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Clay’s Lemon Bars

Everyone seems to really enjoy this dainty, gooey, sour lemon treat. My son Clay thinks this cookie is the absolute best and also claims that they are addictive. When I refer to this recipe I always call them Clay’s cookies. He has, on more than one occasion, made a batch just for himself. Eating half of the recipe warm out of the oven and freezing the other half is highly recommended. No, not to preserve them but says they are wonderful to eat frozen. (Probably the following day.)

2 c. Flour
1/2 c. Sugar
1 t. Grated Lemon Peel
1 c. Soft Margarine or Butter

Mix flour, sugar and lemon peel. Cut in margarine to make coarse crumbs. Press mixture in a 9x13” pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350°.

While crust is baking place the following ingredients in a blender or food processor in the order given.

1/2 c. Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Eggs
1 ½ c. Sugar
1/3 c. Flour
1/2 t. Baking Powder

Blend 5-10 seconds, scrape down sides and blend again. Pour over hot crust and continue to bake another 15 minutes or until set in middle and slightly brown. Cool and cut into squares then triangles with a damp knife. Dust with powdered sugar. Will freeze well for up to 3 months if well wrapped.

Cold Cucumber Soup

Cool as a cucumber on a hot summer day.  I love serving this cold soup and enjoy eating it even more.  Try this recipe with chicken salad and a fresh sliced tomato for a showy cooling summer luncheon.

4 large cucumbers (about 48 ozs.)
8 oz. non-fat plain yogurt
8 oz. low-fat sour cream
1 T. cider vinegar
1 1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. sugar
4-6 drops Lousiana hot sauce
2 T. fresh dill weed or 2 t. dry dill weed

Peel cucumbers, slice in half and if there are large seeds, remove them with the tip of a spoon.  Chop cucumbers (you may reserve 1/2 c. for garnish if you like)  Place in a food processor or blender and add remaining ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Chill at least one hour; over night is better.  Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh dill and chopped cucumbers if you choose more texture.

Easy Lemon Cheesecake Pie

3 oz. pkg lemon jello
1 c. boiling water
Mix together until jello dissolves then chill until just starts to get thick.  Don't let it thicken!

1 - 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, soft
1 c. sugar
Beat together well, mix in cold jello.
Fold in, mixing well
1 - carton of Cool whip
Scrape into two graham cracker pie shells. Top with fresh fruit, chill and serve.  So easy!


Many people have not experienced Middle Eastern Food and are missing out on hummus, traditionally served with warm pita bread. This wonderful appetizer (bean dip) is fun and easy to make and is so healthy for you, kids love it. Perfect for a mid afternoon snack so try making some and experiment with different flavors and ingredients.  There are even recipes with pumpkin, walnuts, almonds or black beans and flavored with spices such as cumin, red pepper, orange zest and fresh herbs.  Remember when using fresh garlic to only store in the frig for a few days, otherwise freeze the remainder.  Do a google search for lots of recipe variations.  Here's how I make it:
2 cans garbanzo (chick peas) beans
1 1/2 t. sea salt
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic (depending on size of cloves and how much YOU like garlic, but don't leave it out)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. oil
2 T. chopped parsley, divided
Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth using 1 T. parsley.  Scrape into a serving bowl and top with 1 T. chopped parsley.

Jan’s Potato Soup

This recipe was given to me when my sons were small by a friend, Jan Antwine. It has always been a favorite and I have passed it on to many other kitchens. A wonderful way to “hide” carrots in your family meals. After sampling this wonderful soup, several visitors at Holly Hill have asked for this recipe, I hope you will enjoy it too.

6 – 7 Potatoes, diced
2 Carrots
2 Ribs, Celery
1 Small Onion

Puree carrots, celery, and onion in blender (in batches) using 5 cups water. Pour into stockpot along with potatoes.

2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1 t. Dried Parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste. Simmer 1 hour then,
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1/3 c. Butter
4 oz Velveeta

Heat gently to melt cheese.

