Pauline Caouette-Moore of Auburn started cooking at age 9 out of necessity. After her mother died, it became her daily job to peel enough potatoes to feed four people.

“My problem was in judging how many potatoes to peel,” Pauline recalls. “Some days I peeled enough to feed three people and other days I could feed six. Once in a while, I managed to peel enough to feed four. To this day, I still am unsure of how many potatoes to peel.”

“At first, I was not the most patient of cooks,” Pauline says. “Baking cookies and stirring sauces at the stove were not high on my list of favorite activities. I wanted whatever I cooked to be done in a step or two and then ready to eat.”

Times have changed, though. Pauline now enjoys making things from scratch because she feels she has control over what goes (or does not go) into her food. Some of her favorites are cookies, whoopee pies, casseroles and roasts.

“I also believe that cooking does not need to be done at the stove all of the time. Cooking can be mixing ingredients that result in a ready-to-eat dish,” Pauline says. Some of her favorite recipes are quick and easy ones. A retired elementary schoolteacher, Pauline loves reading cookbooks and has quite a library. From her reading, she gets ideas for new dishes to try. She never hesitates to try out new ideas on her family and friends.

Upon retirement, Pauline and her husband, Bob, opened their own business, Moore than a Cookie Jar. Pauline decoratively paints crocks, tins and wood, and Bob is the woodworker. In addition, Pauline and Bob are licensed to run a home bakery.
Potato Soup
3 cups chopped potatoes

1 cup water

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup carrot slices

¼ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 chicken bouillon cube

½ teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

1½ cups milk

2 tablespoons flour
½ pound (8 ounces) Velveeta cheese
In saucepan, combine potatoes, water, celery, carrot, onion, parsley flakes, bouillon cube salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Gradually add milk to the flour, mixing until blended. Add milk mixture to vegetables. Cook and stir until thickened. Add processed cheese. Stir until melted. Makes about 6 servings
Pauline’s note:
If you like, you can use any vegetable you wish in place of the celery and carrots. Mixed vegetables would be good, as would broccoli or green beans. You want something with color. This is also a good way to use up leftover vegetables.
Chocolate Chips Cake
1 1 pound 2 ounce chocolate cake mix

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup sour cream

1 3.9 ounce chocolate instant pudding

4 eggs
½ cup cold water
Put all ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl. Blend until well mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into well-greased angel food cake pan, Bundt pan or a 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees. Let cool in pan.
Pauline’s note:
This is good served with vanilla ice cream or plain with a dusting of powdered sugar. If you want to frost the 9- by 13-inch cake, use a vanilla butter cream frosting.
Sautéed Chicken with Bacon, Mushrooms and Cheese
Ingredients :
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

1 pound uncooked, boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ pound bacon, cooked

4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup white wine
Cook bacon until crisp. Once cooked and cooled, crumble. Heat oil in a fry pan. Pound chicken breast until about ½-inch thick. Cut chicken breast into 2-inch wide pieces. Coat chicken with flour and cook in fry pan until brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Arrange chicken in ungreased rectangular baking dish. Top with bacon, mushrooms and cheese. Pour wine into the fry pan. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally for about a minute. Pour over cheese. Bake uncovered in 400 degree oven until cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. This makes about 4 to 5 servings.
Pauline’s note:
This is my husband’s favorite dish. When cooking bacon, I lay it out on a broiler pan and bake it until crispy at 350 degrees. I also use white Chablis wine. If you prefer, you could use canned mushrooms.

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