Parent Notes

This site provides the most current information of interest to parents: services, resources, data and news from around the School District.

For information specific to the school your children attend, please review the school's newsletter and Web site.   Links to all LPS schools can be accessed from www.lps.org.

If you have children in elementary and middle level schools, please watch for your monthly issue of "Community News" and "FreeTimes."  It includes information about Lincoln Public Schools and activities sponsored by Lincoln organizations.

If you have comments or questions about ParentNotes, please contact Mary Kay Roth, Communications Coordinator, at 436-1609 or mkroth@lps.org.

Help is here for you: Suicide prevention information

Lincoln Public Schools is committed to the safety of all students. We are encouraging families, students, staff members and the larger community to talk about the issues related to suicide or other unhealthy actions. Below is information on who to call, or how to have this tough yet important conversation, as well as additional information.

Information from LPS

Local/National Resources

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

1-800-273-TALK extension 8255
By calling you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

National Institute of Mental Health/National Institutes of Health


Bryan Health


Crisis Line (located in Lincoln - provided by CenterPointe)

402-475-6695 - anytime 24/7

Nebraska Family Helpline


Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition


National Institute of Mental Health/National Institutes of Health


Responses from in-class conversations, as given by LPS teachers and staff:

"I felt like it went really well. I think that sometimes as teachers we get caught up in all that we have to do in terms of academics and we forget that even though they are high schoolers...we still teach young people who get their feelings hurt. Some of them even have major issues going on at home.  It think it was a good reminder as to why we're here, to offer support, understanding, and guidance."

"I spoke with my 5th period class yesterday about this issue and we had a very heartfelt conversation about caring for one another and who they can speak to if they need to. As for my 3rd period class today, they listened intently, were very respectful and took the information to heart.

"I think the most telling part about how it went today was immediately after 3rd period ended, I had a student, who is not on my roster for classes but is a cheerleader, come to me and share concerns that they have about another student. Based on the information that she gave me, we immediately went and spoke to someone in the counseling office about it.

"I believe the message is a good one, one that we all needed to be reminded of. I'm incredibly thankful to the district for addressing this issue with our young people. Not only that, but we need to remember our adults as well. I'm glad I work for a district that isn't afraid to tackle the tough issues and puts the well being of all our students first."

Reading the script seemed to get everyone's attention. Kids were attentive and said very little about it, which I took as a sense respect and maturity. In a gym environment, where students are eager to get moving, this was something they appeared to take seriously and respectfully. It didn't take much instructional time. I think it was a good message to send.

I did this with my freshmen. Actually, I read the sheet and then talked to them about treating others with respect. We talked about how everyone has their hidden stories and that they should think before they say things. I shared with them an experience from my childhood and they seemed to connect with that. They were all very responsive and attentive.

"Thanks for the common message that was composed that we shared with students. In talking with some staff members before lunch, they indicated that students listened and took the message to heart.  I even was able to give the message to one student who was waiting in the commons during the 10:30 time.  He expressed his appreciation to me for doing this.  Staff were very supportive at our faculty meeting Wednesday night and we had a few teachers that needed some extra support from us or counselors in delivering the message to their classes but folks really pulled together.  Let's hope we turn some of these very sad situations around---very quickly. Thanks again."

Posted on December 16, 2014

Letter from Supt. Joel to families regarding student safety

A letter to families in Lincoln Public Schools, from Supt. Steve Joel

We are sending this message to share information with you about a somber topic related to our young people.  During the past year, our city has experienced teenage suicide attempts, and the deaths of several students by suicide.  For this reason, we are concerned for the safety of our youth.

Every year, our secondary students receive suicide prevention education via the Signs of Suicide prevention program.  This resource instructs students to ACT--  Acknowledge,Care, and Tell a trusted adult if they or peers are experiencing signs or risk factors of suicide.  

  • ACKNOWLEDGE the signs of distress that you or someone you know is experiencing.
  • CARE enough to help yourself or others.
  • TELL a trusted adult so that help can be found.

This week in our middle and high school classrooms, teachers will be reminding students of this information and to ACT when they know of any situation that threatens the safety of any student.

