Hope Ellison Anderson of Mathiston, and formerly of Bruce, started doing the cooking for her dad, Jerry Ellison, and herself during her senior year of high school, “because all Dad could do was heat up a Hot Pocket or make a cheese toast!” She stuck strictly to easy stuff back then, like spaghetti and tacos. After Jerry married Janice, Hope started “branching out” and learned how to make a lot of good recipes from Janice, “for which I know Kevin (Hope’s husband) is grateful.”
Between Janice and Pinterest.com, “her go-tos for recipes”, Hope is always cooking up something yummy each week, even though she claims she’s not a huge fan of cooking because by the time she gets home from teaching first graders at school, she is exhausted and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. She likes easy, quick recipes, uses the crockpot a lot, and usually cooks a big meal two to three times a week so they can eat leftovers. “However, I don’t mind spending a little extra time on baking desserts. To say I have a big sweet tooth is an understatement, and a part of my weekend is always spent baking something sweet!”
When she was little, her mom (the late Nancy Ellison) taught her things about cooking, and she enjoyed helping her in the kitchen. “We always made Southern favorites, like chicken pot pie, pot roast, and hamburger steak. I still use a lot of her recipes.” About the pot pie recipe, Hope says it’s the best she’s ever had. Now she has branched out from just Southern favorites and includes a lot more Mexican dishes. “I am addicted to Mexican food!” and the Chicken Tamale Casserole “always satisfies our Mexican craving!”
She and Kevin have a family blog (kevinandhope.blogspot.com), and when she finds new recipes they’ve enjoyed, she posts them on there. Blogging is a good “stress release” for her and “a great way for family and friends to keep up with our busy life! I started reading other friend’s and family’s blogs about three years ago and thought that was the perfect way to chronicle our life–it’s like an online scrapbook that we’ll have forever. Plus, it’s a great way for our families to keep up with us. I’ve been blogging weekly about our life for the past few years now,” she said.
S’mores Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (Hershey bars)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
Divide dough in half and press half of dough on the bottom of the pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side. Spread marshmallow creme on top of the chocolate. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small squares and laying them together).
Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned. These are soooo good when warm!
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1-3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups (8 oz.) Velveeta, cubed
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
1. In a large saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion, carrots, and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large stockpot, add the broth, potatoes, onions, carrots, parsley, and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender……about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream.
Chicken Tamale Casserole
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-oz.) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (10-oz.) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream (optional).
Chicken Pot Pie
(Mom’s recipe–Nancy Ellison)
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans mixed vegetables (Veg-All)
Chicken broth as needed
Garlic salt to taste
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 1/2 cups milk
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, cream of celery soup, cream of chicken soup, mixed vegetables, and garlic salt. Pour into the bottom of a greased 9 X 13 pan. Add chicken broth if needed. I hardly ever do, and it’s always turned out perfectly–not dry.
3. Melt the butter and pour over the top of the ingredients.
4. In a separate, small bowl, mix together the Bisquick and milk. Pour over the top of the casserole.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Crockpot Chicken and Dumplins
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth (good to have an extra on hand in case you need to add more)
1 onion diced (optional—I always leave it out)
1 tablespoon dried parsley4 grands flaky refrigerator biscuits
1. Place chicken in the bottom of a greased crockpot.
2. Add the butter, cream of chicken soups, chicken broth, onions, and parsley.
3. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. Add more chicken broth if necessary.
4. After the elapsed time has passed, break the chicken up with a fork.
5. Cut the biscuits into small pieces, stir into the chicken, and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes.
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 oz.) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg Double Stuffed Oreos
1 Family Size (9×13) Fudge Brownie mix
1/4 cup hot fudge topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to thoroughly combine.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.
7. Top with a layer of Oreos.
8. Mix together brownie mix, adding an optional 1/4 cup of hot fudge topping to the mix. 9. Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos.
10. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15-25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting—brownies may still be gooey in the middle when still warm, but will set up perfectly once cooled.