News from the Tennessee Valley Food

This fudge swirl version is Ginger Sargent's adaptation of a cheese cake recipe in the new 'Medical Munchies' cookbook. In the fall, she and others make several hundred cheese cakes and carrot cakes, as well as candy and stew, to sell while raising funds for Tennessee Valley Baptist Nursing Fellowship's medical missions.
>DAILY Photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
This fudge swirl version is Ginger Sargent's adaptation of a cheese cake recipe in the new "Medical Munchies" cookbook. In the fall, she and others make several hundred cheese cakes and carrot cakes, as well as candy and stew, to sell while raising funds for Tennessee Valley Baptist Nursing Fellowship's medical missions.

On a mission
Cookbook helps nurses
raise funds for medical trips

By Patrice Stewart
DAILY Staff Writer 340-2446

Their memories include fellowship with Guatemalans over native coffee and tamales steamed in banana leaves.

But members of a Tennessee Valley Baptist Nursing Fellowship team that recently went on a medical mission to Guatemala cherish most the differences they can make in the lives of people when they share medicines, treatments, eyeglasses and the gospel.

Nurses who put together 'Medical Munchies' with their medical missions in mind include, from left, Regina Mobbs, Evangeline Smith, Ginger Sargent and Jan Burton.
DAILY Photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Nurses who put together "Medical Munchies" with their medical missions in mind include, from left, Regina Mobbs, Evangeline Smith, Ginger Sargent and Jan Burton.
"Medical Munchies," the team's first cookbook, is one of many fundraisers that help raise money for mission trips. While tamales steamed in banana leaves aren't in it, plenty of other tasty dishes are. You'll find Chicken Tortilla Casserole, Mexican Pasta Bake and member Ginger Sargent's trademark cheesecake and carrot cake that the group helps her make and sell around the holidays.

Oops — don't call that carrot cake — in the cookbook it's titled "Secret African Recipe Cake." Sargent said that when they were selling cakes to raise money for their African mission trip, someone wanted the recipe for the carrot cake. "We said no, you'll have to buy three cakes. She said 'Why? Is it a secret African recipe?' and we said yes."

Over several years, members of this group have been on missions to Ecuador, Africa, Venezuela, Paraguay and Guatemala, as well as around the United States to an Indian reservation in Nebraska, a homeless shelter in Texas, hurricane relief in Bayou La Batre and a clinic at the Huntsville Rescue Mission.

They hope sales of "Medical Munchies" will send them to the Ukraine in September, as well as help with close-to-home events such as a clinic for Hispanics in Muscle Shoals and a health care conference at Trinity Baptist Church in October.

The average team includes 10 people who can tend to the medical needs of 500 families, including many children, in five clinic days, utilizing local translators. Sometimes other church and family members go along to give haircuts and pass out reading glasses.

"Our motto is 'Serving the Great Physician,' and we each pay our own way and take off work to go on missions," said Regina Mobbs, state projects coordinator. Their fundraisers help provide supplies, as well as transportation. "We have even set up in a pasture and held health clinics with goats and pigs at our feet."

Each time they return home from a trip, they're ready for home cooking, and those recipes are in their cookbook.

Mobbs, a Trinity resident who works as a registered nurse at SportsMed Orthopaedic Surgery &Spine Center in Huntsville, likes to make Corn Salad to take to family and church dinners. "That's always a request of my dad's," she said. At home, she often makes Cheesy Mostaccioli as a dinner casserole. She included those recipes in the cookbook, along with some from her late
godmother, Carol Meyer.

Current president Jan Burton of Athens said she's glad she became involved in the group's mission trips, because that's where she met her husband, Daniel, who was working with his church group from Louisville, Ky., on the same Indian reservation in Nebraska.

The registered nurse, who is a "floater" for Occupational Health Group, likes to make quick dishes such as One Pan Pork Chops, Easy Lasagna, Italian Sausage Bake and Mandarin Orange Salad from the cookbook. She wrote the poem in the front, "Serving the Great Physician."

Evangeline Smith, R.N., of Hartselle works as school nurse at Somerville Road Elementary. She likes to put together the casseroles in the cookbook for quick suppers and enjoys the Pineapple Casserole.

"These trips are successful because God goes before us and trails after us," she said, noting that the way to go is usually provided somehow. Her previous experience as a psychiatric nurse enabled her to work with a traumatized girl who had seen a man killed on one trip and then help lead the girl and her family to Christ.

Sargent, a Hillsboro resident and licensed practical nurse who is secretary of the statewide organization, said she included some recipes from her mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law in the cookbook, such as Krengla, Swedish shortbread cookies often made during holidays, Margie's Homemade Biscuits, and Sergeant's Yeast Rolls, which her husband and his brothers used to eat by the dozens before dinner, with half a gallon of milk each.

"I now have grandparents in Guatemala," Sargent said, and told about a 'house call' she made up a steep hill to a paralyzed 80-year-old man. "The people of Guatemala made us feel so welcome and loved."