We have reached out to our community and will quickly come together with mental health leaders, law enforcement officials, educators from the public and private sector and our families to utilize the expertise in our community - to talk about this issue.

As always, we remind you to keep those lines of communication open with your student, which could include interactions on social media. Encourage them to share the things they are experiencing, and to seek assistance if they need help - or if they know someone else who needs help.

We need to make sure our young people know we are here for them.

Steve Joel 

Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent

Posted on December 03, 2014

Middle School Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule for 2014-15

 The following are the Parent/Teacher Conference Dates for the 2014-15 school year for Middle Schools:

Lux, Lefler, Pound, Schoo, and Scott will conference on these dates:
Thursday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Tuesday, February 3, and Thursday, February 5, 2015
Schools choosing alternate dates:
Dawes: September 9September 11February 10February 12
Culler: September 25November 20February 17April 16
Irving: September 18 and 22, 2014; February 23 and 25, 2015
Goodrich September 9November 4February 5April 13
Mickle: September 16November 20February 10April 23
Park: September 23November 18February 10April 7


Posted on May 29, 2014

UNL Chemistry Day set for Oct. 11

The Chemistry Department at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln encourages you to save the date for this fall's Chemistry Day, Saturday, Oct. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hamilton Hall on the City Campus. More information can be found on their website. For More Information, contact chemday@unl.edu or 402-472-3514.    

Posted on April 30, 2014

Vocal arts academy accepting applications for students in grades 3-6

The Nebraska Academy of Vocal Arts provides music education and performance opportunities. NAOVA is accepting registration for students in grades 3-6 at their website, http://naova.org.

For more information, visit the website or call 402-202-0565.

Posted on April 09, 2014

State Treasurer encourages savings for college with NEST

Parents and grandparents of students in Lincoln Public Schools can learn about saving for college through the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST), thanks to a new online program offered by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office.

The program provides basic information about 529 college savings plans including a section on myths vs. facts and a section for users to check their knowledge. Another feature is a calculator that suggests how much parents or grandparents should be saving based on a child’s age. Audio is provided during part of the presentation.

State Treasurer Don Stenberg launched the new online program to provide information about state-sponsored 529 college savings plans in general and NEST in particular. The new program, introduced Oct. 1, 2013, is called Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families.

The easy-to-follow, interactive program was developed by EverFi, an educational technology company in Washington, D.C. The 15-minute tutorial can be accessed through the home page on Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.org. There is no charge. Visitors can return as often as they like to seek answers to specific questions or to review the content.

The Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families program is supported by the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust. EverFi is continuing to work with local banks, foundations, and corporations to secure additional funding for the program.

As State Treasurer, Stenberg is Trustee of NEST. First National Bank of Omaha is Program Manager. All investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.

NEST has received national recognition for its fund selection by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Also, two NEST plans were among 32 college savings plans nationwide to receive medals from Morningstar, an independent investment research firm. The two NEST plans moved up from Neutral to Bronze in Morningstar’s 2013 ratings. The same two plans also received the top five-cap rating from the website, savingforcollege.com, in 2012, the latest year for which those ratings are available.

Effective for taxes due in April 2015, Nebraska NEST account owners will enjoy a $10,000 state income tax deduction for couples filing jointly, up from the current $5,000 deduction. The increased income tax deduction was approved by the Legislature in 2013.

NEST has more than $3.4 billion in assets with 214,000 accounts nationwide. More than 61,000 of those accounts are owned by Nebraskans.

For more information about Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars for Families or the NEST college savings program, contact Rachel Biar, director of college savings for the Treasurer’s Office, at 402-471-1088 or at Rachel.biar@nebraska.gov.


Posted on April 01, 2014

Lincoln Board of Education calls for special bond issue for 2014

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday unanimously called for a special election on Feb. 11, 2014 to ask Lincoln citizens to vote on $153 million in bonds to pay for a variety of facility and infrastructure projects for Lincoln Public Schools.

“We are investing dollars to make sure our school district stays top-notch,” said Kathy Danek, vice president of the Board of Education.  “We are looking to the future and making sure our students will be taken care of.”

