Shortcuts don’t cut flavor

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By Betty Street -

Engaging. Friendly. Merry, happy, cheerful—all words that describe Loxie Shillingstad of Mobridge, high school teacher, entrepreneur and really great cook.

Loxie enjoys being in her kitchen.

“I love to cook for my family,” she said. “They are all good eaters and are willing to try my creations.”

Nowadays with three offspring grown and tending their own pursuits, she prepares meals only for husband Jay, son Hudson and herself and finds it hard to cook for so few people.

“I like easy recipes, but I don’t want to compromise on flavor,” she said. “Therefore, my style of cooking is easy and unique. Even with a complicated recipe, I try to find shortcuts to save time; and with a simple recipe I try to add something unique for extra flavor.”

A woman as busy as Loxie needs to save time wherever she can. She teaches language arts and business courses at Mobridge-Pollock High School during the school year from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., and then takes care of her store in the afternoons.

Miss Loxie’s Boutique opened its doors in 2009, the year that son Hayden graduated from high school. Loxie had the idea for a store from daughter Hannah. She checked with the building owner in March and opened up in May. Once Loxie starts to do something, she does not wait around.

She says the store has “really been a fun learning experience.” She learns from her customers and pays attention to their suggestions, especially summer patrons who return year after year.

Loxie said she is a people person who gets energy from others.

In whatever free time she has available, she enjoys family activities such as boating and camping, decorating, gardening, cooking, shopping, traveling, family pets and refurbishing her home and furniture.

Loxie has a number of sets of dinnerware, and no one set of dishes is set aside for special occasions only.

“If you don’t use them [the dishes], then the kids won’t have a memory of them and they won’t want them when you give them away,” she said.

The Shillingstads have family favorite recipes, especially at Thanksgiving. However, Loxie said she once dropped a turkey. She said she “saved the turkey, but the grease burned out a burner on my new stove!” One other time she “made pumpkin soup for Thanksgiving and it was BAD!”

Loxie’s favorite types of foods are dairy, fruits, vegetables and seafood. She said she “doesn’t care to bake or make sweet desserts, as I am not much of a sweet eater.”

“I like to eat healthy, but often find myself cooking what is fast or easy because of time restraints,” she said. “And fast and easy doesn’t always equal healthy.”

 

Mississippi Jambalaya

32 oz. frozen shrimp (approx. 61-70 shrimp) with tails removed

1 pkg. oven-roasted chopped chicken (or chop and sauté 2-3 fresh chicken breasts)

1 pkg. New Orleans-style Andouille brats, sliced diagonally

To these ingredients, generously sprinkle shrimp, chicken and brats with Tony Cachere’s Original Creole Seasoning and set aside. Then chop and sauté the following in 2-3 Tbs. olive oil:

2 stalks celery

1 small onion

½ or large green bell pepper

After sautéing, add:

8 large garlic cloves crushed and briefly cooked

1 can diced tomatoes

2 14-oz. cans chicken broth

4 bay leaves

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbs. Louisiana-style hot sauce

Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice, 1 small box

Simmer everything except rice for 5-10 minutes. Add seasoned shrimp, chicken and brats. Add 1 small box Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice to mixture. Turn off heat and cover mixture until rice has absorbed juice and is soft. Serve.

 

Loxie’s Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. pork sausage, Italian seasoned (if using Merkel’s Italian-seasoned ground pork sausage, you will not need any additional seasoning)

2 15-oz. cans tomato sauce

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese

1 ctn. Ricotta cheese

1 8-oz. block Swiss cheese, shredded

Generous amount of Parmesan cheese

1 box lasagna noodles, cooked (If choosing to use the “no cook” type of lasagna noodles, you will need to cook them until they are al dente. Adding olive oil to the water will help keep them from sticking together.)

Brown hamburger and sausage. Add 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce and cream cheese to mixture; stir until heated and melted. In 9×13-inch pan, layer cooked noodles, meat mixture and 3 types of cheese, then repeat until you end with a layer of noodles. Top with remaining can of tomato sauce. Heat in 350-degree oven until all ingredients are thoroughly heated, approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for approximately 10 minutes and serve.

 

Egg Rolls

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. unseasoned ground pork

1 pkg. cocktail shrimp

1 bag shredded cabbage (1 lb.)

3-5 carrots, shredded

1 lb. mushrooms, chopped

4-5 scallions, sliced

1 can water chestnuts

1 can bamboo shoots

Soy sauce

1 pkg. egg roll wraps

1 jar sweet-n-sour sauce

Brown ground beef and pork. Add next 8 ingredients, mix thoroughly and add soy sauce to taste. Then carefully separate wraps and put approximately 2 heaping Tbs. mixture on wrap toward bottom corner. Fold in side corners and roll to close. A small dab of water can be put on wrap to secure. Place on dry griddle at 300 degrees and turn to brown outside of egg roll. If egg roll sticks, a small amount of oil or butter can be used. Serve with additional soy sauce and sweet-n-sour sauce.

 

Southwest

Onion Rings

2 ¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour, divided

1 tsp. paprika or more depending on depth of flavor desired

¾ tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking powder

1 12-oz. can beer at room temp.

2 jumbo yellow sweet onions

Vegetable oil for frying

Combine 1½ cups flour and other dry ingredients. Whisk in beer until batter is smooth and set aside. Cut onions and separate into rings. In 4-quart saucepan heat 2-inches of oil to approximately 375 degrees or use deep fryer. Toss onion rings in remaining ¾ cup flour (a plastic bag can be used). Dip rings in batter and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels. Keep rings warm in 200-degree oven.

 

 
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