CASSY MEISENHEIMER—Mimi’s Cornbread Dressing
- 2 pkgs Jiffy cornbread, prepare according to directions
- 2 cups cooked rice (1 cup raw)
- ½ carton of chicken livers, cooked, cooled, chopped (you can omit this, but it really adds flavor)
- 2 chicken breasts, baked, cooled, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 stalks and tops celery, chopped finely
- 1 bunch of green onions, snipped
- ½ bunch parsley, snipped
- 4 boiled eggs, chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth (can used canned)
- Tabasco, kosher salt, pepper to taste
- Saute vegetables and cool.
- Mix all ingredients together in a very large container.
- Spoon into a 3 quart casserole dish sprayed with PAM.
- Bake at 350° for 1 hour until crispy brown on top.
- Make cornbread a day or two, so it will “dry out” before assembly. Also, break it up into a few large pieces
- Prep everything the day before assembly. Makes it easier on you.
- I have been baking mine after assembly, and then I freeze it. Take it out for about two days and defrost it in the fridge. If it looks dry add a little milk or broth to the top before heating up.
- And remember—it always takes longer to heat up than you think. I keep it covered until it is heated or cooked through and test it in the middle to make sure it’s hot. Then take the foil off and continue heating until a pretty golden brown on top.
- Makes about a 3 quart casserole
TERRI SANDEFUR—Dill (family name) Meat Dressing
1½ loaves white bread cut into small squares, dried in oven and pulsed in food processor to make crumbs. In a very large bowl wet down bread crumbs with at least a pint of turkey broth and add...
- 1½ lbs. ground round (raw)
- 2 medium onions (ground)
- giblets (boiled and ground)
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp nutmeg or to taste (I use way more)
Mix thoroughly. If too dry, add more stock. Loose pack some in turkey (I don’t do this). Put rest in pyrex dish and bake at 325°-350° for 45 minutes covered with foil. Remove foil at the end to brown. Should be a little crusty. Serve with brown gravy.
SHELBY AKIN—My Mom’s Green Bean Casserole
- 2 cans green beans
- 1 can cream of chicken
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can of onion rings
- About 3-4 slices of cheese
- Heat oven to 350°.
- Drain cans of green beans.
- Mix green beans with soup. Stir.
- Add a little milk to the mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes then remove.
- Top with cheese slices. I use Velveeta.
- Then top with onions.
- Bake for about 5 more minutes.
KARA HUMPHREY—Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, and ½ cup of butter.
- Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Spoon into a greased two quart shallow casserole dish.
- Combine brown sugar; flour, ⅓ cup butter, and pecans. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
LEAH ORR—Best Mac and Cheese Ever!
My little sister has me make this for the holidays and her birthday! It’s the best mac and cheese ever!
- 4 cups macaroni noodles
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 4 Tbsp butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups half and half
- ½ lb. smoked gouda, shredded
- ¾ lb. sharp cheddar, shredded
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than package directions. Combine grated cheese in a large bowl.
- In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly. This cooks out the flour taste. Slowly whisk in the half and half, in three additions, letting it thicken in between each addition. Once all the half and half has been added cook until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
- In a small bowl, beat egg. Slowly drizzle in ¼ cup of the sauce it into beaten egg while whisking egg mixture. Pour egg mixture back into the sauce, stirring constantly until completely incorporated.
- Add all but 1½ cups of cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Pour cooked macaroni into a large baking dish then pour sauce over the noodles. Stir until combined. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
BRITT EARNEST—Sister Shubert Rolls
MATT CORNELIUS—Whatever my Mom brings
LINDSEY CLARK—Caramel Apple Pie
- 1 whole pie crust
- 6 to 7 cups peeled and sliced granny smith apples
- ½ juice of whole lemon
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 Tbsp flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup flour
- 1½ stick butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup quick oats
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- ½ jar (or more) caramel topping
- In a bowl, mix peeled apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside. For crumb topping, cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, then add in brown sugar, oats, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Add apples to the prepared pie shell and top with crumb topping. Cover crust edges with aluminum foil and bake in a 375° oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil from the crust and place back into the oven for another 30 minutes. Chop pecans, and when five minutes remain, sprinkle them over the pie. Finish baking. Quiver with anticipation.
- Remove the pie from the oven and pour ½ jar of caramel topping over the top. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
BAILEY GRAVITT—Peanut Butter Blossoms
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 oz. (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter (or other creamy nut butter)
- ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp milk, half-and-half, oat milk or nut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Nonstick spray or vegetable oil for cookie sheet (optional)
- 5 dz. (one 11 oz. package) Hershey’s Kisses, foil removed
- Heat oven to 375°. In large bowl, beat ½ cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 2 inches apart.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy in the center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to the cooling rack.
