Manila homemaker

Thursday, November 11, 2004
Traci Foster

Traci Foster, today's dinner bell feature, became an Arkansas resident in May. She and her family moved to Manila from East Texas. Her husband, James, accepted a position as Wildlife Biologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at Big Lake Wildlife Management Area.

The couple has two children, Luke who is 18 months old, and Julie, who is five years old and a kindergarten student.

Mrs. Foster, like her mother and several members of her family, is a teacher. She has taught for eight years.

"I tried very hard to want to do something else, but I just kept coming back to teaching," Mrs. Foster said. "I really enjoy teaching and I think it was meant for me to be a teacher."

She accepted a teaching position in Osceola where she teaches the third grade. She and Julie got to start a new school together this year in Osceola. Julie comes to her mother's classroom in the afternoons when she gets out of kindergarten and the two take about an hour and do their homework.

"I do my homework and she does her and when we get home we can enjoy playing with Luke," Mrs. Foster said.

Mrs. Foster said the family has been very happy with their first move from Texas. She said the people have been very nice.

Mr. Foster is originally from Mississippi. He attended college at Mississippi State before taking a job that took him to Texas. Mrs. Foster went to school at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., and returned home to Texas after college.

The couple met at a single's group at church and the rest is history.

They enjoyed getting involved in the Manila summer sports and their daughter enjoyed soccer this fall. Mrs. Foster calls herself an "outside" person and enjoys sports.

"I think it is great for kids to be involved in sports," she said. "It is good exercise and keeps them involved."

In addition to her other teaching duties at her first job, Mrs. Foster coached golf. She played golf in high school and competed at state matches

Mrs. Foster said girls' sports were not as recognized when she was attending school as they are today.

They are members of Westside Baptist Church in Manila.

Mrs. Foster likes to cook when she has time during the summer months or the Christmas holidays.

During her family, holiday gatherings she is always assigned the sausage balls.

Like most young families, the Fosters keep a busy schedule and her recipes are usually quick and easy.

Sausage Balls

1 lb. Cheddar cheese (shredded)

3-1/2 cups of Bisquick

1 lb. of sausage

1/2 to 1 cup of water.

Mix all together in a big bowl or container.

Trick to keeping the mixture moist is to add water while you are mixing the ingredients. Then roll the mixture into 1 inch balls. Cook at 350 degrees until golden brown (around 15 minutes).

Easy Garlic Cheese Biscuits

2 cups of Bisquick

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Stir baking mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms. Beat vigorously 30 strokes. Drop dough by 10 to 12 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Mix margarine and garlic powder; brush on warm biscuits before removing form cookie sheet. Serve warm. 10 to 12 biscuits.

Green Bean Casserole

1 can cut green beans

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup chopped slivered almonds

1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained

1/4 lb. grated Velveeta cheese

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Ritz crackers

Sufficient liquid from beans to make sauce of desired thickness.

Blend and heat soup, cheese, bean liquid and Worcestershire sauce. Add drained beans and mushrooms to soup mixture. Add toasted almonds. Place in greased baking dish and sprinkle with Ritz crackers, crumbled. Heat in 350 degree oven until hot all the way through.

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

1 Keebler ready-crust chocolate-flavored pie crust

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla,

dash of salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt; beat until well blended. Place crust on baking sheet and pour filling into crust. Drop melted chocolate by teaspoonful onto filling. Swirl chocolate into filing. Bake until golden brown on top (30 to 35 minutes).

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