Mother, daughter enjoy preparing quick, easy dishes

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Photo by Ann Cipperly

By Ann Cipperly

While Judy Dickinson and her daughter Lindsee Baubles are busy, active ladies, they plan delicious meals to serve their families that are quick and easy. Judy often uses the microwave to save time, while Lindsee will double the recipe of a casserole to freeze one for later.

Judy lived in several places in her early years before her family settled in Lanett. She learned how to cook by watching the family housekeeper who did all of the cooking, as Judy’s mother had severe Parkinson’s disease and was unable to cook. She learned to bake by watching her grandmother, who was an excellent cook.

In high school home economics classes, Judy’s interest in cooking greatly increased and continued into her studies in family and child development, fashion design and merchandising as well as modeling.

Judy’s family lived in Indiana during most of her girls’ school years. They moved back to this area in order for Lindsee to attend college in the south.

Over the years, Judy has enjoyed church activities at Trinity United Methodist and attends the On the Porch Bible Study led by Vondalyn Hall.  Judy and her husband Graham enjoy outdoor activities, water sports and kayaking. Spending time with their grandchildren is her favorite thing to do.

Graham, who is from England, came to the states to work with Michelin. He worked with the company in South Carolina and traveled to different places, with one of those being Opelika.

He decided to apply for citizenship after two years in America and promptly became an American citizen. Graham settled in this area, as he thought it was a wonderful place to live. “He loves America and is so thankful to be here,” says Judy.

While Judy seldom prepares English dishes, they enjoy the British tradition of teatime daily, and he enjoys her southern cooking. She doesn’t bake much unless it is a birthday cake one of her children or grandchildren.

Judy feels fortunate to have both of her daughters living nearby. Mandee is married to Greg Wildman, while Lindsee and her husband, Flint Baubles, have three children, Ryan Samuel, 16; Collin Michael, 4, and McCarlee Myrl, 2. Each child is named after someone special to Lindsee and Flint.

The unique spelling of the girls’ names is a family tradition originating with Lindsee’s Grandmother Myrl.

Lindsee, who has a heart for children with special needs, has been teaching students with severe behavior disorders, severe disabilities and autism in Lee County schools for 12 years.

While in school in Indiana, Lindsee became involved helping students with special needs. When she was in the seventh grade, she helped a little boy who was severely developmentally delayed and blind.

In high school, Lindsee took a class on being a peer tutor, working with students with disabilities. After she wrote a reflective journal, she knew she wanted a career working with students with disabilities.

Lindsee graduated from Auburn University and immediately began a program of graduate study in special education, graduating with honors.

Starting this year Lindsee is teaching vision impaired students and is the autism consultant, as she travels to all the schools in Lee County. She is based at Beauregard Elementary School.

Growing up, Lindsee enjoyed cooking with her mother and her Grandmother Myrl. Once she was in college, she began preparing party foods for friends.

Being a working mother with three children, Lindsee prepares easy recipes.  Flint is the manager for Venditori’s Italian Restaurant and works three or four nights a week. On hectic says, she will ask him to bring spaghetti home from the restaurant.

Flint is from New Jersey and decided to attend Auburn University after watching the Tigers play on television.

He has been working at Venditori’s since he was in college. After graduation, he continued to work at the restaurant while he was a teacher and coach. Once he and Lindsee married, Flint decided just to work at the restaurant since he enjoyed it so much.

They are active at the Cornerstone United Methodist Church, and Lindsee volunteers in the nursery.

The Dickinsons and Baubles take family vacations together, especially going to the beach. They enjoy traveling and doing things together. The Baubles have a Great Pyrenees that travels with them.

“We love this area,” says Lindsee, “and feel it is a wonderful place to raise a family.”

Lindsee is sharing her easy recipes, including Meat Loaf and Complete Meal Made Simple for Busy Mamas. The Fire Crackers are quickly made and great to take tailgating.

Judy finds using the microwave saves time. She is sharing her Microwave Easy Lasagna that she cooks without having to boil the noodles.

Clip and save the following recipes for busy fall days. They will come in handy on days you are preparing for the upcoming holiday season.

