“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” – Alan D. Wolfelt
What a world we’ve lived in the past six weeks! When COVID-19 began sending the United States into a terrific tailspin of re-aligning our daily lives, whoever would have thought that our world would almost have totally changed in a period of six weeks.
Our life’s priorities have been realigned, and some of that is not all bad. Spending more time at home has caused us to get reacquainted with our cookbooks and cookware, and revisit things in the kitchen. In an effort to find some semblance of comfort, we’ve gone digging into recipe boxes for those beloved family-favorite recipes which remind us of better times and bring back warm and happy memories.
And so, I’ve called upon Kathy Dougherty to help share some comfort with the rest of us through her recipes. Kathy and her husband Blan are long-time, 3rd generation members of AgCentral Farmers Co-op, a farm-supply cooperative based in Southeast Tn. Kathy is known to be one of the best farm cooks in all of the Southeast, and is infamous for her contributions to her community through agricultural boards, school boards, and education organizations. (I’m also blessed to call her a dear friend!)
She loves creating memories with her family through cooking and her recipes, so she was a natural to call on for this first ‘recipe’ post – we surely hope there are more to come. First, let’s meet her family –
On the left, you find Kathy and Blan with granddaughter, Willow. And on the right, daughter Betsy with husband Russell, and their sons Ryland and Cameron. Kathy enjoys crafting recipes and creating memories for and with them all!
Kathy is also famously known for referring to Russell as her “Son-In-Love.” That term of endearment is the inspiration for this post, and what is hoped to be the first of others like it – “Recipes-In-Love.”
So therefore, Russell and Kathy’s relationship is the catalyst for the first recipe we share – “Son-In-Love Brownies.” According to Kathy, these are his favorite brownies, and once you taste them, they might become your favorite too! They’re pretty easy to make, but the flavor is as gourmet as any you will find at an upscale bakery!
1 box of regular brownie mix*2 “Giant” size Symphony candy bars with toffee and almondsMix brownies as directed on the box. Pour half the mixture into a 9″ x 13″ pan.Break the Symphony bars into pieces along perforations.Place in the pan on top of the brownie mixture.Cover with the remaining mixture. Gently smooth over candy pieces.Bake according to the directions on the box, adding 5-10 minutes to baking time.*We prefer just a plain chocolate brownie mix. (from Kathy)
Of course, Brownies are always better with milk, and Mayfield is a favorite milk in the Dougherty household! And why not drink it out of a fancy spring glass to lift your mood?
Million Dollar Cheese Dip (A local-centric version)
Million Dollar Cheese DipGreen onions to taste, chopped, to add color and flavor8 ounce Shredded Sharp Cheddar1 1/2 cup mayonnaise1/2 cup real bacon bits1/2 chopped, toasted pecansMix all ingredients together and chill at least two hours before serving. Serve with your favorite crackers. (We like the Pretzel Flips and Ritz.) Easily doubled.
Willow’s Crispies1 box cake mix*1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies1/2 cup melted butter1 eggCombine all the ingredients. Roll into 1″ ballsPlace 2″ apart on a cookie sheet.Bake 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees.Keep tightly closed to keep them crisp.*We like lemon cake mix, devil’s food cake mix and strawberry cake mix.Coconut cake mix is good too then substitute 1/2 cup of coconut for 1/2 cup of Rice Krispies.
Additional Recipes: (but no photos at this time!)
Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
1 pound sausage, cooked and drained1 package Pioneer Gravy mix1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese6 eggs, beaten1/2 cup milk1 can Pillsbury Grands biscuitsPreheat oven to 350 degrees.Make the gravy according to directions on packageCut biscuits into 1″ pieces and line the bottom of the pan. Spread cooked sausage over the biscuits. Sprinkle cheese on top.Beat the eggs with the milk and pour over biscuits and sausage.Pour gravy over all. Bake 30-35 minutes.Can be refrigerated and baked the next morning.
Tammie Fruit Salad (Yes, that’s the correct name!)
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained1 large can Mandarin oranges, drainedCherries, (if you like them) drained1 can peach pie filling2 bananas, slicedAny other fresh fruit you like such as strawberries and blueberries.You can also add 1/2 cup coconut. I add about 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans.Best made the day before.
Willow’s Baked Corn Casserole
1 15 ounce can whole kernel corn. Do NOT drain.1 14 ounce cream corn1/2 cup sour cream1/4 cup melted butter2 eggs, beaten1 box Jiffy cornbread mixCombine all and pour into a 9×13 dish.Bake 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.