Batter Bread

This bread is so easy and fun to make. Just the right recipe when you are in a hurry for hot fresh bread. An oatmeal topping adds an unusual touch. Try adding other flavors to the oatmeal such as garlic or herbs.

1 pkg. Yeast
1/4 c. Warm Water
1 c. Scalded Milk
1 t. Salt
1/4 c. + 2 T. Sugar
1/4 c. Vegetable Oil
1 Beaten Egg
3 1/4 c. Flour
1/2 c. Oatmeal
1 Stick Margarine or Butter, melted and cooled.

Soften yeast in warm water. Add salt, sugar, and oil to hot milk; stir and let cool. Add yeast to milk. Beat in eggs and 2 c. flour. Mix well for one minute. Add remaining flour, small amounts at a time until a thick batter forms. Turn batter into an oiled 9X13" pan. Pour melted margarine over the top and sprinkle with oatmeal. Let rise for 45 min. to 1 hour in a warm place. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

Cut into bread sticks before serving.

Poppy Seed Chicken

Several years ago my son's wife shared this delicious casserole recipe with me. It is one of my Ryan's favorites and quickly became a favorite here at Holly Hill too. I prepare it often for large groups and have served it many times for 30 people. It's one that doubles or triples well and customers often ask for the recipe. Hope that you enjoy it also.
(Serves 8-10)

2 c. lite sour cream
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 ½ T. poppy seed
1 c. rice cooked as usual in 2 c. water
4 c. cooked and cubed chicken breast
Salt and pepper to taste
*1 onion, 2 sticks of celery and 1 red pepper sautéed in a little olive oil

Mix together in or all of the ingredients, add chicken last so it doesn’t break up too much. (I often use a whole chicken that I have cooked overnight in the crock pot. Cool in the morning and remove bones, cube meat and measure the 4 cups.)
Pour mixture into a 9X13 casserole that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.
Top with: 1 ½ packages of crushed buttery crackers (you know the ones) mixed with 2/3 stick of melted butter.
Bake at 350* for 30 min. until crackers start to turn golden and filling is bubbly around the edges.

*These ingredients are optional, I add them to jazz it up a little, you can substitute a small jar of pimento for the red pepper.

To double this recipe I use 1 whole chicken and 4 breasts and double the other ingredients. If the mixture seems a little dry I moisten it with some buttermilk, which blends with the sour cream flavor well.

Mexican Crustless Quiche

By omitting the crust we can cut down on calories in this delicious breakfast dish. I also like the addition of cottage cheese for more protein. It is easy to double the recipe so I often bake an extra and package up individual servings for the freezer. This makes a quick breakfast or light lunch with a topping of fresh salsa, avocado, and sour cream.

8 eggs
16 oz. cottage cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. jack cheese, shredded
½ c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 – 7 oz. can chopped green chilies
3 green onions, chopped
¼ c. melted butter

Whisk the eggs together with the cottage cheese in a large bowl. Mix the flour and baking powder with the grated cheeses and add to the eggs along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and pour into an oiled 9X13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees 40-45 minutes. The mixture will be golden brown and just set in the middle. You can check for doneness by inserting a butter knife in the middle. It should come out clean. Cut into squares and serve hot. You can also bake in two pie plates for 35 minutes and cut the quiche in wedges for serving.

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Here's a new recipe using a cake mix. Most of you know that I rarely use mixes but now and then for Wednesday lunch I like to try something fast and easy. This recipe is a real hit. It's way to the top on my "Pumpkin Season" list. Best served with a dab of ice cream or whipped topping.

One box plain yellow cake mix, set aside 1 cup
1 stick soft butter
1 egg, beaten

Blend together in a bowl until well mixed. Using an electric mixer is best.
Press dough into the bottom of a greased and floured 9X13" baking pan, set aside.

2 15 oz. cans pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. each of ginger and nutmeg or ground allspice
3 large eggs or 4 med. eggs

Using the same bowl as before mix pumpkin with other ingredients until smooth and well blended, about 3 minutes.
Pour this mixture over prepared crust in pan.

