Still Cookin’

Pine Valley Teacher Returns To Recipe Page After 19 Years

Amie Durland Hofner poses while sitting in her parents’ breakfast nook in their Falconer home. Photos by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

In the 19 years since I first visited Amie Durland Hofner she has grown up, moved out of her parents’ home, earned a teaching degree, started a career and married. As expected, little has remained the same since that first interview in February 1999 when she was 11 years old, but she is still cooking and baking. She is still cooking and baking, but even that has changed, as she is now conscious about healthier eating.

Mrs. Hofner began cooking many years ago by helping her mother in the kitchen as a preschooler. She is now a physical education and health science teacher in the Pine Valley Central School District for students Kindergarten through 12th grades.

“My husband Mike and I cook together most nights. Either I do the main dish and he does the sides or the opposite. He’s is a grill person. I do not grill,” she says. “I’m finally getting back into baking now that we have a bigger kitchen. For me baking is a stress-reliever, but the last apartment was so small I had no room to bake.”

“My tastes have changed since I was a kid, when I used to do simple things,” she continues. “Now I’m doing more difficult recipes. I’m a healthier eater and that is how I’ve changed what I make now from when I was younger.”

The Hamburg resident started eating healthier after high school. She didn’t care for the meals at college, because they consisted of an abundance of fried foods. She took advantage of the school’s salad bar but became tired of eating salads as her main diet and was elated when she acquired living accommodations with a kitchen where she could prepare the menu of her choice.

Eleven-year old Amie Durland was very involved with cooking and gymnastics when she was featured on this page in 1999. Since then gymnastics has fallen by the wayside but cooking and baking are still some of her favorite interests.

She uses a few family recipes but gets several online.

“My husband is more inspired to try new recipes than I am,” Hofner says.

The couple tries to watch their carbohydrate intake because of Mike’s Type 1 diabetes. Hofner admits Peanut Pie is not a healthy recipe, but it is her husband’s favorite and serves as his birthday “cake” each year. The original recipe for Chicken Burritos came from a Hellman’s Mayonnaise label, but she uses mayonnaise made with olive oil now, hoping to make it a bit healthier. The couple made some changes to the Mango Chicken recipe that was found online. She makes her granola bars weekly but varies some of the ingredients.

“Sometimes I use ground flaxseed, sometimes whole flaxseed, sometimes coconut, sometimes dried cranberries,” she says.

It is a snack Hofner enjoys when she gets home from school. Her husband takes them to work with him as the peanut butter in them helps to hold him over until meal time.

A piece of Peanut Butter Pie.

“My best friend is non-stick aluminum foil,” she confesses about the product her mother has used for many years. “It will make your life so much easier. I put it on (the pan) and then throw it away. My husband cooked some meat without using it and we were cleaning the pan for three days.”

Healthy food choices go along with her interests as she tries to lead a healthy lifestyle. She says she likes “anything outdoors, anything in the sun, including walking and hiking.”

“I love to go hiking,” she says. “We spend a lot of time at Chestnut Ridge Park.”

During the summer, the teacher lifeguards and teaches swim lessons through the Village of Hamburg Parks and Recreation Department.

“I grew up on Chautauqua Lake where I lifeguarded for ten summers at Chautauqua Institution,” Hofner says. “Water is my favorite place to be. I feel so relaxed around water.”

The Chicken Burritos recipe was tweaked a little from one found on a mayonnaise label.

Although she is an avid outdoorsperson, she doesn’t love camping, especially in tents. When indoors she reads a lot of adolescent literature to keep up with her students and loves Harry Potter and Chick Lit(erature). Spending time with family and friends is a high priority.

The couple recently rescued a German Shepherd puppy they call Luna and are currently working with a trainer hoping to teach the dog good manners.

Mrs. Hofner is the daughter of Matt and Janet Durland.

Mango Chicken for Two

2 chicken breasts

The Hofners made a few changes to the Mango Chicken for Two recipe they found online.

Wegman’s Cilantro-Lime Marinade

2 mangos, diced

1 sweet onion, diced

1/2 seedless cucumber, diced

.25 oz pkg cilantro

Some Granola Bars.

1 tsp lemon or lime juice

bread of choice, optional

Cut chicken into pieces. Marinate chicken in marinade. Make salsa by combining mango, onion, cucumber cilantro and juice. Cook chicken in skillet over medium heat. Put chicken onto bread, if using, otherwise put directly on plate. Spoon mango salsa over chicken.

Peanut Butter Pie

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 c creamy peanut butter

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 T lemon juice

2 c whipped topping, thawed

1-9 oz graham cracker crust (larger one that states 2 extra servings)

Combine milk, peanut butter and cream cheese with electric mixer. Add juice and mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

Fruit Dip

7 oz marshmallow creme

12 oz whipped cream cheese

1/2 shot Amaretto (I prefer at least 2 shots for more flavor)

8-10 drops red food coloring

With electric mixer, beat together marshmallow creme and cream cheese until well blended. Add Amaretto and food coloring. Continue beating until combined. Serve with fresh fruit.

Chicken Burritos

1 pepper, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

Oil

12.5 oz can chicken

1/2 c mayonnaise

1/2 c salsa

Shredded cheese

6 Mission Carb Balance flour tortillas

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute pepper and onion until tender. Add chicken, mayonnaise and salsa. Reduce heat to low and simmer one minute. Spoon 1/6 filling into center of tortilla. Cover with cheese and then fold tortilla burrito-style. Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats

1 c flaxseed, ground or whole

3/4 c dried cranberries

1/2 c mini-chocolate chips

1/4 c chopped walnuts

3/4 c honey

1 1/4 c crunchy peanut butter

Stir oats, flaxseed, dried cranberries, chocolate chips and walnuts together in a bowl. Stir in honey and peanut butter. Line a 9” x 13″ pan with parchment paper. Press mixture into pan. Chill for one hour. Cut into bars. May refrigerate, but not necessary.

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