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Shares Kleyer family’s favorite recipes

By Staff | Oct 31, 2014

-Farm News photos by Michele Linck CAROL kLEYER pours the melted butter and sugars biscuit dough to make her quick Sunday morning get-out-of bed special, microwave monkey bread.



ORANGE CITY – Carol Kleyer is the third generation to make a living on her grandparents’ original farm. Her parents took over the farm from her mother’s parents, Gillis and Mina Haverdink.

But unlike her mother, who preferred to be outside working on the farm, Kleyer said she discovered in junior high home economics class that she preferred to cook – indoors.

She often prepared meals for her family, which included her two younger brothers.

MICROWAVE monkey bread is part of the family’s Sunday morning fare.

She still does the cooking on the farm, but also has a career as a nursing professor, teaching lab and clinical courses at Northwestern College in Orange City.

Mark Kleyer runs the farm and their son, Matthew, 27, a John Deere mechanic, helps with the harvest.

Mark Kleyer grew up on a farm near Carmel, where he did his share of work on his own family’s farm.

Carol Kleyer spends her time caring for her granddaughter, Evyn, the 1-year-old daughter of Matthew and his wife, Nikita, who live next door.

As Kleyer talks about learning to cook in junior high home economics class, her daughter, Kristin, 30, a nurse anesthetist in North Liberty, texts to ask how Kleyer makes her beef roast in a frying pan.

-Farm News photos by Michele Linck CAROL KLEYER and her granddaughter, Evyn, 1, show off Kleyer’s Best-ever Texas caviar.

She is cooking for husband, Clint, and not too far into the future, for their 7-month-old son, Cade.

“I make a roast in an electric frying pan,” Kleyer said after she hangs up. “I brown both sides, turn (the pan) to simmer and then turn the roast every hour. It’s a 3-pound roast.

“My mom cooks meat better than I do,” she said. “I like to bake better.”

One of Kleyer’s early achievements in baking was a cookie recipe.

“I call them My First Bars,” she said. “Oatmeal, cocoa, white sugar and peanut butter. I put them in a pan instead of dropping them on a cookie sheet.”

Like all busy women, Kleyer gets a lot done. She has always helped with the harvest by keeping the crew well fed.

She cooks a hearty dinner, such as bacon cheeseburger casserole, and delivers it to the men in the field.

With all that Kleyer juggles each day, it’s no surprise that her cooking is of the common sense variety – attractive, tasty and (mostly) nutritious, but not too fussy.

One of the recipes that she still uses nearly every Sunday is microwave monkey bread.

It’s quick to make, and it got the kids up in time for church on Sunday mornings, she said.

It still works for Kleyer.

“It’s good to have that simple meal,” she said.

Best-ever Texas caviar

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can white corn, rinsed and drained

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained

1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped

1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1 cup sour cream

1/2 package of taco seasoning

Mix black beans, pinto beans, white corn, tomatoes and green chilies, jalapeno pepper, red and green bell peppers, red onion and cilantro together in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, stir sour cream and taco seasoning together.

Pour dressing over bean mixture, and toss to mix evenly.

Bacon cheeseburger casserole

1 pound ground beef

8 slices bacon, cut up

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

Slices of American cheese or shredded Cheddar cheese

Brown beef, bacon and onion.

Drain and add cream soup and Worcestershire sauce.

Put a layer of hash browns in a greased 2-quart casserole and top with half of the meat mixture and cheese. Repeat the layers.

Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

Microwave monkey bread

This recipe was prepared in an 1,100 watt microwave.

1 can refrigerated biscuits

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

Prepare a 1 to 1.5 quart baking dish with small glass in the center, spray with non-stick baking spray.

Mix white sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Cut biscuits into quarters, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture, and place in baking dish.

Pour melted butter over remaining cinnamon sugar mixture, stir and pour over biscuits.

Cook for 4 minutes at 70 percent power.

Invert onto serving plate and enjoy.

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