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My Favorite Recipes: October 17, 2019

 

October 17, 2019

Hallie George; Steve George

Hallie and Steve George pose for a selfie.

Hallie George is no stranger to farm country.

"My husband and I both grew up in Yakima," she said. Hallie was born and lived in Toppenish until age four, at which point she moved with her family to Selah.

"It was a pretty typical upbringing for a smaller town," she said. "I went to Selah schools from kindergarten through high school graduation."

She spent a lot of time on her grandma's "little farm" in Toppenish and her uncle's pig farm in Zillah.

"I got a good taste of farm life growing up, which I love," she said. "I was really close to her. She was the sweetest grandma, but she would make you go out and catch the chickens. That was kinda my job, the chicken-catcher. My grandma would butcher it, my sister would do the hypnotizing - it's weird, but it works! We'd butcher it, pluck the feathers, and my grandma would make dinner."

Chicken hypnotizing consists of holding the chicken's head down, beak to the dirt, and drawing a line from its beak out a couple of inches."

"The chicken just stays - at least, every time I've seen it done," she said. "It makes it easy to, you know, cut its head off!"

After high school, Hallie moved to the west side of the state and lived in Tacoma, Bellingham and Seattle.

"I mostly waited tables," she said. "I did some bookkeeping, too. I loved doing that, I'd love to get back into it."

She eventually moved back to Yakima and began working at a family restaurant. It was there she met her husband, Steve.

"We dated for a few years, got married, and moved to the Palouse in 2005," she said.

After a few years in Colfax, the couple moved to Moscow. Eventually, they decided they missed their family too much and moved back to Yakima. It didn't stick, though. In 2015 the family returned to the Palouse, settling in Endicott as their new home.

"We decided we wanted to raise our kids in a smaller community," she said.

The Georges have two boys Wyatt, 13, and Brody, 10.

"I was a stay-at-home mom for 13 years," she said. "I home-schooled the kids for the first seven years. In Moscow, I had a good group of moms who also home-schooled. It was nice having that support - to throw around ideas. My oldest is autistic, so that puts a whole 'nother level on things. It got to the point where we thought both kids could do well in public school. I love the Endicott school system - everybody has been so welcoming and accepting of my oldest, who has had trouble fitting in. Other schools have not been as great - he dealt with a lot of bullying. I love it here - I love the community and everybody. It's like one big happy, sometimes dysfunctional family. Everyone has so much love for everybody else. Nothing but good experiences for all of us."

Currently, Hallie works at the Endicott Food Center and Steve works for TNA Electric & Controls. Wyatt and Brody attend Endicott School in seventh grade and fifth grade, respectively.

"[Jenny Meyer] needed help at the store, and it was time for me to go and do something outside of the house after so many years," she said. "It's very laid back, mellow. I love everybody who comes in. I love how much Jenny does for the community, and it's been an experience."

"He's really into horror movies," Hallie said of Wyatt. "He loves music, he's very creative, artistic. He loves swimming."

She says Brody is like a human dictionary.

"He loves words, he's super creative. He's a homebody, like I am. You can't hardly get me out of the house after dark. He's the same way. We call Brody our sunshine boy, he's very smiley and sunshine-y!"

Hallie is the main cook at home. "I do all of it." she said. "Except during grilling season - my husband would do the grilling of the meat. I found I love grilling so much, I've taken over. We grill everything: ribs, chicken, steak, burgers, vegetables - you name it."

Growing up, Hallie helped out her family with cooking.

"I have an aunt and uncle who live in Almira - it's same size [as Endicott], wheat country, and I have cousins who all work at the elevators. During harvest I would make their lunches. I learned how to make cookies - my aunt taught me."

As a young adult, one of Hallie's friends taught her to make a dish she called "salt noodles."

"It was one of the few things I really knew how to make when my husband and I started dating," she said. "I made it for him and he tells me, 'Yeah, this is good' I think, Oh, he likes it! I made it for him all the time and finally he tells me he actually doesn't like it, it's one of the grossest things he's ever had. I probably wouldn't know if I made something bad today because he'd just tell me it was good."

Recently, Hallie started a group on Facebook called "Share Your Food."

