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Cooking is family’s priority

By Staff | Dec 16, 2011

Carrie Kube spoons a serving of Nana’s Easter Meatballs for an evening meal.


Farm News staff writer

ACKLEY – When visiting the home of Carrie Kube and her family between Iowa Falls and Ackley, the chances are good Kube is in the kitchen or on her way to the kitchen.

Cooking is an important family activity for Kube’s family – her mother, sister and sister-in-law, along with her father and husband. Family gatherings go well because each family member prepares their specialty resulting in a complete meal from appetizer to dessert.

“We can learn from each other,” said Kube.

Kube’s cooking goals are dishes that can be prepared quickly and economically, without sacrificing nutrition.

At the end of a family gathering, Kube said they hold a “fix it again?” exercise where family members review what was served and decide if it is worthy to be included at future meals.

As the mother of 10-year-old daughter Hailey and 6-year-old son Wilken, Carrie Kube finds herself in the position of many young mothers who want to provide good nutritious meals while staying within the constraints of time and money.

“We feed ourselves well, but economically,” she said.

She described her cooking as “quick meals” and that she likes to “be flexible.” A crock pot is a handy item in her kitchen.

Her husband, Darren, 35, recently had a bout of arthritis, due to a salmonella incident. Tests revealed he has a gene for a condition where the salmonella reaction induced reactive arthritis.

He has recovered, but Kube is looking for more fresh food in her cooking to prevent that from happening again.

Kube said she remembers cooking “as soon as I could walk.”

She is teaching her two children to cook and said they are gaining skills in the kitchen. Hailey likes to prepare macaroni and cheese, stir fry and spaghetti. Wilken likes to cook pancakes, eggs and chocolate chip cookies.

Kube’s grandfather, Al Jacobson, was a mess sergeant during World War II and his pancake recipe, known as “poppa’s pancakes,” is a family favorite.

Kube’s grandmother, Betty Jacobson, had a reputation for her chocolate chip cookies.

The Kubes are working on an online family cookbook using a website where family members can upload recipes for storage and reviewing until it is ready to print.

Kube said she likes to experiment with desserts and is perfecting her strawberry-rhubarb pie and cheesecake.

“I wish I had more time for it,” Kube said. When she reads in her spare time, it is recipes and cookbooks.

Creamy chicken, vegetables

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound of turkey or chicken breast diced

2 10 3/4-ounce cans of condensed 98 percent fat-free cream of chicken soup

1 1-pound bag mixed vegetables

1 small can sliced mushrooms

3/4 cup sour cream

1 6-ounce can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

Salt, pepper and garlic to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Reserve bacon and 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.

Add turkey or chicken; cook and stir until browned and no longer pink.

Stir in soup, vegetables and seasonings. Cook until bubbly, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in sour cream. Spoon mixture into ungreased, 2 1/2-quart oval casserole or 12-by-8-inch baking dish.

Separate dough into five biscuits; cut each in half. Arrange, cut side down, around outside edge of hot mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 14 to 18 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown.

Cheesecake bars

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

2 packages continuous sheet crescent rolls

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Spread 1 sheet crescent rolls on bottom of a 9-by-13-inch greased pan. Mix softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread this over dough in pan.

Arrange second sheet of rolls over the top of cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top.

Perfect potatoes

(Serves 6 to 8 people)

6 to 8 large potatoes diced

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 packet of dry soup mix (Kube uses French onion)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 to 2 teaspoons diced garlic

1 medium chopped onion

Mix together. Spread on a greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender.

Nana’s Easter Meatballs

(Serves 6-8 people)

2 pounds lean ground beef

1/4 cup dried minced onion

2 eggs

1 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 6-ounce cans cream of mushroom soup

Mix all ingredients together. Form into ball in the palm of your hand. Place into a lightly oiled skillet, turning once. Top with cream of mushroom soup and simmer.

Contact Clayton Rye at crye@wctatel.net.

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