Kathy Allen came all the way from Bakersfield, Calif., to teach fourth grade in the McLaughlin School District. Working at the Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., she didn’t feel she was being called to serve others there.
True to University creed, she sought a position of giving back.
“I’ve always wanted to be in education someway. I took a year off after college to decide if that was what I really wanted,” said Kathy. “I applied (to the Teach America program) on a whim one night, thinking it would push me towards making a decision about working in education.”
The rest, they say, is history.
When Kathy was accepted to the program she asked to be assigned to the South Dakota region. They found positions for both her and another student.
“I love the school community I am in,” Kathy said, “I’ve always lived in a big city, so Mobridge and McLaughlin are definitely a change of pace.”
Kathy had a strong church family. Redeemer Lutheran church in Bakersfield didn’t have enough children in her age group to hold a class for her, but she taught Sunday school for a few years at the end of middle school.
Baking and cooking are also on her list of favorite pastimes.
“My dad taught me how to cook and my mom taught me how to bake. I am a very picky eater. I learned how to cook so that I could make dishes in a way that I like them,” she said. “My dad loves to make lasagna, but I absolutely hate Italian sausage and ricotta cheese, so I adapted his recipe into a version that I love.”
She especially likes to make ice cream. She started a small business when she was young. She would make ice cream for her friends’ birthdays until her friends started asking for it when it wasn’t their birthday. Whenever they would ask she would make them a quart of almost any flavor they could dream up.
“I made maple bacon crunch, maple Butterfinger, Andes mint and peanut butter fudge. I love to experiment with different flavors and mix-ins,” said Kathy. “I love to cook and bake for others. It is one of the main ways that I show love and care for another person.”
She really enjoys watching documentaries about true crime and cults. She loves board games and reading and has a background in 19th century American history. Kathy’s favorite board game is 221B Baker Street, a Sherlock Holmes version of Clue that is more intense than the original. Her minor is in Children’s Literature, which gave her the edge when the opportunity came up to teach the fourth grade over other classes.
Kathy Allens’ Recipes
Maple Bacon Crunch Ice Cream
(makes one quart)
¾ cup of sugar
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of milk
¾ cup real maple syrup
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. The sugar should be completely blended and not granulated upon touch.
Pour in the cream, milk, and syrup and whisk to blend.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. After mixing for about 15 to 20 minutes, ice cream should be placed immediately in the freezer.
For best results, let ice cream sit in freezer for 24 hours before eating.
4 strips of bacon
½ cup of real maple syrup
Heat oven to 350. Place 4 strips of cooked bacon in oven on wire rack. Brush bacon with real maple syrup and let cook for 3-5 minutes. Turn bacon over and brush other side of the strips (repeat time). Careful not to let the syrup burn.
After both sides have been glazed and the bacon becomes crunchy, remove from oven and let cool. Cut up bacon into small chunks.
Place on top of ice cream before serving.
Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
4 slightly beaten eggs
4 cups of sugar
1 cup of oil
2 cups of Libby’s canned pumpkin
4 ½ cups of flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups of chopped cranberries
Combine eggs, sugar oil and pumpkin in medium bowl. Mix well. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix, it will make the bread dense.
Stir in cranberries.
Spoon batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until baking rod comes out clean.
Stove Top Mac and Cheese
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 Tbsps butter
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 tsp dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat
Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.
3 chicken breasts
¼ chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons of chipotle hot sauce
Optional, prepackaged taco seasoning
Marinate chicken breasts in onion, garlic, hot sauce and taco seasoning for a few hours.
Cook in oven at 450 for 45 minutes or until breasts register at 160 degrees internally.
Let rest for 15 minutes.
Shred with forks.
1 package of small flour or corn tortillas
1 package of shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 can of green enchilada sauce
Sautéed onions and garlic
Shredded iceburg lettuce
Take one tortilla, fill with shredded chicken, cheese, and sautéed onion and garlic. Roll like a small burrito and place in 13×9 baking dish. Repeat process until baking dish is full of enchiladas. Pour green enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas and cover with remaining cheese.
Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until sauce and cheese are bubbling.
Serve warm. Use lettuce, tomato and sour cream as toppings for enchiladas.
1 pound ground beef
½ chopped onion
4 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp basil
Brown ground beef in pan on medium heat. Combine with onion, garlic, and seasoning.
2 can tomato paste
2 can crushed tomatoes
1 jar of organic marinara sauce ( I prefer to add onto a sauce to give it more depth and flavor)
Browned ground beef
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp rosemary
2 tbsp basil
In large pot, add marinara sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, beef, and seasonings. Let simmer for two hours on low setting.
Cooked lasagna noodles
2 cups of goat cheese
4 cups of shredded mozzarella
3 cups of grated parmesan cheese
To replace ricotta, combine goat cheese and egg to create a creamy mixture. Set aside until building of lasagna.
In 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish, begin to assemble lasagna. On the bottom of the dish, place lasagna noodles lengthwise. Cover the noodles with one layer of goat cheese mixture. Then ladle in sauce. Cover sauce with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Repeat process until baking dish is full.
Cook at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour.