Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Oven Fried

Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC Original Recipe chi...

That’s right–not Kentucky Fried. OVEN fried. 🙂

Brother Jeffrey shared Mom’s recipe for Potato Chip Chicken the other day, so I thought I’d pass it on to you.

His family ate it for their Christmas dinner, which they had a few days after the 25th when his daughter and her family made it home. (Any day’s Christmas when you’re family is together. Right?)

And as Brother Jeffrey says, “The proof of a good recipe is when you eat it all–even when it’s leftovers.”

I agree!

So, here’s his recipe.

Jeffrey’s Potato Chip Chicken
Enough chicken for your crew, cut up.
pepper chicken
dip in Pet Milk
roll in crushed potato chips to cover really well.

Put on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for one hour or until all pink is gone.

Thinking about JPCC, I remembered a similar recipe that came from Pryor Creek.

Pryor Creek Chicken

Melt 1 stick of butter (1/2 C) in baking dish.
Roll cut up chicken in biscuit mix and put in melted butter
Cover with foil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, then 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Easy Peasy, right? 🙂

With all this chicken talk, I remembered one more. It’s from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa and one of my favorite cookbook authors.

This is from the Food Network website.

BTW: I’ve made this recipe several times, and I’ve never soaked the chicken in buttermilk over night. Usually, I dip it in the buttermilk and get to cooking. 🙂

Oven-Fried Chicken

Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
10 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
40 min
6 servings



  • 2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening



Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.

Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.

From Susan–
Since you’ll be cooking for your family, fix the chicken the way you like it. Sometimes I add a little garlic powder or cayenne pepper for extra flavor.
However you cook it, be sure you eat it with those you love.
And, as always, enjoy!


Ready for Thanksgiving?

Pecan Pie

Image by hey tiffany! via Flickr

I’m not ready. I rarely am, but I get there even if it means staying up all night to do so. *wink*

We’re having two Thanksgivings this year. (And I wonder why I can’t lose weight. LOL) One at my dad’s and one here at home.

I’m fixing the main stuff for here at home–turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and ham.

To dad’s, I’m taking Green Rice, cupcakes from the Tuela’s Applecake recipe , and Nina Gay’s Pecan Pie.

Nina Gay was one of Mom’s best friends. Her pecan pie recipe is in the FC3’s cookbook I mentioned yesterday. Mom has one in it, too, but she confided in me once that she liked Nina Gay’s better. Maybe it’s because Nina Gay doesn’t put syrup in her pie, so the flavor is just a little different.

Anyway, I’m taking Mama’s recommendation. 🙂

♣ Nina Gay Ferguson’s Pecan Pie ♣

1 C. brown sugar (packed)
1/2 C sugar
1 T flour
2 eggs
2 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
1/2 C. butter melted
1 C. chopped pecans
unbaked pie shell

Mix first 3 ingredients. Beat in eggs, milk, vanilla, and butter. Stir in nuts and pour into shell. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) for 45 minutes. Cool.

In case you really like that flavor that syrup in a pie gives, I’ll share Mama’s pecan pie recipe, too.

♥♥♥ Mary Sue Spess’s Best Pecan Pie ♥♥♥

1/2 C melted butter or margarine
1 C sugar
1 C light corn syrup
4 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1 C chopped pecans
1 9″ pastry shell

Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Add eggs, vanilla and salt; blend well. Pour filling into pastry shell, and top with pecans. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 55 mins.

I’d love to make Grandma’s Blue Ribbon Hot Rolls. We’ll see if I have the time and energy. 😉



Green Rice

Soup condensed, and canned, of the Campbell's ...

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a freshman in high school, I had to have a project for Home Ec. I had no idea what to do. Most of the girls sewed something, but I wasn’t a seamstress. (Bor-ring!)

Mom had a great idea! Why not ask the women in my life for their favorite recipes? Super! Since I didn’t have a scrap of an idea, I did it and got a good grade from it, too.  Our entire family has benefited from that little box of recipes over the years.

Klorene Lawrence gave me the recipe she called Green Rice. Everyone loves this dish. (Think I’ll whip it up for Thanksgiving this year.)

Most people have a recipe for broccoli-rice casserole, but I like this one more than any other one I’ve found.

