American Idol Finalist, Recording Artist and Outdoorswoman
By Tim H. Martin
Q: If you were cooking dinner for Simon Cowell, what would you serve him?
A: Probably Rattlesnake. Ha! No! In all seriousness, I would cook him something like elk steaks, sweet potato casserole, bread and salad. (I know rattlesnake sounds best for the person who struck at me the most!)
Q: Who introduced you to cooking, and at what age?
A: My last name is Cook, so it was inevitable! But my mother had a lot to do with helping me learn to cook, cooking together in the kitchen. It started off with small things like eggs, bacon, cookies.
Q: When you are entertaining guests, what's your go-to dish?
A: Oh boy, I don't really have many guests come hang out cause I'm busy, but when I have a friend over, they always want me to cook my famous stir-fry. It works for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Q: You're obviously very fit and health conscious; what do you typically eat when you're on the road?
A: Well, I can thank my dad for my metabolism, cause I eat whatever I want. Sometimes if I'm a bit heavier I can tell when my jeans are tighter, so I just eat breakfast, skip lunch and eat a small dinner. In two days of that, I'm back to normal. But there are a few things I have to watch as a singer to reduce acidity in my throat, like no tomatoes, no eating three hours before bed, which is really hard to follow; minimal tea, minimal chocolate (ha ha, the hardest one!) I do my best, but it doesn't always work out.
Q: Venison preparation: Grilled? Fried? Or Other?
A: Grilled on the BBQ. I sometimes soak the gamey meat in milk to reduce the gaminess, then season it and cook it.
Q: If you could only keep one piece of kitchen cookware, what would it be?
A: A good frying pan, you can cook everything in it.
Q: You've traveled to all the big cities; tell us your favorite restaurant?
A: Oh boy, hmmmm, my favorite restaurant would probably have to be Logan's Steakhouse. I love the rolls you get before the meal.
Q: What's your secret ingredient?
A: I've never thought of that before, but I love brown sugar!
Q: What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
A: I would have to say Wasabi peas. So gross!
Q: You're on Death Row and this is your last meal on earth; what do you request?
A: I would request elk pot roast cooked by my roommate Robin. Oh, my gosh, it's the best pot roast I've ever had! It's amazing!
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Kristy Lee Cook's Special Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups sweet potatoes, mashed (two large sweet potatoes).
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecans, chopped
Peel and cube sweet potatoes, then boil until tender enough to mash with a fork. Drain, then place cubes into a large mixing bowl and mash with potato masher. Combine in remaining main ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish and smooth with a spatula.
In a mixing bowl, stir topping ingredients together, then sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until hot and lightly browned.
Serves 6 to 8