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COOK OF THE WEEK - RITA SIME

Many of you reading this were probably children that attended Rita Sime’s Daycare, which she ran for 25 years. She told me that some of those “children” still stay in contact with her now that they are adults.
Rita Sime was married to her husband, Eric for 40 years before he passed away in 2009. Many will remember him for his insurance work. In fact when they met both were working for the same insurance company in Cedar Rapids. Rita grew up in Cedar Rapids and graduated from Washington High School there. After being married they lived in Kansas City and moved back to the Humboldt area in 1974. Eric again worked with Insurance and Rita started her daycare. She did daycare for 25 years, retiring in 2000. When one of these children had a birthday she always made them cupcakes and many of them always chose the same recipe, which she shared with us today.
Rita is the mother of two children. Vicky (Carl) Livingston live in Ankeny, where Vicky is a substitute teacher. Brian (Tamra) Sime live in Rapid City, SD. Brian followed his Dad into the insurance business and Tamra is in the military. Rita is the proud grandmother of five grandchildren, all belonging to Vicky.
Rita is in the Humboldt Hospital Auxiliary and bakes at least once each month for the snack bar. Rita says she doesn’t have time to be in too many organizations because she goes often to Ankeny and Rapid City to visit her children and their families. Rita attends Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Her hobbies include cooking and gardening. Two of her favorite meals to serve are her Chicken Supreme or Juicy Burgers. Recipes for these and several others are shared with you today.
I loved the quilt shown with Rita in this picture. After Eric passed away, her son took all of his Dad’s ties to a lady in South Dakota who made them into this beautiful quilt. Rita hadn’t even realized Brian took the ties so this was a real surprise. The quilt is double the size that is shown being made in two like pieces that are sewn together. This way both of their children will get one when Rita is gone.

Cupcakes
Daycare children’s favorite.
Cake:
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 small bag or 1/2 of a big bag
of chocolate chips
Mix cake batter, filling paper lined cupcake pans a little more than half full. Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of each cupcake. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. This recipe makes 20 or 22 cupcakes. These do not require frosting.

Chicken Supreme
This is a recipe she often takes to people who are sick or shut-in.
Cook one box of Uncle Ben Long Grain and Wild Rice and Herbs. Boil enough chicken to make two cups of chicken, cut up. Save the broth. Sauté 1 small onion in 1/4 cup butter for about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour. Then add 1 cup of the saved chicken broth and 1 cup of half and half cream. Cook until this thickens. Put in 2 cups chicken and cooked rice. Pour all into a 2-quart casserole dish and bake covered for 30 minutes. She says a 375-degree oven is best for glass and 400 degrees for a metal pan.

Juicy Burgers
She got this from a very dear friend, Judy Merris.
2 to 3 pounds ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1-1/2 cups ketchup
15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
sauce
liquid smoke, a few drops
Put ground beef in large pan while still frozen. Cover with at least 2 cups water and simmer until meat is thawed. Break meat up so it is fine and crumbly. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered so it cooks down to proper consistency to serve on toasted buns. Great for after the game crowd. Best if simmered 2 to 3 hours.

Wild Rice Soup
3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (6
ounce box)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
8 ounce can sliced mushrooms
2 cans fat-free cream of
mushroom soup
2 cans fat-free cream of chicken
soup
(2) 14 ounce cans fat-free
chicken broth
2 cans of water (28 ounces)
total
Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Sauté celery, onion and green peppers in a pan with cooking spray. Stir together all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour in a Dutch kettle or other big pan. Sometimes she adds cooked chicken to this also.

Spaghetti Pizza
Her grandchildren love this.
2 sprays olive oil cooking spray
12 ounces uncooked whole-
wheat spaghetti pasta
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2/3 cup fat-free skim milk
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup basil, fresh, chopped
(plus extra leaves for garnish)
9 ounces shredded part-skim
mozzarella cheese, divided
32 ounces bottle spaghetti sauce
2 ounces pepperoni, finely
julienned (about 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
Break spaghetti into 2-inch pieces and cook, al dente, according to directions; drain and cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat egg whites and egg until frothy. Stir in milk, garlic powder, salt, oregano, basil and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese; add cooked spaghetti and stir until thoroughly combined. Spread spaghetti mixture evenly in bottom of baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Add rest of the cheese. Bake until done.