Ann Cipperly can be contacted at recipes@cipperly.com.

Recipes:

Fire Crackers
Lindsee Baubles
Serve with chicken salad or for a tailgate party.
They are better the next day. However, we sometimes eat them immediately.
1 1/4 cups canola oil (must use canola)
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing
2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
Couple pinches of Tony C’s Cajun seasoning for a little kick
Mix the above ingredients together well. A whisk works great.
16 oz saltine crackers or 8 oz. saltines and 8 oz. Big Cheeze-its
1 or 2 gallon Zip Lock bags
Spread a small layer of crackers in one of the bags.
Continually mix oil and seasonings; pour some in the bag, shaking it.
Add another layer of crackers and oil mixture until the bag is almost full.
Turn back and forth gently for 10-15 minutes.
They are better the next day! However, we eat them immediately at times.
If needed use other bag and repeat steps.
Serve with chicken salad or frosty beverages!  Great for a tailgate party!

Mini Tomato Tarts
Judy Dickinson
Great for tailgate or any easy party snack.
1 (10-oz.) can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (3-oz) pkg. real bacon bits (Oscar Mayer is favorite)
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
3-4 (19-oz.) pkg. mini fillo shells, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine drained Rotel tomatoes, mayonnaise, bacon bits and cheese.  Fill shells and bake for 15 minutes.  Delicious warm or at room temperature.
Makes 45-60 tarts.

Meat Loaf and A Complete Meal Made Simple for the Busy Mama
Lindsee Baubles
1-2 lbs. ground chuck
1 egg
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup dry, very fine Italian breadcrumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. Tony C’s Cajun seasoning, optional
2 Tbsp. catsup
2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Less than 1/4 cup finely diced onion  (you will need about 1/2 cup total for the recipe)
Mix all of the above ingredients well and form into a loaf. Place in large Pyrex dish.
1 bag baby carrots
2-3 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into medium-sized slices similar to large steak fries
Arrange carrots and potatoes evenly around the meatloaf in the dish.
Sauce:
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup onion (diced very fine)
Combine all sauce ingredients and bring to a boil; pour over meatloaf. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 (check center of loaf to be sure it is cooked and texture of vegetables).
I usually separate my meat and vegetables after serving and drizzle a little leftover juices onto remaining loaf so it does not dry out.

Easy Microwave Lasagna
Judy Dickinson
1/2 lb. ground beef or chuck
1 large jar Prego Traditional spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups ricotta and/or cottage (small curd) cheese (you can use mostly ricotta and a little cottage.
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6-8 lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large glass bowl, crumble ground beef/chuck.  Heat on high 2-3 minutes or until browned; stir; and drain. Stir in Prego and water.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta and small amount of cottage cheese with pepper and beaten egg.  In a 9 X 13-inch glass baking dish, spoon 1 cup sauce, one layer of noodles, egg mixture, mozzarella cheese and sauce. Alternate forming two layers with Prego sauce on top of mozzarella cheese.
I place wax paper on top of the lasagna and heat in microwave for 7 minutes on high.
If the dish is too large for microwave, stop turning of microwave plate and stop half way and turn dish around.  Lower power level to medium/low and heat covered for 24 minutes or until noodles are tender but not mushy. Again, stop turntable in microwave.
Top with Parmesan cheese; let stand covered for 15 minutes before serving.

Simple Chicken Casserole
Lindsee Baubles
I love this recipe because everyone will eat it. I can make it and freeze it!  This recipe is so simple and convenient!
I double the recipe to make two casseroles with everything except the topping. I cook one, and place the other one in the freezer.
When baking the frozen casserole cook on 350 for 1 hour (stir while cooking)
Serve with long grain wild rice, green peas, and rolls!
3 cooked, chopped chicken breasts (2-3 cups) or a rotisserie chicken without the skin
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Italian blend)
Splash of milk
Mix chicken casserole ingredients and pour into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle a little cheese on top if cooking immediately.
Bake at 325 until warm and bubbly.
Topping:
1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1-1/2 crushed sleeve of Ritz crackers
Mix butter and crackers.
Add cracker mixture topping and bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Mama Myrl’s Pineapple Casserole
Judy Dickinson
2 sticks butter at room temperature
20 oz. can chunk pineapple chunks
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup half & half
4 cups cubed white breadcrumbs, crust removed  (can freeze first to make it easier to cut off crusts and cut into cubes)
Drain pineapple cubes; reserve juice.
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time.
Fold in pineapple chunks and add juice.
Stir in breadcrumbs.
Pour into greased casserole, and bake at 350 degrees until slightly browned on top.

