Susan Hardin

Susan Steele Hardin of Calhoun City calls herself a “dessert fanatic.”?Like so many, she says sweets are her weakness. She always keeps a dessert made and her family is spoiled to homemade. When she and Tony married, sweets were the only thing she could make, so she would go to the store, buy groceries, then call her mother, Mary Steele, to ask her how to fix whatever meat she had bought, and she always had a good recipe.

While deciding what to fix for six children for supper is difficult, she does enjoy them enjoying what she cooks. She says she has “six picky eaters” and sometimes feels like a short-order cook. She puts up fresh vegetables and tries to get the kids, age 5-17, to eat healthy. It’s hard to find something that all of them like, but they do love anything grilled, including steak, and homemade pizza. Susan likes for everyone to sit down together for the meal, but that’s harder than it used to be, and they usually have extras to join them for supper. Like Susan, her older girls enjoy making brownies and cookies, have shown an interest in cooking, and they don’t like to eat a lot of fried food. Youngest daughter Regan, 14, helped her mom prepare their traditional Christmas Eve night have traditional breakfast for supper for Susan’s family.
Susan is proud to have her Grandmother Evelyn Williams’ binder of recipes and often bakes her cookie recipe, which has been passed down through the family.  She also submitted her mother’s lasagna recipe, a dish she sometimes makes for taking to an event. She makes strawberry coffeecake for Sunday School breakfasts and says it’s not as complicated as it seems, and class members are upset if she doesn’t show up with it. And for Super Bowl Sunday, husband Tony insists she send the crabmeat spread appetizer.

Grandmother Steele’s Lemon Glazed Pound Cake
4 eggs
1 box yellow cake mix (without pudding)
1 small package lemon instant pudding mix
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Beat eggs until creamy and lemon colored.  Add remaining ingredients and beat 10 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 10” tube pan.  Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan, then remove and invert onto cake platter.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Combine sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Prick cake surface at 1” intervals with a meat fork. Drizzle glaze over cake. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

Ice Box Cookies
1 cup butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
2 ½ cups plain flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream butter, add sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients, then nuts. Mix well. Form into oblong rolls about 1½” thick and wrap in saran wrap. Chill until firm. Slice into 1/4” thick slices. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes. Rolls of dough can be frozen and cooked when unexpected company arrives.

Strawberry Coffeecake
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1 stick butter or margarine softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 jar strawberry preserves
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine cream cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and milk, then dry ingredients. Batter will be stiff. Spread ½ of batter into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Combine strawberry preserves and lemon juice. Spread evenly over batter. Dot remaining batter over preserves, then mix brown sugar and nuts and sprinkle over top of cake. Bake at 350° 30-40 minutes.  (325° in glass pan.)  Cut into squares and serve warm.

Crabmeat Spread
1 stick butter, softened
1 jar Kraft Old English Cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 6 oz. can crabmeat, drained
1 pkg. English Muffins
Mix butter, cheese, mayonnaise, and spices. Add drained crabmeat to mixture. Spread over muffins. Toast at 350 for 12 minutes.
For an appetizer, I cut the muffins into fourths, then spread with crabmeat mixture for bite size pieces.

1 small onion chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
4 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
9 lasagna noodles
1 lg pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 large container cottage cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Brown ground beef with onion on medium high until redness is gone. Put in large pot with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings.  Simmer on low 3½-4 hours stirring often. Add water if sauce seems too thick. Sauce is now ready to make lasagna or refrigerate/freeze until ready to use. To make lasagna: Cook noodles and lay in single layer until ready to use. In 9x13 baking dish, layer sauce, then 3 noodles, then sauce. Cover with mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and cottage cheese…..3 more noodles, then repeat layers saving enough sauce to cover top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. This recipe makes a lot of sauce. You can use an even bigger dish and 12 noodles, using one noodle across the end of the pan if desired.

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