Thank you to our members who participated in the ECE Watt’s Cookin’ calendar recipe contest! We received over 300 entries and after careful consideration, twelve delicious recipes were chosen. Our employees prepared, tested, and photographed all featured recipes.
Grab your copy of the 2022 Watt's Cookin' calendar from one of our convenient outdoor mailboxes at the Finlayson, Superior, or Milaca locations, or pop into the lobby in Braham during business hours. Please take just one so others have a chance. If the box is empty, please be patient and check back another day.
We hope you enjoy giving these recipes a try as much as we did!
Please note: results may vary. The cooperative is not responsible for the outcome of any recipes.
Contributed by: Annette Lindstrom, Pine City, MN
1 - 24 oz. pkg. waffle fries
1 lb. shredded or ground beef, cooked
½ c. preferred barbeque sauce
1 - 16 oz. can baked beans, drained
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ c. sour cream
1 green onion, chopped
Prepare fries according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine beef with barbeque sauce in a medium-sized pan. Heat on medium for 8-10 minutes until warm. Top cooked fries with barbeque beef mixture, baked beans, and cheese. Bake 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and green onions; serve warm.
Cauliflower Cheese Soup
Contributed by: Julie Hanson, Rush City, MN
2 T. butter
2 T. onion, chopped
3 T. flour
2 c. milk
1 c. preferred cheese, shredded
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 ½ c. water
2 ½ c. fresh cauliflower, bite-size pieces
Cook butter and onion over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour until a paste forms. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese and stir to melt, then add salt and pepper. Turn heat to low. In separate pan, dissolve bouillon cubes with water; bring to boil. Add cauliflower and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Slowly combine cauliflower mixture with white sauce. Heat through and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Black Bean & Brown Rice Salad
Contributed by: Heather Chaves, Milaca, MN
½ yellow onion, chopped
5 c. fresh spinach
2 c. cooked brown rice
2 - 15 oz. cans black beans,
drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 lime, quartered
Dried oregano, optional
Brown onion in olive oil on medium heat until lightly caramelized. To assemble, place a handful of spinach on a plate. Top with rice, black beans, tomato, cucumber, and cooked onion. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dry oregano for extra flavor. Makes 4 servings.
Chef’s note: Divide into four equal parts to assemble a healthy meal prep option!
Easy Pineapple Cherry Crisp
Contributed by: Jean Kaddatz, Mora, MN
1 - 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 - 20 oz. can cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. walnuts, chopped
½ c. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Pour crushed pineapple into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Spread pie filling over pineapple. Sprinkle dry cake mix and walnuts over pie filling. Top with melted butter and bake for one hour.
Pizza Casserole Hotdish
Contributed by: Linda Morrison, Willow River, MN
8 oz. spaghetti noodles
(half pkg.), cooked
1 ½ lbs. ground beef
½ c. onion, diced
2 T. butter
⅓ c. parmesan, grated
2 eggs, well beaten
4 c. preferred spaghetti sauce
4 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 ½ oz. sliced pepperoni
Preheat oven to 350°. Rinse the cooked spaghetti with hot water and drain very well. Brown beef with onion and drain. Combine noodles with butter, parmesan, and eggs. Pour into greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Spoon beef on top of noodles, pour spaghetti sauce over, and sprinkle with mozzarella. Arrange slices of pepperoni over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 15 more minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares.
Contributed by: Steve and Kay Koltes, Pine City, MN
2 frozen deep dish pie crusts
1 - 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 - 16 oz. roll original Jimmy Dean® sausage
1 onion, finely chopped
1 ⅓ c. whole milk
1 ⅓ c. mayonnaise
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400°. Drain spinach, squeezing out all liquid. On stove, brown sausage with onions and drain. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs by hand then add milk, mayonnaise, spinach, and cheese. Stir into sausage mixture and evenly divide between two pie crusts. Place pies on a cookie sheet and bake on top rack of oven for 30 minutes. Quiches are done when a table knife comes out clean. If pies are not quite done, turn down to 350° and bake up to 30 more minutes, checking them every 5 minutes.
Tomato Baked Fish
Contributed by: Jerome Johnson, Cambridge, MN
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 lb. fish fillets (walleye, crappie, northern, haddock, or tilapia)
½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
In a nonstick skillet, sauté pepper and onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring until thickened, about 3 minutes. Place fillets skin side down in a 11 x 7 x 2-inch greased baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with tomato mixture. Bake uncovered at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until fish is flaky. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 2 more minutes or until melted.
Contributed by: Julie Everson, Dairyland, WI
2 c. mayonnaise
⅔ c. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1 bag pre-popped white popcorn
(approx. 6 oz.)
2 bunches green onion, chopped
2 c. celery, chopped
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
2 - 8 oz. cans water chestnuts, chopped
2 lbs. bacon, cooked and chopped
Mix mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix popcorn, green onions, celery, cheese, chestnuts, and bacon. Right before serving, toss popcorn mix with vinaigrette.
Chef’s note: This salad feeds a crowd! Halve the recipe for a smaller portion.
Italian Chicken (Slow cooker meal)
Contributed by: Donna Salmonson, Rice, MN
1 - 10.5 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 envelope dry Italian salad seasoning mix
½ soup can milk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 to 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken
breasts or tenderloins, uncooked
Mix all ingredients except chicken together. Add to slow cooker. Cut chicken into 1-inch chunks and place chicken on top. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, or biscuits.
Contributed by: Karen Swedeen, Milaca, MN
1 - 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 - 5 oz. box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 - 16 oz. container whipped topping
½ T. pumpkin pie spice
½ T. cinnamon
Mix ingredients together and chill. To serve, sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Serve with apple slices, vanilla wafers, or graham crackers.
Chef’s note: Can be served in small pumpkin.
Contributed by: Kathleen Szczech, Cambridge, MN
6 raw potatoes, thinly sliced
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 - 10.5 oz. can vegetable beef soup
1 - 10.5 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 325°. Place raw sliced potatoes in bottom of greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Brown beef and onions together and sprinkle over potatoes. Add vegetable beef soup and cream of mushroom soup. Rinse cream of mushroom soup can with a little water and add. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake for about 2 hours until potatoes are tender.
Contributed by: Lynette Nelson, Foreston, MN
¾ c. butter, softened
¾ c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. molasses
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ c. sugar (for dusting only)
60 (a family pack) Hershey’s Hugs®
Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in egg and molasses. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; slowly beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape.
To bake, preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into sixty 1-inch balls; roll in sugar to dust. Place an inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Press a chocolate kiss immediately into the center of each cookie. Remove to wire racks and cool.