This photo was taken last Easter at Twilight Acres in Wall Lake. Pat Hogan is pictured with her daughters (back row from left) Michelle Myers, Kim Nees, Lori Moore (front row from left) Amy Badding, and Pat’s mother, Flossie Wulkow.
This photo was taken last Easter at Twilight Acres in Wall Lake. Pat Hogan is pictured with her daughters (back row from left) Michelle Myers, Kim Nees, Lori Moore (front row from left) Amy Badding, and Pat’s mother, Flossie Wulkow.
Monday, December 26, 2011

Thirty-five years ago, on Dec. 22, Dick and Pat Hogan were married. Pat explains, “It was kind of an odd time of the year to get married, but Dick and I wanted to be married so our families could celebrate Christmas together.”

Dick’s sons, Troy and Jay, and Pat’s daughters, Kim, Lori, Michelle, and Amy, joined together as one family. Today, they celebrate holidays including Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with a much bigger crew.

Troy lives in Seattle and works at the corporate headquarters for REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc). Jay works at Oral-B in Iowa City and lives in Cedar Rapids with his wife, Nicki, and they have five children, Isabella, Dominick, Isaac, Adrik, and Ivy. Kim Nees is a first-grade teacher at Fairview and lives in Carroll with her husband, Mike, and their three sons, Brett, Garrett, and Adam. Lori Moore is an in-home daycare provider and works at New Hope Village. She and her husband, Rob, have three children, Cameron, Cole, and Taylor.

Michelle Myers and her husband Dan live in Webster City and they have three children, Nicolle, Jordan, and new baby, Molly. Amy Badding and her husband, Eric, recently moved to Ames. Amy is a child and family therapist. She and Eric have four children, Madison, Max, Katelyn, and Kennedy.

The Fourth of July is the family’s largest celebration. There are typically 40 to 45 people and Pat makes sure to make double of everything.

Since the family has grown to include six spouses and 18 grandchildren, Pat and Dick make it a point to try to get together with as many family members as possible at Christmas. Son Troy always remains in Seattle for the holidays. For several years, Troy has served dinner at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day. The family has started a new tradition of celebrating Christmas on the 26th at their lake house at the Twin Lakes.

Pat has worked at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll for 30 years. She has spent the last 28 years as an Obstetrics nurse. Dick retired this past year. He had worked as a guidance counselor at Carroll High School and as an advisor at Des Moines Area Community College.

Pat’s mother, Flossie Wulkow, of Wall Lake, taught her how to bake when she was young. Pat says, “I have wonderful memories of baking with my mom, especially during Christmas.” Pat recalls her dad and mom always made Christmas so special.

When Pat and Dick’s girls were little, Pat would bake cut-out sugar cookies during the holiday season. She would give each of them their own bowl of frosting and recalls the girls had so much fun frosting and decorating their very own set of cookies.

Thumbprint Cookies

Pat has kept this cookie recipe since she was first married when she tried them and asked for the recipe.

Cream together 2/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup granulated sugar until fluffy. Add 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ½ teaspoon salt; beat well. Gradually add 1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour, mix well. Shape into ¾ inch ball; dip in 2 slightly beaten egg whites, then roll in ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts. Place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press down center of each with thumb. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from pan and cool on rack. Fill centers with cream cheese frosting (recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat at low speed on mixer until light. Gradually add sugar, beat until fluffy. If necessary, add milk to make of spreading consistency and add red or green food coloring for the holiday season.

Snowdrop Cookies

This is a very special recipe that belongs to Pat’s mom, Flossie Wulkow. Pat has fond memories of her mom baking them during the holiday season. For Christmas, Pat always frosts them red or green.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup oleo
1 cup cooking oil
Blend well in mixer then add:
4½ cups flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon soda
Chill dough and then roll into balls. Place balls on a well-greased cookie sheet and press with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. When cool frost with powdered sugar frosting (recipe below).

Powdered Sugar Frosting

Place 1 stick of butter and about ¼ cup of milk in microwave and heat until butter is melted. Fill a small mixing bowl about ¾ full of powdered sugar. Mix with butter/milk mixture and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until you reach desired consistency. During the holidays, Pat likes to add a few drops of red or green food coloring.

Chocolate Roll

This is Pat’s all-time favorite treat she makes for herself, but shares it with her family. Her mother always baked this fancy treat at Christmastime. Pat says the trick is getting the cake out of the pan in one piece, so be sure to grease and flour the pan well. She usually has to make two rolls during the holiday to give everyone a slice and there are never any leftovers.
4 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup sifted cake flour
¼ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored; gradually beat in ¼ cup sugar; add vanilla. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add ½ cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg yolks into whites. Sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt; fold into egg mixture.

Spread batter evenly in greased and lightly floured 15½ x 10 ½ inch jelly roll pan. Bake in moderate oven, at 375 degrees; about 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately loosen sides and turn out onto a tea towel sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar. Starting at narrow end, roll cake and towel together; cool on rack. Then in wrap in plastic wrap and store refrigerator if making the day ahead.

Unroll and spread with 1 cup whipping cream, whipped; roll. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar and sprinkle with colored sugar crystal. Chill until serving time.

Caramel Bars

These bars are loved by Pat’s daughters, Kim, Michelle, Lori, and Amy. Pat keeps them on hand in the freezer at all times. Since Pat works so much at the hospital she has to find time to bake in large batches. She will take a day to bake all day long so she can have baked goodies in the freezer ready for the next holiday.
Mix together:
1 package German Chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup oleo
1/3 cup evaporated milk
Spread half of mixture in bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.
Melt in microwave:
1 package caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk
Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped walnuts on top of baked mixture. Spread caramel mixture on top. Let caramel set. Add rest of cake mixture. Bake 15 to 18 minutes.

Ice Cream Dessert

This sweet treat is a definite favorite of Pat’s grandkids. She adapted this recipe for Christmas by making it with peppermint stick ice cream. Pat’s mother always made this dessert with vanilla ice cream and Pat uses a variety of ice cream flavors, including mint chocolate chip for various holidays.

Melt one stick of butter in a 9x13 inch pan in an oven set at 250 degrees. Crush 1 package of Holiday Oreo cookies (with red filling) with a rolling pin, mix with melted butter and bake for about 3-4 minutes. Spread 2 quarts of Peppermint Stick ice cream on top of the cookie crumb crust. Top with 1 jar of fudge sauce. Top fudge sauce with 1 small container of Cool Whip. Sprinkle with colored crystal sugar. Freeze. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Pull-Apart Rolls

When Pat bakes these rolls for dinner there are never any left. Everyone absolutely loves these easy-to-make rolls. This is a fairly new recipe for Pat. After finding it in a magazine she serves these rolls with dinner at every holiday. Her grandkids say the rolls smell like Subway while they’re baking. This Christmas, she will serve them alongside chicken and noodles and potato soup. Pat likes to dip the rolls in olive oil and parmesan cheese while her granddaughter, Niccole, likes to dip hers in marinara sauce.

1 bag (36) frozen white dinner roll dough, thawed but still cold
1 Tablespoon Nature Seasons seasoning blend
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon basil or parsley
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Thoroughly combine seasoning blend with herbs. Arrange 12 rolls in bottom of a 10 x 4 inch tube pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Brush rolls with butter, sprinkle with 1/3 of the herb blend and cheese. Repeat layers of rolls, butter, herb blend and cheese two more times. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and allow rolls to rise until double in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. Cover with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking. Let cool 5 minutes and then remove from pan in one piece.