S: The Key Ingredient is You
1: This book is inspired by the friendships that you cooked up here at the Ridge.
2: Espinaca Dip | 2 Blocks Cream Cheese Small Box of Velveeta Chopped Onion 2 Cans Rotel, Drained 1/8 Cup Jalapeno Juice 1/8 Cup Jalapenos Pint Whipping Cream Cup Milk 3 Chicken Boullion Cubes Box of Frozen Spinach | Cube all cheeses and add all other ingredients to crock pot and melt. Serve with tortilla chips.
3: For Rene, my favorite TarHawk. Please know that I realize that just because this recipe is from the south, it is not ‘Southern’, as you are. Call it a slip of the map, similar to a slip of the twang that once occurred at Enrollment when you had several poor Kansans writing their checks to Debbie MS. Know that regardless of which dialect you have chosen to speak in our Midwestern office, you have been a key to our success and the positive nature of our entire building. You are someone I consider to be a GLUE person – you bring many independent and good ingredients together in one crock pot of a school building and make them all work in harmony, with a smile and a good dose of sarcasm that makes it all seem doable and fun. Thank you for all the support and guidance you have provided me in my role in the office. Thank you for all you have done for the staff and even more for what you have done for kids and families. ~ Heath
4: Strawberry Pizza | INGREDINTS 18-oz tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough 8-oz package of cream cheese (softened) 2 c. frozen whipped topping (thawed) 1 t. vanilla extract 1 c. powdered sugar 14-oz package strawberry glaze 16-oz package of strawberries (sliced) | DIRECTIONS Roll out the dough on a greased 12” pizza pan; bake according to package directions. Set aside. Mix cream cheese, whipped topping, vanilla and powdered sugar together. Spread over the cooled crust. Top with glaze and strawberries. Add additional toppings such as or kiwi slices if you like. (Serves 6-8)
5: Rene, What a great opportunity you have in front of you. I am so excited for you and your family, yet I am sad to see you go. I will miss you very much. I know we had just one year working together, but want to thank you for all of you hard work and dedication to our kids. Thank you for always having my back. If there ever comes a time when you are down or stressed out, crank a little “Cracklin Rosy” and all will be fine. I hope you know that you will always have a special place in “Our House” at Wheatridge. When Kiss Lady shows up at the door, I will be sure and call to fill you in. Thanks again Rene, Jeremy
6: Momma Colston | Chicken Stuffing Casserole | Arrange chicken at bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of provolone cheese. Mix together 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of stuffing mix and 1 cup of water. Pour mixture over chicken and bake. | 350 | 1 hour | 5-6 | Rene, I know you have a love for some southern chicken, so I decided to share this recipe with you. I know it is no Chick Fil A....but I know you have all of those mapped out. This is a dish that my mom makes and you make me think of her. You are like my mom at Wheatridge and I will truly miss seeing your smiling face every day. Good Luck!!!! - Ryan Colston
7: Kit Kat Cake 1 pkg, any flavor Chocolate Cake Mix 1 (8oz) container whipped topping 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 king size or 2 regular size Kit Kat Bars (crushed) Mix cake according to package directions, bake in a 9X13 inch pan. As soon as cake is done poke holes all over the cake, pour the can of sweetened condensed milk all over the cake. Allow to sit and soak into the cake for about 20-30 minutes. Spread whipped topping over the cake and sprinkles with Kit Kat bars. Serve immediately. Refrigerate remaining cake. | Super yummy and sweet – for a sweet lady. – Karen Winkler
8: Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert | 20 chocolate cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, (like Oreos), divided 2 tablespoons butter, softened 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup peanut butter 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, divided 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided 15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped 1 cup cold milk 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix Crush 16 cookies, toss with the butter. Press into an ungreased 9 in. square dish; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and 1 cup confectioner's sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups. In another large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix, and remaining confectioner's sugar on low speed for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in remaining whipped topping. Spread the pudding mixture over the peanut butter cups. Crush the remaining cookies, sprinkle over the top. Cover and chill dessert for at least 3 hours. Yield 12-16 servings. ~From Taste of Home's Most Requested Recipes
9: Rene- My favorite dessert for my favorite lady from North Carolina! I made this for you on your last Administrative Professionals Day. I've truly enjoyed working with you for the last 3 years. You are someone who gives of herself to everyone else and asks nothing in return. We'll never be able to fill your shoes! Good luck with your new endeavors. -Lori Bobki
11: I "artichoke" you for leaving us, even though I am happy for your exciting new adventure. We will miss you like crazy around here! Take care,! ~ Deann Castro | Artichoke Dip 1 (14 oz) can chopped artichoke hearts 1/2 c mayonaise 1 c grated Parmesan cheese 1 8oz pkg. cream cheese Garlic powder to taste 2 1/2 oz chopped spinach (frozen) Chop artichokes up well. Add all of the above ingredients together. Mix well and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I also make this in the crock pot. Make sure it gets heated through and mixed real well.
