Mom inspires Connie’s cooking
Connie Bauer’s mom, Lorraine Biel, inspired her to cook, but growing up Connie would much rather have been outdoors helping her dad or riding horses.
“One of my most memorable cooking catastrophes occurred when I was in high school, she said. “I was bragging about how well I could make popcorn and then burned it!”
The other, she said, occurred after she and her husband, Dan, were married. Following a high school basketball game, Connie spontaneously invited friends over for barbeques.
“I figured I’d just take barbeque meat out of the freezer and heat it up-no problem.”
What she thawed turned out to be Salisbury steak.
“No, we didn’t have Salisbury Steak that night,” she said. One of six children born to Lorraine (Bieber) and the late Floyd Biel, Connie and her siblings Steve, Marsha, Dan, Sherilyn and Lori grew up on the family farm, 7 miles north of Java. The farm was inherited from Floyd’s parents, Edward and Emma Biel. Connie graduated from Java High School in 1967 and from Northern State University at Aberdeen in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She married Dan Bauer, the son of the late Robert and Evelyn Bauer of Houghton. Classmates at NSU, Dan received his bachelor’s degree in business education in 1970.
They taught school in Linton, N.D. from 1971 to 1978. Dan received his master’s degree in business administration in 1978, and became superintendent of schools at Jud, N.D., until 1983, and Connie also taught at Jud Elementary School until 1991.
Dan became branch manager of the Central Dakota Bank, Jud Branch, where he served until 1989. In 1989, he became superintendent of school at Kulm, N.D., and Connie taught at Kulm Elementary where they resided until their retirement in 2008. They moved to Java in 2009. Dan was a member of the Army Reserves in South Dakota and North Dakota National Guard for 31 years and served in Desert Storm from November 1990 to May 1991.
They have three children: Dana, born in 1973; Sara born in 1978; and Tana, born in 1980. They are all graduates of Kulm High School.
Dana, 39, has a degree in chemical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. He is a chemical engineer for Dow Corning working in China, and is married to Lilly.
Sara, 34, has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University at Fargo. She and husband Curt (Lout), and Brody, 3, live in Hot Springs. Sara is employed by Indian Health in Pine Ridge and Curt is a photographer and has a framing business.
Tana, 32, has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from NDSU. She and husband Travis (Triepke) and their son, Taydon, 5, and daughter, Tenley, 2, live in Devils Lake, N.D. She is employed by Indian Health at Ft. Totten, N.D., and he is an electrician.
“Our number one favorite activity is time spent with the kids and the grandchildren,” she said.
Connie still enjoys horseback riding and outdoor activities like camping and fishing and they enjoy traveling since she and Dan retired. She listens to country music by favorite artists Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, and Tim McGraw and reading novels by John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steele.
CONNIE BAUER’S RECIPES
Chicken Dinner Bars
4 tablespoons butter
22 large marshmallows
5 cups Rice Krispies
Melt butter and marshmallows. When melted, remove from heat and add the Rice Krispies. Mix and spread into a buttered 9-inch by 13-inch pan.
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup white corn syrup
3/4 cup peanut butter
Put sugar and corn syrup in kettle and heat until melted, but don’t boil. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter (creamy or chunky). Stir until blended and then spread over first layer.
6 large marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup white sugar
Boil the above for 1 minute at a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
3/8 cup chocolate chips.
Stir constantly until chips are melted. Pour over second layer and spread evenly.
3/4 lb. smoky maple bacon (cut into small pieces)
1 small head lettuce (shredded)
1 1/2 qt. hot water
1 tablespoon ham soup base
1 large dash crushed red pepper
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons chicken soup base
2 small tomatoes (diced)
1 pt. whipping cream
Brown bacon pieces. Melt in butter and add lettuce and sauté. Stir in flour and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add water, soup bases, and tomatoes. Return to heat and heat thoroughly. Reduce heat, stir in cream, and add peppers. Cook until tomatoes are done. For a thicker sauce, add less liquid.
Honey Glazed Pheasant
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
Adjust the amount according to how much pheasant you are preparing (2 parts honey to 1 part butter).
Cut pheasant breasts into finger-size strips. Coat in flour, salt and pepper. Brown in oil and a small amount of butter. When browned on both sides, pour the honey/butter mixture over. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes until it starts to caramelize. Remove cover and simmer about another 10 minutes.
Sour Cream Enchiladas
1 to 1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1/4 cup onion
4 oz. green chopped chilies
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix (dry)
1 pkg. flour tortillas
12 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup salsa
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 cups cheddar cheese
1/4 cup water
Brown hamburger and onion. Add 1/2 the chilies, taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Simmer for a few minutes. Cool slightly and add mozzarella cheese. Spread evenly on tortillas and roll up. Mix soup, sour cream, salsa and remaining green chilies. Spread half the soup mixture on bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Place the rolled tortillas, single layer, in pan. Spread the rest of the soup mixture over the tortillas. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Fills approximately 8 tortillas.
Baked French Toast
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Melt margarine in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and add to melted butter in pan. Cover with 2 layers of bread slices. Beat eggs, milk and salt. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover. Chill overnight. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cut into squares. Turn upside down on plates. Serve with butter and syrup.