Cooks Who Care

Local cooks take time to give back to the community

Cooks Who Care

Cooks Who Care

Greendale, WI (October 12, 2007) - Age doesn't matter when it comes to appreciating good food. "Apples of Gold," a West Bend, Wisconsin-based group is experiencing the rewards of investing time in others while bridging the generation gap through Taste of Home recipes. The group is showcased in Taste of Home magazine's new "Cooks Who Care" feature that recognizes readers' efforts to give back to their communities, debuting in the October/November issue.

Apples of Gold"Taste of Home is at its essence a community of sharing—recipes, stories, experiences. 'Apples of Gold' is a wonderful example of this kind of sharing. Taste of Home Cooks Who Care is an ongoing effort that encompasses the heart of our community of readers and tells their stories of kindness," says Catherine Cassidy, editor-in-chief of Taste of Home magazine.

Diane Fechter and RuthAnn Phaneuf have always had a passion for helping young people. Fortunately, they also have a large collection of tried-and-true Taste of Home recipes. This combination spurred them to host an "Apples of Gold" program for young women in their community. "Apples of Gold" is a 6-week mentoring program in which older women teach younger women that cooking and entertaining can be fun, not stressful. The group partakes in cooking demonstrations, bible lessons and shared meals.

Apples of Gold"Apples of Gold" is a nurturing community where women share life experiences and learn from one another. "The older women teach the younger women life skills, including how to prepare home-cooked meals," says Diane.

RuthAnn adds, "We show the girls that having friends over for a meal doesn't have to be difficult or scary." The smiles on the faces of the group echo that statement.

Taste of Home is committed to sharing the stories of individuals and groups making a difference through cooking in their community.

Santa Fe Cheesecake Photo Santa Fe Cheesecake
This Taste of Home appetizer was served at the meeting our editor attended.

PREP: 25 min.
COOK: 30 min.


  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped sweet yellow pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato


In a small bowl, combine tortilla chips and butter; press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and eggs on low speed just until combined. Stir in Monterey Jack cheese and chilies; pour over crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center is almost set.

Place pan on a wire rack. Spread sour cream over cheesecake. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove sides of pan just before serving. Garnish with yellow pepper, onions and tomato. Refrigerate leftovers.

Taste of Home is the world's number one food magazine. It is part of the Reader's Digest Food Affinity, the first and only media community designed to unify the voices and experience of everyday cooks and home entertainers.

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Bethany Bradley