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Cook's Corner

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I still want to learn …
A. More in business. Something business-related.
I can’t wait to …
A. Go on vacation. Not because of winter, but I haven’t been anywhere in a while.
Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette
Kay Hildman is the owner of owner of BrewHa Coffeehouse, 120 N. Main St., Columbia City.

Many sources for coffeehouse recipes

– Kay Hildman, 43, used to cook more when her sons, Austin, 20, and Tanner, 18, were growing up. Nowadays, Hildman, the owner of BrewHa Coffeehouse, is finding that she eats out more.

“My kids are gone, one’s in college and one’s a senior. He goes back and forth between me and his dad,” the Columbia City woman says. “I go (downtown) to eat. It’s called Downtown on the Square.”

When she goes to her hometown of Huntington to visit with her father, they’ll go out to eat.

Looking back to the times when she cooked more, Hildman said she remembers serving the family simple meals using recipes from her mother and grandmother.

“I had different cookbooks from my mom and grandma. I used the recipes from the recipe box from them. Most of the time, it was the basics – the meat, the vegetables and salads. It wasn’t the boxed stuff. It was the ‘out of the garden.’ When I was in Huntington, we had a garden. Now, since I live here, we go to the farmers market,” she states.

Hildman recalls a couple of recipes she didn’t get from her grandmother that she would like to have now.

She explains, “My grandfather was diabetic, and my grandma made this recipe where she’d take an apple, peel it and put it in the blender. She would add orange juice to it, and that’s all I can remember. I just thought about that. She used to make chicken Kiev too. I remember eating it. It was very good. I wished I got that recipe from her.”

As for the recipes she uses at the coffeehouse, Hildman says they come from many sources.

“That one,” she says pointing to the sugar cookie, “I got from my neighbor. Actually, my customers give me recipes, like the quiche and biscotti. The biscotti were a Christmas gift one year from a regular customer, and she had the recipe in with the gift.”

Q. What’s your favorite vegetable?

A. Broccoli. I love broccoli. I like it all ways. I think, most vegetables, I like.

Q. What’s your favorite cooking utensil or appliance?

A. Probably the mixer here. We sell our monster cookies all the time. They fly out the door. They’re gluten-free.

Q. Who’s your cooking idol?

A. I remember my mom (the late Zelma Newell) cooked every breakfast, lunch and dinner. My godmother, Marilyn Stoffel, had eight kids, and she was cooking all the time.

Q. What’s something people wouldn’t find in your refrigerator?

A. (The coffeehouse) or at home? Anchovies.

Q. What’s one word that would describe your cooking style?

A. Somewhat simple or convenient. (Here) it’s not a lot we bake. It’s simple.

Q. What advice would you give beginner cooks?

A. A lady I used work with said, “Always taste your items.” You may follow a recipe and it’s horrible, so you need to taste it.

Vanilla Biscotti

6 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

2 cups flour

Coarse white sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet. Beat butter, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract and baking powder together until mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs; add flour at low speed until smooth. Place dough on baking sheet. Divide in half and shape into two 9 1/2 -by-2-inch logs, about 3/4 -inch tall. Straighten logs and smooth tops and sides. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Wait five minutes, then use knife to cut logs diagonally. Set the biscotti back on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until they feel dry and turn golden brown. Transfer to rack to cool; store in an airtight container. Makes 30 to 40 biscotti.

Sugar Cookies

4 sticks margarine, softened

2 eggs

3 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons almond extract

5 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Mix well margarine, eggs, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts in one bowl, stirring by hand. Do not use an electric mixer. In a second bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Combine dry and wet ingredients together. Place in the refrigerator to sit overnight. Remove from refrigerator and roll out dough. Using 2 1/2 - to 3-inch cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a 325-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes. When cooled, use your favorite icing recipe to ice cookies. Makes 18 cookies.

Quiche

Crust:

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup flour

Filling:

6 eggs

12 ounces half-and-half

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Nutmeg, to taste

1 cup grated cheese (your choice)

1 cup chopped meat (your choice)

1 cup chopped vegetables (your choice)

Mix crust ingredients together and pat into an ungreased 9-inch pie pan.

Mix filling ingredients together and pour into prepared pie crust. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know of someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-88; fax 461-8648 or email dparker@jg.net.

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