Shirley Mitchell (left) and Cindy Mitchell.

Shirley Mitchell and her daughter, Cindy Mitchell, both live in Humboldt. From the sounds of things they both lead pretty active lives. Shirley is retired from being a cook at the Humboldt schools for many years. She and her husband, Leo, were married for 54 years before he passed away. Shirley grew up in the Cylinder area and she and Leo moved to Humboldt in 1969. She has five grown children, all sons except for Cindy. Her son, Jeff, owns a restaurant in Leland, and got his cooking talents from his mother.
Shirley has four grandchildren. She is a member of the Senior Center, is one of the “Knitters and Crocheters” who meet at the Methodist Church and was very active at the Farmer’s Market for several years.
“If anyone has extra or leftover yarn that they don’t want, they can donate it to the Knitters and Crocheters,” Shirley said.
Everything they make is given away so it all goes for a good cause.
Shirley showed me a china doll that belonged to her mother when her mother was just 10 years old. Her mother was born in 1899, so I figured out the doll must be 107 years old now. Shirley had her refurbished and new clothes made for her in the style of those times. She is a beautiful doll so I took a picture so we could share that with you today also.
Through the years Shirley has collected numerous teapots and sometimes cups and saucers and other accessories to go with the teapots. One tea set in particular that she showed me was from a neighbor across the street who had had it for at least 60 years and was just going to throw it away so Shirley brought it in and it sits in a place of beauty on a special shelf. I’ve included a picture of that also because it is unique and also so pretty. It is the kind of knick-knack that attracts my eyes.
Shirley has refinished all of her old oak furniture including dining room and bedroom sets. That is what makes antiques so beautiful. Shirley enjoys all of her old furniture. She has put her heart and soul into the beauty of those old wooden antiques.
Now in her retired years her hobbies include reading the “Our Iowa” magazine and crocheting wash clothes and afghans and she also enjoys gardening. Just last week she was invited to pick the cherries off of her neighbor’s tree. Some neighbor kids helped her. She says it took them one hour to pick four ice cream buckets of cherries and it took her three hours to pit them. Shirley’s special friend is her little dog, Sugar. Sugar was very good and smiled into the camera when I took their picture. Both Shirley and Cindy attend St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Cindy Mitchell lives in her own home also. She works at Hanisch Ltd. in Humboldt as Office Manager. She graduated from the Humboldt High School. Her hobbies include reading, quilting, scrapbooking and flower gardens. She did a beautiful job on a scrapbook for her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. She is a member of BPW (Business and Professional Women). She has two cats to keep her company when she has time to be at home.
Cindy is looking forward to the summer assisting Sherri Myers at the Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning between 8:30 and 12 noon. She says they have a lot of fun things going on and advises us to watch the newspaper each week to see what the special attraction will be each week.
Shirley and Cindy both share recipes with us today. Cindy says her recipes are mostly sized down for one or two people but it would be easy to double or triple the recipe for more. Shirley told me when she cooked at the school everything was done from scratch. Now she thinks almost everything is done with a mix or frozen, etc. Times do change, don’t they?

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars
Cindy Mitchell
1/2 cup butter
1 package (2-layer size) yellow
cake mix
2 eggs, divided
2 packages (8 ounces each)
cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons juice of 1 lemon
2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Microwave butter in large microwavable bowl until melted. Add dry cake mix and 1 egg, beat with mixer until blended. Press 2/3 of the dough into bottom of prepared pan. Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until blended. Add remaining egg, zest and juice, mix well. Pour over crust, top with berries. Pinch small pieces of the remaining dough between your fingers, press lightly into cream cheese layer.
Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan, then cut into bars.
NOTE: For best results, refrigerate the cooled dessert before cutting into bars. Keep bars refrigerated.

Cherry Fluff
Cindy Mitchell
8 ounce carton Cool Whip
1 package mini marshmallows
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can sweetened condensed milk
nuts – optional
Mix all together and chill.
NOTE: Start with 1/2 of the package of marshmallows. Add more, if needed.

Rhubarb Raisin Crisp
Cindy Mitchell
5 cups sliced fresh or frozen
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
flour, divided
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon grown cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine
Combine rhubarb and 2 tablespoons of flour. Place in a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with raisins. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Sprinkle over the raisins. Combine oats and remaining flour, cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

Poppy Seed Creamed Chicken
Cindy Mitchell
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can condensed cream of
chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon poppy seed
3/4 cup crushed butter-flavored
crackers (about 18)
2 tablespoons butter or
margarine, melted
hot cooked noodles
In a bowl, combine the chicken, soup, sour cream and poppy seeds. Pour mixture into a creased shallow 3 cup baking dish. In another bowl combine cracker crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly. Serve over noodles. Serves 2.

