13-inch circle. Bake 15-18 minutes or until brownie is set. (Do not over bake.) Cool completely.
Mix cream cheese, brown sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Using a spreader, spread cream cheese mixture over brownie to within 1/2 inch of edge.
Chop candy and peanuts. Sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Arrange bananas over brownie.
Microwave chocolate with oil until chocolate is melted, stirring after 1 minute. Drizzle over pizza. Cut into squares. Makes 16 servings.

Berries ‘N’ Cream Brownies
1 package fudge brownie mix
(13 x 9 pan size) and the
ingredients to make the
8 ounce carton frozen whipped
topping, thawed
4 cups quartered fresh
1/3 cup chocolate hard-shell ice
cream topping
Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions using a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Spread whipped topping over brownies. Arrange strawberries cut side down over top. Drizzle with chocolate topping. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Yield 12-15 servings.
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.