12: Brown 1 lb. of ground hamburger. Add a pinch of garlic powder or garlic salt to desired flavor while browning hamburger. Drain meat, then add: 1 Tbs. basil 1 tsp. salt 1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce 2 - 6 oz. cans tomato paste Cook and simmer for 25-30 minutes. While meat is simmering, boil water and cook 6-8 lasagna noodles according to package. Then, in another bowl combine: 2 eggs 1 small container cottage cheese cup Parmesan cheese 2 Tbs. Parsley tsp. salt tsp. pepper Have ready to add to the lasagna 1 pkg. Mozzarella cheese 1 pkg. cheddar cheese Once hamburger is done, grease a 9x13” pan with cooking spray. Layer noodles, meat mixture, and cottage cheese mixture. For a little extra spice and flavor, just like Rene’s personality, you can also add a layer of pepperonis after the meat mixture! Next, sprinkle mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese on top. Repeat layers one more time. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. (If frozen, bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes) Enjoy! | Lasagna
14: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Place chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally just until metled, 4-5 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. Whisk in sugar and salt until mixture is smooth; whisk in eggs to combine. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa just until smooth (do not overmix). Spook 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each lined cup. Place 1 peppermint patty on top, gently pressing into batter. Top with 2 tablespoons batter, covering patty completely. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted halfway in centers (above mint patty) comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers. | 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature 1 c. sugar 3/4 tsp. salt 3 large eggs 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1/4 c. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted 12 small (1 1/2 inch) chocolate-covered peppermint patties (small York Peppermint Patties) | Mint-Filled Brownie Cupcakes (by Martha, of course!) | Rene, you have been such a wonderful co-worker and friend, and next year will not be the same without you! Good luck at your new job and keep in touch please! Love ya mucho, Megan Buell.
15: Kim Loring | Special Brownies | Ingredients: 1 box 9x13 brownie mix 1 tub of vanilla icing 1 cup peanut butter 12 oz. chocolate chips 4 cups Rice Krispies | varies | well spent | 1 dozen | Directions: Bake brownies by box instructions and let brownies cool after. Frost with vanilla icing and refrigerate. Combine peanut butter and chocolate chips in sauce pan, stir until melted and mix in Rice Krispies. Spread over frosted brownies. Refrigerate
16: The Key Ingredient”: Garlic Beef | “ Ingredients: 2 Tbsp sesame seeds 1 lb beef tenderloin sliced into bite sized pieces 2 Tbsp oil (vegetable or olive) 3 green bell peppers sliced 5 garlic cloves minced (must be fresh- do not used pre-minced) 2 Tbsp Dry Sherry 4 Tbsp soy sauce Cooked rice, to serve Directions: 1.Preheat a large wok or large, heavy skillet over low heat until it is hot. 2.Add the sesame seeds to the hot wok and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, or until they just start to brown. Remove the sesame seeds from the wok and set aside until required. 3.Heat the oil in the wok or skillet. Add the beef and stir-fry until all sides are browned. 4.Add the sliced bell pepper and minced garlic and continue cooking until the beef is fully cooked and the peppers start to feel tender. 5.Add the dry sherry and soy sauce together. Let the mixture bubble, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. 6.Serve over rice.
