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Recipes for Success

Influential Greeley Women Share their Best

Yvette Lucero-Nguyen

Q: How did you get to where you are? 

A: By the path built for me by my ancestors and my parents’ constant support. My husband, Thai, has been a part of my life’s journey for almost 25 years. Together, we raise our children, Mateo (2) and Olivia (10), to carry out the values we have as a bi-racial and bi-ethnic home.

Q: How do you overcome challenges?

A: I lean on my family and faith. My grandpa would say, “un dia a la vez,” which means take one day at a time, and my mom lived it and believed it. I remind myself that things take time and all I can do is take one day and one moment at a time.

Q: What is your “recipe” for success?

A: I feel that I am most successful when I am experiencing joy in whatever I am doing. Life is meant to be an experience we find joy in every day. My recipe… seek to experience a moment of joy every single day of your life.

Q: Which recipe did you bring today and why?

A: I wanted to share my favorite recipe that I enjoy making often for my family and is unique to my culture growing up in Roswell, NM—Mexican style green enchiladas.

Directions: Directions: Brown 1lb. ground hamburger. Add ¼ cup chopped onion and 1 tablespoon garlic powder and salt to taste. After meat is cooked, add 4 cups water and 1 cup diced green chilis. Bring to simmer for 5 minutes, salt to taste. In a skillet, fry corn tortillas until soft, stack them to the side. To assemble, place one tortilla on a plate, spoon desired amount of meat, add cheese and diced onion. Repeat stacking of tortillas and toppings as desired. Finally, add a fried egg on the top layer and enjoy!

Aimee Hutson

Q: How did you get to where you are?

A: After multiple careers and raising kids, I felt the need to leave a legacy for my family and honor my Aunt Helen, who had a positive impact on my life. She was ahead of her time as an independent strong woman which I always admired! My husband, who told me “no” for several years, finally gave in and jumped in head first to help me.

Q: What is your recipe for success?

A: “Drive fast and take chances.” Life moves quick, so I try keep up with trends and stay in the moment as well as just going for it! If I try something and it doesn’t work, I’ll try something different!

Q: Which recipe did you bring today and why?

A: My Aunt Helen’s “Cheese Pie” recipe. I brought this recipe because it is an easy and quick go to dessert that my Aunt Helen used to always make. It is gluten free and easily adaptable to be keto friendly! It brings back many memories of my childhood and spending time with my Aunt Helen!

Directions: Preheat oven to 325. Beat two 8 oz. packages room temperature cream cheese very well. Add 3 room temperature eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each. Add 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon. almond. Lightly greased 9 or 10 in. Pyrex pan and add mixture. Bake 45 minutes. at 325. Remove from oven. Cool on rack for 15 minutes. While cooling, mix 2 cups sour cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon. vanilla. After the 15 minutes, top pie with this mixture and decorate center with nuts. Return to oven for 5 minutes at 325. Cool and refrigerate.

Lori Gama 

Q: How do you balance your career, personal life, and hobbies?

A:  I couldn't do this without my team. Most of all, I’m blessed to be married to Michael Gabriel.

Q: How do you overcome challenges?

A: My mother Loretta taught me to have faith that challenges and hardships will all work out in God's time. After my dad passed away from cancer when I was 13, my grandma Faye helped my mom raise my sisters and me. After my son was born, I grew more determined to succeed to give him a better life than I've had the privilege of enjoying.

Q: What is your recipe for success?

A: Love is the main ingredient in my life. I can achieve things that seem impossible with focus, hard work, love, faith and believing in myself.

Q: Which recipe did you bring today and why?

A: When I moved to Greeley in 1981, my mother gave me her 1961 edition of a Betty Crocker Cookbook, which is a reminder of my roots and the strong women who raised me. Inside of it is a handwritten recipe for my grandmother's Pineapple Bars--one her favorite sweets.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. To make the filling: Combine 6 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 ½ teaspoons corn starch, 1 ½ cup crushed pineapple, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Simmer until thick. Cool. Then, make the crust by combining 1 ½ cup sifted flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ cup chopped nuts, 2 ½ cup brown sugar, 2 ½ cup oatmeal. Mix then add 1 cup melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well. Press half the crust mixture into greased 9x13- inch baking pan. Spread with filling. Add remaining crust mixture; pat well. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars.

Deirdre Pilch, Superintendent of Schools, Greeley-Evans School District 6

Q: How did you get to where you are?

A: By following my personal mission and beliefs. I have worked hard and had wonderful mentors and colleagues. Remarkable women have lifted me up, advised me and encouraged me. My mom, my grandmother, my niece, my sister, my high school drama and English teachers, and a couple of my college professors. My husband has been my rock—especially in this complex role as superintendent.

Q: How do you overcome challenges and what is your recipe for success?

A: I lean into my faith and family. The words I live by: Do as much as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can. I am also deeply committed to continuing doing what I love and making a difference.

Q: Which recipe did you bring today and why? 

A: My mom and grandmother’s cream of potato soup recipe. This is true comfort food!

Directions: Peel and cube five medium red potatoes, dice one whole medium white onion, chop three celery stalks. Bring potatoes, onion, half stick of butter to rapid boil for 5 minutes—Add celery. In another large pot, slowly add 7 cups of whole milk to warm. Do not add milk all at once and do not boil. Add another half stick of butter. Once the milk is warm, (you’ll know because the butter will have melted), add 1 cup warm water with potatoes, onions, and celery. Stir in 1 pint of heavy whipping cream. Slowly add remaining butter and if you want a thicker soup, mix 1 cup cold milk and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch—I always do this. Add a pinch of cumin, a pinch garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. You can garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles. and chopped green onion. This is what my Irish grandmother added. Enjoy!

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