Other School Board members commented:

Katie McLeese Stephenson:  “We are in a district with changing needs, we are a district with growth…and the corresponding financial plan is based on community input….I believe we are addressing the most critical needs of the district.”

Barb Baier:  “This bond issue is based on the needs of the children of our community.  It does go and hit all four quadrants of Lincoln, because all of our kids have needs.”

Don Mayhew, president of the School Board:  “If this bond issue passes, we will be able to address student growth, address security and technology needs, build a career academy…and be able to do it without raising taxes.”

Now that the Board has called for a bond issue, the Election Commissioner will determine whether the election would be a traditional polling place election  – or the city’s first complete mail-in election.

The Board Tuesday also adopted an updated 10-year facilities and infrastructure plan that will guide how bond issue money is used.

Major information about the proposed 2014 bond issue

The 2014 bond issue will be funded based on the current levy rate with no planned levy increase.

The 2014 bond issue addresses growth in the community and school district: The Lincoln Public Schools enrollment of more than 37,800 grew by 943 new students this school year. The bond issue will increase the capacity of LPS schools by adding 2,200 new seats through the construction of one new elementary, one new middle school, a high school career academy and a variety of additions and renovations across the community.

The 2014 bond issue will provide enhanced security, a new high school career academy and infrastructure necessary to support technology and learning in schools throughout Lincoln.

The 2014 bond issue was a grassroots effort that began with a group of 80 Lincoln stakeholders from the school district and the community – called together by the LPS Superintendent – that identified more than $350 million top facility and infrastructure needs necessary in the changing landscape of education. The Lincoln Board of Education evaluated and analyzed the recommendations to create an updated 10-year facility and infrastructure plan to hone down the list to $150 million of affordable projects. The school district has maintained a 10-year facilities and infrastructure plan since 2005 to systemically and thoughtfully focus planning for LPS projects into the future.

Information presentations set for LPS bond issue

Informational presentations about the Lincoln Public Schools bond issue – set for Feb. 11, 2014 – will be held in January throughout the community.  The Lincoln Board of Education is asking Lincoln citizens to consider a $153 million bond issue that will fund projects at schools and classrooms across the community

The informational presentations are scheduled for 4-5 p.m.:

  • Monday, Jan. 6: Lincoln East High School, cafeteria, 1000 S. 70th St.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 7: Lincoln North Star High School, media center, 5801 N. 33rd St.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 8, Board Room at LPS District Offices, 5905 O St.
  • Monday, Jan. 13: Lincoln Northeast High School, commons, 2635 N. 63rd St.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 14: Lincoln Southeast High School, commons, 2930 S. 37th St.  (Recommended entry: Park on the east side of the building by the tennis courts and enter the building through the commons entrance, door 18.)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 15: Lincoln Southwest High School, commons, 7001 S. 14th St.
  • Thursday, Jan. 16, Lincoln High School, theater, 2229 J St.

For more information contact LPS Business Affairs at 402-436-1636.

Posted on March 19, 2014

Obesity rates drop and fitness improves for LPS students

Lincoln Public Schools students in kindergarten through eighth grade are weighing in at healthier weights and testing more physically fit – for the third year in a row, according to a report released this week by LPS and the Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln (PHL).

The number of students who are obese – kindergarten through eighth grade – has fallen from 17.2 to 15.8 percent, Bob Rauner, director of PHL, and Michelle Welch, LPS wellness facilitator, told the Lincoln Board of Education this week.

In addition, the number of students who passed the school district’s aerobic fitness test has increased from 68.4 to 70.7 percent, according to Rauner and Welch, who pointed out this improvement is especially important because studies show students who pass the fitness test perform better on math, reading and science tests.

“This success is a result of the combined efforts of LPS and several Lincoln organizations,” said Rauner, who has been working with LPS curriculum specialist Marybell Avery to track these results for the last five years. Collaborating community organizations include Teach a Kid to Fish, El Centro de Las Americas, the Malone Center and the Lincoln YMCA.

