The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

January 16, 2013

Joplin dietitian lassos website's blue ribbon award with her cowgirl cookies

JOPLIN, Mo. — It wasn't Kris Pate's first rodeo. After all, the 49-year-old Joplin renal dietitian has been studying menus, ingredients and diets for 23 years. Pate specializes in the nutritional needs of people with chronic kidney disease.

But occasionally, she says, people need a treat. And when they indulge, Pate thinks it should be with real ingredients, not processed foods.

So, how did she change up the traditional cowboy cookie recipe? Well, she transformed it into a cowgirl.

"One of my patients told me about making cowboy cookies with butterscotch chips," said Pate. "I wondered what it would take to turn it into a cowgirl. Sugar and spice came to mind."

In 2011, Pate became a member of Just a Pinch Recipes (www.justapinch. com), a recipe and coupon social network for home cooks.

Anna Kate Tefft Ross, a public relations spokeswoman for Just a Pinch, said Pate's cookie recipe, which she has submitted to the website, was named a blue ribbon winner by Just a Pinch Food Editor Janet Tharpe.

Ross said the social media site has 600,000 members worldwide. Pate is one of more than 250 Joplin residents sharing recipes on the site.

"We continually add new features to the club based on the feedback of our members," Tharpe said. "It's because of people like Kris, who are proud to share her family's favorite recipes with other home cooks, that the club has become so popular."

Pate has two sons, John, 22, with the U.S. Air Force, and Mark, a sophomore at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a 14-year-old daughter, Harley. Pate recently moved from Joplin to Carthage.

"The website and contests are fun," Pate said. "It's something that kind of reminds you of your childhood, with people sharing great recipes."

Pate has shared her award-winning cookie recipe with Globe readers.

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