From left: Johanna Topp, Kristen Allen, Jenna Rodgers, Caitlin Ometzberger and Elizabeth Talbot from Girl Scout Senior Troop 9500. Also in the photo are volunteers Max Johnson, Jessi Heuer, Karen Boughton and Flowers of Kingwood Owner Robin Martinez.

As of today, it has been eight months and four days since Hurricane Harvey and the San Jacinto River devastated Kingwood and surrounding areas. I really do hope most of you that flooded and were displaced from your homes are back in and enjoying our wonderful, but short, spring weather. I was told there are still 10,000 families in FEMA hotel rooms around the Greater Houston area, not to mention families still staying with friends, renting apartments and yes – even living upstairs as reconstruction continues on the first floor. My family and myself are one of those still living in a hotel. Yes, since August 29, 2017, we have been guests of a local hotel along with our dogs. With dogs, it is challenging and almost impossible to find a local restaurant that allows dogs, so we resolved to do carry-out ‘til we move back home. That is until angels, known locally as Girl Scout Kingwood Troup 9500, contacted me.

The troop leader, Denise Ometzberger, offered her troop to cook a meal for all families staying in our hotel due to the hurricane last August. Although we are now down to 11 families, at one time we had close to 40 families staying here and the Girl Scouts were excited to make a meal for us all. Yes, many of us are still anxiously waiting to get back home and enjoy a home-cooked meal. This is where the Girl Scout angels and the Facebook groups, Flooding Kingwood with Kindness and HKAP Inc., stepped in to treat us with a surprise home-cooked meal. It was wonderful. HKAP helped with the logistics, and thanks to Robin Martinez for offering Flowers of Kingwood as a staging location where everyone met to load the gourmet meals into one car. They set it all up in one of the guest rooms. Invited guests soon arrived to enjoy the meal from salads to desserts and homemade breads. It was a wonderful feast. Again, thank you angels of Troop 9500 for making our stay at the hotel a little bit better with foods from home. I managed to get a few recipes from them before they left, so “Please Join My Table” and enjoy these homemade dishes from our local Girl Scouts!


Meatloaf recipe from Jenna Rodgers

 2 pounds

ground beef

1 cup crushed Ritz crackers

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup ketchup


1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup ketchup

Honey to taste


DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meatloaf ingredients in a bowl with hands. Spray desired container with cooking spray, put meatloaf in container (best would be something like a bread pan), and put container on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Mix sauce ingredients while meatloaf is cooking. When 45 minutes are up, put half of the sauce on meatloaf then put back in for another 45 minutes. When meatloaf is finished, pour the rest of the sauce on it.


A tasty meal in one dish, Arroz con Pollo.

Girl Scouts Peruvian Green Rice


Oil – 4 tablespoons

or more

1 big yellow

onion, chopped

5 medium garlic

cloves or to taste

1 big jalapeno

pepper (optional

if you want

it spicy)

4 packs of cilantro

(H-E-B size),


Chopped carrots

Corn – about 2 cups

Green peas

– about 2 cups

Salt and ground


4 cups of rice

6 and 1/2 cups

of water

Red pepper – sliced



DIRECTIONS: Blend cilantro, garlic and jalapeno pepper (optional) in a blender with just enough water to make a paste. Pour oil into a pot on medium heat. When hot, add the chopped onions, salt to taste and cumin, and fry about 4 minutes. Pour the blended cilantro and let it fry about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrots, 4 cups of rice and water. Add more salt and cumin to taste. A little more oil can be added at this point. Stir everything. Once boiling, lower the heat to a minimum. Set the timer to 10 minutes. Add green peas. Set the timer for another 10 minutes. Add corn. Set timer for 5 minutes. After the combined 25 minutes, rice should be cooked. Stir the rice quickly and let it sit for another 7 minutes.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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