Criticizing the cooks in the Bristow home is not advised

August 20, 2003|EMILY TOADVINE

Criticizing the cooks at the Bristow home, especially 9-year-old Victoria, is not recommended.

Victoria has been studying karate for the past year at Finn's Kenpo Karate Studio, and is an orange belt. She recently brought home trophies from the Smoky Mountains Christian Martial Arts Classic in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

She excelled in grappling, which is comparable to wrestling and requires the competitors to wear head gear and other protective padding.

"She had to grapple her best friend. She didn't want to have to grapple her best friend," says her mom, who also was busy this summer taking the girls to daily swim team practice.


It's not likely that Victoria, her mother, Tisha, or 8-year-old sister, Caroline, will draw many negative comments on their cooking anyway. They all took home ribbons for their entries at the Boyle County Fair.

"We saw in the paper all the things you could enter and we marked some," Tisha says.

Caroline made one of her favorites, No-Bake Cookies, and entered them in the category for age 8 and under. Tisha made mini-chocolate pastries. Both mother and Victoria entered the brownie category.

Tisha is not a sore loser, but her daughter's cheesecake brownies did win over her homemade cookie dough recipe.

"Her brownies were just a box mix," Tisha says with a laugh of the Pillsbury brand Victoria chose. "We didn't know Victoria and I were going to compete."

Tisha and her daughters like experimenting in the kitchen. For a recent Sunday breakfast, they whipped up Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins and Cappuccino Muffins with Expresso Spread. Tisha says the recipe for the coffee muffins came from Taste of Home magazine.

"We like to see how it turns out," Victoria says.

Their dad, David, and 18-year-old brother, Cruz Jennings, act as taste testers, although Cruz often is on a strict diet because he is involved in kickboxing. He lost 45 pounds in one year by watching what he ate.

"He didn't even use anything in the skillet to cook his chicken," Tisha notes.

When in the kitchen, one of the girls' favorite gadgets is their mini-food professor, which holds a cup.

"My mom has a huge one and that's too much clean up for us," Tisha says.

The girls do differ in what they like to eat.

"Caroline is not a meat eater. She likes corn and fruit," her mother says.

One of Caroline's favorite dishes is one that her grandmother, Patsy Galbreath, created for her. It includes blueberries, blueberry Jell-O, cream cheese and sour cream.

With school starting and karate lessons continuing a couple of nights a week, the family has less time in the kitchen. The family moved back to Kentucky from New York last fall, after living there three years with David's job at Rent-A-Center. This fall, they decided to enroll the girls at Perryville Elementary School.

"We would say, 'We're going to put the kids in school at Perryville,' and everybody had really nice things to say," Tisha says.

The start of school does give Tisha more time to bake, and work in that field. She works at the Eclectic Coffee Shop in Danville. The family is remodeling the basement and considering putting in a certified kitchen that would allow her to bake for the coffee shop.

"I've taken in things for the owners to try," she says of Monica and Lonnie Miller.

With Victoria's interest in karate, Tisha is spending a lot of time in that area of Danville. She and a girlfriend both have daughters who are involved.

"I say to my girlfriend, 'Did you think we'd be gearing our daughters up to fight and grapple?'"

Brownie Tarts


1/2 cup butter, softened

3-ounce package of cream cheese

1 cup all-purpose flour


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add flour, mix well. Chill for 1 hour. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place in ungreased miniature muffin cups; press into the bottom and up the sides to form a shell. For filling, melt chocolate chips and butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, egg and vanilla. Add the pecans if desired and spoon into shells. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until brownies test done with a wooden pick. Cool 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: Two dozen.

No-Bake Cookies

Yield: Three dozen.

1 3/4 cups white sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

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