You just can't help but like Shelley Lehman. I did a story on Shelley and her class in 2010, when they started a project to take cast-off bicycles and refurbish them for those in need.
Shelley teaches kids with cognitive disabilities, and some of her students needed bicycles to get around but couldn't afford them. Shelley found a couple and gave them to her students, but it was this incident that caused her to wonder how many more kids and adults wanted, or even needed a bike for transportation purposes, but just couldn't swing the cost.
Shelley and her class call the project "Changing Gears" and since they started the program, 50 bikes have been given away. This group has had a lot of help from Mel's Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander, owned by Mitch Mode. The bicycle repair guru there is A.J. Jefcik. "We couldn't have done what we have over the last two years without Mel's and A.J.," said Shelley. "They have been so generous with the project."
Once the group gets word of a bicycle, the kids in Shelley's class clean it up. If it needs repairs or new parts, they take it to Mel's and A.J. "I know there are costs involved, but it's rare they charge us anything," she said. "But we want to give them something because they have helped us help others."
So this industrious and kind-hearted teacher decided that a good project to raise money to offset bicycle repair costs would be constructing a cookbook. Shelley and her students and their families contributed recipes for the project and the students helped in any way they could.
Last week, Shelley and her class stopped in the Star Journal/Hodag Buyers' Guide office to show me the book and I was impressed. It is broken down into eight different food categories for recipes and even has an informative and handy guide in the back explaining different cooking aspects such as; the shelf life of food; uses for different herbs and spices; grilling tips; bread baking hints; baking desserts and candy-making tips; measurement substitutions; quick cooking fixes; and even a section on how to fancy fold napkins.
The recipes look wonderful too, and I included several for this week. In fact, I kept in mind that the deer hunting season is opening and picked one that any hungry hunter would love to dive into.
The cost of the book is $12 and anyone wanting to purchase one can call Shelley at (715) 891-0474. With Christmas right around the corner, these will make great gifts, but more importantly, the proceeds will be used to provide bicycles for those in need. And that's the best gift of all.
Swiss Elk (or Venison) Steak
2 lbs. elk or venison steaks
1 tbs. butter
1 (15-oz.) can of tomato sauce
½ cup red wine
2 Tbs. Worcestershire
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped peppers
1 small can sliced black olives
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 slices Swiss cheese
Hot cooked egg noodles
Lightly flour the steaks. Brown in butter on both sides. Place in a shallow baking pan. Combine the next 9 ingredients and pour over steak. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours. Place cheese on steak and serve over noodles.
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1 large tube of refrigerator crescent rolls
1 small bag of tortilla chips, crushed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Taco toppings like shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa, black olives, tomatoes, etc.
Brown the ground beef and drain. Add ½ cup water and taco seasoning. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Mix in sour cream. Press crescent rolls in a 9x13-inch pan to cover the bottom. Press ½ of the crushed chips on the rolls. Pour meat mixture over chips. Sprinkle on cheese and remaining chips. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cut in squares and serve with toppings.
Baby Ruth Bars
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
1 ½ cups peanut butter
4 cups Rice Krispies
6 oz. of chocolate chips
Bring sugar and syrup to a boil and then remove from heat. Add peanut butter. Mix well and then add Rice Krispies. Mix well and then spread in a buttered 9x13-inch pan. Melt chocolate and spread over bars.
5 large eggs
½ cup milk
3 cups country style hashbrowns (thawed)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. hot sauce
1 bunch green onions
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Mix eggs and milk. Add potatoes, salt, hot sauce, onions and half the bacon and cheese. Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Add the rest of the bacon and cheese to the top of the casserole before cooking. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
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