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Campus Presidents' Favorite Dishes

TCC Northeast President Allen Goben Shares His Favorite Dishes

Recipes and tips from Katrina Warner and Alison Hodges, instructors of culinary arts

This is an upscale version of President Goben’s go-to-favorite, the simple ham and cheese sandwich, made “fancy” by our culinary staff. “Because it tastes good,” said Goben.

Ham sandwichHam Sandwich (Croque Monsieur)

Makes 8 sandwiches

Preheat oven to 400°F


  • 1 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1 pt. hot milk
  • Salt and ground white pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup finely shredded Emmentaler cheese (or Swiss)
  • ½ cup finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt butter. Add flour to butter while stirring with a whisk – allow to heat for a minute while continuously stirring.

Slowly whisk in hot milk until all mixture is incorporated, leave on heat while stirring until thickened. Remove from heat, add salt and white pepper and slowly whisk in cheese to melt. Add nutmeg to taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


  • 16 slices white or wheat sandwich bread
  • 6 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 lb. Parma ham, sliced
  • 5 cups finely shredded Emmentaler cheese (or Swiss)

Toast bread in toaster or lay on pan and place in oven for 5 minutes; turn over and toast another 2 minutes.

After toast has cooled, spread about 1 teaspoon of mustard on each slice, and 2 oz. of ham on 8 slices. On the remaining 8 slices, sprinkle with shredded cheese. Close the 8 sandwiches on the pan, ladle 2 oz. of cheese sauce over the top and sprinkle any remaining cheese. Bake sandwiches for 5 minutes, and then broil the tops for another minute to brown the cheese.

Chocolate chip cookiesChocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Preheat oven to 375°F


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans and/or pistachios
  • 3 bars (12 oz.) semisweet Ghirardelli chocolate baking bars cut into chunks


Cream sugars into butter with paddle on mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and continue beating until incorporated. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chunks.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown - centers will be soft.
Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

TCC Northwest President Zarina Blankenbaker Shares Her Favorite Dishes

With tips from Katrina Warner, instructor of culinary arts

“My home has always been where our large extended family has gathered for the holidays throughout the years,” said Blankenbaker. “A dish, which has now become a family tradition, is coconut curry pumpkin soup. This soup combines the unique flavors I grew up with as a child and have become the source of my comfort – coconut milk and curry. In this soup, these ingredients are paired with pumpkin, which in many cultures symbolizes abundance and prosperity.”

Coconut curry pumpkin soupCoconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6


  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped (approx. 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup light coconut milk


Heat coconut oil in a deep soup pot over medium heat. Stir in chopped onions and garlic; cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Mix in vegetable broth, curry powder, salt, coriander and red pepper flakes.

Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes. Cover, and boil 15 to 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Lower heat and whisk in pumpkin and coconut milk, cook another 5 minutes.

Top with shredded chives, toasted pumpkin seeds and/or a drizzle of coconut milk.

Serve hot paired with bread and salad of your choice.

Peaches and cream piePeaches and Cream Pie

“Another family must-have is a peach pie with cream cheese,” noted Blankenbaker. “Invariably, there is a family member who remarks that our gathering isn’t complete without this signature pie. I frequently make it ahead so that I can enjoy their company when we are together.”

Preheat oven to 350°F


  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 (3 oz.) package non-instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 (29 oz.) can sliced peaches, drained and syrup reserved
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon


Grease sides and bottom of a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan.

In mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and pudding mix. Then mix in butter, egg and milk. Beat for 2 minutes.

Pour mixture into pie pan. Arrange peach slices on top of the pudding mixture.

In another mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons reserved peach syrup. Beat for 2 minutes. Spoon mixture over peaches to within 1 inch of pan edge. Separately, mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and sprinkle over top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Chill before serving.