Beat the winter blahs with new recipes | Features

As we go through the winter months, it is always fun to try new foods and introduce new recipes to our family. Our featured cook today is one who likes to keep good foods on the table for her family and is willing to share some of the ones they like.

Kelly Jenkins of Burton comes to our area from Columbus, Ohio. Initially she came to attend Brigham Young University Idaho. She needed a job to help out and began working at the old Mini Mart in Thornton where the new highway exchange now exists. At that same time, the owner’s son, Levi Jenkins, was serving an LDS Mission to Seattle, Washington. When he came home, they became acquainted and now they are married with three sons and have lived in Big Sky, Montana, Nashville, Tennessee and back to making their home in Burton.

Levi owns Mr. Driveline which is located just off the Menan exit off Highway 20. Kelly just completed her associate degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho in December. The three boys include Levi George, who attends Burton Elementary school. He likes math, driving the family four wheeler and pulling his brothers on the sleigh. He likes anything with a motor. This Christmas, he received his first gun and plans to take Hunter’s Education and then go hunting with his dad. His favorite food is biscuits and gravy.

Ayden is in the second grade at Burton Elementary. He likes to eat pizza with no cheese. He likes recess at school and reading. He likes to play golf, soccer and playing his “Play Station” which was this year’s family Christmas gift.

Charlie James is five and attends afternoon kindergarten at Burton Elementary. His favorite food is strawberries. He likes school, learning numbers and any kind of craft. He is constantly busy and keeps the other family members hopping too.

Levi would choose mashed potatoes and gravy as a favorite food while Kelly likes all kinds of soups. The family’s favorite would be spaghetti.

Kelly enjoys cooking and was taught the basics by her mom. She learned a lot from her grandmother who had a catering business and she would help her out and learn even more about a variety of foods. Her specialty would be in the baking category as she likes to make sweets; cakes, cupcakes and treats. She has made a variety of treats and sold them to others on occasion. Beginning this new year, Kelly is working on cooking healthier for her family. Since Levi is a hunter, they eat a lot of elk and deer which is very lean and that is a plus for healthiness.

Keeping a stocked pantry is important to Kelly inasmuch as they live out in the country and running to a store often is not something they do but they change their menu to use what they have on hand.

It is important to Kelly for the kids to learn to cook and Levi George is now capable of cooking scrambled eggs, sausage and French toast for a family breakfast by himself. He has already mastered using a thermometer to check the meat temperatures as he cooks. He is also really good at making Ramen noodles. Charlie likes to help make cupcakes too.

We cannot forget to mention that the Jenkins family has three dogs; Max and Millie who are golden labs and Brutus who is a mini Schnauzer, and was named after the Ohio State Buckeye Football team. The Jenkins family are die-hard Ohio State fans.

Besides hunting, Levi likes to snow machine, oil paint, golf, spend time with the boys and fish and hunt. Kelly’s hobbies include refinishing furniture. She loves her home and working at remodeling their current home and giving it that personal touch. She enjoys spending time with her children and works on the Parent-Teacher’s Organization committee at Burton Elementary.

The Jenkins family enjoys being together and spends time watching a good movie at home with popcorn. They enjoy short trips and make many to Moab, Utah where Kelly’s parents have lived since their retirement.

Today, the Jenkins family has shared some of their favorite recipes for your family to hopefully try and use in your own homes. We thank them for sharing with us in Food Stuff today.

Deanna’s Elk Sloppy Joes

(Kelly Jenkins and Deanna Jenkins)

1 pound ground elk meat (this meat is very lean)

1 8- ounce can tomato sauce

2 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional, Salt and Vinegar chips

Set a large pot over medium-low heat. Add ground elk. Increase heat to medium/medium high and cook until no longer pink, breaking apart and stirring as meat cooks. There is usually no grease to drain off. While meat is browning, make sauce. In a medium bowl, stir together tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder and freshly ground black pepper to taste, until well-combined. Pour over browned meat; stir

and simmer for a few minutes until heated through ( or, longer, if you have time, to allow flavors to blend). Serve on hamburger buns or just dip Salt and Vinegar chips into it! Yummy!

Charlie’s as big as your face Chocolate Chip Cookies

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted (melting butter is key)

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until just blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand, using a wooden spoon. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop, then level off before dropping dough onto pan. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Levi’s Favorite Cranberry Chicken

4 pounds chicken breast or thighs

1 8-ounce bottle Catalina salad dressing

1 2-ounce envelope dried onion soup mix

1 can whole cranberry sauce (make sure the berries are whole)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in baking dish. Mix all other ingredients and pour completely over chicken. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes or noodles. Yummy!

Mini Mart Marshmallow Brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I use Bakers Brand)

Chocolate Ganache-Marshmallow Topping: 1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line with foil and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

For the brownies: In a large glass bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Heat in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring intermittently until melted and smooth. Beat in eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until well blended. Stir in flour, blending well. Spread evenly into a prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not overbake! Brownies should be moist. Cool in pan. (Lining the pan with foil makes it easy to pull right out of the pan.)

For the topping: Combine chocolate chips and cream in a large glass bowl. Heat in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring twice until melted and smooth. Add butter and stir until melted and smooth. Fold in marshmallows. Spread topping evenly over the top of cooled brownies. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Pull foil right out of pan. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

The Best Ever Deer meat Sauce

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 6-ounce cans tomato paste

2 8-ounce cans canned tomato sauce

1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground deer, onion and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and parsley. Simmer covered for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Top over spaghetti noodles or use in lasagna or any other recipe you would use a spaghetti sauce.

Brutus’s Buckeye Recipe

2 cups creamy peanut butter (Do not use natural)

½ cup salted butter softened

1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla (I use the Mexican vanilla)

3-1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 12-ounce package dark chocolate melting wafers (Ghirardelli brand works best.)

Combine peanut butter and butter in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat until well-combined. Add vanilla. Mix well. Gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined. Scoop into tablespoon-sized balls and roll with the palms of your hand until smooth and round. If you like them bigger, you can use a cookie scooper. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for 15 to 20 minutes. While peanut butter balls are chilling, prepare your chocolate according to package instructions. I use a glass dish and heat in the microwave. Remove peanut butter balls from freezer; spear the top of each peanut butter ball with a toothpick and holding the toothpick, dip each buckeye ball into the melted chocolate. Return to cookie sheet and remove toothpick. Use the pads of your fingers to smooth over the toothpick mark or just leave them with the hole. Allow chocolate to harden before eating and enjoying. Buckeye balls are best if kept refrigerated.

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