Rauner said he is especially encouraged to see that improvements in healthy weight and fitness are occurring across ethnic and socioeconomic lines. “We are seeing significant improvements in both minority and low-income populations, which is especially important since studies show these populations are at highest risk.”

Welch said the school district is excited “to see a step wise shift toward a culture of wellness and that our data demonstrates its impact. Our district-wide quarterly wellness challenges have helped unify efforts across our school community and ensure education of students, their families and our staff about their daily choices.”

She said that no single program has created this type of healthier school environment, but instead a combination of gradual shifts and efforts such as daily recess and physical activity breaks at the elementary level – as well as fine-tuning the school lunch program, classroom reward choices and classroom celebrations.

She also cited school and neighborhood fund-raising efforts that have created walking tracks and outdoor learning areas that beautify and benefit the community. This year Randolph and Zeman elementary schools have added walking tracks with Eastridge and Hartley elementary schools close to their fund-raising goals.

Other community-school collaborative projects include Teach a Kid to Fish’s grants with Safe Routes to School to encourage more students to walk or ride their bikes to school, and the BodyWorks program to help children improve their nutrition. LPS’s Community Learning Centers (CLC) and lead agencies have also been working to train CLC staff on the SPARK curriculum. SPARK is a curriculum for after-school programs that adds more physical activity during the time students attend their programs.

For further information:
Bob Rauner at brauner@healthylincoln.org
Michelle Welch at mwelch@lps.org
Marybell Avery at mavery@lps.org

Posted on March 19, 2014

Q&A: Karen Saunders, on the importance of reading

Karen Saunders will receive the Nebraska State Reading Association's Distinguished Educator of Reading Award. Karen was nominated by the Eastern Nebraska Reading Council. The award recognizes people that have made an impact on literacy in their classroom, school, and community. The award was presented at a conference banquet in Kearney. Saunders if the curriculum specialist for Reading for Lincoln Public Schools.

Where did you grow up? Attend college? And how long have you been with LPS?

I grew up in southwest Minnesota. I attended Dordt College, the University of Sioux Falls, and received Reading Specialist degree and an Ed.D. at the University of South Dakota. I taught in Sioux Falls before coming to Lincoln in 1992. In Lincoln I worked as a literacy support teacher, a Kindergarten teacher, a Reading Recovery teacher, a literacy teacher leader, and for the last 14 years as a curriculum specialist. 

When you were beginning your career in education, did you foresee your current role with LPS as a possibility?

During my first year of teaching I had a third grade student who was a nonreader. Although we had multiple after-school tutoring sessions, I was unable to help him enough. It was then that I promised to learn everything I could about the process of reading. Although I did not see this specific role, I did know that reading would always be my focus. 

What kind of impact can improving reading skills have on a student?

When early readers realize that they are reading, there is a sense of wonder which every teacher of young children has had the joy of sharing.

When struggling readers, who may learn differently, discover how to unlock the code, they not only experience the excitement of accomplishment after much hard work, they also have new positive feelings about school in general, and about themselves as learners. They have a new resilience that, when nurtured, will allow them to keep growing as readers and learners. 

All students set reading goals periodically throughout the year and track their progress towards their goal. Reaching a goal is always a celebration.  

How has the teaching of reading changed, if at all, since you began your education career?

The teaching of reading has changed considerably over the years. Most recent changes have been in the level of understanding required for students even at very early levels. Students are asked to read and reread to find the deeper meaning of a text, defending their responses with evidence from the text. There is also more emphasis on oral language as students develop their ideas and the ideas of others through thinking conversations. This is a digital age, but reading has never been more important in our literate society.

From a parent perspective, what can one do to help a student read without simply making them read?

Children learn to value reading by seeing it is valued in their home. Families who read and talk about their reading cultivate a literate culture. Reading to children, reading with children, having children read to you, and enjoying books together are powerful incentives.

What books do you enjoy reading today?

