Name: Lori Bowie
Background: I grew up in West Palm Beach, Fla., and met my husband, Patrick, at the University of Florida. After graduating and getting married, we lived in Maryland long enough for me to earn my master’s degree at the University of Maryland. Patrick grew up in LaGrange, and we relocated here in 1988.
Family: We have two daughters. Our older daughter, Sarah, is in college and is engaged to Ross Barintine. Our younger daughter, Bekah, just graduated from LaGrange High School.
Job: For 17 years I enjoyed working as a school-based speech pathologist. I left the school system in 2005 and have focused my attention and energy on my family, church and volunteer work since then, which I have absolutely loved doing.
Hobbies, activities: In addition to cooking, I enjoy reading. I am a member of two local book clubs, through which I have read many books including some that I would not have otherwise chosen to read, but am glad that I did. When the weather is nice I love being outdoors, hiking and biking with my family. I have also recently begun running with a great group of friends. We have participated in 5K and 10K races and have talked about maybe trying a half marathon at some point.
How did you learn to cook? I am Italian on both sides of my family and my grandmothers were great cooks. They taught me how to cook all kinds of food and gave me most of their recipes.
What is your favorite memory of cooking or being in the kitchen? My favorite memories are in my Grandma Sarah Sardino’s kitchen. I always loved cooking with her because she was very patient and had a great sense of humor.
What ingredient is always in your pantry or refrigerator? I always have fresh garlic and a wedge of Parmesan cheese on hand.
What is your favorite cooking tool? My Pampered Chef food chopper is a must have in my kitchen. I use it several times a week and probably would not put onions or carrots in my recipes as often if I had to chop them with a knife. I recently dropped and broke the chopper that I’ve had for 20 years. Luckily, I had just bought one as a gift for a wedding that was several months away. I ended up “borrowing” that one and buying another for the bride-to-be before her wedding date.
When you go out to eat, what is your favorite thing to order? If a restaurant has Oysters Rockefeller on its menu, then I have to have it. I like it so much that I’ve been trying several recipes to make at home but I still haven’t found one that’s as good as the dish in my favorite seafood restaurant.
What recipe is your comfort food that reminds you of home? A spaghetti dinner is my comfort meal. It reminds me of home because we ate it quite a lot at my house and both grandparents’ houses. My mother doesn’t cook much, but that is one thing that she did cook, and we had it for dinner every Sunday.
What was your biggest disaster in the kitchen? I’ve had several kitchen disasters. My most recent disaster occurred a few months ago. Two other ladies and I take turns making crock pot candy to give to first-time visitors at First Baptist Church’s Encounter (contemporary worship) service. It has to cook for three hours on low. One Saturday night at 11:30 I remembered that it was my turn to make it. I decided that I would load the crock pot, wake up at 5 a.m. to turn it on and go back to sleep until 8. I must not have been fully awake because I turned it on high and the candy was burned to the sides of the crock pot when I woke up. My apologies to anyone who should have received candy that week.
What is your “old faithful” recipe that you rely on time after time? “Cheez-It Chicken” is a quick and easy dish that most people like, especially kids. Whenever I am in a pinch that is what I make.
What is the weirdest thing you ever ate or cooked? I am willing to try most foods. I’ve had frog legs, gator tail and some other dishes that I wouldn’t normally cook. I once had escargot and afterward my jaws were tired from all of the chewing.
Butternut Squash Soup
This is one of my favorite homemade soups.
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (or to taste)
Melt butter in a large pot. Add onion and cook until it is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add broth and squash. Cook over medium heat until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the chunks. Pour the contents of the pot into a blender and puree. Return the contents of the blender to the pot. Add wine and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add cream and cook for 3 minutes more. Add nutmeg, stir well, and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Campbell’s Beef Bourguignon
I got this recipe from the “Favorite Brand Name Recipe Book” when I was a newlywed almost 26 years ago. I still make it on a regular basis.
2 slices bacon
2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 2-inch strips
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can of Campbell’s Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Burgundy or other red wine
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 medium bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
1 (15 ounce) jar of pearl (cocktail) onions
Cooked wide egg noodles
In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove, crumble and set aside. Brown beef in the bacon drippings. Add soup, wine, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and bacon crumbles. Cover; cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Add onions and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove bay leaf. Serve over noodles.
This is a popular dish, especially with children. I eat it as is but some people prefer to dip it in barbecue sauce or ketchup.
1 cup finely crushed Cheez-It cracker crumbs (about 50 crackers)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon marjoram, well rubbed
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into nuggets
1/3 cup melted butter
Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers in a heavy storage bag (leave it unzipped part way) on the counter so that you have about 1 cup of very fine crumbs. Mix well with salt, garlic salt, marjoram and Parmesan; place in a shallow dish. Beat well the egg and water in another shallow dish. Dip pieces of chicken in egg mixture, drain a bit and coat well in the crumb mixture. Let sit on waxed paper for about 15 minutes to set the crumbs. Place the coated chicken in a lightly buttered, shallow pan leaving space between each piece. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Pecan Crusted Salmon
Everyone seems to like this recipe. Even people who say that they don’t care for fish have cleaned their plates when I’ve made it. The first time I prepared it, I forgot about the lemon and it tasted great. I squeezed lemon on the cooked fish the next time I made it and the flavor was even better.
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
6 (4 ounce) salmon filets
salt and pepper to taste
6 lemon wedges
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In one bowl combine butter, mustard and honey. In another bowl, combine pecans and bread crumbs. Season each filet with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each filet with honey mixture and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part, or until salmon flakes when you insert a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.
Lori’s Homemade Granola
Over the years, we have stayed at a few bed & breakfast inns that offered homemade granola as one of the breakfast choices. I enjoyed eating it every time, so I found a few recipes and combined what I liked about each one to make my own recipe.
1/4 cup melted butter
3/8 cup honey
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
Heat together the butter, honey and maple syrup. When the liquids are well mixed, turn off the burner. Combine the dry ingredients in the pot with the liquids and stir well. Spread the mixture on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown, stirring halfway through. When done, remove from oven. After baking, pour the granola into a large mixing bowl and add chopped, dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries blueberries, apricots, cherries and/or dates, according to taste. Mix well with a large spoon and store in a glass airtight container.
I had never had capers before I made this recipe for the first time. Since then, I have searched the Internet for recipes containing capers because I really enjoy their flavor.
1 pound turkey cutlets, flattened to 1/4-inch thickness
1/2 teaspoon each salt and white pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup white wine
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons butter
Angel hair pasta
Sprinkle turkey with salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Brown in hot oil, one half at a time, adding oil if needed. Remove when browned and keep warm. Add capers to the skillet; cook in wine and juices, stirring occasionally until reduced by one half. Add butter, stirring until melted. Add turkey, stirring until thoroughly heated. Drizzle each serving with sauce and serve over lightly buttered angel hair pasta with lemon wedges.
Chick-fil-A 5K race and fun run
The two local Chick-fil-A stores are hosting an 8: 15 a.m. 5K race and 8 a.m. family fun run on June 2 in downtown LaGrange. The race includes chip timing and a USATF certified course. Cost is $20 for pre-registration and $25 on the day of the race and includes a T-shirt. Participants also have the chance to win Chick-fil-A food for a year. Registration is open at www.cfaraceseries.com. Proceeds provide scholarships for the WinShape Camp that will be held in LaGrange June 11-15.