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Self-starter: An avid cook in Steens gets enterprising

 

Haylie Quatrevingt of Steens holds a plate of her homemade Brussels sprouts au gratin and Southern squash dressing at her home decorated for Christmas. The dishes are among those she prepares for Q's Kitchen, a weekly meal service she started for busy families.

Haylie Quatrevingt of Steens holds a plate of her homemade Brussels sprouts au gratin and Southern squash dressing at her home decorated for Christmas. The dishes are among those she prepares for Q's Kitchen, a weekly meal service she started for busy families. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

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Haylie Quatrevingt's Brussels sprouts au gratin (large dish) is paired with squash dressing (to the left) and cream of chicken gravy (small bowl). The cornbread in the background is a key ingredient in the squash dressing.

Haylie Quatrevingt's Brussels sprouts au gratin (large dish) is paired with squash dressing (to the left) and cream of chicken gravy (small bowl). The cornbread in the background is a key ingredient in the squash dressing.
Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

 

Haylie Quatrevingt is a busy working mom who recently decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle. But with four active daughters, ages 4, 5, 9 and 12, she and her husband found the choices available for dinner on nights filled with soccer, church and school work, "underwhelming."  

 

"A fast food meal could easily cost $30 to $40, and at that price quality ingredients could be purchased," says Haylie. As in most households, though, the perennial problem is time for meal prep. But Haylie loves to cook, and this past fall the Steens mom decided she could devote one day per week to making quality meals for not only her family, but other families on the go. She calls her concept Q's Kitchen, a weekly meal service offering home-cooked, affordable and balanced meals. All are fully prepared and ready to heat in the oven. Dishes range from Italian meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes or white chicken chili with Southern cornbread, to herb-roasted whole chickens with a sweet potato and Brussels sprouts saute or mozzarella baked spaghetti. Meals sometimes include soups and special touches, like croutons, ranch dressing and bacon bits, all homemade. 

 

Haylie decides on a weekly menu and posts it on a Q's Kitchen Facebook group page. Orders are placed by 5 p.m. each Friday and prepaid via Paypal. Cost ranges from $20 to $30. Meals are ready for pickup the following Monday through Wednesday.  

 

A typical Sunday afternoon often finds Haylie stopping by the grocery store after church before heading home to start the process of filling orders. Her kitchen sometimes resembles an assembly line, she admits. 

 

"There is nothing easy about making 15 pans of meatloaf, but without my husband dicing onions and my girls washing and peeling potatoes and mopping -- the little one's favorite -- when the kitchen tornado is finished, this would be absolutely impossible," Haylie says. 

 

Ironically, she didn't cook much as a child, but she does remember often watching her mother who was an excellent cook. 

 

"She unfortunately passed away without writing most of her recipes down, so I had to do some serious testing in the kitchen to get things right," says Haylie. She mines recipes from sources including Pinterest, often adapting them during test runs. She welcomes feedback.  

 

"There is a certain feeling I get from making my customers' lives easier," she says "I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but hearing people's reviews of dishes and their comment on how satisfying the meals were just makes my heart full. 

 

"I love to cook, host and make people happy, and Q's Kitchen has filled a void in both my life and other busy families' lives. Best of all, my four girls have been able to help in the kitchen, and the learning and family bonding time is priceless."  

 

For more information about Q's Kitchen, email [email protected] 

 

 

 

SOUTHERN SQUASH DRESSING 

 

Difficulty: Easy 

 

 

 

1 pan cornbread 

 

2 eggs 

 

2 cups cream of chicken  

 

2 cups chicken broth 

 

2 squash, sliced into coins 

 

1 onion, diced 

 

4 cups cheddar cheese 

 

 

 

Cream of chicken: 

 

3 tablespoons salted butter 

 

1/2 cup chicken broth 

 

3 tablespoons all purpose flour 

 

1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

 

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 

 

1/2 cup milk 

 

 

 

For the cream of chicken:  

 

  • Melt butter over medium/low heat. Add flour and whisk together, then let mixture cook until a roux forms (1-2 minutes). Add chicken broth and milk, whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. 

     

     

     

    For the dressing:  

     

  • Crumble cornbread in 9-by-12-inch pan. Combine onion and squash in saucepan and cover bottom of pan with water.  

     

  • Steam squash, covered, on medium for about 5 minutes until tender. Combine with cornbread. Add in chicken broth and cream of chicken, as well as 2 eggs and 3 cups of the cheese.  

     

  • Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Stir to combine all ingredients. Mixture should be slightly soupy, and the extra moisture will cook out. Add remaining cup of cheese to top and cook for 40 minutes at 400 degrees until top is slightly browned.  

     

    (Source: Haylie Quatrevingt, adapted from a family recipe)  

     

     

     

    BRUSSELS SPROUTS AU GRATIN 

     

    Difficulty: Medium 

     

     

     

    4 cups Brussels sprouts 

     

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter 

     

    2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 cup for topping 

     

    2 cups colby cheese 

     

    2 cups heavy cream or whole milk 

     

    3 tablespoons all purpose flour 

     

    2 cloves garlic, minced 

     

    salt and pepper to taste 

     

    1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional) 

     

     

     

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease baking dish. In saucepan, bring water to a boil and add Brussels sprouts. Boil for 6-8 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to keep them from overcooking. They should be bright green in color and just beginning to soften.  

     

  • For cream sauce: Melt butter in saucepan then whisk in flour. Stir and cook for about a minute until smooth. Whisk in cream/milk and add garlic and let mixture cook for about 3 minutes. Whisk occasionally until sauce thickens. Add cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and simmer with salt, pepper and thyme.  

     

  • To assemble: Layer Brussels sprouts evenly in baking dish. Pour over cream cheesy sauce. Top with remaining grated cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bubbly and starting to brown on top. If additional browning is desired, turn broiler on and watch dish carefully, as browning of cheese happens very quickly. 

     

    (Source: Haylie Quatrevingt, adapted from Pinterest)

     

  • Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

     

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