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Home Cooking with Bethany Friesner

Home Cooking is a regular feature on The Front Burner that offers a peek at how home cooks around the Fredericksburg area work in their kitchens. If you’d like to answer our questionnaire, download it here and return your responses to with a digital photo of yourself, or pass it along to anyone you think would like to participate.

Name: Bethany Friesner

Tell us who you are and why you cook.

I am an Assistant Director of Residence Life at the University of Mary Washington. I am a wife and mother of one, a son. I cook because I have to; however, I bake because I enjoy it. I have fond memories of baking with my grandmother and my mother growing up.

Describe your cooking style in three words.

Quick and easy!

Favorite cookbook?

Recently, I have been trying to make the recipes included in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine in their American Classics section

What is one dish on your menu this week that you’re excited about?

Last week my menu included chicken and noodles from scratch. The dish was wonderful and not as hard to make as I had thought it would be.

What is one thing that must be in your pantry at all times?

Crisco shortening. It is a necessity for baking. It is the only brand I trust for flaky biscuits and pie crusts. Additionally, it is my secret to making chocolate chip cookies that don’t run all over the pan getting flat and crispy. Makes them chewy every time.

What one kitchen gadget could you not live without?

My KitchenAid stand mixer

It’s 6 p.m., the people in your household are hungry and you just walked in from work and need to get something satisfying on the table as soon as possible. What’s your favorite thing to whip up in this situation?

Breakfast for dinner. I always have ingredients on-hand to make eggs and pancakes, French toast or biscuits.

It’s a snowy Sunday, you’ve just done the grocery shopping and have the rest of the day to spend in the kitchen cooking a meal that will bring comfort. What’s for dinner?

This is when I like to try out a new recipe; however, one of my go-to recipes is lasagna.

What is your favorite dish to make for pot-luck dinners?

Chocolate sheet cake

Do you have a favorite food source in the Fredericksburg region?

I absolutely love going to the Westmoreland Berry Farm and getting fresh fruit that is in season. It is a wonderful afternoon activity for the family, both picking the berries and making wonderful foods with the fresh fruit.

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  • Nancy Hartwick

    Thanks Emily, can you post your sheet cake recipe. Mom used to make it and she has passed on. Her icing had yummy toasted pecans (which I found marked down to 2 bucks a 12 ounce bag at Walmart today. If you cannot post perhaps you can email it to me. Thanks….Nancy

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