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Cook finds kitchen time despite busy schedule

As the office deputy for the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department, Tina Kopriva doesn’t have a lot of extra time. Even so she drives to North Dakota or Rapid City almost every weekend and cooks part-time at the Cloverleaf Bar and Grill.
Despite the busy life, Tina has a great attitude she attributes to her mother and her faith in God.
“My mother always taught us girls to be tough. She taught us that when things go wrong you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off,” said Tina.
Born in Germany to a then Army wife and 23-year veteran father, Tina’s family settled in Columbus, Ga., when her dad retired. It was there she spent the better part of her school years. Eventually she moved to Alabama and it wasn’t long before her parents called and told her to find a place for them to buy there.
Tina’s mom, Betty, and her son, Tyler, were very close. When they moved, her retired parents didn’t see any reason to stay in Georgia.
Life intervened and changes in her home pushed Tina to decide it was time for a new start. Her brother in Rapid City had room so she packed up her son, their dog, and as much of their life as they could fit into a Chrysler Sebring and made the trek up north.
“It wasn’t fun,” laughed Tina “I traded that car in three weeks later!”
Several months later her mother and father moved to South Dakota to join their family.
Tina loves to cook. Her mother taught her, and she has been cooking as long as she can remember. Betty would set her up on the counter and she would add butter to the mashed potatoes or stir the gravy when she was three years old.
Tina likes to fish for walleye and loves to eat catfish.
“That’s the South in me,” she said.
Tina insists that if you fillet it just right and deep fry it, it’s delicious.
“Everything tastes good if you deep fry it. That’s the South in me too,” she said with a smile.
Tina recounts an incident in 1979 in which she was helping her mom with pies for Thanksgiving. The pilot light on the range went out and when her mom lit it, it ignited a small fire.
“Mom was trying to put it out, and told me to call 911. I was in shock,” recalled Tina. “I could not remember the number!”
Being a resourceful woman, Betty was able to put out the fire on her own.
“She realized I was asking her for the number to 911 and we both started laughing,” said Tina.
Her favorite place to fish used to be Akaska, but she discovered Lake William in North Dakota, and started keeping her boat at her partner Ed’s house. Ed works on a farm in Pettibone, N. D., northeast of Steele.
Spending time with Ed is also one of Tina’s favorite things to do.
“I like sitting next to him on the tractor and recently I’ve been learning how to drive farm equipment,” she said. “To me it’s becoming a hobby. It’s a lot of fun.”
She also enjoys gardening, but has yet to put one in in Selby.

Tina Kopriva’s Recipes

Brunswick stew
4 Tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 yellow onion (large, finely chopped)
15 oz roasted tomatoes (undrained)
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce ( I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 lbs pulled pork
8 oz frozen corn
8 oz frozen lima beans
Salt and pepper to taste
You can slow cook your pork over night in the roaster, then add all other ingredients to a large kettle, let them cook on high together for 30 minutes, then turn to simmer for another 30 minutes.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits
(This is not mine, I got it from a very good friend)
1 1/4 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup granted sharp cheese
1/2 cup water
Garlic butter
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried parsley flakes
Pre-heat oven to 400. Combine the biscuit mix and cheese in a small bowl. Add the water and stir just until combined. The dough will be slightly moist. Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. While they are cooking, in small bowl combine butter, garlic powder, salt and parsley. Mix well. As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven, brush them with your garlic butter mix. Best to use a pastry brush.

Caramel Apple Pie
l box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 container apple dipping caramel
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
8 cups baking apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/2 inch (6 to 8 medium apples)
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp milk
1 tsp sugar
Heat oven to 400°F. Place cookie sheet on bottom oven rack. Make piecrusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie, using 9-inch glass pie plate. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup caramel and 2 tablespoons flour; spread in bottom piecrust.
In large bowl, mix apples, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and the cinnamon. Gently press apples. Heat 1/3 of the caramel dip on low until melted. I like to add 3 tablespoons white raspberry coffee creamer or use milk. When it is hot and smooth, cover the tops of your apples. Then cut small shapes from top crust to allow steam to escape. Place crust over apples. Seal edge and flute. Brush crust with milk; sprinkle with sugar and you can drizzle some of the apple topping over your crust the last 10 min of baking.
Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. (After 30 minutes of bake time, cover entire pie with foil to prevent over browning.) Cool about two hours before serving.
In a small microwavable bowl, place remaining 1/2 cup topping. Microwave uncovered on high 30 to 45 seconds or until warm. Top slices of pie with ice cream; spoon topping over top.

Quick Chicken Alfredo
4 chicken breasts
1/3 cup vegetable oil in a pan Italian seasoning
2 Tbsps Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
1 Tbsp Onion powder
Salt and pepper to your liking
Take the dry mixes add in a large bowl, mix well. Add the chicken breast and toss in the bowl together. Then drop in your hot pan. Cook 20-30 minutes flipping two or three times.
This is the easy part. Take one jar Alfredo sauce (your choice) and 1 box Alfredo noodles.
Boil the noodles in one kettle and the sauce in another kettle.
When noodles are ready add to the Alfredo sauce. Dice chicken up and add to the noodles and sauce. Garlic bread is up to you.