The first-ever CommonGround CookSmart Series in partnership with Nebraska Extension was held in Grand Island on Feb. 11, 2021.  The CookSmart Series is a sequence of cooking events that highlights family friendly recipes and includes information from CommonGround farm women about the food used in the recipes.

Joan Ruskamp is a farmer and cattle feeder from Dodge, Nebraska and was one of our chefs at the event. “We want to show how to make a healthy, family friendly meal as well as share with consumers about how food is grown and raised. Many consumers have questions about their food and the issues they hear about or read on labels, and we want to be a resource for them.”

The event was offered for both in person and virtual participation. The Family Friendly meal included Beef Wontons, Potato Stir Fry and Fruit Jarcuteris. The recipes and photos are shared below.

Beef Wontons
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  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded angel hair cabbage
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (14 ounce) package wonton wrappers


  1. In a large bowl, mix together beef, cabbage, carrot and onion. Stir in the egg, sugar, salt, soy sauce and vegetable oil.
  2. Place a large teaspoonful of filling in the center of a wonton. Moisten the edges of a wonton with a few drops of water. Then fold the wonton in half and pinch the edges together to seal. Create a ripple pattern along the pinched edge by pinching and gently pushing together small segments of it. Repeat with remaining wontons.
  3. Brush each wonton with melted butter.
  4. Fry in air fryer at 400 for 4 minutes.
  5. Optional: serve with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Family Friendly Stir Fry
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  • 2-3 russet potatoes medium size
  • 2 heaping cups snow peas
  • 1 red bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 large onion (any variety)
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic from a jar or 3 cloves fresh minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter (cooking oil)
  • ½ -1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons beef or chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • No additional salt is needed


  1. Scrub potatoes leaving the skin on. Cut potatoes length wise into 6-8 wedges.
  2. Cut bell pepper into strips removing the seeds.
  3. Slice onion into ¼ inch rings.
  4. Heat butter in skillet (electric works well) to point of being melted.
  5. Add all the vegetables. Heat and stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Add garlic, pepper, sugar and 2 tablespoons each soy sauce and broth.
  7. Simmer and stir 5 minutes.
  8. Add last 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and broth. Stir and fry another 5-8 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  9. Serve as-is or with favorite dipping sauce.
Fruit Jarcuteris
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  • Fruit: Strawberries, blueberries, mango, orange slices
  • Vegetables: Cucumber slices, carrot sticks, bell peppers
  • Grains: Angel food cake squares, pretzel sticks, whole grain crackers
  • Dairy: Cheese cubes
  • Protein: Lean lunch meat slices, nuts


  1. Mix and match your fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy and arrange in your jar.


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