Spicy Sausage Rotel Dip
Lindsee Baubles
1 tube Hot Jimmy Dean Sausage
1 can original Rotel
2 blocks  (8 oz. each) cream cheese
Brown sausage; drain sausage.
Place in crock-pot or in a pot on the stove. Add Rotel (do not drain) and cream cheese.
If using a crock-pot, cook on low and mix well.
Cook over low heat on the stove, stirring frequently.
Serve with chips of choice.

Microwave Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup
Judy Dickinson
1 lb. ground beef or chuck
1 (32 oz.) container V-8 Juice
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen vegetables (or fresh)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
Combine onion, and crumbled ground beef/chuck and heat on full power in a 3 qt. casserole until brown.  I brown the beef and onion in a skillet on stovetop and pour in casserole dish.  Add soups and heat covered for 15 minutes if you use microwave.  Cook 12-15 minutes on high in microwave.
Add frozen mixed vegetables and cook covered on medium power for 26 minutes until vegetables are tender but crisp, not mushy.   You may cook potatoes and put into soup.  You can cook this in a crock-pot if you wish, as well.
Serve with homemade cornbread.

Manicotti Shells
Judy Dickinson
1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 chopped onion
Choice of spaghetti or red sauce
32 oz. cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. parsley flakes
2 cups grated mozzarella, divided
1 cup fine Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Brown 1 lb ground chuck and onion.  Drain and add spaghetti sauce.  Set aside.
Mix remaining ingredients except shells in glass bowl setting aside 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Cook manicotti shells and run under cold water.  Drain and stuff with mixture.  Spoon 1/3 meat sauce in bottom of 9 X 13-inch glass dish.  Lay stuffed shells in sauce and pour remaining sauce on top.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Sprinkle rest of mozzarella near end of baking time. When cooked, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Super Sliders
Lindsee Baubles
2 lb. ground chuck
1/2 pkg. dry onion soup
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup or 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Dollop of sour cream
Hawaiian sandwich rolls
Shredded sharp cheese
Brown and drain ground chuck. Mix in onion soup and mushroom soup or mayonnaise. Spread on buns.
Put shredded cheese on 1/2 of buns. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Put dollop of sour cream inside each sandwich and serve.

Lady Fingers
Judy Dickinson
Double recipe for a large party
2 sticks butter, softened
8 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans
Confectioner’s sugar for rolling cookies
Cream butter, confectioner’s sugar and flour.  Add vanilla and then nuts; mix well.
Refrigerate.  Roll into small fingers adding water as you roll, if mixture is stiff.   Freeze in storage container.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool and put in covered container with confectioner’s sugar and shake to cover fingers with confectioner’s sugar.  Remove and place on serving plate.

Easy “Peasy” Vegetable Soup
Lindsee Baubles
1 bottle Spicy V-8 vegetable juice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1-2 lb. ground chuck
1 bag frozen green peas
1 bag frozen yellow corn or shoepeg corn
1/2 bag frozen green beans
2 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced a little larger than bite size (your preference)
1 small bag baby carrots sliced or 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 bag frozen hull peas or lima beans (your choice or optional)
Combine soups and V-8 juice in large pot, using a whisk if soups will not thin and become creamy.
In another pot, brown ground chuck. While browning, season with Tony C’s seasoning, if you prefer a little spicy taste. Drain meat and add to soup and V-mixture.
Add sliced carrots, potatoes and celery. Cook on low 8-10 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil or simmer.
Next add frozen vegetables. Stir thoroughly and cook covered on low 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are to desired texture. I typically cook them 35 minutes, stirring multiple times while cooking, and checking texture.
I leave the soup covered on the stove and let it continue to cook with the burner turned off.

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