Cooking for a crowd: Sipes keeps sweets coming
Thursday, 12 October 2017
Story and photos by Derek Gean
Assistant editor
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When it comes to baked goods, employees in the Fort Leonard Wood Digital Training Facility know who to go to when they want cupcakes and cinnamon rolls.

Nancy Sipes, Fort Leonard Wood’s “Foodie of the Fort” for October is the one they go to for the treats.
October “Foodie of the Fort,” Nancy Sipes, prepares a cupcake buffet at the Digital Training Facility Tuesday. Sipes in known among the employees for her sweet treats.

“They’re awesome,” said David Pape, chief of simulations and digital instruction at the DTF. “We benefit from the things she brings in all the time,” insisting the cinnamon rolls are his favorite.

On Tuesday, Sipes provided a smorgasbord of cinnamon rolls and numerous cupcakes, including German chocolate, hazelnut-filled chocolate, cream cheese-filled chocolate, maple pumpkin and even sugar free banana foster.

“It’s all about presentation,” Sipes said as she laid the treats out for her coworkers.

Here is Sipes’ October Foodie of the Fort interview:

Q.  There is no doubt you have a love for cooking, do you consider yourself a foodie? How so?

A.  Definite foodie. I love to bake! I love to create my own recipes. I tell my husband often that I wish they had an amateur cooking war show so I could be a contestant. However, my favorite “cooking” is when I see people smile when they eat  my food.
I am in my element when in the kitchen. If I can make people happy, then I am on cloud nine.

Q. What is your specialty dish?  

A. My specialty is dessert.

I can work magic with cheesecakes, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, and cookies.  The dishes I fix that always gets rave reviews are lasagna and my New England boiled dinner.  

Q.  Why do you think your coworkers call on you when it’s time to have a party?  

A. I am the resident expert, so to speak.  I have a unique ability to throw together events from planning, decorations, and baking.  I love doing things for people.

Q. How did you acquire your love of cooking?  

A. My mom was an absolute wonderful cook. I have had a love of cooking since I was nine. When I was in my teens I did the majority of the dinner preparation because we had a home-based business that took a lot of time. There were five of us kids, so I cooked.

Q.  Favorite recipe?

Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls
3 cups water
1 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons sugar (separated)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola work best)
2 packages Rapid Rise Yeast
6 cups flour

In a measuring cup:  1/2 cup extremely warm water, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 packages yeast.  

Set aside while you mix rest of ingredients and it has a healthy foam on top.

In mixing bowl:  2 1/2 cups hot water, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons  oil, 1 cup sugar. Stir in yeast. Add 4 cups flour, keep adding a little flour at a time until dough isn’t sticky and can be handled.

Knead dough until smooth. Let rise until double. Punch dough down and knead until dough is manageable Pinch dough ball in half. Roll one ball of dough out to create an oblong square, brush with melted butter, sprinkle 1 cup sugar evenly around dough, sprinkle 1/2 cup cinnamon around evenly.  

Roll dough into a “jelly roll,” cut two-finger thick slices the length of the roll. You should have about a dozen cinnamon rolls.

Place rolls in an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Let rise for about an hour, depending on temperature in house and humidity. Cinnamon rolls should be about double Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Glaze with vanilla or cream cheese icing.

1 8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar
Add sugar as needed for thickness.

(Editor’s note: Do you have a nomination for “Foodie of the Fort?” If so, email your nominations and the reason you think this person would be a good fit to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2017 )