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Time in the kitchen with the next generation

By Staff | Mar 9, 2018

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson Front: THE?HICKS?FAMILY, from left to right, includes Benson Konecne, Connor Hicks, Sandy Hicks, Kaylee Hicks, Addy Hicks and Brylie Hicks. In back, from left to right, is Chloe Hicks, Chyann Hicks, Lainey Hicks, Hanna Hicks and Cade Konecne.



GOWRIE – Sandy Hicks has always enjoyed her time in the kitchen, providing home-cooked meals for her family.

But she has even a greater love of time spent in her kitchen when her grandchildren are present.

Hicks’ grandchildren range in age from teenagers down to infants, but even at the toddler age they are helping grandma with any task that matches their ability.

Lainey Hicks is just 2 years old and spends time with her grandmother in the kitchen.

“She will help dump the ingredients,” said Sandy Hicks.

Hanna Hicks, 10, said her favorite thing to make with her grandmother is coffee cake, but has evolved with her cooking and baking skills to do a lot of things on her own.

“I love to cook and cooking with grandma is where I want to be, in her kitchen,” she said.

Hicks said she has taken what her grandma has taught her and used those lessons for 4-H projects, even making a cherry dessert with hand-picked cherries from her grandma’s cherry trees.

Twin granddaughters, Chyann and Chloe Hicks, are 15 and have had a lot of years spent with their grandma in the kitchen.

“I have learned, when baking, you have to separate the dry and wet ingredients,” said Chyann Hicks, whose favorite thing to bake is “delicious bars.”

Chloe Hicks said her most valuable lesson learned from her grandma is to make sure the food is baked and to just rely on suggested baking times. Molasses cookies are her favorite thing her grandma bakes.

Most of the grandchildren agree they like to help their grandma bake cookies.

Addy Hicks and Brylie Hicks both like to help bake chocolate chip cookies.

Sandy Hicks said there is one thing for sure the entire family agrees on, and that is popcorn balls. The particular recipe, she said, has been in her family for several years.

“That is a favorite and everybody likes to make popcorn balls,” she said.

Hicks said when she is preparing meals to take to the field, the older girls know just how to step in and help get the lunches prepared.

At Christmas time, Hicks said she likes to gather all of the grandchildren together and bake Christmas goodies. But this year, they started a new tradition.

“We had a Christmas cookie decorating contest,” she said. “And we all want to keep doing that.”

Hicks said she likes to cook from scratch and utilizes a lot of produce from her garden in her meals.

Her grandchildren also help her out in the garden.

“I think that helps them to appreciate and like homemade food,” she said.

Hamburger buns

1 1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons instant milk powder

2 teaspoons gluten

3 1/2 cups flour (1/2 bread flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour)

Mix ingredients as you would for bread. Knead and make into buns. Let rise on cookie sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes about 14 hamburger buns.

Pizza bread

Hicks said this is a favorite at her house also and is a borrowed recipe from a friend.

1 loaf thawed bread dough

3 tablespoons margarine, softened

Around 5 ounces mozzarella cheese (you can add more or less)

1/4 teaspoon lemon powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Pepperoni, ground beef or ham. You can add onion, green pepper, sauerkraut; whatever your family likes.

Melt margarine and add parsley, lemon pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Stir together. Roll out bread dough to a rectangle shape. Put 2/3 of the butter mix on the bread. The rest will go on the top of the bread.

Add the cheese, meat and veggies.

Pull the sides to the center (like a cinnamon roll but not that tight), seal the edges and the ends tight.

Flip over on a spread jellyroll pan brush the top with remaining butter mixture.

Let it raise 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Popcorn balls

2 cups un-popped popcorn

Pop the corn and place in a large roasting pan.

In a sauce pan mix:

1/2 cup margarine

1 cup white syrup

2 cups white sugar

Food coloring, optional

Heat on stove until the temperature gets up to 225 degrees, stirring often, so it makes a syrup.

Pour over popped corn and stir with a long-handled spoon.

When the popcorn is covered with syrup, put margarine on your hands and start making balls with the popcorn.

Delicious bars

1 cup flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup oatmeal

3/4 cup melted oleo

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts

32 Kraft caramels and 5 tablespoons of milk.

Mix first six ingredients and pat into a 9 by 13-inch pan.

Save some for the topping.

Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove from oven, sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts in a pan.

Melt the caramels in the microwave with the milk, stirring every 30 seconds and drizzle over top.

Add crumble reserved topping.

Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Fiesta ranch pasta salad

1 package pasta (either rotini or bowtie)

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 package frozen corn (drained and rinsed)

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 cup black olives, sliced

2 cups shredded Colby Jack or cheddar cheese

2 tomatoes, chopped


2 cups mayonnaise

1 cup buttermilk

1 package taco seasoning

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Fiesta dip mix

Mix together.

Cook pasta and drain and cool.

Add all of the other ingredients together and top with the dressing.

Cuban poor boys

6 slices of tenderized and grilled pork loins

6 thin slices of ham, warmed in the microwave to take the chill off

6 buns, buttered and grilled

6 slices of Swiss cheese

3 tablespoons mustard and 3 tablespoons Miracle Whip mixed together

3 dill pickles


Onion, sliced thin

Put your grilled bun on a plate. Add the loin, cheese spread and the mustard mix on top. Add the pickle, onion and lettuce.

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