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Discovered a love of cooking

By Staff | Apr 10, 2015


JOLLEY – Jennifer Scheidegger has a passion for baking and cooking that she hopes to turn into a career someday.

Scheidegger and husband Kerry farm in rural Jolley with their four children and raise lambs.

After spending a short time in the Air Force and studying air traffic control, Scheidegger moved back to the Jolley area, and earned degrees in graphic design and in web design.

She works full time at South Central Calhoun Elementary school as well as working part time from home working with graphic and web design.

-Farm News photos by Kriss Nelson JENNIFER SCHEIDEGGER, of Jolley, said she loves to cook and bake when she has the opportunity and, as a side job, has started Gabby’s Specialty Bakery out of her home, fulfilling a goal of operating a restaurant and bakery.

She also operates Gabby’s Specialty Bakery part time.

“This is a side job I have from home in which I bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes,” said Scheidegger. “The name is derived from my nickname, and I would one day like to make this full time and at a separate location. But for now, this works.”

Scheidegger said while growing up she used to watch her mother, Niki Smith, cook and bake, but admits it was something she didn’t find appealing.

“I didn’t have much interest in it then, but I think I still learned a lot by watching,” she said.

Scheidegger said she cooked alongside her grandmother, Virginia Smith, while spending time at her house.

-Contributed photo CUPCAKES ARE AMONG many of the goodies Jennifer Scheidegger makes from her side business, Gabby’s Specialty Bakery. She bakes goodies for friends and family but would someday like to make it a full-time business.

“She taught me how to make meatloaf,” said Scheidegger. “I remember how cold my hand would be and how much I thought it hurt, and I was never going to make it when I grew up for that reason.”

Now, Scheidegger said she makes her grandmother’s meatloaf often since it’s become a family favorite.

She said she gained a lot of experience working at Jots Cafe, in Rockwell City, during her high school years.

Scheidegger said she enjoys both cooking and baking.

“I like to cook for others mainly,” she said.

-Farm News photos by Kriss Nelson JENNIFER SCHEIDEGGER decorates cookies at her home near Jolley. She is known for her sugar cookies and said she enjoys baking and decorating them from a secret family recipe.

Her favorite recipes – besides her grandmother’s meatloaf – include lasagna, anything on the grill, banana or zucchini bread and sugar cookies.

She said she is known for her sugar cookies, which come from an old family recipe that has been passed down from her mother’s side of the family.

Scheidegger advises others to always try new things.

“I have a daughter who is vegetarian, and that was a foreign diet to me,” she said. “So I have learned a lot about different types of foods and how to prepare them.”

When she is not working, Scheidegger said she keeps busy taking her children to dance, soccer, Cub Scouts and guitar lessons. She said she loves to cook, garden and go camping.

Bread pudding

1/4 pound unsalted butter

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon ginger

Optional: Raisins, roasted pecans

7 slices white sandwich bread toasted

Place butter and sugar in large bowl or electric mixer; cream well. Add milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cream of tartar and ginger; beat on low speed until well blended.

Break toasted bread into small pieces and arrange in an even layer in the bottom of an ungreased 8-by-8-inch pan.

Pour milk mixture over bread and let sit for 1 hour, occasionally patting down any bread that floats to the top.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and mixture shakes like a bowl of jelly when shaken gently.

Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Weeds ‘n’ seeds salad

1 large stalk of broccoli, chopped to bite size

4 ounces sunflower seeds

1 cup raisins

1/2 pound bacon, browned and cut up

4 tablespoons chopped onion

Mix together the following and stir into the above mixture at least two hours before serving

1/2 cup Miracle Whip

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons vinegar

4 tablespoons milk

Mexican casserole

1 pound lean ground beef

2 cups salsa

1 16-ounce can chili beans, drained

3 cups crushed tortilla chips

2 cups sour cream

12-ounce can sliced black olives

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup chopped tomato

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, brown ground beef until no longer pink, stir in salsa, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Stir in beans and heat through. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread crushed tortilla chips in dish, spoon meat mixture over chips.

Spread sour cream over beef and sprinkle olives, green onion and tomato over the sour cream.

Top with the Cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


12 ounces spinach cooked and well drained.

1 pound ground beef

Half a box of Stove Top Stuffing Mix (lower sodium chicken)

2 eggs

2 garlic cloves

1 small onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wet stuffing mix with a little water and then hand mash.

Add to large bowl and combine with ground beef, chopped spinach, eggs, garlic, onion, parsley, oregano, grated cheese and mix thoroughly.

Roll into meatballs about the size of an ice cream scoop. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease it with a little oil.

Place meatballs. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and flip.

Bake an additional 10 minutes or until done.

Buffalo chicken dip

20 ounces cooked, diced chicken

2 packages cream cheese

1 cup ranch dressing

3/4 cup hot sauce

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and hot sauce in skillet until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing.

Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half the Cheddar cheese and transfer to a slow cooker.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Cook on low until hot and bubbly.

Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

Banana bread

1 cup sugar

3 ripe bananas

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

3/4 cups butter

2 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix in order given. Grease bread pan.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour.

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