When Toni Hall Clements of Bruce is in the mood to cook, she looks through her cookbooks, plans meals for the week, makes a big list, and hits the grocery store. Husband Chase and daughter Chloe are picky eaters, so when Toni finds something they like, she sticks with it. Before she married, her only specialty was baked pork chops, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, which she still makes. She also cooks spaghetti, but wishes she could make the sauce like Chase’s grandmother, Josie Murphree. “None of the family can make it like Mrs. Josie,” Toni said.
Besides her cookbooks, she also gets recipes from Campbell’s e-mail meal ideas each week, and from her “idol in the kitchen”, Charlsie Alexander, who “makes everything from scratch.” Toni likes to go to her house and watch her cook. As a teenager, Toni used to have “late night bakes” with friends, making cakes and cupcakes. Now she sometimes hosts a traditional holiday meal/get together for friends. When she eats out she likes steak and shrimp, but could live off fruit and vegetables, especially cucumbers. Chase does the grilling at their house, and Chloe loves it when her daddy makes “pannycakes” for breakfast, along with biscuits and chocolate gravy.
Toni combined a recipe of Penny Nelson’s with another one to come up with her hot chicken salad. Green bean bundles are a favorite of her family, and she “adores” the broccoli casserole. A childhood favorite are the cookies. A quick peach cobbler she makes sometimes includes cake mix batter and canned peaches, but says it’s good made with any fruit. Toni likes Leigh McDowell Moore’s Cheesy Crockpot Chicken recipe because she also likes to cook in the crockpot.
Hot Chicken Salad
6 chicken tenders or three cans Sweet Sue chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/3 cup almonds, minced
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups for cheesier recipe)
1/2 bag plain potato chips, crushed
Shred chicken. Mix all ingredients except cheese and chips. Spread in a 9x13 casserole dish. Add cheese and chips on top. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes. Can also be used as a dip and served with corn chips.
2-10 oz. boxes chopped broccoli
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, melted
1 stick butter, melted
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed/crumbled
Cook broccoli and drain. Add cheese and pour in baking dish. Top with melted butter and crumbled Ritz crackers. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Mama Sue’s Cookies
1 box Duncan Hines butter recipe cake mix
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
Use wood or plastic spoon to mix. Spray cookie sheet with Pam. Pour/spoon mix onto cookie sheet in small portions.?Bake at 325°. Don’t overbake, and let edge get light brown, not top, for moist cookies.
Green Bean Bundles
2 pkg. sliced bacon
1 bottle Catalina dressing (more if preferred)
3 cans green beans (drained)
Bundle several green beans together and wrap with bacon. Put into baking dish. Pour Catalina over bundles. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes or until bacon is done or cooked to liking.