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Shares at least one meal daily

By Staff | Jan 16, 2010

Mellisa Halberts, a Lyon County veterinarian, gets help in the kitchen by her three daughters. From left are, Mindy, 15; Melissa Halberts; Becca, 10; and Jessie, 13.

ROCK RAPIDS – Dr. Melissa Harberts, a doctor of veterinarian medicine near this north central Lyons County community, plans meals that are quick and satisfying.

Harberts owns and operates the Rock River Vet Clinic while her husband, Ordel, owns a farm implement dealership and raises feeder cattle.

Their careers are challenging. They are also rearing three daughters – Mindy 15, Jessie 13 and Becca 10.

“Making time to eat healthy and stay connected as a family is an everyday struggle,” said Melissa Harberts. “It’s important to us that we share at least one meal together every day.

“As the girls get older that is becoming more and more difficult. Breakfast is the one meal we are usually able to share. We try to eat together in the evening as well.”

The Harberts’ daughters are involved a multitude of school activities and are active in 4-H.

Mindy Harberts said she has entered a number of baked items at the Lyon County fair, but really enjoys cooking meals and helping out in the kitchen. Homemade pizza and vegetable soup are two of her favorite meals to prepare.

The two younger Harberts enjoy baking. “They let me clean up their mess though.” piped the older sister.

“On Sundays,” said Becca Harberts, “Dad makes us his spaghetti.”

“It’s awesome!” added Jessie.

“I try to stay out of the kitchen when Dad cooks.” laughed Melissa Harberts.

Beef is often on the menu at the Harberts home.

“My husband is a steak and potatoes kind of guy.” said Dr. Harberts. Be it steak, roast beef or rocky mountain oysters the Harberts family is game for everything.

The family has included a number of its favorite recipes for other busy cooks to enjoy.

French dip

3 pounds of beef roast

3 tablespoons powdered au jus mix

1 tablespoon Brown Bouquet

1 pint water

Salt and pepper to taste

Place roast in crock pot. Add salt and pepper. Mix water, au jus and Kitchen Bouquet. Pour over roast. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours.

Break meat up with fork just before serving.

Place on a bun and serve au jus on the side.

Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef

1 quart home-canned tomatoes

3 tablespoon ketchup

1 teaspoon mustard

1/4 cup of brown sugar

In a deep skillet brown beef and drain grease. Add the rest of the ingredients to the skillet and simmer until thickened.

Serve on hamburger bun with dill pickles on the side if desired.

Nut Goodie bars

12 ounce-package semi sweet chocolate chips

12 ounce-butterscotch chips

2 cups peanut butter

2 cups of roasted peanuts

Melt chips, then stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Spread half of mixture in a 15-by-10-inch buttered, jelly roll pan. Chill.

Stir peanuts into remaining chocolate.


1 cup margarine or butter

1/2 cup of evaporated milk

1 3-ounce package of “cook and serve” vanilla pudding

2 pounds powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt margarine in a sauce pan. Stir in milk and then pudding. Cook stirring constantly until thickened, but do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Cool slightly.

Spread over bottom layer and chill.

Spread the rest of chocolate peanut mixture on top.

Makes a large batch.

Rhubarb upside down cake

1 yellow cake mix

6 cups of rhubarb, chopped

1 cup of sugar

3 cups of mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9-by13-inch pan.

Place chopped rhubarb on the bottom of pan. Sprinkle sugar over rhubarb and then marshmallows. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Pour over rhubarb and marshmallows in pan.

Bake for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto serving dish so rhubarb is on top.

Banana bars with sour cream frosting

1/2 cup of butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

2 ripe mashed bananas

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

Beat well and pour into a greased and floured 11-by14-inch pan. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. When cooled, frost with sour cream frosting.

Sour cream frosting

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

In medium bowl, mix together the butter, sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Stir in powdered sugar and beat with electric mixer until smooth.

Contact Robyn Kruger by e-mail at rangerob@hickorytech.net.

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