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Kitchen creations

By Staff | May 30, 2012

LISA BAUMHOVER, of Woodward, competes annually at the Iowa State Fair in the cooking contests and is shown here serving up some cherry walnut bars.


Farm News staff writer

WOODWARD – Her love for being creative in the kitchen has not only made her friends and family the lucky ones to enjoy her goodies; but the end results of her creations have helped earn many awards when competing at the Iowa State Fair.

Lisa Baumhover has been competing at the fair for the past five years.

“I thought it sounded like fun,” Baumhover said. “I enter mostly baked goods but have done some casseroles and appetizers.”

S’MORE BROWNIES are just one of the many treats Lisa Baumhover, an Iowa State Fair food contest winning cook, likes to make.

Baumhover said she has always loved cooking, baking and trying new things in the kitchen. This began with her 4-H career as a young girl.

Belonging to 4-H, she said, is a long family tradition and recalled that one of her favorite activities helped boost her interest in the kitchen.

“One of my 4-H projects was to make a recipe box, and each year I added more recipes to it,” she said. “That is really what got me going.”

In addition to her recipe box, Baumhover said she also has a large collection of cookbooks and is constantly checking the internet for new ideas.

“I always loved cooking, baking and trying new things.”

CRANBERRY-RASPBERRY mousse pie and lemon-raspberry swirl pie are among Lisa Baumhover’s specialties.

When it comes to deciding on what to enter at the fair, Baumhover said she starts by looking over the options in the fair book.

“I look at the entry book; see what I want to enter and look for recipes … or sometimes I will come up with my own recipe.”

After the decision is made, that leads to “a crazy two weeks” leading up to the fair, according to Baumhover.

A typical state fair morning, Baumhover said, starts at 4:30 a.m. and includes much rushing and working right up to until the last minute.

For those interested in competing at the fair, Baumhover said not only does the dish have to taste good, but appearances are big.

“Once you win a few times, it gets addictive and it’s also fun to talk to people there.” —Lisa Baumhover Woodward

“Judges are big into presentation,” she said.

Baumhover offers a few tips such as adding a garnish and cutting equally sized pieces for the presentation of the entry.

Although it is a lot of hard work, Baumhover enjoys competing.

“It’s fun,” she said. “Once you win a few times, it gets addictive and it’s also fun to talk to people there.”

Baumhover works for Pioneer Hi-Bred in Johnston and lives near Woodward with her husband, Neil, and their three children.

S’more brownies

One brownie mix for a 9-by-13-inch pan

6 graham crackers

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

8 (1.5-ounce) Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan.

In a medium bowl, break graham crackers into one-inch pieces and toss with miniature marshmallows and chocolate. Set mixture aside.

Bake brownies for 15 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the s’more mixture evenly over top and bake for an additional 15 minutes.


mousse pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup sugar

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup cranberry-raspberry juice

1 (3-ounce) package raspberry flavored Jell-o mix

1 (16-ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce

2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into a pie plate. Put in refrigerator until needed.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cranberry-raspberry juice to a boil. Remove from heat, add gelatin and stir until dissolved.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cranberry sauce for one minute. Add gelatin mixture and stir until well mixed. Chill in refrigerator for 2 1/2 hours or until thickened, but not set.

Remove from fridge and fold in whipped topping until mixture is thoroughly blended. Spoon into pie shell.

Chill until firm and garnish with whipped topping if desired.

Cherry walnut bars


2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup butter or margarine

Mix and press into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes, until lightly browned.


2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries chopped (save juice)

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup coconut

Blend eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Drain cherries, chop and save the juice.

Add chopped walnuts and coconut and cherries. Place on top of crust. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Checking at the 20-minute mark.


4 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons cherry juice

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Combine and frost over the bars.

Blueberry crisp

5 cups blueberries

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup mayonnaise

Place blueberries into an 8-inch square baking dish (or something similar).

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the mayonnaise until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the blueberries. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

Lemon pie bars

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter, softened

6 eggs

2 1/4 cups white sugar

6 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup lemon juice

Mix two cups of flour and powdered sugar together. Cut in the butter. Mix to a pie dough consistency. Press the dough into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Beat eggs, sugar, six tablespoons flour and lemon juice together for at least one minute.

Pour the mixture over the baked crust. Bake the bars another 20 minutes, or until the lemon topping has set.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled.

Tart grapefruit cooler

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice

1 cup grapefruit juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup ginger ale, chilled

In a bowl or pitcher, combine cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir in ginger ale.

Cherry enchiladas

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar

8 large flour tortillas

2 (21-ounce) cans cherry pie filling

6 tablespoons white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons crushed sliced almonds

Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar.

Spread 1/8 of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each tortilla. Then add about four tablespoons of pie filling on each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.

Combine the water, butter and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Pour the hot liquid over the enchiladas making sure to coat the tops completely. The mixture will be watery. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for about five hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and almonds in a small bowl or cup; sprinkle over the top of the enchiladas.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven; or until outside edges of the tortillas are golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Contact Kriss Nelson at jknelson@frontiernet.net.

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