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Mom’s best recipes

By Staff | Feb 3, 2012

Tara Reaman loves to cook time-honored family recipes, including rutabaga sausage bake, which was passed down from Reaman’s great-grandmother, Florence Albers, whose parents were German immigrants.



Farm News staff writer

Odebolt-If one of the hallmarks of an exceptional cook is the ability to inspire a craving for vegetables, then Tara Reaman has mastered the art of incorporating rutabagas, carrots and more into healthy, appetizingfoods that her children can’t resist.

“Rutabaga sausage bake is a favorite in my family,” said Reaman, 31, a busy stay-at-home mom. “It’s a good German recipe that came from my Great-Grandmother, Florence Albers, of Wall Lake, who will be 101 years old this March. I learned a lot about cooking from her.”

These moist, flavorful carrot cake cupcakes are a special favorite of Tara Reaman’s younger sister, Lauren.

Reaman believes home cooking is all about family and making memories one meal at a time. Reaman lives on a farm between Lake View and Odebolt with her husband, Jon, and their children, -son Christian, 9, and daughters Caroline, 7, and Kennedy, 5.

Both of the girls enjoy helping in the kitchen, said Reaman, who noted that she developed her own love of cooking from her mother, Deb Bettin, as well as her grandmother and great-grandmother.

“I started cooking when I was about 8 years old,” said Reaman, who grew up on a Sac County farm and was a member of the Richland Robins 4-H Club.

She took pies, angel food cakes and other items to the Sac County Fair, where she won numerous blue ribbons.

After completing her dental assistant degree and starting a family, this 1999 graduate of Odebolt-Arthur High School began expanding her collection of recipes.

“I also like trying new recipes ... Who doesn’t love good food?” —Tara Reaman Odebolt

They have come in handy as she prepares home-cooked meals every day for her family and the hired men at the farm.

“I also like trying new recipes I find online and in cookbooks,” Reaman said. “Who doesn’t love good food?”

Rutabaga sausage bake

Equal parts rutabagas and potatoes, peeled and cubed (use as many as preferred)

1/2 cup butter

Tara Reaman found this simple recipe for beer bread in a camping magazine and enjoys baking this bread about once a week. She notes that the bread also makes a great gift.

1 pound kielbasa sausage, cut into chunks

Place peeled, cubed rutabagas and potatoes in a large pot of water and boil until vegetables are tender. Drain.

Mash rutabagas and potatoes together and add butter. Place mixture in a shallow baking dish. Add sausage and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Easy beer bread

Reaman makes this recipe once a week and notes that the bread also makes a great gift.

2 cups self-rising flour

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 can of beer (Bud Light works best)

Mix all ingredients together. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Mom’s barbecued meatballs

Reaman’s mother, Deb Bettin, has made these meatballs for years. People always ask for the recipe when she brings them to potlucks, Reaman said.


13-ounce can evaporated milk

3 pounds ground beef

2 cups rolled oats

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

Barbecue sauce

2 cups catsup

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 tablespoons liquid smoke

1/2 cup finely minced onion

Mix together all meatball ingredients. Shape into balls. Mix together all barbecue sauce ingredients.

Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour sauce over meatballs.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Makes about 40 meatballs.

Meatballs frozen prior to baking and used later.

Carrot cake cupcakes

Reaman said these cupcakes are a favorite of her younger sister, Lauren, who served them at her wedding.

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 cups grated carrots

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


3/4 pound cream cheese at room temperature

1/2 pound unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound confectioners sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

With a mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Add grated carrots, raisins and walnuts to the remaining flour mixture. Stir well and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.

Line muffin tins with paper liners. Scoop batter into muffin cups.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes on a rack.

To make the frosting, combine all the ingredients. Beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the frosting of each cupcake for extra flair.

Creamy corn

2 teaspoons butter

1/4 cup minced onion

2 1/2 cups frozen corn

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon dried parsley (optional)

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and saut until soft, about 2 minutes.

Add frozen corn and heat another two minutes. Add flour and stir to coat.

Add milk and bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to low.

Cook until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add parsley for color, if desired.

Baked apple oatmeal

Reaman said her children often ask for this comfort food, which is always a hit at breakfast or brunch.

2 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup raisins

4 cups milk

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium apples, chopped (apples do not need to be peeled)

1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Mix oats, raisins, milk, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt and apples in a two-quart casserole dish.

Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Top with walnuts, if desired.

You can contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby by e-mail at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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