The group often meets in the Baptist Church on top of Trinity Mountain, and they spend long hours cooking there, too, especially around the holidays when they make several hundred cheesecakes and carrot cakes, gallons of stew, and lots of homemade candy to sell.

"Medical Munchies" includes nearly 300 recipes and helpful hints, and the binder-style cookbook also includes a stand to sit it up on the kitchen counter while you cook.

The price is $15 ($18 by mail). Include your name, address and phone number and send orders to Tennessee Valley Baptist Nursing Fellowship, P.O. Box 267, Trinity, AL 35673, or leave the information on Mobbs' answering machine, 350-7075; a member will call you back.

Here are some of the recipes from the cookbook:

Secret African Recipe Cake

(Carrot Cake)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cups vegetable oil

4 large eggs, beaten

3 cups grated raw carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans. Stir all dry ingredients together and add oil, eggs and carrots.

Mix well and pour into the prepared layer pans and bake them at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Frost with the following icing recipe.

Note: This recipe also will make about 40 cupcakes. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


1 pound powdered sugar

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup margarine

1 cups coconut

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix cream cheese, margarine and powdered sugar until smooth. Add pecans, coconut and vanilla. Spread in between layers, on top of cake and on the sides of cake.

Ginger's Cheese Cake

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese (room temperature)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

5 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 box graham crackers, crushed

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 stick margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Crush graham crackers in food processor and add 1/4 cup sugar and melted margarine. Press in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.

Mix cream cheese, milk, sugar and eggs until smooth; add lemon juice. Spray sides of the springform pan with non-stick spray and pour cheese batter over the crust. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.


11/4 cups sugar

11/4 sticks butter or margarine

2 egg yolks

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda 3 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix sugar, butter, egg yolk and a small amount of the buttermilk and soda until blended. Beat until light and fluffy. Add remaining buttermilk, 1 cup flour, baking powder and vanilla and beat until blended. Stir in the rest of the flour. Cover and chill overnight.

Cut dough into 4 parts and work with one part at a time, leaving the rest in the refrigerator.

Cut off enough dough to make a roll 1/2-inch thick and 9 inches long and shape into a circle or Figure 8 shape on a lightly floured cookie sheet.

When pan is full, bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes until very lightly browned. If you wish to brown tops, you may do so carefully under the broiler. But watch very carefully.

This is a very soft, good Swedish cookie that was included in the cookbook by Edna Earl Sargent and Ginger Sargent in memory of Grandma Clara Sargent.

Pineapple Casserole

2 20-ounce cans chunk pineapple, drained (save juice)

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons plain or self-rising flour

12 tablespoons pineapple juice

2 cups grated medium Cheddar cheese

1 tube Ritz crackers, crushed

1/2 cup melted butter

Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Put pineapple chunks on the bottom. Mix sugar, flour and reserved pineapple juice and pour over the pineapple.

Sprinkle cheese over the top. Mix Ritz crackers and butter and pour over the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Mandarin Orange Salad

16 ounces sour cream

16 ounces Cool Whip

2 small boxes orange Jell-O

2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained

1 large can chunk pineapple, drained

Mix all ingredients; chill and enjoy.

Siesta Salad

2 cups cooked macaroni, chilled

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 cups chopped celery, optional

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese, natural mild

1/4 cup chopped green onions


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup sour cream

Mix all salad ingredients together. Add dressing mixture.

Corn Salad

2 cans white shoepeg corn, drained

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup chopped bell pepper (red, green or yellow)

8 to 10 grape tomatoes, quartered

1 to 2 heaping spoonfuls of mayonnaise

1 to 2 tablespoons ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill for at least two hours. Garnish with colorful bell pepper rings.

Note: Mayonnaise and ranch dressing amounts should be adjusted according to personal preference. The more mayonnaise and dressing, the soupier your salad will be.

Cheesy Mostaccioli

1 16-ounce package mostaccioli, cooked

1 cups ground beef, cooked and drained

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce

1 can Cheddar cheese soup

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta and drain. Brown and drain meat. Add seasonings to meat. Stir the spaghetti sauce, soup and 2 cups cheese into meat.

Place in a 9x13-inch greased pan and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

One Pan Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1 package Shake 'n' Bake, any flavor

2 potatoes, cut in wedges

Bell pepper strips

Onion wedges

2 tablespoons Italian dressing

Pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat four pork chops with Shake 'n' Bake and place in a foil-lined pan. Add the vegetables and sprinkle them with the dressing. Bake for 30 minutes.

Top each piece of meat with 1 tablespoon of the sauce and 1/4 cup cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Italian Sausage Bake

1-2/3 cups hot water

1 6-ounce package seasoned stuffing mix

1 pounds Italian sausage, cut into 2-inch-thick slices

1 large green or red pepper, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

1 can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add hot water to stuffing mix and stir and set aside. Brown sausage, peppers and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is evenly browned. Drain well.

Place in a 13x9-inch baking dish. Pour tomato sauce over the sausage mixture. Top with the stuffing and bake for 25 minutes or until sausage is cooked through.

Subscribe for only 33¢ a day!

Leave feedback
on this or

Email This Page