She won’t make sushi again

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By Betty Street

Michelle Sandmeier

Michelle Sandmeier

Michelle Sandmeier, who lives in Glenham, was born and grew up in Mobridge. She came from a large family—one of seven children—and has lots of relatives in this region. Both of her parents were from Campbell County.
Michelle works at One World as a client relations manager. That means she is a liaison between One World clients and the call center in setting up, training and communication; and she enjoys her work a lot. Michelle communicates effectively, knows how to get things done, and follows through very well, which is what makes her a great employee.
Those characteristics are also what make Michelle a great cook. Although taught by mother Ione to make the old German recipes, Michelle found they took “too much time and too much dough.” She likes experimenting with new ideas.
One new thing she tried one New Year’s day was a sushi recipe involving crab, rice and seaweed. “It looked really pretty,” she said, “and I wanted to like it, but I didn’t.”
That sushi recipe did not find a permanent home in Michelle’s recipe box.
However, Michelle enjoys all kinds of cooking. This still being summer, she’s grilled a lot and she, husband Wayne and son Michael prefer charcoal grilling at the Sandmeier home. Michelle says she cooks a lot on weekends and uses the leftovers during the week. Using leftovers saves her a lot of time cooking when she comes home after work.
For example, if she has grilled chicken on Saturday, she cooks extra so she can prepare a Caesar salad with grilled chicken on a weeknight. She might also make stir fry or soup. Michelle takes her lunch to work, so weekend leftovers easily work into her noontime menus.
When asked about a cooking disaster, Michelle mentioned one time making some dumplings and putting them in a new pot with a glass lid. Unfortunately, she put too many dumplings in the pot and they sort of joined together into one huge giant dumpling. As it cooked, it raised the lid off the pot. But, Michelle said philosophically, they went ahead and ate it. They just tore chunks off of it and ate it as they went along in the meal.
Michelle also confessed she always burns the last pan of cookies; says she inherited that curse from her mother. She says she also cannot stand to throw any cookies away and has developed a taste for burned sweets.
Michelle’s hobbies include reading, blogs mostly; cooking, no surprise there; and crafting, especially knitting. Michelle learned to knit “six or seven years ago when we owned some sheep and goats. One of the goats was a fainting goat and it fainted, once.”
At that time an alpaca named Romeo joined the Sandmeier livestock. The sheep and goats were eventually sold, but another male alpaca, Benvolio, Bennie for short, keeps Romeo company.
Although there are a number of steps from alpaca to needles, Michelle wants to use the alpaca wool for knitting projects.
Bennie is very tame and has turned into something of a pest, Michelle said. He is especially fond of slices of raw apple and is also partial to oats.

MICHELLE SANDMEIER’S RECIPES

Spinach & Lentil Soup
1 cup lentils, rinsed
Pour 3 cups boiling water over lentils and set aside.
Wash and dice:
4-5 ribs celery
1 medium onion
2 carrots
Lightly sauté vegetables in 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil. When just tender, add lentils and the following:
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 12-oz. can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
2 cans vegetable or chicken broth
1-2 cups water if needed
Salt
Lemon pepper
Fresh ground pepper
Season with salt, lemon pepper and fresh ground pepper to taste. Simmer about 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add 2-3 cups fresh spinach leaves just before serving (or may also use frozen spinach). Spinach cooks quickly, so it can be stirred in at the very end.

Multigrain Pancakes
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Cereal
Blend and cook until thickened and water is absorbed. Add:
2 Tbsp. honey
1¼ cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ tsp. salt
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 ½ cups bran flakes cereal, crushed
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Whisk together and fry on griddle. Add additional milk if batter is too thick. Serve with fresh berries and syrup.

Carrot Casserole
(Originally from Wayne’s Mom)
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup cracker crumbs (Club, Town House or Ritz)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Half and Half
¼ cup butter, melted
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ tsp. each salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients and pour into greased casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake additional 15 minutes.

Mexican Caviar
2 cans chopped green chiles
2 cans chopped black olives
2-4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
4 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients. Let stand for 2-3 hours to blend flavors. Serve with chips.

Old Faithful Chocolate Cake
(From Michelle’s mother, Ione Bauer)
2 cups sugar
1 stick margarine
2 eggs
½ cup cocoa
1 cup sour milk (or 1 cup sweet milk plus 1 Tbsp. vinegar)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
Pinch of salt
¾ cup hot water
Combine ingredients, place in pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes.

Mushroom Pate
2 Tbsp. butter
8 oz. chopped mushrooms
¼ cup chopped green onions, white parts only
1½ tsp. chopped garlic
1/3 cup chicken broth
Melt butter. Sauté mushrooms with onions and garlic. Add chicken broth and simmer until broth is absorbed. Allow mixture to cool.
4 oz. cream cheese
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Finely chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend these 4 ingredients together. Add mushroom mixture to this. Chill. Place on toast points or thin-cut French bread and toast on cookie sheet in 350 degree oven until lightly browned. Store in plastic bag.

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