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Cooking efficiency

By Staff | Oct 26, 2012

MARY SKARTVEDT, of Radcliffe, said she has been cooking since she was a child, when she helped her mother in the kitchen.



RADCLIFFE – Being efficient in the kitchen is something Mary Skartvedt said she’s been since she was a very young girl.

Skartvedt’s mother was ill and had undergone two surgeries.

In helping in the kitchen, Skartvedt said it taught her the way around a kitchen and how to care for a family.

THIS FRUIT AND CREAM cheese galette is one of Mary Skartvedt’s favorite desserts to make, she said.

“I was way young, I can remember standing on a chair cooking,” she said. “I had to help out. I don’t know any different; I have always been in the kitchen.”

Skartvedt came from a family that of six, so cooking for a larger group was all she knew.

Although learning to cook for two was a challenge when she was first married to her husband, Wayne Skartvedt, the ability to cook for a crowd soon came in handy again when they were raising three sons – Doug, Paul and Jim.

Now, their sons are grown, and she is back to the challenge of cooking for two.

“When I was first married, there were a lot of leftovers,” Mary Skartvedt said, “and now the boys are gone, I still think I have to cook for them.

“I can remember standing on a chair cooking. I had to help out. I didn’t know any different.” —Mary?Skartvedt Radcliffe

“It’s hard to fix smaller meals.”

Skartvedt said she likes to bake bread and bars and try all different dishes.

She usually goes to magazines for new recipes.

Since recently retiring from the Bethany Manor after 20 years, Skartvedt is taking the time to go through her recipes and organize them in binders which makes finding a particular recipe for an event a lot easier.

When she is out of the kitchen, Skartvedt is an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in Radcliffe and also enjoys sewing, doing beadwork. She grows a flower and vegetable garden.

Fruit and sweet cream cheese galette

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese

1/2 cup powder sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 egg divided

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/4 teaspoons almond extract

1 pie crust

2 cups fruit

Stir together cream cheese and powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

Roll out pie crust on a jelly roll pan. Put cream cheese mixture to within 1/2 inch of edge.

Cut up fruit – peaches, raspberries, black plumbs, blueberries – to make two cups.

Add one tablespoon of cornstarch, two tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla or almond extract. Put on top of cream cheese mixture.

Pull crust up and fold all around filling.

This can also be done using a 10-inch pie plate.

Follow basic baking directions for pie crusts when baking.

Hummingbird cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups chopped bananas

Combine flour, sugar, soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl; add eggs and oil.

Stir until dry ingredients are moistened do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, pecans and bananas.

Spoon batter into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove and cool completely.


1 8-ounce package cream cheese- softened

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 16-ounce package of powdered sugar sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine cream cheese and margarine, beating until smooth.

Add sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Spread between layers and on frosted cake.

Yields 16 servings

Apple dip

8 ounce cream cheese

3/4 cup brown sugar-packed

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Soften cream cheese. Beat cream cheese, sugars and vanilla for five to seven minutes or until sugar is dissolved.

Serve with apple slices.

Vanilla pudding pie

1/3 cup flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups scalded milk

3 egg yolks slightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Scaled milk and add the first three ingredients and cook slowly.

Add small amount of thickened milk to yolks, then add to milk mixture.

Cook for two minutes. Cool a bit and add butter and vanilla.

Put in a 9-inch cooked pie shell.

Beat egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar and add three tablespoons sugar until stiff.

Spread onto pie, sealing the edges with the meringue.

Bake at 350 degrees until light brown.

Pizza fondue

1 medium onion- minced

1/2 pound beef – browned and drained with the onion

2 10-ounce jars of pizza sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

1/4 teaspoons garlic powder

10 ounces cubed cheddar cheese

8 ounces cubed mozzarella cheese

1 loaf French bread cubed

Simmer sauce with cornstarch and spices. Add to meat. Simmer one hour to enhance flavor.

Add both cheese varieties, stir and cook until melted and bubbly. Put in fondue pot.

Cube French loaf and heat and fry in oven and serve warm with the pizza mixture.

Orpha’s 1-2-3 caramels

(A Skartvedt family Christmas favorite)

1 cup white syrup

2 cups white sugar

3 cups cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup nuts (optional)

Mix syrup, sugar and one cup cream in a large cooking pan on medium heat.

Bring to soft ball stage – 238 degrees stirring occasionally.

Add one cup cream and bring to soft ball stage 238 degrees.

Add last cup of cream and bring to soft ball stage of 238 degrees.

Take off heat and stir in vanilla and nuts.

Pour into 8-inch square, greased pan.

Cool to room temperature before cutting.

Cut and wrap.

Cranberry granola

2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned)

1/2 cup natural almonds chopped

1/3 cup maple syrup or berry syrup

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Toss oats and almonds with syrup, oil and cinnamon. Spread on parchment-lined jelly roll pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes stirring half way through.

Cool and stir in cranberries.

Makes 3 cups

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