MEGAN GRIFFIN—My Mom’s Corn Casserole
- 1 can whole kernel corn
- 1 can cream-style corn
- 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
- 1 stick oleo/butter, melted
- 1 c, sour cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
Mix together and put in a 2-quart casserole dish. Bake 1½ hours at 250°.
KRISTIE KELLER—Grandmother Allman’s Fruit Salad
- 1 23.2 oz. container of frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 15 oz. can of mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 20 oz. can of sliced peaches, drained
- 1 21 oz. can of peach pie filling
Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.
SHANE KENNEDY—Pluck-It Cake
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 (16 oz.) cans refrigerated biscuits
- Preheat oven to 300°. Prepare a 9-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Remove from heat.
- Open each can of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Layer half of the dough pieces in the pan, making sure the rounded edges are facing the pan. Pour brown sugar sauce over the dough. Cover with the remaining dough pieces. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a serving plate.
- To serve, allow your guests to pluck a piece off of the cake while it is still warm.
For a smaller crowd, divide the recipe in half and bake in a 6 or 7-inch bundt pan.
TIFFANY HORTON—Mikie’s Stuffed Mushrooms
- 16 to 18 large mushrooms caps
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup melted butter
Combine ingredients and fill caps. Bake at 450° for 10 to 15 minutes.
FRED NORTON–Tula’s Prune Cake
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup cooked prunes, cut up
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ stick butter
- ½ tsp soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Beat eggs and add sugar, oil, buttermilk and prunes. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture. Mix well. (Do not beat hard or long, just mix well. Add pecans and mix lightly. Pour mixture into two greased and floured loaf pans and bake at 325° for 1 hour, or until done.
- To prepare the glaze, boil ingredients for 2 minutes. While cake is hot and still in pan, pour glaze mixture over cake.
- Serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
MRS. (SLIGHTLY) SOPHISTICATED—Beef Bourguignon
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 oz. bacon, roughly chopped
- 3 lbs. beef brisket, trimmed of fat (chuck steak or stewing beef) cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 large carrot sliced ½-inch thick
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
- 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsps flour
- 12 small pearl onions (optional)
- 3 cups red wine like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or a Chianti (for a milder sauce, use only 2 cups of wine)
- 2-3 cups beef stock (if using 2 cups of wine, use 3 cups beef stock)
- 2 Tbsps tomato paste
- 1 beef bullion cube, crushed
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsps fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound fresh small white or brown mushrooms, quartered
- 2 Tbsps butter
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy based pot. Sauté the bacon over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large dish and set aside.
- Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove to the dish with the bacon.
- In the remaining oil/bacon fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain excess fat (leave about 1 tablespoon in the pan) and return the bacon and beef back into the pot; season with ½ teaspoon coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.
- Add the pearl onions, wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Then add the tomato paste, bullion and herbs. Bring to a simmer on the stove.
- Cover, transfer to lower part of the oven and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fall apart tender (adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly).
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, prepare your mushrooms:
- Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over heat. When the foam subsides, add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Once they are browned, set aside.
- Place a colander over a large pot (I do this in my clean kitchen sink). Remove the casserole from the oven and carefully empty its contents into the colander (you want to collect the sauce only). Discard the herbs
- Return the beef mixture back into the dutch oven or pot. Add the mushrooms over the meat.
- Remove any fat off the sauce( if any) and simmer for a minute or two, skimming off any additional fat which rises to the surface.
- You should be left with about 2½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon lightly.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock. If the sauce is too thin, boil it over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to the right consistency.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper, if desired. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
- If you are serving immediately, simmer the beef bourguignon for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.
- To serve the following day, allow the casserole to cool completely, cover and refrigerate.
- The day of serving, remove from refrigerator for at least an hour before reheating. Place over medium-low heat and let simmer gently for about 10 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
KAILYN WILLIAMS—Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
- 16 oz. pretzel rods
- 16 oz. chopped milk, semisweet, dark or white chocolate or candy melts
- Sprinkles, mini M&M’s, coconut, toffee bits, chopped nuts, etc.
- Melt the chocolate by filling clean, tall heat safe jars with chopped chocolate or candy melts. Set them into the crock pot and carefully fill the crock pot with hot water until it’s is about halfway up the sides of the jars, being careful not to get any water into the jars with the chocolate at any time.
- Set the crock pot temperature to high and let the chocolate sit for about 30 minutes without covering. Use a long handled spoon to stir the chocolate as it melts.
- Once the chocolate is melted, turn the temperature on the crock pot down to low or warm.
- Dip pretzel rods into the melted chocolate, shaking off any excess chocolate before transferring them to a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with whatever toppings you desire before the chocolate has a chance to set, then let the chocolate fully harden before storing in an airtight container.