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Brandy’s house full of males brings her joy, contentment

By Katie Zerr

A house full of males is challenging for any woman, but for Brandy Shillingstad, her houseful is a source of joy and contentment.
Brandy and her family recently moved from Mobridge to their new home in Selby after she took the job as Walworth County deputy auditor. Her husband, Nash, is a farmhand with Salverson Farms.
They have two sons, Jasper Lavern, who is three and Jetsen Reed, who is 11 months.
The family also has two boxer/American Staffordshire Terriers cross dogs, Jada and Nala.
Brandy said moving into a new home is exciting especially now that they have more room for the family of four. She said she loves her new job and looks forward to learning more each day.
Brandy was born in Puyallup, Wash., but moved to this area in 2002. She is a 2008 Mobridge High School graduate. Brandy worked previously as a personal banker in Mobridge before taking the job with Walworth County.
Brandy said she and Nash are a great team in the kitchen and he encourages her to spread her culinary wings. It was after she met him that she began to take her cooking more seriously. But she said watching her mom and dad cooking for her family, started her out in the kitchen.
“I was the lucky one who got nominated to cook the gravy during family gatherings,” she said.
Outside of her family, Brandy gives credit to another person who had a hand in making her the cook she is today.
“I learned a lot from Mrs. Kraft in home economics,” she said.
Jasper and Jetsen are amazing eaters, she said, and Nash is a sucker for chili. Brandy would eat anything made with seafood, but Nash isn’t too fond of it.
“Seafood is always a treat for me,” she said. “And we will always find a good excuse to bake a good cake.”
Brandy recalled one of her first tries at making one of the favorites in this part of the country, knoephla soup.
“I cooked it too long in the crock pot and ended up having giant noodles that pushed the lid right off the pot. I had myself a mess.” She said. “Nash is usually my back up and checks in every now and then to make sure everything is going smoothly. I’d say we make a great team.”
The family is tackling the challenge of finding that perfect garden spot at the new house and Brandy is excited for spring to start planting.
“Given my husband’s occupation we love to garden,” she said. “Last year we had eight Russian mammoth sunflowers that were huge!”
When she is not working Brandy said her family time is very important to her.
“During my free time you will almost always find me with my boys,” she said. “We love hanging out on the boat in summer time or cuddling up watching a movie during the long winter.”
Brandy said she has had a mix of amazing people in her life, but it is her house full of males that now fill that role.

Zesty Ranch Chicken
1 Package of chicken breasts
1 Packet of Zesty Italian
1 Packet of Ranch Dressing
2 cans of green beans
3 or 4 cubed red potatoes (leave skin on)
Stick of melted butter
In a casserole dish lay your chicken breasts in the middle (cut them in half if you wish) add the greens beans on one side of the chicken and add the cubed red potatoes on the opposite side. Sprinkle both season packets over everything. Pour on melted butter. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350F. I love this dish because its fast, simple and my fellas love it!

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup veggie oil
15-ounce can of pumpkin
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
2 tsps.  ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
8 ounce package cream cheese (soft)
1/2 cup soft butter
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Cheesy Meatloaf
1 pound of hamburger
Diced onion
Cup of oatmeal (plain)
1 cup of ketchup
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 egg
In a large mixing bowl mix hamburger, onion, oatmeal, 1/2 cup of ketchup and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 1 egg until fully mixed together. Take half of hamburger mixture lay in loaf pan. Add remaining cheese to bottom layer then add the remaining hamburger mixture. Add remaining ketchup to the top of hamburger mixture. Cover with foil. Put in oven at 350F for about 45 minutes. Take out and sprinkle cheese over top and enjoy!

Brandy Shillingstad, Jetsen, Nash and Jasper.

Brandy Shillingstad, Jetsen, Nash and Jasper.