I read everything. With our new reading series I have read the rich collection of literature and non-fiction text that our students are reading. I read novels when I have a chunk of time because I like to read them in one sitting. I read essays and short stories. I read the New Yorker regularly. Of course, I read lots of professional books and research journals

Posted on February 26, 2014

Early childhood celebration open to community

The Early Childhood Celebration is an annual event held in Lincoln to celebrate the National Week of the Young Child.  Child care professionals, health and safety programs, community volunteers and local agencies come together to offer information and activities to families with children ages birth through 8. 

There are also stage performances throughout the day.  This event has been held at different venues for over 25 years, and is FREE to the public.  This year’s Early Childhood Celebration will be held Sat., April 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Southeast Community College, 8800 O Street, in the gymnasium.

For more information contact Janeen Ward, LAEYC President at 402-437-2452 or jward@southeast.edu, or visit the group's Facebook page.

Posted on February 14, 2014

TedXYouth@Lincoln asking for presentation proposals

TEDxYouth@Lincoln is a local, independently organized event to be held in Lincoln on Saturday, Aug. 16. The event is designed to re-create the unique experience found at TED, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers congregate to share what they are most passionate about. At its core, the fundamental goal of TED andTEDxYouth@Lincoln is to foster and spread great ideas.

The event organizers aim to provide a platform where youth who are thinkers, visionaries and learners will be inspired and have the opportunity to inspire others.

The conference will be held at the Ted Sorenson Theatre at Lincoln High School, 2229 J Street, and will be centered around the theme Be The Change.

For more information, visit http://www.tedxlincoln.com/tedxyouthlincoln-call-for-presentation-proposals/.

Posted on February 06, 2014

60 Days of Science at SAS Museum

Continuing in the tradition of providing interactive, educational and fun exhibits, the Strategic Air & Space Museum has designed and implemented a program entitled 60 Days of Science which is a celebration of non-stop learning and fun for all ages. This event will offer age appropriate workshops and programs along with intergenerational learning and exploring opportunities. This experience is really about celebrating the joy of learning. The event runs March 1 Through April 27.

For more information, visit http://www.sasmuseum.com/exhibits/featured-exhibits/.

The Discovery Challenge offers the potential for some pretty significant tangible benefits. The grand-champion, honored and recognized that evening during our Night of Champions Celebration, will receive $5,000 cash, with $1,000 going to the student’s teacher. But more importantly, it is the competition’s ability to impact how students think and feel about STEM. This is an opportunity to shape your student’s path, to ignite an interest and passion that will impact what they may study in college and even the career they pursue.

For more information on the Discovery Challenge, visit http://www.sasmuseum.com/discovery-challenge/.

Posted on January 29, 2014

High schools preparing to help eighth-graders, families

During January, February and early March counselors from the high schools are scheduled to help eighth-grade students select courses for the 2014-2015 school year. Parents/guardians and their eighth-grade child are invited to attend an informational meeting that will provide information about help the course selection process. This will be followed by registration that will be conducted by high school counselors for students at each middle school.


The first event is an informational meeting during January. At these sessions, parents/guardians and students will meet with counselors and instructional staff to learn about graduation requirements and alternatives available to students for completing the requirements. Students entering the ninth grade may choose the high school they want to attend. Consequently, these informational meetings have been scheduled to allow families to attend more than one informational meeting.

The schedule for informational meetings is:

  • Thursday, January 9 2014 - North Star High School - 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - Northeast High School - 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - East High School - 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 - Southwest High School - 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - Lincoln High School - 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - Southeast High School - 7 p.m.

These meetings are being conducted for the purpose of providing information that will help parents/guardians and students work together to make the best possible choices about ninth grade classes and opportunities. Students who will be attending a high school other the high school in their attendance area, need to complete the “High School Choice” form (under Parent Center at lps.org) and returned it to LPS Student Services before January 31, 2014.


In February and early March, high school counselors will be invited to come to middle schools to meet with students who are planning to enroll at their high school. At that time, high school counselors will discuss graduation requirements, answer questions about the high school curriculum and register eighth grade students for ninth grade courses. Students will participate in pre-registration activities with their 8th grade counselors before the high school counselor visits. Dates for the high school counselor visits will be communicated by high schools and middle schools.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call the high school counseling center:

  • Lincoln High School - 402-436-1301
  • East High School - 402-436-1302
  • Northeast High School - 402-436-1303
  • Southeast High School - 402-436-1304
  • North Star High School - 402-436-1305
  • >Southwest High School - 402-436-1306

Posted on January 22, 2014

Spotlight on Art at LPS District Office

Lincoln Public Schools hosted an honors exhibition in December for their Outstanding Art Students of the Year 2013-2014.

