COTW: Brooke McBroom

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Brooke McBroom
This week’s Cook of the Week is Brooke McBroom. She is the 22 year old daughter of Dwayne McBroom of Swainsboro and John and Tonya Morel of Irving, TX.  Brooke is a certified pharmacy technician at IHS Pharmacy & Gifts in Metter. She is engaged to Gage Bell of Swainsboro, and is due with their first child in April. Together, they have two dogs, an Australian shepherd named Calli and a Boykin Spaniel named Jax. Brooke enjoys crafting, being by the pool, and riding the Can-Am on hot summer days in her free time! Here are three recipes that she would like to share. Enjoy!

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
1 box (16 oz.) rotini pasta
1/3 c. dill pickle juice (from the pickle jar)
2 c. chopped baby dill pickles
1 block (8 oz.) Colby Jack cheese, cubed small
1 small white onion, finely chopped
Creamy Dill Dressing
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
1/3 c. dill pickle juice (from the pickle jar)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tablespoon dried dill)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. (Don't forget to add some salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. - I add about 1 teaspoon, give or take.) Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Transfer pasta into a mixing bowl and add 1/3 cup of the pickle juice to the drained and rinsed pasta and let it sit while you prepare the rest. Chop dill pickles and cheese into small cubes/pieces. Finely chop white onion. Drain the pasta again that was sitting in the pickle juice. Add it to a large bowl along with chopped pickles, cheese, and white onion.
In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and pour over the pasta salad. Stir everything together to combine well. Salad can be eaten right away or after being refrigerated for 1-2 hours. but I prefer it cold, and if you do too, then cover it and refrigerate it for 1-2 hours. Leftovers do keep well in the fridge and are still delicious but the dressing thickens up and it's not as creamy as when you first make it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars
1 16- oz. package peanut butter sandwich cookies, divided
4 Tbsp. butter 
1/2 stick butter, melted
4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 8- ounce container Cool Whip, divided
1 3.9 oz. package instant chocolate Jell-O Pudding Mix
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. milk chocolate chips
1/4 c. peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a blender or food processor, finely crush 24 cookies.
In a medium bowl, mix together melted butter and finely crushed cookies until well moistened. Press into an ungreased 8”X 8” baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely before proceeding. In the meantime, mix package of pudding with the 1 1/2 cups of milk in a small bowl.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and peanut butter together. Fold in 1 cup of Cool Whip and mix until well blended. Spread chocolate pudding over cooled crust. Place dollops of cream cheese mixture over pudding layer and with an offset spatula, gently spread to completely cover. Spread remaining Cool Whip over cream cheese. Refrigerate two hours. Place into freezer for a half hour to completely set and allow for neat slices.
In a plastic bag, break up the 8 remaining cookies. Sprinkle cookies and chocolate / peanut butter chips over the top just before serving.


Creamy taco Dip
1 lb. ground beef
1 (1-oz.) package taco seasoning
1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, cut into cubes

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until crumbled and no longer pink. Drain. Add taco seasoning, diced tomatoes and green chilies and cream cheese to skillet. Stir until cheese melts.
Serve warm with tortilla chips.

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