Beef Porcupine Meatballs
Combine 1 package beef Rice-A-Roni with 1 pound ground beef and 1 egg, beaten. Shape into about 20 small meatballs. Brown meatballs on all sides in skillet. Combine contents of beef seasoning packet with 2-1/2 cups hot water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Taco Meatballs
14 ounces raw ground turkey or
90 percent lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 to 1/2 package taco
seasoning mix (depending on
how spicy you like it)
salt, pepper and garlic powder to
taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Shape into 40 small balls. Place in baking dish that has been sprayed with a cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes. Serve with toothpicks as an appetizer.

Spanish Rice
6 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup diced tomatoes (of a 1
pound can)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Fry bacon in large skillet, until crisp. Remove bacon and drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings. Add onion and green pepper to drippings in skillet. Cook and stir until tender. Stir in bacon, rice, rest of tomatoes and salt. Cook uncovered over low heat for 15 minutes.

Hamburger Stroganoff
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion (1/3 cup)
1/4 stick butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or 1
clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounce can mushroom stems
and pieces, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups hot cooked noodles
In large skillet, cook and stir ground beef and onion in butter until onion is tender. Stir in flour, salt, garlic, pepper, mushrooms and soup. Cook stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. Heat through. Serve over cooked noodles.

Microwave Meatloaf Ring
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
6 crushed soda crackers
1 small onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup tomato juice
Topping:
3 tablespoons catsup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Thoroughly combine all ingredients except topping mix. Pack lightly into a 9-inch glass pie plate, making a well in the center. Place an empty custard dish upside down in center of dish. Cook, uncovered for 6 minutes. Drizzle topping mixture over the top and cook 5 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Remove custard with dripping in it.

Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup
Makes 6 servings.
1 pound boneless lean top round
steak, trimmed of all visible
fat and cut into 1 inch chunks
3/4 cup pearl barley
7 cups water
3 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
(optional)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 cups thawed frozen baby
lima beans
Combine the beef, barley and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, then add the carrots, onions, celery, salt, fennel seeds (if using), and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes.
Stir in the Lima beans and mushrooms; simmer, covered, until the beef is fork-tender, about 15 minutes longer.
You may add some chopped fresh herbs, like thyme or marjoram in with the lima beans and mushrooms, but the soup will be just as delicious without further embellishment.

Skillet Beef and Beer Stew
This hearty one-pot meal can be prepared in just one hour. Double the recipe and freeze some for a “too busy to cook day.”
1 serving olive oil cooking spray
(5 one-second sprays per
serving)
12 ounces lean beef round roast,
cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
or 1 teaspoon prepared
minced garlic from a jar
2 medium potatoes, peeled and
diced
24 medium baby carrots, about
1/2 pound
1 cup fat-free beef broth
8 ounces light beer
1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, pepper and garlic, cook until beef is browned, stirring, about 3 minutes.
Stir in potatoes, carrots, broth and beer; bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir together evaporated milk, cornstarch and paprika in a small cup; add to beef mixture and stir to combine. Cook until slightly thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes; cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes more.
Serving 4 this yields about 1-1/2 cups per serving.

Custard Pie
This is easy because it forms its own crust.
2 cups 2 percent milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
4 eggs
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Place all ingredients in blender. Mix well. Spray an 8 or 9 inch pie plate and pour mixture into pie plate. Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes or more.

Banana Chocolate Chip
Muffins
This is great to serve at breakfast to company.
3 large bananas
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup to 1 cup chocolate chips.
Mash bananas; add sugar and slightly beaten egg. Add melted butter and dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips.
This recipe makes 12 medium muffins or 6 large muffin. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Rum Cake
This is her son’s request every Christmas.
1 yellow cake mix
vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rum
Mix all together and bake in a greased Bundt pan.
Syrup:
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Boil for 1 minute, then add 1/4 cup rum.
Pour syrup over hot cake. Let it cool in pan, then invert onto plate.

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 Cuthbertson, 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 sacuthbe@msn.com. 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 Cook’s of the Week. Also if you are new in town, this is a good way to introduce yourself to the Humboldt County and surrounding communities. I will 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.