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My Favorite Recipes: September 5, 2019


September 5, 2019

A California girl at heart and by birth, Angel Crook came to the Palouse in August of 2013 with the dream to become a veterinarian.

“I’ve wanted to be one since before I could say the word ‘veterinarian’,” she said. “When I was 3-years-old, I remember holding a pet guinea pig at my grandparents house. I was like, ‘I’m going to be a vegetarian when I get older so I can take care of all the animals!’”

Angel is currently working on completing her undergraduate degree at Washington State University and hopes to attend its school for veterinary medicine.

“The only time it became a point where I questioned being a vet would be the level of work that I was putting into schooling,” she said. “The classes are really labor intensive. Physics and chemistry were pretty discouraging.”

When Angel first moved to Pullman, she knew no one.

“I had a tough time making friends,” she said. “I invited this gentleman to hang out at the CUB. I figured we could watch the football game or play pool or watch the movie playing. I met up with him at the CUB and asked him to watch the football game, he said, ‘No, football is a dumb sport.’ That’s half the reason I came to school here! So I asked him to play pool. ‘No, pool is dumb.’ So I asked him if he wanted to watch the movie that was playing. He said he already watched it the day before. There was another gentleman sitting next to us, he asked me what team I was rooting for. I started to talk to him and the guy I came with blew up at me, asked me why I was talking to another guy when I already had a boyfriend sitting right here. He insisted I walk him home! I did, and then came back up to the CUB to watch the football game by myself. The other gentleman was still there. He apologized for getting me in trouble with my boyfriend, he said he was just trying to be friendly. I told him he wasn’t my boyfriend! We watched the football game, and then we played pool, and then watched the movie, and then he walked me home. And then three years later, I married him!”

The Crooks moved to Colfax in 2019. On top of being a full-time student, Angel works for Alpine Animal Hospital outside of Pullman, and Chris recently started as a textbook department supervisor at the Bookie (Barnes and Noble College Booksellers on the WSU campus). They have three cats: Jethro, Kate and Abby, named after the characters from the TV show NCIS.

Angel grew up in Lodi, Calif., in a Mexican-Italian household, with her parents and brother. They spent after school at her Mexican grandparents’ house and was her “grandmother’s shadow.”

“I made sure I was up on time to help make breakfast, help make lunches or dinner or whatever. I always really enjoyed helping her make dinner. Helping in the garden was one of my favorite things, too,” she said.

Now 82, Angel’s grandmother still makes them breakfast when Angel and her family go to visit.

“If you’re going to grandma’s house, hopefully you’re hungry because you’re going to get fed no matter what! There is always food ready. She hears you driving up the gravel driveway and starts serving up food.”

Growing up, Angel was very active in sports and other extracurriculars. “If we weren’t in sports, we were going to car shows,” she said. “My first car was a ‘68 Chevy pickup. I bought it when I was 16, it was just the shell. Between my dad, my brother, and I, we put it together over the next couple of years. All of my high school paychecks went into that car! It went though two different engines (the first one was bad), and two or three different transmissions before we got one to work in it. We had a neighbor who had a truck like mine that got stolen, so he gave me all his spare truck parts he intended to use in his truck. If I ever came to a time where I was short on cash I would have happily slept in my truck before considering selling it. It’s currently back home in California. My dad drives it around for me sometimes. Sometimes, he uses it to haul large items in – it’s lower to the ground and easier to get stuff into it.”

As her grandmother’s “shadow,” Angel learned to cook from a young age and continues some of her cooking traditions today.

“Usually, if we were at grandma’s, we had beans, rice, and tortillas with every single meal. And blended salsa, of course – chile! It takes me forever to make salsa – it requires two or three people to make in decent time, which is why I don’t make it too often. It’s a butt-ton of chopping.”

Her favorite food? “Tacos! Carne asada tacos are the reason why I’m overweight,” she said. “As a teenager, before work or after work I would get a taco truck burrito for dinner. I would cut it in half and then take the other half with me to work the next day.”

At home, Angel and Chris share the cooking.

“We actually do a pretty good job – he’ll make something while I’m doing something else. Yesterday, he made the steak while I made the broccoli and zucchini,” she said. “Recently, we did this ‘helpless baker’ challenge. I was blindfolded and he could only use three sentences total during the baking. He had to measure everything out, I had to mix and pour everything while blindfolded. He would take his hands to guide my hands. It was super messy but lots of fun! We made a chocolate pie. It was so tasty! The mixture of chocolate brownie and cookie – we did a chocolate cookie crust with it. It was super moist and really tasty.”


Mom’s Zucchini Bread

From Allrecipes.com

3 cups all-purpose


1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp ground cinna-


3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups white sugar

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.

Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well.

Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Bev’s Chocolate Pie

From Allrecipes.com

2 cups white sugar

5 Tbsp unsweetened

cocoa powder

1/4 cup all-purpose


1 (12 fluid ounce) can

evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup butter

1 recipe pastry for a 9

inch single crust pie

4 egg whites

1/4 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a saucepan, whisk together 2 cups sugar, cocoa and flour.

Blend in evaporated milk and vanilla. Beat egg yolks, and stir into pan. Add the butter or margarine. Heat, stirring constantly just until butter is melted.

Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until pie is not “wobbly” when shaken.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating constantly, until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue on pie.

Return pie to oven, and bake until meringue is golden.

One-Pot Chicken And Mushroom Pasta

From Tasty.com

Makes 4 servings

3 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 lb chicken breast,


1/2 yellow onion, diced

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

2 cups cremini mush-


3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp paprika

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 lb farfalle pasta

5 oz spinach

1 cup parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper, and brown - make sure to cook through.

Set chicken aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the onion into the pot and stir. Cook down for 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic, and stir to incorporate with the onion.

Season with salt and pepper to taste as well as thyme and paprika. Stir to evenly season.

Add chicken broth and heavy cream to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then add the farfalle pasta. Cook according to package instructions, being sure to stir every 1-2 minutes to keep the pasta from clumping together. (Cook time may be a little longer in this recipe than when the pasta is boiled in water).

When the farfalle pasta is al dente, add the spinach and chicken and stir until the spinach cooks down and incorporates. Add parmesan and stir until it’s well-incorporated and you’re left with a smooth sauce. Top off with extra parmesan and serve. Enjoy!


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