Becky Laliberte is a wonderful inspiration for all new cooks out there. Our Cook of the Week admits that when she started out in the kitchen, her skills weren’t exactly top-notch. She says that when she enrolled at what was then the Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, “I couldn’t even make Jell-O.” Her limited experience didn’t prevent her from successfully graduating with a culinary arts degree.

After graduating, Becky took her newfound food service skills on the road.

“I have food-service background from Cape Cod to Kodiak, Alaska, where my daughter, Lauriane, was born.” However, her Maine roots brought her back to Greene, where she opened a retirement living center in 1996. “I work at The Meadows, where I enjoy managing ‘the house’ and cooking some, although it’s less often than the early days.”

Becky also enjoys having and taking part in parties that bring a community together, whether at The Meadows or elsewhere. This year, she helped plan the Greene Community Easter Egg Hunt at The Meadows. “It’s nice to bring neighbors together in times other than crisis,” she explains.

In her spare time, Becky enjoys spending time with her 14-year-old daughter, Lauriane, her “pride and joy.” She also likes golfing with her gentleman friend, Steven Dyer. Traveling and spending time with friends are also favorite pastimes.

Becky said she thanks “her folks, as always, for her abilities.”

Broccoli cheddar soup
2 cups celery, chopped

2 cups onions, chopped

½ carrot, chopped

4 cups broccoli, chopped

Chicken stock, as needed

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups heavy cream
Simmer celery, onions, carrot and broccoli together just covered with chicken stock – about 1 cup – until tender.

Cool slightly, then process in food processor with extra chicken stock to a medium thickness return to the pot and stove top, add the cheddar cheese and heavy cream. Heat until cheese has melted, serve. Serves 8.
Herbed rolls
1 package yeast

1½ cups warm water

1 cup leftover mashed potato (warmed in microwave)

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup fresh rosemary leaves or ½ cup dried rosemary, crushed up in your hand

1/3 cup oil (salad) or 1/3 cup melted margarine

2 eggs, beaten
6 cups flour
Mix first seven ingredients, up to and including the eggs, let stand 15 minutes. Stir in six cups flour, knead on a lightly floured board, place in large greased bowl, cover and let stand until double, about 1 hour.

Shape into 15 rolls or two bread loaves. Put on lightly greased baking sheets or in bread pans.

Cover lightly and let rise again until double, about 45 minutes.

Bake rolls 35 minutes at 350 degrees, or 45 minutes for loaves. Butter tops when removed from oven.
Becky’s note:
Dehydrated onion may be used in place of rosemary.
Honey mustard chicken
Skinless, boneless chicken breast, enough to feed your family
1 to 2 bottles of honey mustard salad dressing
Pour dressing over chicken in a deep baking dish, spear chicken many times with fork, turn chicken to coat on all sides, cover with aluminum foil, set in fridge overnight or all day while working.

Put in preheated 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil, bake 10 to 15 minutes more until chicken browns a little, serve.
Becky’s note:
This is yummy and easy. The creamy honey mustard dressing works better than the more oily type.

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