Mini Tuna Casseroles
Cindy Mitchell
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons butter or
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 can tuna, drained
1 cup crushed potato chips
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In saucepan, sauté onions in butter. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tuna, 1/2 cup of potato chips and pepper. Pour into 2 greased 8 ounce baking dishes. Sprinkle with remaining potato chips. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serves 2.

Peanut Butter Jam Bars
Shirley Mitchell
1/2 cup oleo
1-1/2 cups sugar
Cream together.
add 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
18 ounce jar peanut butter
3 cups flour
Mix altogether. Spread 2/3 of dough in bottom of greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread 1-1/2 cups jam over dough. (Choice of flavors may be strawberry, blueberry, peach or whatever you like.) Spread the rest of the dough crumbs over the top of 1 cup chopped salted peanuts, which have been sprinkled over jam. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes depending on your individual oven.

Hot Hamburger Potato
Shirley Mitchell
3 large raw potatoes (these can
be pre-cooked if you need to
bake the casserole in less
1 pound hamburger, browned
and drained
1 small onion, browned with
5 slices cheese of your choice
1 can green beans with juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 can cream of celery soup OR
cream of chicken OR cream
of mushroom
Chop extra celery to add to the soup. Slice potatoes in baking dish. Brown hamburger and onion together. Put in layers of potatoes, hamburger, cheese, green beans until all in pan. Top with your choice of soup. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Chicken Spaghetti
Shirley Mitchell
Cook and debone one whole chicken (about 3 pounds). Save the broth to cook the spaghetti in.
1 stick oleo
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1 medium onion
1 medium green pepper
1 pound Velveeta cheese, grated
Cook 1 pound spaghetti in broth. (Save 1/2 cup to 1 cup of broth for white sauce.)
Make a white sauce of:
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Cook until slightly thickened. Add the sautéed veggies. Stir in the grated cheese. Drain the spaghetti, saving 1 cup of the broth. Add the sauce and spaghetti together and stir in the chicken. Let stand about 5 minutes covered before serving.

Salmon Loaf
Shirley Mitchell
1 can salmon (debone and
remove skin)
2 eggs
8 to 10 crumbled crackers
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons melted oleo
1 small chopped onion
Mix well. Put in a sprayed or greased loaf pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven 35 to 45 minutes until done. Serves 4.

Tuna Burgers
Shirley Mitchell
6 hamburger buns
7 ounces of tuna
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, diced
1/2 cup olives, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup salad dressing
salt and pepper to taste
Combine tuna with other ingredients. Olives and celery are optional or both can be used or just one or the other. Mix all ingredients well. Divide onto 6 buns. Wrap each bun in foil. Bake in a 350-degree oven 10 to 15 minutes. These freeze well. You can also use chicken, chopped ham or turkey or hamburger. Serves 6.

German Cuke Slices
Shirley Mitchell
4 or 5 cucumbers, peeled and
sliced thin
1 onion, sliced
3/4 cup salad dressing or mayo
1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener
4 Tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Mix altogether. Best made the day ahead of eating.

Sour Cream Cuke Salad
Shirley Mitchell
5 medium cucumbers, peeled
and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups sour cream OR 1 cup
sour cream and 1 cup plain
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder, dill weed or parsley can be added to the above for different flavors. Make 2 hours ahead or overnight before eating. Tomatoes that have been quartered can also be added.

Fruit Salad
Shirley Mitchell
1 can fruit cocktail, DON’T
1 can crushed pineapple,
1 can Mandarin oranges,
add 6 ounce package dry instant
vanilla pudding.
Stir altogether and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, add 1 1/2 cups whipped topping, 1 cup mini marshmallows, coconut and nuts if desired. Can also use instant 6 ounce lemon pudding.

Diamond Nutty Chocolate Caramel Bars
Shirley Mitchell
2-1/2 cups flour (save out 1/3
cup to add to caramel ice
cream topping)
2 cups melted oleo (2 sticks)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips
(butterscotch or peanut butter
chips may be used for
different flavors)
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
(which you add 1/3 cup flour
to and mix in)
Combine 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda. Add melted oleo. Mix for crumb mixture. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumbs into ungreased jelly roll pan. Bake 15 minutes until light brown. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (or other if used). Then sprinkle walnuts over that. Be sure to add the 1/3 cup flour into caramel topping. Drizzle over all of the above. Sprinkle the 1 cup of left over crumb mixture over all. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars.

If you are reading this, then you probably enjoy new recipes. If you would like to share some of your recipes with the community, YOU could be Cook of the Week. Please contact me, Sally Redenius, if you would like to be in this column some week. I can be reached by phone at 515-373-6346 or email me at
I will be happy to email or send you my short questionnaire and set up a time to come and visit you at your convenience. I’m always looking for NEW Cooks of the Week. Also, if you are new in town, this is a good way to introduce yourself to the Humboldt community and surrounding communities. I look forward to visiting with you.
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.

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