"I do a weekly menu for my grocery shopping. It seemed like I was making the same things over and over again," she said. "You see all these things on Pinterest - has anyone actually tried them, but how easy are they to make on a weeknight? Are they actually even really good? I noticed a couple of friends on my Facebook posting 'I need dinner ideas,' so it just kind of clicked in my head: I wonder if I made a group? It just started with people in my friends group to share what we're cooking. People make fun of you for sharing your food on Facebook, so I thought, maybe it'll be a good idea to have a casual place to share. I posted asking if anybody would be interested and told people to message me if they were interested so I wouldn't have to deal with public humiliation if no one was interested."

The group officially started on Sept. 24, 2019, and already has more than 300 members.

"There was a lot of interest!" she said. "It's fun - I like it! And then my stove broke and I was like, 'I can't participate!'"

Hallie also enjoys tinkering with other kinds of recipes.

"In my spare time, I like to make homemade body scrubs. I have a really close friend whose mom is a master herbologist," she said "She had a cabin in Packwood, and we'd visit her on the weekend. I'd watch her make all this stuff out of food and herbs she grew in her garden. It piqued an interest, and I've been interested ever since. It's small scale - I give it to friends. One day, when we're retired, I can maybe spend time to do it on a larger scale and make money off. I like doing it right now - it's fun."

Recipes:

Pasta a Erin

1 lb. Italian sausage

(mild or hot, chef's

choice)

2 - 3 Tbsp olive oil

2 - 3 cups fresh baby

spinach

Salt and pepper, to

taste

4 - 5 cloves minced gar-

lic

Crushed red pepper

flakes

1 lb cooked linguine,

cooking water reserved

1/2 - 1 cup grated

parmesan, plus extra

for serving

Brown sausage in olive oil. Once cooked through, add spinach, salt, and pepper. Once wilted, add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add pasta and a ladle of cooking water. Toss well to coat, scraping up any browned bits in the pan.

Add parmesan, toss to coat. Top with additional parmesan.

Note: sometimes I add frozen peas.

Chicken Enchiladas

In a slow cooker, add:

3 chicken breasts

1/2 cup favorite enchi

lada sauce (I prefer El

Pato)

1 can fire roasted green

chilies

Spices to taste:

Salt and pepper

Chili powder

Cumin

Coriander

Paprika

Cayenne (if you like

extra heat)

Cook on low until chicken shreds easily with a fork (about 4 - 6 hours). Shred chicken and let cool. The chicken should soak up any juices rendered.

Lightly fry corn tortillas in vegetable oil for 2 - 3 seconds per side until pliable but not crisp. Drain and blot well with paper towels.

Assemble: Dip fried tortillas in enchilada sauce. Let excess drip off. Place some of the shredded chicken in the middle of the tortilla. Sprinkle with Monterrey jack or pepper jack cheese and roll.

Place seam side down in a casserole dish prepped with a smearing of enchilada sauce at the bottom. Repeat until casserole dish is full. Pour remaining (and extra if needed) sauce all over. Top liberally with more cheese and another can of green chilies.

Bake, covered, at 400 for 20 - 25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let rest 10 - 15 minutes and serve!

Cheesecake Tarts

2 8-oz packages soft-

ened cream cheese

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Vanilla wafers

Canned pie filling

(cherry, strawberry,

blueberry, etc.)

Cream sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and lemon juice.

Drop a vanilla wafer at the bottom of a cupcake paper-lined muffin tin. Fill 2/3 of the way full with batter.

Bake at 325 for 10 - 15 minutes or until set. Let cool.

They will sink in the middle some - that's okay! Chill for a couple of hours then top with preferred pie filling.

Good Morning Sunshine Body Scrub

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 vitamin E capsule

Dehydrated orange

peel

Dehydrated lavender

4-6 drops orange essen-

tial oil

4-6 drops lavender

essential oil

To dehydrate orange peels: slice in small strips. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet at 200 until dry and crumbly.

To dehydrate lavender: spread on a cookie sheet at 200 until stems are brittle (about 10 minutes).

Mix all ingredients together. Honey is a natural humectant and is a good addition.

 
 

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