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A meat and potatoes menu

By Staff | Feb 4, 2016

VANESSA KING serves up a bowl of baked potato soup in her home near Gowrie recently. King said she enjoys baking, cooking and canning, and considers herself a meat-and-potatoes cook.



GOWRIE – Vanessa King admits she sure isn’t where she thought she would be when she grew up, but knows just how blessed she actually is.

“I loved the farm growing up, but I had no intentions to stay,” King said. “I was going to leave the state, go to college – and then I met Ron.

“This is right where I need to be. We farmed together and created a partnership. I can say that I have been blessed, very blessed.”

THIS BAKED POTATO SOUP is a favorite of Vanessa King’s children. Although she enjoys cooking meals, baking pies are her favorite — especially lemon meringue.

King said both she and husband, Ron King, like to garden. She especially enjoys reaping the benefits of their harvest with canning and freezing their goods.

King said she grew up baking pies and canning with her mother, Theresa Brain.

She said her mother loved to bake pies and sometimes would prepare up to 25 pies at a time.

Canning was also a large part of King’s upbringing and admits that although she had the talents to can and bake pies, she couldn’t put a meal together when she first married, but soon learned.

King said she considers herself a “meat and potatoes type of cook,” but baking pies is her favorite thing to make over anything else – especially lemon meringue.

THESE APPLE STRUDEL MUFFINS make a nice addition to any meal or as a snack.

King and her husband have three children that are now married and five grandchildren.

They are recently retired from farming, but she still works as a nurse at the Gowrie Care Center a few days a week.

Since her husband has retired, they have been taking time to themselves enjoying fishing and taking mini-trips, spending time with their grandchildren and especially gardening.

Baked potato soup

Makes about eight servings

THESE RAISIN BARS are a favorite treat of Vanessa King’s family.

8-10 slices of bacon, fried crisp

1 cup diced onion

4 large baked potatoes

2/3 cup flour

6 cups hot chicken broth or milk

8 ounces sour cream

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

3/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook and crumble bacon while reserving some of the drippings.

Cook the onions in the drippings until they turn transparent.

Meanwhile, cut the baked potatoes in chunks along with some of the peels.

Add flour to the onions, stir and cook three to five minutes until the mixture turns golden.

Gradually add two cups of chicken broth, whisking to prevent lumps until it thickens.

Pour into a large saucepan and add remaining chicken broth.

Whisk in potatoes, peels and sour cream.

Add seasonings. Add cheese and simmer until cheese melts.

Top with bacon.

Salisbury steak

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons minced onion

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup water

Combine beef, bread, egg, salt, pepper, onion, celery and shape into patties about an inch thick.

Using a small amount of margarine, brown both sides of the patties in a skillet.

Drain off excess fat.

Combine the soup and water, then pour around the meat.

Cook slowly in a covered skillet for 25 minutes on medium to low heat.

Place parboiled potatoes around the meat the last 10 minutes.

The soup and meat will make a gravy.

Raisin bars

1 3/4 cups flour

1 3/4 cups oatmeal

2 sticks melted margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon soda

4 egg yolks

1 1 /2 cups sugar

1 pint sour cream

3 tablespoons corn starch

2 cups raisins

Combine flour, oatmeal, margarine, brown sugar and soda.

Place two-thirds to three-quarters of the mixture in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Cook 2 cups of raisins with enough water until plump then drain and cool.

Mix egg yolks and sour cream, add sugar and cornstarch.

Cook until thick on medium heat.

Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and add the cooked raisins to the mixture.

Place mixture on top of crumbs. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top and bake until golden brown.

To make a cookie sheet full, adjust recipe to 1 1/2.

Apple strudel muffins

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped apples


1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth.

Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples and gradually blend in the flour mixture.

Spoon into muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs then sprinkle over the tops of the mixture in the muffin pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to sit for five minutes before removing from the pan. Cool on a wire rack.

You can use half a cup of milk in the batter if wanting to use Splenda instead of sugar.

Ham balls

3 1/4 pounds of ground, cured ham

1 pound ground beef

2 pounds ground pork

2 cups milk

3 eggs

3 cups crushed graham crackers


2 cans tomato soup

3/4 cup vinegar

2 1/4 cups brown sugar

2 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine the first six ingredients and mix well.

Shape into rounds golf ball-sized.

Place into baking pan and cover with the sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Turn the ham balls after half of an hour.

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