The honors exhibition is an annual event that recognizes hundreds of talented student artists, inviting them and their families to see their artwork framed and displayed along the walls of the district office.

LPS Art Consultant, Lorinda Rice said, “Our vision is to showcase the talents and creative process that our students possess.”

All art pieces will remain on display through March 2014.

Posted on December 27, 2013

Holiday-themed recipes from FCS teachers

Looking for new recipe ideas? Family and Consumer Science teachers in Lincoln Public Schools were invited to share some of their favorite recipes. Some are simple, some require more expertise, all sound really delicious. Bon appetite!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Brittany Staack

Prep Time:  5 mins

Total Time:  1 hr 5 mins

Servings:  8


2 lbs frozen hash browns (I use the diced kind)

1/2 cup butter

1 (10½-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup diced onion

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Defrost potatoes, melt butter and mix together all ingredients.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in a 9x13 baking dish.

Crispy Fan Baked Potatoes

Sherry McCranie

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Scrub clean Russet potatoes, however many you need, do not peel

Pat dry

Mix up dry bread crumbs with added parmesan or cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika (for every potato, you will need ¼ cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup cheese, ¼ teaspoon of each seasoning)

Find the flattest side, lengthwise

Cut into 1/4 inch fan cuts without cutting all the way through the potato

Rinse with water again, pat dry thoroughly

Brush on olive oil – on the skin and throughout the cuts

Microwave on high for six minutes with the cut side down

Place on baking sheet and bake in 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or until tender.  During the last five minutes of baking, take potatoes out and fill with bread crumb mixture.  Finish baking and remove when cheese has melted and topping looks crispy.

*To make this a complete meal, add broccoli flowerets in the bread crumb mixture and cooked bacon, if desired.

Czech-Slovak Dough for Kolaches

Sharon Holliday

2 pkgs yeast

2 1/2 cups warm water

½ teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup margarine/butter/shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1¼ teaspoon salt

8 cups flour or less

Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water with ½ teaspoon sugar, usually 5 to 10 minutes.  Cream sugar and margarine well.  Add beaten egg, 2 cups warm water and dissolved yeast.

Add sifted flour so that dough can be well kneaded.  When it is elastic to the touch, put the dough in a warm place OR refrigerate overnight.

Knead down again, let rise until double in bulk.  Shape and fill with filling such as cherry pie filling, apricot filling, poppy seed, prune or whatever you like.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Christina Tipken

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup water

3 cups cranberries

¼ teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Bring water and syrup to a boil.  Add cranberries and spices.  Simmer till all cranberries have popped and a sauce is created. 

Haricots Verts with Roasted Shallots,
Roquefort & Almonds

Sherry McCranie

© Copyright Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Serves 8


2 lbs. haricots verts (thin green beans), trimmed

1 lb. shallots, peeled and sliced in half

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 lb. blue cheese (preferably Roquefort), crumbled

3/4 cup almonds (preferably Marcona), toasted and roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Toss shallots in vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread onto a sheet pan and roast until beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large stockpot, bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil.  Boil green beans until al dente.  Immediately transfer beans to a bowl of ice water to quickly cool.  Drain beans in a colander and set aside to dry.
  3. Place stockpot over a medium-low heat.  Add beans, shallots and enough vegetable oil to coat.  Once beans and shallots are warm, add in half the cheese and almonds and toss to combine.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer beans to desired serving platter.  Top with remaining cheese and almonds.

Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes

Julie Lokie


1 (10.5 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup diced onions

1 Package (30 oz.) shredded hash brown potatoes


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Stir in cheese, onion and hash browns until well mixed.  Spoon evenly in to baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. 

