Rice is part of Ryann’s meals

Ryann big

Sgt. Ryann Alexander and daughter Cori

-Travis Svihovec

Cooking wasn’t high on Ryann Davis’ list as she grew up.

Her parents used to joke that if she ever was Cook of the Week they would get out the recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich. Well, this is the week, she’s now Sgt. Ryann Alexander, and she has several recipes in her file.

“I cook a little bit,” she said. “(Daughter) Cori’s dad is Filipino and I’ve learned to add rice to every meal. And I make better rice than he does.”

Ryann, 23, is a 2009 graduate of Mobridge High School. She enlisted in the United States Army shortly after high school and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. Her advanced training was at Fort Sam Houston, which is where she met Anthony Alexander. They married in October of 2010. Their daughter Cori is 3.

Ryann and Anthony spent a year apart while she was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia and he was at Fort Knox, Ken. She was able to transfer to Fort Knox, and later they both re-enlisted and were sent to Joint Base Lewis McCord in Washington, south of Seattle. Anthony, a behavioral health specialist, has been in Afghanistan since March and will return in September. Ryann leaves that same month for Malaysia and Japan. They will miss each other by a week, but her stay is shorter than his was to Afghanistan. She will be gone seven or eight weeks.

“We’ll be training with the Malaysians, teaching them how to run an aid station,” she said.

Ryann is a preventive health medicine tech, which is somewhat similar to a health sanitation inspector.

“I’m with a field unit,” she said. “We prep for the field, then we’re in the field, then we recover from the field.”

Both Ryann and Anthony are sergeants, with Anthony outranking Ryann by a few months.

“That’s OK,” she said. “I outrank him at home.”

Ryann said she’s a better cook now than when she was younger, but it’s hard to cook for 1 1/2  people. She makes sticky rice with chicken and scrambled eggs, or taco rice, in which the sticky rice replaces the taco shell. She gets some help from Cori, but only with certain items.

“She likes to help me bake,” she said. “When we make banana bread she wants to stand up there and stir everything.”

Ryann is spending a week in Mobridge visiting family. She’ll return to Washington to get ready for the trip overseas.

“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “The food, trying as much as I can without getting sick, and there will be some sightseeing. I’m excited about that too.”

The Alexanders haven’t yet decided if the Army will become careers for them.

“But I like Washington,” Ryann said. “If I have to re-up one more time to stay there, I will.”

Ryann is the daughter of Jay  and Misty Davis and Carol Davis of Mobridge.



Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. ground cinnamon, or to taste

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocoalte chips

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir bananas, milk, and cinnamon in another bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a third bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir banana mixture into butter mixture. Stir in dry mixture until blended. Fold in chocolate chips until just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Anthony’s Lumpia

1 pound ground pork

2 carrots, grated

1 can french style green beans

4 chopped green onions

1 tsp. black pepper

1 package spring roll wrappers (30 wraps)

1 1/2 quarts oil for frying

Brown pork until no longer pink. Drain and place into mixing bowl. Drain water from green beans and add about 3/4 can to pork. Add diced carrots and green onions. Stir with a spoon to mix ingredients.

Lay out a few wrappers at a time on a flat surface, and place about 2 Tbsp. of the filling in a line down the center of the wrapper. Make sure the filling is no thicker than your thumb, or the wrapper will cook faster than the meat. Take the bottom and top edges of the wrapper and fold them towards the center. Take the left and right sides, and fold them towards the center. Moisten the last edge of the wrapper to seal. Now repeat using the rest of the wrappers.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or heavy skillet to 375 degrees F. Fry 3 or 4 lumpia at a time. Fry for about 3 or 4 minutes, turning once. Lumpia are cooked through when they float, and the wrapper is golden brown. Serve with sweet chili sauce.

Breakfast Pizza

1 thin Boboli pizza crust

6 slices of bacon

5 eggs

4 sausage patties

1 8oz bag mild cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Take one small spoonful of cheese and spread on top of the pizza crust. Scramble eggs and then spoon onto pizza. Add another spoonful of cheese on top of the eggs. Fry all 6 slices of bacon and set aside to cool. Brown the sausage until all the pink is gone, drain, and put on top of the pizza. Add another spoonful of cheese. Crumble the bacon and put on top of the pizza. Add the remainder of the cheese to the top or until fully covered.

Place in oven for 8-10 minutes until the top layer of cheese is fully melted.


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