Leslie's Catering

LESLIE BACON in front of her commercial kitchen in Cabool, Mo. Follow her Facebook page, @leslieshomecookedgoodness, to find her menu and see all the tempting meals she offers.

When your last name is Bacon, you've got to be a foodie! Meet your neighbor, Leslie Bacon, of Cabool, who did marry to get the cool last name, but she sure has worked for it.

Leslie moved to Missouri 24 years ago. Fresh out of the Navy, she immediately went to work in some of San Diego's finer restaurants using her culinary arts degree, before moving here to be closer to her aging parents. Since then, she's made the rounds of employment in the food industry, with her last job being food service director for the Cabool R-IV school district for seven years.

From that job came side work that led to more and more bookings. After six years of juggling both jobs, she took a leap of faith and started her own catering service, with her husband John supporting her and even building her first commercial kitchen, and she hasn't looked back.

Leslie has been feeding Cabool residents and those of surrounding areas for eight years now, and has been full-time self-employed for the last three. She saw a need and it has paid off.

With just one part time helper, Leslie offers a full service line of catering for weddings, corporate events, dinner parties, showers and any celebration with up to 150 people.

“I developed a love of cooking at a young age, helping my Mom in the kitchen,” she said, explaining how she got into the business. “She was an amazing cook and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.” Chalking up 35 years of experience in the food industry, I'd say she made her Mom proud.  

When COVID hit last spring, Leslie — like so many small business owners — lost work. A lot of work, she said, but today she’s happy to add business is picking up with several engagements scheduled.

When you are competing for work in a small town, you have to get creative, and Leslie has come up with more offerings to tempt you her way. Aside from catering all your needs, she has “meals to-go”: freezer-to-microwave meals she keeps stocked in her commercial kitchen for pick-ups. They’re perfect for the aging parent, those who want to eat out, but not in public, or even anyone just too busy to cook.

Leslie's Catering is also an option for all the holidays, a full holiday meal just a phone call away. Everything is made from scratch with a home cooked taste, and as she delivers to most of south central Missouri, including West Plains, her service is a nice neighbor to have. So, here's another "foodie" serving our area for all your culinary needs.

In closing, Leslie wanted to make sure readers know, “Just because you don't see it on the menu, doesn't mean I can't make it for you.” Be sure to check out her website at www.lesliescatering.net or on Facebook @leslieshomecookedgoodness.

In the meantime, try one of Leslie's favorite recipes, Italian stuffed meatloaf — yum! Thank you Leslie for allowing me to share your story. With neighbors like you, our community will continue to grow big and small. 

ITALIAN STUFFED MEATLOAF

From Leslie Bacon

1 pound of lean ground beef (or a mix of ground beef/pork)

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs or crushed crackers

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp each salt and pepper

Gently mix and form into meatballs. These can then be seared and simmered in a nonstick fry pan or baked in the oven at 375 degrees. Searing in a pan is best because the parmesan forms a crust and is so yummy!

Double the recipe for a delicious Italian style meatloaf stuffed with mozzarella ,and top with your favorite marinara sweetened with just a touch of brown sugar.

Bake at 375 until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. 

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