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Family favorites

By Staff | Sep 2, 2011

Chris Buscher of Algona mixes up the batter for Rudy’s Cola Cake,”a treat for her grandchildrens’ visit.

ALGONA – Chris Buscher said she didn’t really start cooking until she and husband Joe got married.

But she’s made up for lost time.

Buscher grew up on a farm near Webster City where, as the oldest of five children, she did her fair share of helping in the kitchen.

However, Joe Buscher came from a large family, where he did farm chores and helped in the kitchen.

To this day, the Buschers can often still be found together in the kitchen, whipping up tasty dishes.

“We like to watch the Food Network and get a lot of ideas from there,” said Buscher.

Buscher said she likes to cook and bake, and she prefers cooking large meals for family or for the men in the field.

Although she has many years of experience in the kitchen and enjoys baking pies, she is still trying to perfect her bread-baking skills.

“I want to make a decent loaf of bread and will keep on trying until I get it,” laughed Buscher.

In the meantime, the many other goodies she has perfected will be treats for friends and family alike.

She shares gifts from her kitchen at Christmas with St. Cecelia Catholic Church volunteers who receive a variety of quick breads. The quick breads are a way of thanking those who help her assemble fruit baskets that they hand out to congregation members who have experienced a loss over the past year.

Buscher has volunteered in other areas of the church as well as in the home economics departments in area schools througout the years.

As do many cooks, Buscher enjoys gardening both vegetables and flowers – as well as doing some yard work.

She also quilts and has become involved in the Little Dresses for Africa project, making dresses to be sent overseas. She has made about 50 dresses over the past year.

Out of all of her hobbies and things she enjoys doing, it’s spending time with family she enjoys the most.

“Most of all we really enjoy our grandkids,” said Buscher.

Buscher and her husband have two children, daughter Jackie McCarthy and her husband, Brian and their children Garret, Gunnar and Griffin; and son Mike and his wife Trish and their children Jacob and Hannah.

Pistachio Bread

1 package yellow cake mix

1 (3 3/4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup nuts

1/8 cup water

3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Mix all together. Pour in to a greased 9×5-inch pan that has been coated with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Bake at 350-degrees for 45-minutes. Makes one large loaf. This I best if kept in refrigerator for a couple of days before eating.

Rudy’s Cola Cake

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon soda

Mix above ingredients then add:

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup butter

1 cup cola

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat on low until combined. Then beat on medium speed for two-minutes. Add two eggs and beat for two more minutes.

Stir in: 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows.

Pour into a 9×13-inch greased and floured pan. Bake at 350-degrees for 35 minutes and frost while warm.

Best Chocolate Frosting Ever

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons milk

Bring above ingredients to a boil and remove from stove. Then add:

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Stir until thick and then spread on cake.

Makes enough for a 9 x 13-inch cake.

Grandma’s Jam

4 cups cut-up rhubarb

4 1/2 cups sugar

2 boxes frozen strawberries

Bring above ingredients to a boil and boil for 10-minutes, then add one box of strawberry Jell-O (NOT sugar free).

Put in containers and freeze.

Oriental Meatballs

2 pounds hamburger

1 can sweetened-condensed milk

3/4 cup oatmeal

Salt and pepper

Mix well, shape in balls and put into a greased 9×13-inch pan.


2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup ketchup

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 cup water

16-ounce can tomato sauce

Mix above and pour over meatballs. Bake at 350-degrees for two hours.

Pasta Chicken Salad

4 cups cooked chicken

2 cups cut-up red grapes

1 jar sliced green olives

Number 2 can drained pineapple tidbits

7 stalks of celery, sliced or diced

6 hard-boiled eggs, diced

2 cups macaroni shells (cook after measuring)

Salt and pepper to taste

Miracle Whip salad dressing to taste

Chicken Royale

3 whole chicken breasts (boned and cut in half to make six pieces)

6 slices of bacon

6 slices of chipped beef

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 pint sour cream


Wrap each chicken breast in half with a whole slice of bacon. Cover the bottom of a greased baking dish with the chipped beer and arrange the chicken breasts wrapped in bacon on the top. Blend soup and sour cream and spoon over chicken. Sprinkle with paprika.

This can be made ahead and refrigerated at this point or baked, uncovered for three hours at 275-degrees.

Beefed-Up Biscuit Casserole

Brown and drain:

2 1/2 pounds hamburger

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup green pepper


2 cups tomato sauce

4 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Separate two tubes of biscuits into two layers (20 halves). Press 10 over the bottom of greased 9×13-inch pan.


1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 slightly beaten eggs

Remove meat from heat. Stir in sour cream mixture and spoon over biscuit dough. Arrange remaining biscuits on top.

Sprinkle with additional two-cups of cheddar cheese.

Bake at 375-degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net

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