Oreo Balls

Julie Lokie


1 (16-ounce) package Oreo cookies, crushed

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (24-ounce) package white chocolate bark

1 (24-ounce) package chocolate bark


  1. Using a blender or handheld mixer, mix Oreos and cream cheese together.
  2. Roll into walnut-size balls.
  3. Chill for an hour.
  4. Melt approximately 3/4 package of white almond bark.
  5. Stick a toothpick in an Oreo ball and dip it in the melted white almond bark.
  6. Allow to harden on wax paper.  Takes about 15 minutes.
  7. While waiting, melt about 1/4 package of chocolate almond bark.
  8. When Oreo balls are no longer sticky to the touch, decorate with drizzles of chocolate and white almond bark.
  9. I just use a sandwich bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner to drizzle the almond bark. 

Machine Shed Baked Potato Soup

Julie Lokie

Servings:  8-12


2 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, quartered

1/2 cup bacon, uncooked finely diced

1 large onion, diced

1/4 bunch celery, diced

2 quarts milk

1 quart water

4 tablespoons chicken base

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 cup margarine or 3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup flour

1/4 bunch fresh parsley, freshly chopped

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup colby cheese, Shredded

1/4 cup bacon, bits fried

2 green onions, chopped for garnish


In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  In large heavy pot, sauté bacon, onion and celery over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove mixture from pot, drain bacon grease and return mixture to pot.  Add milk, water, base, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often.  Do not let mixture boil.

In small, heavy saucepan melt margarine.  Add flour and mix well.  Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux.  While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes.

Stir in parsley, reserved potatoes, and cream.  Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, onions or all three.

Serve hot.

Angel Crisp Cookies

Marge Keep

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup shortening – 1/2 margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon salt

Cream sugars, shortening, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Form into small balls (about the size of a walnut).  Dip top half in water, then granulated sugar.  Press down in center with finger.  Place on ungreased baking pan.  Bake at 325° until lightly browned (8-10 min).  Remove immediately to a cooling rack.

Apple Torte

Marge Keep


1 cup margarine

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour


2-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs


1/3 cup sugar

5 medium apples, peeled and sliced-any cooking apple

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla.  Blend in flour.  Spread into a buttered 9x13 pan.  Combine cream cheese and sugar.  Blend in eggs and vanilla.  Pour into pan over crust.  Spread evenly.  Combine sugar and cinnamon.  Toss in apples and stir to coat.  Spoon into 13x9 pan making sure to spread apples evenly.  Bake 450° for 8 minutes and then 400° for 25 minutes.  Cool.  Carefully cut into bars.

Oreo Truffles

Kimberly Rempel


1 (16-ounce) package OREO chocolate sandwich cookies, divided

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

24 ounces almond bark, melted


  1. Crush cookies to fine crumbs in food processor.  (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.)  Place in mixing bowl.  Add cream cheese; mix until well blended.  Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
  2. Freeze balls on parchment.
  3. Melt almond bark in microwave in a pie plate.  Begin with 60 seconds and then stir.  Reheat in 30-second increments.
  4. Take balls out of freezer a dozen at a time.
  5. Dip balls in almond bark; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet.  (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.)
  6. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.  Store truffles, covered, in refrigerator.


Place truffle ball in melted chocolate to coat; roll if necessary.  Lift truffle from chocolate using two forks (this will allow excess chocolate to run off) before placing on wax paper.

Peanut Clusters

Nicki Hanseling

1 lb. salted cocktail peanuts

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

16 oz. chocolate bark

1/8 to 1/4 paraffin wax

Melt chips, bark and paraffin.  Stir in peanuts.  Drop onto cookie sheets covered with wax paper.  Set in refrigerator.  When firm, place in airtight container and keep in refrigerator.

Pecan Balls with Dried Cranberries

Kimberly Rempel

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1 cup soft butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups sifted flour

2 cups ground pecans

1 cup cut-up craisins

Cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Add flour and mix until combined.  Blend in pecans and finely chopped craisins.  Use cookie scoop and roll dough into balls.  Refrigerate 1-2 hours.  Bake at 350 degrees on greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes.  Roll balls in powdered sugar twice after cookies have cooled completely.