To make topping:
Place reserved 1 c. cake mix in a bowl, add 1/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. quick oats, and 1 c. chopped pecans; mix well.
Add 1/4 c. chilled butter and cut into dry ingredients with two knives or a pastry blender until crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over filling and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes then an additional 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees. If top begins to brown to much lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan. Remove from oven when the center no longer giggles and appears to be firm.
Serve warm or at room temp. This cake stores well covered in the refrigerator.

Pineapple Cheese Spread

This recipe always brings requests for a copy. I've served it many times as an appetizer and it's so easy to make variations to fit your menu.

2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
8 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained well)
1/4 c. finely chopped red or green bell pepper
2 T. minced green onion
1-2 t. seasoning salt (I like Tony's)
1 c. fine chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together well and store in frig. Before serving mound on tray and garnish with extra chopped nuts and fresh chopped parsley, serve with crackers.
Vary the recipe by adding shredded cheddar, chopped dried cranberries or other dry fruit, substitute sliced almonds for pecans or add 1/2 c mayo for a softer spread.
The pineapple is the special ingredient; I have even used a large can (15 oz.).

Pat’s Apple Butter

Perfect fall recipe, your house will smell heavenly. Anyone can do this. My friend Pat shared this recipe with me years ago. It’s so delicious and easy to prepare. You will want to keep a few jars around to take as hostess gifts. Your friends will think you are well experienced in making jam & jelly. Use any variety of apples, a mixture is the best. If using all Red Delicious add ¼ c. lemon juice.

About 4# of apples - wash, quarter, and core; do not peel. Pile apples in your crock pot heaping them above the rim.
Add: 2 c. sugar, 2 t. cinnamon, ½ t. ground cloves or ground allspice according to your taste (these amounts of sugar and spices are for the small 1 gallon crock pot)

Put the lid on top of the heaped up apples and cook overnight or 8 hrs. In the morning puree’ the entire mixture in a blender until smooth; ladling the hot apples into the blender in small batches. Return puree’ to crock pot, taste for sweetness and spices and adjust if necessary.
Cook on low for another 8 hrs. Leave the lid ajar so excess moisture can evaporate and you will have nice thick apple butter.

Scrape down sides a few times while cooking.
Ladle into clean canning jars, let cool and store in frig. Or hot water bath as a preserving practice.

Show Me Banana Cobbler

This recipe was an instant hit for Wednesday lunch.  Last April my mother and me sampled something wonderful at a tea room some where in Missouri.  Their warm banana cobbler was just so unusual and delicious.  Finally I've found a recipe that is a nice replica and very easy to stir together. 
Hope you like it too. 

1 c. self-rising flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Whisk together until blended and stir in 1 stick of melted cooled butter.  Pour batter into an oiled 11X7 baking dish (I think it could take a larger dish)
Top batter with slices of 4 large ripe (but not over-ripe) bananas. Sprinkle with this crumb topping:
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. self-rising flour
1 c. quick oats
3/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Mix together and cut in 1 stick of firm butter until you have coarse crumbs.  Bake at 375* approx. 30-35 minutes until set in middle and brown.

Sweet & Sour Black Eye Peas

This recipe is so versatile. It can be served cold as a salad or hot as a side dish and keeps very well in the frig. Shared by a dear, sweet lady and wonderful cook who has been a close friend in Tim’s family for many years.  Thanks Billye for sharing one of your family favorites.
Combine these ingredients:
3 cans black eye peas – rinse and drain
1 can carrots – rinse and drain
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 jar pimentos, drained
1 clove garlic, minced

Dressing: combine and mix with vegetables
¾ c. sugar and ¾ c. vinegar, stir to dissolve
2/3 c. oil and 1 can tomato soup
5 T. Worcestershire sauce

Chill covered for several hours or bake at 350 for 45 minutes and serve hot with a slotted spoon.  I have found that the dressing will cover a double batch.