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Paula’s Potluck Posse: A Tribute to Our Recipe Queen

April 28, 2017

After 40 years at KCTS 9, our beloved Paula Nemzek is retiring. If that name rings a bell, it’s probably because you’ve tried and enjoyed one of the hundreds of recipes she’s shared with KCTS 9 viewers over the years. Every week — for more than a decade — her recipes have been featured on our website and in our newsletters, much to the satisfaction of our loyal readers.

At KCTS 9, our staff potlucks are decked out with casserole plates and pie tins featuring her recipes. Her simple chili dip has become a staple at every station gathering. 

We asked Paula’s many fans among the staff to share some of their favorite Paula recipes and memories. If you have a favorite recipe, please share it in the comments section below and let Paula know how much she will be missed.


Holly Hoag, Corporate Development Account Manager

Kale and Chicken Salad

Paula made me feel very smug once when she complimented me on my preparation of her recipe for Kale and Chicken Salad. I found this recipe in our eNews a couple of weeks ago.

So, I guess I am offering more proof that people love the recipes that Paula provides.

Kelsey Tomascheski, Director of Marketing and Communications

Ricotta Cookies

My sister and I made these last spring and they instantly became a family favorite. I’ve made them at least five times since then — everyone loves them! The recipe makes a TON of cookies, so either plan to bring them to a party (or work!) or halve the recipe. These are also good at Christmas by adding some cinnamon to the dough and making a cinnamon-vanilla frosting.

Rory Graves, Senior Web Editor

Missy Potatoes

One of my favorite qualities about Paula is her sense of humor. She is universally adored by all who know her, but she also tries to avoid the spotlight. I’ll never forget when, after hounding her for a picture so that I could add her image to her recipes on our website, she sent me a photo of the queen of England.

Her recipes are fit for a queen. Her Missy Potatoes bring me back to my Idaho roots. They are the perfectly rich, not-too-fussy comfort food.

Patty Lindley, Digital Director

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes

Paula “One Pan” Nemzek is totally my kind of cook – her love for fresh, interesting flavor combinations (I’ll never look at a pumpkin quite the same, after trying her gourd-tastic sloppy joes) and unabashed appreciation for the good things in life (butter, salt, sweet, to name a few) guarantee that every recipe she shares is one you know will become a go-to.

One-Pan Chicken & Olives

Of the scads of keepers in our recipe archives, Paula’s chicken dishes are clear satisfiers – half of our top ten trafficked recipes over the last few years feature fowl, including one of my Paula favorites, One-Pan Chicken & Olives. We will sorely miss your humor, wicked smarts, and epic potlucks, Paula!

Ty Adams, Traffic Specialist

Chili Dip

This recipe is from the first KCTS Employee Cookbook, which included recipes from staff and friends. This was prior to our first viewer cooking show and recipe solicitations from our viewers and subscribers. This recipe has been served at about 100 potlucks over the years.

One of my favorite Paula-isms was whenever we would offer two of something as a pledge premium (two bags, two T-shirts, two DVDs — you get the idea), she would inevitably say, “You know you are going to want two because when your relatives come over, they will steal one.”

Paula and staff after filming KCTS 9 Cooks.

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Congratulations on your retirement, Paula. To say you'll be missed is trite, but
never truer words said. You have felt like a friend sitting in my living room as you
do the fundraising, and I don't reduce the volume or switch TV stations. Your easy and
friendly style has been a gift to your viewers and to KCTS 9. Thank you for all these
years of entertainment...not to mention your yummy recipes!

Sincerely, PJ Stafford