Perfect tailgating snacking
By JOLENE STEVENS
SLOAN – Lori Gallagher says fall is her favorite time of the year.
It’s football season, and Gallagher, instructor of family and consumer science at Westwood Community School District in Sloan, and her husband, Dennis, are avid Iowa State University fans.
The Gallaghers, who farm 1,800 acres of cropland near Holly Springs, are also followers of local high school teams.
This, Lori Gallagher said, can mean lots of game watching with friends and family.
The chance to feed and feast goes hand-in-hand when football fans get together.
For Lori Gallagher, this means an opportunity to make some of her own favorite recipes, which are readily available for these get-togethers.
She prefers baking rather than cooking during football season.
“I love baking because as a family we’ve been so attuned to it,” Gallagher said. “What you bake is a comfort food.
“It’s extra special as temperatures begin to dip and the aroma of baking cookies, pies is even more wonderful.”
Especially if cookies are produced from the oven, she said.
Family favorites are oatmeal carmelites and butterscotch pudding triple-chip cookies.
“They don’t last long, be it at home or when shared with others,” Gallagher said.
Several of her other fall favorite snacks include cream cheese bacon crescents, a cookie/candy bar mix and firecrackers, tiny crackers spiced with cayenne pepper.
Gallagher said her kitchen confidence comes from her mother, Dorothy Prunty, of Clear Lake.
“For her, however, it wasn’t a matter of really watching us trying to make something,” Gallagher said, “but to say, ‘here’s the recipe, and now you try it'”
Gallagher said her three children – two sons and a daughter – share her enjoyment of cooking, but their respective sports schedules leave little time in the kitchen.
However, she still gets one of the three asking for a special recipe to be sent their way on occasion.
Gallagher credits her parents, both teachers, for her choice in pursuing a degree in home economics education at the former Westmar College in Le Mars, graduating in 1987 as the college’s last home economics graduate.
That’s also where she met her husband.
Now in her third year at Westwood, she previously taught in the Woodbury Central School District in Moville.
“I love teaching and the diversity of our family and consumer science offerings,” Gallagher said, “because everything I teach is something our students can use throughout their lives, be it food and food safety, nutrition, clothing, housing and child development.
A relatively new part of the program is heritage foods of the students’ families, which is studied in the family living class.
Adding to what she calls the joys of her teaching experiences are the exploratory food classes for seventh and eighth grade students in the Westwood system.
“I love seeing them really learning to put something together and asking them to experiment with this and that,” Gallagher said. “It’s fun and enlightening, and I like to share with them that when you know the basics then you can do a lot, and they’re willing to try a little bit of everything to determine what works best.”
Teacher and farm wife are both rewarding vocations, Gallagher said.
“On the farming side, you accept that adverse weather, flooding and that sort of thing can make a big difference in the success of your farming operation,” she said, “that there are times when what crops look good really look good and what looks bad can be really bad.
“That’s farming. You have to at times be ready to roll with the punches.”
Butterscotch pudding triple-chip cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3.4-ounce package instant butterscotch pudding
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use silpat baking mat or parchment paper on baking sheets.
Mix butter and sugar until creamy.
Add in pudding, eggs and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and combine.
Stir in the chips.
Drop by spoon onto baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes.
64 caramels, unwrapped
2/3 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 cups quick oatmeal
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mix the 1 cup flour, 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Press into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
Unwrap caramels and melt with the milk in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans over the baked mixture.
Pour over the melted caramel mixture. Mix the remaining flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter, soda and salt.
Press over the top.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool and cut.
Shredded Italian chicken sandwich
5 packages chicken breasts – about 7to 8 pounds. They can be frozen
2 packages Lipton onion soup mix
1 /4 cups water
1 1/2 cups Tuscan House Italian Dressing
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Put chicken into slow cooker. Cover with the rest of the ingredients.
Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
Shred chicken and put back into the juices.
Serve on buns.
This meat will freeze well.
(NOTE: To shred chicken quickly, put warm, cooked chicken breasts into the Kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn it on speed 4-6 for 20 seconds and you will have perfectly shredded restaurant-style chicken.
Cream cheese bacon crescents
Makes 32 rolls
1 8-ounce tub cream cheese
1 package crumbled bacon pieces
2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cream cheese and bacon until well blended.
Unroll dough and use a pizza cutter to cut each triangle in half. Leave in the large rectangle and spread with cream cheese mixture.
Roll each triangle up and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
2 boxes mini saltines
2 boxes mini club crackers
2 cups buttery popcorn oil
2 packages Ranch Seasoning mix
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix the crackers in a large Tupperware bowl.
Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the crackers.
Toss to coat.
Fall gorp mix
11/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 1/2 cups Mini Oreo cookies
1 cup candy corn
1 cup gold fish crackers
1/2 cup raisins
Mix and store in a covered container.
Cookie and candy bar snack mix
1 40-ounce bag assorted mini bite-sized candy bars
2 bags bite-sized Oreo cookies
2 bags bite-sized Nutter Butter cookies
2 bags bite-sized Chips Ahoy cookies
1 six-pack 100 Calorie Right Bites Fudge Stripe cookies
1 six-pack 100 Calorie Right Bites Sandies cookies
1 large bag Plain M&Ms
Unwrap candy bars and put into a large Tupperware bowl.
Unwrap and put in the cookies.
Put in M&Ms and mix.
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