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Family, MRH&C job meet needs for challenge

Leslee Graff is the definition of a busy professional as she works at Mobridge regional Hospital as a Physician Assistant. She is also a busy mother of five children (three boys and two girls), and the wife and partner to husband John, who farms near Java.
But she said she is always up for a challenge and that is one of the reasons she went back to school to get her master’s of science degree in Physician Assistant (PA). Leslee is a graduate of Selby Area High School and went on to obtain her bachelor’s of science degree as a radiological technologist from the University of Jamestown. She worked in various hospitals as an x-ray tech for 16 years, the last 12 at the Bowdle Hospital.
“I was bored. There was nowhere else to go in my field. I loved x-ray but just need more of a challenge,” Leslee said.
She went back to school and in May of 2017 she received her PA master’s from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
Leslee said working as a PA has certainly met her need for a challenge.
“There are no dull moments in Mobridge, South Dakota,” she laughed. “I love every minute of it. I love being able to see patients from the beginning and being able to help people.”
As if her work life wasn’t busy enough, her home life is just as busy. Her time away from work is consumed by the boys in their sports and in 4-H events. She said her “awesome husband keeps the boat rolling” with the kids’ activities.
“I do get time take time to check on the newborn calves,” she said. “That is about the extent of my free time. ”
Leslee lives on her family’s farm near Java with her husband, three sons, Corey, 16, Connor, 14, and Carson, 12 and two daughters, Cambryn, 2 and Chesney, eight months. It is the same farm on which she grew up.
Leslee learned to cook from her mother and grandmother. Meals now are usually quick and she uses her Insta Pot cooker a lot. On the weekends, she is able to take more time in the kitchen.
“I love to bake and the kids do also,” she said. “Even my husband likes to bake cookies.”
Each of the kids has their favorite meals. Her oldest Corey likes meatloaf, Conner likes enchiladas, Carson likes BBQ ribs, and Cambryn likes hamburgers.
John likes steaks and she prefers meatballs and mashed potatoes.
Leslee still gets together with family during the summer to bake kuchen, a skill she learned from her grandmother. Her favorite is a mix of blueberry and peach, but said just about anything is good with custard.
The family also likes to camp, boat and fish when they have time. They are currently preparing to camp at the South Dakota State Fair.
Each year they plan a vacation to a warm location in February or March so the kids don’t have to miss much school. This year the trip is to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Leslee Graff’s Recipes

Butterfinger Bars
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
Mix in order given, bake in 9-inch x 13-inch pan for 20-25 minutes.
Add 1 cup chocolate chips and melt for a minute or two in oven. Spread and chill.
Then mix:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2-4 Tbsp. milk and spread over chilled chocolate.
Can turn these gluten-free with 2 cups oatmeal as well!

Meatballs
3 lbs. hamburger
4 eggs
1 package cracker crumbs
2 cloves of garlic
One small minced onion
1 Tbsp. oil
4 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
Salt and pepper
Roll into balls, coat in flour and fry in a small amount of oil until lightly browned. Add 2 large cans of cream of mushroom gravy, thinned with 1 cup milk and 1 cup water.
Bake in oven at 350 for 1.5 to 2 hours. Serve with fresh mashed potatoes and enjoy!

Taco Chicken Salad
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 minced green pepper
Minced green onions
6-8 strips of maple-cured thick cut bacon
3 cooked chicken breasts, seasoned with fajita seasoning
1 1/2 cups Colby Cheese
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
16 oz of Western dressing
Mix, chill and serve with Doritos for a quick mea.l

Enchiladas 
2 lbs. browned ground beef
Minced onion
16 ounces sour cream
1 cup Mexican cheese blend
2 tsp. parsley
Salt and pepper
Roll into warmed tortilla shells, place in 9-inch x 13-inch pan over tomato sauce.
Tomato Sauce
1 large can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. oregano or an Italian blend
2 Tbsp. cumin
2/3 cup water
Pour remaining tomato sauce over the enchiladas and top with cheese.
Cook for 20-30 minutes at 350, until bubbling.
Serve with chopped tomatoes, finely chopped green peppers and finely chopped cucumber for a great garden salsa blend!
The cucumber salsa gives it a whole new taste.

My all time go to quick dessert is caramel Rice Krispie bars for any school function.

Rice Krispie Bars
3 Tbsp. butter
4 cups marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
Grease 9-inch x 13-inch pan and put Rice Krispies layer on bottom.
DO NOT PAT
Melt 1 bag of caramels. Add 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 1/2 cup butter, mix, pour over Rice Krispies. Repeat Rice Krispies above for the top layer.
I double the recipe above to make two batches at once for all school functions, or for the state fair coming up! It feeds a lot of hungry kiddos in a hurry.