17: Rene, I chose this recipe for you because we were to choose something that had a key ingredient in this. I am sure you can guess what this key ingredient is GARLIC! Garlic makes this recipe wonderful and this dish is bland without it. You can not substitute anything for fresh garlic because it just will not be the same. I feel like you are the “garlic” to Wheatridge Middle School. You make the school wonderful and there will be no substitute for you. Without you, WMS will not be the same. You make the school what it is today. Your presence, your warmth, your kindness, and your work ethic are so apparent and appreciated. You made me feel welcome when I was new and I can not thank you enough for that. I wish you well on your new adventure, it sounds like an amazing opportunity. I am sure you will touch your new coworkers like you have touched us. God Bless! Sarah Lafayette
19: 1 3/4 cups sugar 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup butter 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 1/2 cup peanut butter 3 cups quick-cooking oats 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened. I picked this recipe for you because it is short and sweet just like the time we have had together. Thank you for making my first year at the 'Ridge so wonderful, you will be dearly missed. -Jessica Brunker | 1 lemon cake mix 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup apricot nectar 1/2 cup salad oil Beat above ingredients for 2 minutes, Add 4 eggs one at a time. Pour into floured, greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Cool right side up for 15 minutes, then remove from pan. Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar and juice of 1 lemon Rene...I will really miss your friendly smile each morning! You are such a special lady and I have truly enjoyed getting to know you. ~Dana Hinds | No Bake Cookies | Glazed Apricot Nectar Cake
21: Ultimate Fresh Fruit Tart | INGREDIENTS 1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons whipping cream 6 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 4 egg yolks 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 cups fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, sliced nectarines, kiwifruit cup apricot jam 1 tablespoon water DIRECTIONS Heat oven to 450F. Press pie crust into 10-inch tart pan; prick bottom and side with fork. Bake 10 minutes; turn oven down to 350F. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Melt chocolate and 4 tablespoons of the whipping cream over low heat. Stir until smooth; spread into baked pie shell, coating bottom of crust. Refrigerate. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, cook butter, sugar and cornstarch over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick and mixture boils; boil 1 minute. Beat egg yolks in small bowl; stir small amount of sugar mixture into egg yolks. Slowly add egg mixture to remaining sugar mixture in saucepan, stirring rapidly to avoid lumps. Cook 1 minute over low heat. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours. Whip 1 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold cold egg mixture into whipped cream with whisk. Fill pie shell with mixture. Top tart with fruit. Microwave apricot jam and water in small microwavable bowl uncovered on High 1 minute. Glaze fruit with jam mixture using pastry brush. Refrigerate 1 1/2 hours and serve.
22: I tried to write a really nice note, but everything I've come up with is really cheesy. I guess since it's CHEESEcake-ish, I'll go ahead and let it slide. Don't judge me though! Rene, this dessert reminds me of you because it's all of my favorites put together in one package. You're not food though, so this doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.... ARGH! I give up! I'll miss ya Rene! No one will ever be able to take your place :) -Tiffany Shogren
23: Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Cheesecake Pizza | 1 tube (16-1/2 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened 2 eggs 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup peanut butter chips 1 cup chopped unsalted peanuts 1 cup milk chocolate chips 1 tsp. shortening Press dough onto an ungreased 14-in pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until deep golden brown. While dough is cooling: In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs and sugar; beat until combined. Spread over cooled crust. Sprinkle with peanut butter chips and peanuts. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until center is set. Cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over pizza. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 16 slices.
