Kayla started with cookie dough

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by Sandy Bond

Whoever coined the phrase, “never trust a skinny cook,” certainly didn’t have Kayla Wolff in mind.

Extremely petite, she loves to cook and bake. However, with the stamina and metabolism of a athlete, she amazes her many friends and even her husband Cody. Her consuming profession as a registered nurse and chasing after their toddler, Ava, 1, probably doesn’t hurt.

The daughter of Ronnie and Wilma Goehring, Kayla, and brother Ryan and elder sister Kimberly, grew up in Mobridge where their dad is employed at Jensen Rock and Sand. Their mom, a registered nurse, now works at the Golden LivingCenter after working at the Mobridge Regional Hospital.

“My mom was and continues to be my inspiration,” Kayla said, “both in my choice of careers and as a individual.”
She also happens to be a phenomenal cook and baker, Kayla said.

“One of my earliest memories was helping mom to mix up cookie dough,” she said. “As we continued to add flour to the batter, it got progressively difficult to stir; my dad would finish stirring it up. Actually, I think I’m going to put a KitchenAid mixer on my Christmas list for Santa!”

When pressed, she concedes that she may have always been a bit of an overachiever. While attending Mobridge High School she was a lifeguard at the Mobridge Swimming Pool where she was required to learn many basic lifesaving skills including CPR. Kayla was one of the senior class members who was attracted to service to their community as an emergency medical technician through a program spearheaded by Diane Dekker of Mobridge. Not only were these young people required to have the maturity to respond to many emergencies, but also to comply with the code of confidentiality.

After graduating from Mobridge High School in 2005, and attending South Dakota State University at Brookings, Kayla would return from Christmas, spring or summer breaks and sign up to be on call. Kayla realized her dream to become a registered nurse in 2009, receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing and returning to Mobridge where she accepted a position with Mobridge Regional Hospital.

She became friends with one of her family’s newest neighbors.

The son of Dale and Teri Wolff, Cody and his two brothers had grown up in a small town of 1,000 located on the Missouri River in Montana. The entire family loved hunting and fishing. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Cody moved to Oregon, which he found quite idyllic. However, he missed family and the laid back lifestyle of his youth. He accepted a position with Indian Health Services in Mobridge, which he finds very similar to his hometown-except much larger. Kayla and Cody fell in love and were married. Kayla, Cody discovered, is equally comfortable far afield as he, hunting pheasant with their yellow Labrador, Yogi. They both love to grill the walleye that they hook ice fishing, although Kayla claims she catches more fish!

“My secret is getting Cody to bait my hook,” she said.

“I happen to work with great cooks and bakers at MRH,” she said, “and we bring treats and share recipes for our favorites. I’ve received a lot of great recipes that way.”

Recently, she made Cody a fruit pizza as a special Easter treat with his name written in slices of fruit. He brought leftovers to the office the next day, and won bragging rights as competition for all the commercially made goodies that had previously been brought in by the other guys.

Made with sugar dough, Kayla said, the fruit pizza wasn’t exactly health food.

But baking isn’t all smooth sailing, she admitted. Her attempt at a boxed angel food cake failed when the cake dramatically fell from its perch on an old pop bottle after she inverted it as per directions.

Kayla is adding cake decorator to her culinary repertoire.

“There’s a great website, Pinterest, where you can learn quite a bit,” she said.

For Ava’s first birthday, Kayle created a white cake, decorated in lavender on lilac frosting; the tot was photographed wearing nearly as much as she had eaten.

– Sandy Bond –

Farm House Cookies
1 cup margarine (softened)
1 cup Butter Flavored Crisco
4 eggs
2 cups sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
8 tsp. baking powder
9 cups flour

Combine ingredients and drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. (Dough is easier to handle if chilled.) Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Frost when cool.

Frosting:
2 lbs. powdered sugar
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Peanut Butter Fudge
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring constantly about 6 minutes (Mixture needs to have a soft ball consistency-when drop of mixture goes into cold water it should form a soft ball.) Remove from heat.
Add:
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix well and pour into buttered pan.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (4 serving) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat all ingredients with mixer on low speed until moist. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon into 24 cupcake tins 2/3 cups full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Frost when cool.

Frosting:
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Beat until fluffy.
Then beat in until smooth:
16 oz. powdered sugar

Peppermint Patties
16 oz. powdered sugar (sifted)
3 Tbsp. butter (softened)
2 to 3 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Add:
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Mix well and transfer to a storage container to refrigerate overnight. Using a tiny ice cream scoop, make into balls and place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets. Flatten them slightly and freeze for at least an hour.
Melt:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. shortening
Dipping chocolate should be about 85 to 90 degrees. Take one sheet of patties out of freezer at a time. Dip patties into chocolate and return to waxed paper lined pan. Chill the coated patties until the chocolate is set.

Crab Dip
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
2 oz. Mrs. Grass’s Vegetable Soup Mix
Beat until fluffy. Spread cheese mixture onto plate (can use pie plate).
Top with:
3/4 cup seafood cocktail sauce
Top with:
6 oz. canned crab or tiny shrimp (drained)

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