Connie and Nancy have a goal

Cook Big

Connie Swanson and Nancy Haefner

By Betty Street

Connie Swanson and Nancy Haefner are women on a mission. They are in serious training to walk 20 miles a day for three days in a row when the Susan G. Koman 3-Day walk takes place in the Twin Cities. Specifically, it’s August 23-25, 2013.
Each of these ladies also has very personal reasons for supporting Susan G. Koman for the Cure. Nancy said, “I am walking because I’ve seen first-hand what it’s like for a patient to go through treatments and fight off cancer. My mother-in-law, Virginia Haefner, passed away in 1982 after fighting a two-year battle with breast cancer. My sister, Jody, has gone through treatments twice, but is now doing well.”
Connie’s daughter’s mother-in-law and three sisters are breast cancer survivors and have participated in this walk for three years, a couple of them for four years in a row. Connie heard it was a lot of fun, “except for the third day when you’re minus your toenails!”
That speaks to the essential issue of wearing well-fitted, well-broken-in shoes on the walk.
Three-day walks are scheduled at some 14 sites around the country, including the Twin Cities, from June through mid-November.
The purpose of the three-day walk is to bring attention to the need for research into finding the cure for breast cancer. As part of that, each participant has to raise at least $2,300 in donations before they start their three-day walks, and both Connie and Nancy have made modest beginnings on their fundraising. There is a jar set out on the counter at the dental office for contributions— and they would love to know if anybody has ideas for fundraisers.
Both Nancy and Connie are from the Selby area. Both attended Selby High School, Connie graduating in 1971 and Nancy in 1979. Connie grew up on a farm with five brothers and sisters. Nancy said, “I never thought I’d live on a farm, but I’d never give that up now! I love walking out in the country.”
Nancy’s husband, John, is a farmer/rancher. They raise wheat, corn, soybeans and cattle. During harvest, she takes meals out to the field for all the workers. She said she prefers baking bars to cookies, just because it takes less time. Still, she said, she likes eating cookies. Nancy works full-time as a dental assistant at McClellan-Swanson Dental Clinic.
Nancy and John have three children. Levi, 32, lives in southeastern Montana on a ranch he just bought. Dustin and Jamie live in Pierre and they’re going to make Nancy and John grandparents in about two weeks’ time. Raquel married Quentin Schlomer and they live just north of Mobridge.
Connie’s husband is Dr. Tom Swanson of the McClellan-Swanson Dental Clinic. She’s a receptionist and Nancy teased her about calling herself “the boss” when we were talking together.
Connie and Tom have three daughters. Megan and Mike Lee have two children and they live in Sioux Falls. Brittany and TJ (Knudson) live here in Mobridge, are both teachers, and also have two children. Kelsey and Chris Soukup live in Sioux Falls. They have a two-year-old and their second child will be born in two weeks.
Connie can’t recall a cooking mishap. She knows there have been a few, but she just couldn’t bring one to mind. Nancy, however, described a time when she made some waffle iron cookies that did not turn out good at all. The dog wouldn’t even eat them. Her father-in-law came in and asked, “What happened to them cookies?”
Nancy has a number of favorite dishes; and even though she uses the same recipes over and over, they never turn out quite the same twice, which puzzles her. When she gets a compliment on her cooking, she thanks the person and says, wait until next time.
Although both women share a love of walking, Connie also rides her bike and she and Tom enjoy riding their pontoon boat on Lake Oahe when the weather is warmer. Nancy enjoys working in her yard. She said she doesn’t have time for any other hobbies.
If anyone wants to contribute to Connie’s and Nancy’s funds to go on their 60-mile walk or has ideas for fundraising, please give them a call. It would be eternally appreciated.


Cheese and Pasta
in a Pot
2 lbs. ground beef
Onion to taste
1 14-oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1 1-lb. can stewed tomatoes
3 8-oz. boxes of large shells, rigatoni, spirals or noodles of choice. (I use one of each)
1 1/2 pints sour cream
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese
Brown ground beef with onion to taste. Drain off excess fat. Add spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, mix well and simmer for 20 minutes. Cook macaroni according to directions, drain and rinse in cold water. Pour half of macaroni into deep casserole dish. Pour on half of meat sauce. Cover with half of sour cream, top with cheddar cheese. Repeat layers ending with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove cover and cook until mozzarella browns lightly.

Baked Potato Dip
16-oz. sour cream.
3 oz. pkg. or bottle of bacon bits
2 c. cheddar cheese
1 can cream of potato soup
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients. Chill. Serve with potato chips.

Weight Watchers Pumpkin Muffins
1 box Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix
1 15-oz. can of pumpkin
1 c. water
Combine all ingredients and put into 24 lined cups of muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Creamy Mexican Chicken Pasta
3 cups bow tie pasta, uncooked
1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips
1/2 pound (8 oz.) Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. thick and chunky salsa
1/4 cup milk
Cook pasta according to directions, drain and return to saucepan. Spray large skillet with cooking spray, add chicken and cook until cooked through.
Add to pasta in saucepan along with remaining ingredients. Cook on low heat until Velveeta is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring occasionally. Makes 6 servings.

Key Lime Cupcakes
1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Lemon Cake Mix
1 box (4 serving size) lime-flavored gelatin
3/4 c. water
1/3 c. lime juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 or 3 drops green food coloring
1 c. powdered sugar
2 to 2 1/2 Tbs. lime juice
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular-size muffin cup. In large bowl, beat cupcake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake 19 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. With toothpick, pierce tops of cupcakes in several places.
In small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough of the 2 to 2 1/2 Tbs. lime juice until glaze is smooth and thin enough to drizzle over cupcakes. Cool completely.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, beat in vanilla and 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar until mixed; beat on medium speed until fluffy. Frost cupcakes, mounding and swirling frosting in center. Store covered in refrigerator.

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