24: Apple Dumplings Ingredients 2 large granny smith apples 2 tubes crescent rolls 1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon 1 can sprite Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Peel and cut each apple into 8 pieces. Put one piece of apple on each crescent triangle- start at the point and wrap towards the large end. Put the apple rolls in the dish leaving space on the sides and down the middle. Mix butter, sugar, and cinnamon and bring to a slight boil. Pour over the rolls. Pour the can of sprite along the sides and down the middle. Bake for 40 minutes in oven. Best it eaten 15-20 minutes after being taken out of the oven. You can also serve with ice cream. **This recipe is very easy and the ingredients are easy to find and it tastes DELICIOUS!!! You will love it:) | Rene, Thank you so much for all you have done for Wheatridge these past few years. Your kindness and endless effort to make everyone else's job easier is irreplaceable. I wish you the best in all you do! We will miss you more than you can imagine! Thank you so so much! - Kala King
25: Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas | 1 can black beans 1 block frozen spinach 1 pkg taco seasoning 1/3 c. sour cream 1 small can of red enchilada sauce 1 pkg of 8 tortillas 2 c. cheddar cheese diced onions (optional) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, warm black beans and spinach until simmering. Add taco seasoning to thicken. Remove from heat and add sour cream. Combine. In each tortilla, spoon 2 T. enchilada sauce, 1/4 c. black bean mixture and a little less than 1/4 c. of cheese. Add diced onions at this step if desired. Roll enchiladas and place in a greased 9x11 pan. Top enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce and bake 30 min. Add remaining cheese in the last 5 minutes of baking. | Rene, This is a great, hearty meatless recipe!!! No one will miss meat tonight, but you will be truly missed! Leah Cogswell
26: Grandma’s Devils Food Cake | 1 Cup Crisco- Melt Beat the following into the pan with the melted Crisco 2 Cups Sugar 2 Eggs 2 teaspoons soda 1 Cup Sour milk (1/4 cup vinegar and cup milk-stir) Add following 2 Cups Flour Cup Baker chocolate 1 Cup boiling water 1 teaspoon vanilla Pour into a 9” by 11” pan (greased and floured). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. This is great with or without icing! “Darling” this is a true southern “chocolate” recipe. Like you it gets better each day. I will miss you so much. You better keep in touch!!!!! -Deb
28: 3 eggs cup coconut oil 2 medium bananas 3 dates, pitted 10 drops stevia cup coconut flour teaspoon celtic sea salt teaspoon baking soda cup walnuts, toasted and chopped 1.Place eggs, oil, bananas, dates and stevia in a blender ; blend on medium speed until combined 2.Add in coconut flour, salt and baking soda and blend until smooth 3.Fold in walnuts 4.Scoop cup batter into lined muffin tins 5.Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (my batch took exactly 23 minutes; all ovens are slightly different) 6.Cool and serve | Banana Walnut Muffins | Rene, this recipe is both healthy and delicious! It has bananas in it, which remind me of you because you deal with people that are bananas, situations that are bananas, and sometimes feels like you might be going bananas! It also calls for nuts, which clearly is how I feel about you! | Rene, you are beautiful, both inside and out, and I will miss you!! -April Wilhite
29: Split Pea and Cabbage Soup | 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp minced garlic 2 carrots, chopped 1/4 head of green cabbage, sliced 1 large potato, chopped 1 C split peas 4-6 C vegetable or chicken stock* 1/2 tsp celery salt 1/2 tsp parsley 1 tsp basil 1 bay leaf 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper Optional: parmesan rind shredded jack or parmesan cheese for topping chopped bacon for topping | Saute the garlic in the olive oil. Basically dump everything else (except of the last 3 ingredients) in and cook on low for an hour or more. After an hour, stir and add the parmesan rind and stir again. Continue cooking for 15 minutes or so. | Notes: This is a healthy meal for a cold winter day. The perfect kind of meal to put on the stove and then sit back and relax with a good book while it is cooking! Be sure to keep in touch and let me know what you’ve been reading! | April Hawkins | Adapted from the blog Foodtopia.com by Kristen Krueger
30: "There is no love sincerer than the love of food." ~George Bernard Shaw
31: Directions 1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature. 2. On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 thru 9; stir only. 3. Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2). | Ingredients 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided 3 cups white sugar, divided 3 cups milk | Friendship Bread Starter | As you begin fresh at a new place take a bit of the old with you- memories, love and knowledge. You will be amazing at anything you put your hand and heart to but just remember that there is a building full of people that are cheering you on! I selected this recipe to remind you that all things tie together as you will always be tied to us. Love you girl! -Cyrena