Schmidt Recipes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is about family get-togethers and good food. This Thanksgiving, you might try a traditional Schmidt family recipe or two! And while you’re at it, submit your own family recipes to the Schmidt Cookbook!

Chicken DressingChicken Dressing

Creator: Kay Schafer (1933-2012)

Contributors: Becky Dykhuis, Valerie Newhouse & Rich Schafer

Circa: 1970


  • 1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm stuffing or cubed dry bread
  • 1 pt. chicken broth
  • 1 pt. cooked chicken with bone removed (Mom used a whole chicken)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1/8 tsp sage (Mom added more to taste)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Mix bread crumbs and broth together. Add the egg and mix together. Add cooked chicken, sage, salt, pepper, onion and celery and mix well. Bake covered for one hour at 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Quick and easy.


Hager Schnitzel

Creator: Bernadine (Schmidt) Messner

Circa: 1950


  • 1 lb. ½ inch thick beef or pork cutlets (buy tenderized or place between 2 wax papers and flatten)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. pepper
  • 1 ½ cup crumbs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine

Directions: Dredge the cutlets in flour. Mix the 2 eggs and ½ cup water and beat with the salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets into the egg mixture and roll in the crumbs. (For the crumbs, I use stove top dressing ground finely in my food processor.) Melt the butter or margarine in a large heavy skillet on medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes according to your thickness (per side). Yields 4 servings.

Suggested sides: Spaetzle, sauerkraut with caraway seeds, buttered sweet corn, applesauce, or baked beans.

Bernadine: “You may substitute my schnitzel with chicken, veal, or turkey.”


Cheese Soup with Bacon

Creator: Marlene (Ernst) Schmidt

Contributor: Siri (Schmidt) Christy

Circa: 1970


  • 1 Tbsp margarine
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • 2 cans of cream of potato soup
  • 1 thirteen ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 8 strips cooked bacon
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar
  • Drops of hot sauce (optional)


Melt margarine, cook carrots and onion until tender. Add soup, broth, parsley and hot sauce. Cook and stir until just  boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in cheese, bacon, and evaporated milk. Do not boil.


Apple Harvest Cake

Creator: Lula (Christensen) Schmidt (1918-2008)

Contributor: Laurie (Johnson) Schmidt

Circa: 1970

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cup finely chopped peeled apples
  • 1 cup nuts

Cake Directions: Combine eggs, sugar, and oil. Mix well with mixer. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix by hand until moistened. Stir in apples and nuts. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 three oz. packages of cream cheese
  • 3 Tbs. milk
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs. lemon peel (or) 2 tsp. vanilla

Frosting Directions: Beat the cream cheese with the milk, powdered sugar, and lemon peel or vanilla. Spread over the cake.


Grandma Char’s Hot Cranberry Punch

Creator: Charlotte (DeGroote) Schafer (1921-1999)

Contributor: Pamela (Schafer) Sande

Circa: 1975


  • 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 4 thin slices of orange
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg

Directions: Combine ingredients in Corningware coffee pot. Simmer. Serves 6.

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