Volunteer and master gardener Gisela Pursel shares her produce with the hungry in Kansas City and she encourages other local gardeners to plant an extra row and share with those in need. Try her recipe for Spinach and Feta Squares made with frozen phyllo pastry.
Susie Klinock of Overland Park celebrates Passover with a recipe handed down through the generations. Klinock supports community bonds by volunteering for a wide variety of social service organizations. Try her recipe for Passover Sherbet With Chocolate Sauce.
Lawyer Laurie Vaskov Snell relaxes while working in a vegetable garden she plants near her urban Kansas City home. Red potatoes, Dijon mustard and leeks are the stars of a dish Laurie Vaskov Snell serves on her deck for her family.
Nutritional consultant Leah Solomon of Kansas City advocates a dinner plate half-filled with fruits and vegetables. One of her children’s favorite vegetable dishes is Brussels Sprouts With Feta and Cranberries. She encourages “intentional” eating, or being mindful of everything you put in your mouth.
Retired drama teacher Norma Elgan finds a correlation between stage and kitchen productions. She is a member of the Kansas City Women’s Chorus. Her favorite cinnamon roll recipe includes Yukon gold potato and Saigon cinnamon.
Julie O’Neill is married to Pat O’Neill, who will be the grand marshal of this year’s Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Coming from big families means she knows how to cook for large crowds; this recipe is one of her favorites.
Jeni Podrebarac of Fairway is proud to be raising a family of foodies. Her two sons and husband enjoy cooking healthy food together, including a recipe she shares for Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Born in Cuba, Esther Heng, her parents, and brother Julio fled the country in 1962 after the Cuban revolution. “Esther learned to cook all the Cuban dishes from my mother and has a true understanding of the culture and hospitality,” her sister Elizabeth Heng Chamberlain says. “Even though our mom died in 2014, Esther carries on her spirit by putting a lot of love into her cooking and making the food for family gatherings in our (Overland Park) home.”
Trish McGregor of Liberty shares a recipe for braised duck ragu that can be made ahead, so a cook can relax and enjoy guests. A former interior designer, McGregor looks for color and texture on every plate she serves.
For Sunday games or the Super Bowl, Chiefs fan Jeff Brown makes special pork chops. He and his friend X-factor (Ty Rowton) share the chops with families taking part in the KC Superfans’ Angels Program. Today Brown shares the recipe with Star readers.
Estyl Bowser and Staci Bowser share a special mother-in-law/daughter-in-law bond developed around the table. The family came together for meals during the illness of Estyl’s husband, weatherman Dan Henry. Since Henry’s death, the family continues to dine together twice a week. One of Estyl’s favorite recipes is for Sour Cream Potato Salad.
Musician Auyon Mukharji of the indie band Darlingside relies on his mother’s recipes and knowledge of spices to prepare Indian food from afar. Mukharji was raised in Prairie Village, and his mother is a popular cooking teacher whose recipes are featured on our Chow Town blog. Try his recipe for biryani, a Persian-influenced rice dish.
Diane Smith of Lenexa fought hunger in her job as a school food service director and now as a volunteer for Harvesters. Her New Year’s resolution is to continue fighting hunger in the 26-country radius of Kansas City served by the food network. She shares a nutritious and affordable recipe for Texas Caviar.