Cinnamon Rolls

Alicia Beck

I got this recipe when I was in high school from Nancy Stritt who was my FCS teacher.  They were her traditional Christmas gifts at the time and have also been a holiday tradition in my family.

Dissolve 2 Tablespoons yeast in 1/4 cup warm water

In a separate bowl melt:                  1/2 cup (1 stick) oleo – I use real butter

Add to it:                                    1 cup boiling water

                                             2 teaspoons salt

                                             1/2 cup sugar

Mix the three ingredients.  Add 1 cup cold water.  Add dissolved yeast.  Add 2 eggs.  Measure 6 cups of flour into a bowl.  Begin adding flour 1 cup at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition.  Add until the dough is thick enough to knead.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl.  Prepare topping for rolls.

2 cups brown sugar

2 sticks oleo (again, use real butter)

1/4 cup milk

Melt, stir together and put into two 9x13 cake pans.

Allow dough to double in size.  Roll into a large rectangle.  Spread with sour cream, butter, sugar, cinnamon.  Roll up dough.  Cut into 1½-inch slices and place in pan.  Bake at 350° F. 

Raspberry Coffee Cake

Alicia Beck

This was the recipe I found for the quick bread unit in my high school foods class.

Cut one 3 oz. package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter into 2 cups packaged biscuit mix till crumbly.  Blend in 1/3 cup milk.  Turn out onto lightly-floured surface and knead 8-10 strokes.  On waxed paper, roll dough to 12 x 8 rectangle.  Turn onto greased baking sheet; remove waxed paper.  Spread 1/2 cup raspberry preserves (apricot is good too, needs to be preserves – not jelly) down center of dough.  Make 2½-inch cuts at 1-inch intervals on long sides.  Fold strips over filling.  Bake at 425° F for 12 to 15 minutes.  Drizzle the warm coffee cake with confectioners icing (add almond flavoring).  Makes 1 coffee cake.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This is the most frequently requested dish at our family gatherings.

1 1/4 cups margarine, melted

2 2/3 cups pretzels, broken

6 oz. strawberry Jello

1 large pkg. frozen strawberries

2 cups pineapple juice or water, boiling

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

1 cup sugar

8 oz. Cool Whip

Stir together the crushed pretzels and melted margarine in bottom of 9 x13 pan.  Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Let cool while preparing other layers.  Dissolve gelatin in boiling liquid.  Stir in strawberries and allow to thicken almost to jelled point.  Cream together the cream cheese and sugar.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pretzel layer.  Spread thickened Jello over the cream cheese layer.  Refrigerate.

Sugar Cookies

T. Diane Bonesteel

1 cup margarine or butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup oil

2 eggs

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of nutmeg

Blend butters, sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients and mix well with creamed ingredients.  Make into walnut size balls flatten with a glass that has been dipped in sugar.  Bake at 350  for 8 to 10 minutes.

Swedish Butter Cookies

Tracy Way

1 cup butter

2 cups flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and add vanilla.  Add sugar, flour and baking powder.  Form in 2 rolls and chill.  Cut in ¼-inch thick or more.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375° until set (10 minutes).

Reindeer Poop

Sheri Wieden

1 package of regular Oreos (not double stuff)

2 8-oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened

melting chocolate or almond bark (optional)

Crush cookies with a rolling pin or food processor.  Stir in cream cheese until well blended.  Drop by cookie scoop on baking tray.  Refrigerate until serving.  If desired, each ball can be dipped in melted chocolate and allowed to harden before serving.

Wild Rice Soup

Kimberly Rempel

Serves 4-6

1/2 cup finely diced onion, 1 T butter

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups cooked wild rice, cooked in chicken broth

1 cup diced ham, Black Forest or Virginia

1/2 cup carrots, finely grated

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 cup half n half

Sauté onion in one tablespoon of butter.  Set aside.  Melt butter, whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Slowly add and whisk in chicken broth.  Add cooked wild rice, ham and carrots.  Simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add almonds and half and half.  Simmer, but do not boil.

Posted on December 04, 2013