Klorene Lawrence’s GREEN RICE

1 1/2 C Minute Rice, cooked as directed.
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C chopped celery
1 stick oleo
1 jar Cheese Whiz
1 box frozen chopped broccoli–cooked as directed

Saute onion and celery in 1 stick of oleo until tender. Mix all ingredients together and top with Cheese Whiz. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve hot.


♥ Mama’s Biscuits ♥

A wooden rolling pin

Image via Wikipedia

I’m just back from my annual retreat with my Romance Writer Ink sisters. We had a GREAT time (as usual!) The women in the group do most of the cooking while we’re there, and I have to say, we’ve got a great bunch of cooks.

I make a breakfast each year, and I always make the same thing. Biscuits and gravy. I’m always happy to share the how-to, and this year our speaker, the fabulous Jean Brashear,  asked for my recipe. (If you haven’t yet, check out her book, The Goddess of Fried Okra. It’s great!)

So while I was sharing, I thought I’d share here, too.

Mama’s biscuits:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

2 C flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt

Mix the dry ingredients, then add enough buttermilk to make a sticky dough—about 1 cup.

Flour a pastry board, dump the dough onto it and knead lightly until just manageable.

Pat out dough (you can use a rolling-pin, but Mama never did) until it’s about an inch thick.

Cut out biscuits.

Put enough oil in your biscuit pan to cover the bottom well. Heat the oil in the oven until very warm. One at a time, turn biscuits over in hot oil and scoot to the edge until all the biscuits are in the pan. Bake at 450 for twenty or twenty-five minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

Easy-peasy, huh?

I gave the recipe to a friend once, who came back and said, “You left something out. Don’t you put oil or fat or something in the biscuits?”

“No. You don’t. The oil or fat is in the pan.”

“I’ve never heard of any kind of bread without fat in it.” She had I-think-you’re-wrong look on her face. “Neither has my mom.”

I called my mother to see if I’d been making them wrong for fifteen years, but she assured me it was the way her mama taught her.

I told Marilyn Pappano, who had the pleasure of living several places in the south while her husband was in the navy, about that once. She said she’d seen them made that way many times when she lived there, and since Grandma Reeves was born on the Delta (Mississippi Delta) that makes sense.

What recipe do you make when you’re cooking for a crowd?



This is a recipe I make pretty often that comes from our church cookbook.

Remember this cookbook? It’s one of the best. If you look close, you’ll see I put a book-plate on the front with my name on it (Miss Marilyn gave me a set of them several years ago as a gift and I use them only on important books I don’t want to lose.)

If you see this book for sale anywhere or if someone dies and you have the opportunity to inherit it, don’t hesitate, don’t breathe, don’t even blink. Just grab that puppy and run. It has some excellent recipes in it. Soooooo good!

Humma-Bi-Tihini is a recipe I’ve made a bunch of times in the last few years. This kid–

–loves it. (He’s not really that size anymore. *sigh*) My other boys like it, too, but this one asks where it is as soon as he gets home. 😉

The recipe was submitted to the cookbook by Katie Bayouth. Katie was the wife of Emile Bayouth, and from as far back as I can remember they had a store here in C-Town and were members of the church I belong to.

Katie went to heaven in 1994, and Emile took over the goodie making duties after that. He does a fantastic job! (He doesn’t send me a dish, but he sends it to Pops and Amy every now and then, and I beg until they share.)

By the way, I’m not sure where that name for the dip comes from. We’ve always called it Hummus. It’s full of fiber and low in calories.

1 Can chick peas (aka Garbanzo Beans)
1/2 t salt
1 clove garlic
3 T. sesame sauce (Tihini)
3 T. lemon juice (more if desired)

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. (I use a food processer.) Use as a dip with any type cracker. The Tihini can be found in Tulsa at Antones Import store on South Sheridan.

Okay, that’s what the book says. This is really one of those, taste it and add more if you want it recipes. I’ve made the recipe a few(!) times and here’s what I’ve learned:

  • One can of chick peas isn’t enough unless you’re eating it by yourself and want only a small snack.
  • Use only fresh lemon juice. The bottled stuff ruins it.
  • You can find Tihini in just about any grocery store these days. Even C-Town has Tihini. (And we’re so glad they do!)
  • One clove of garlic per can of chick peas usually isn’t enough, but it depends your taste.
  • Baby Boy (pictured above) likes only saltine crackers with it. Plain saltines, not whole wheat or any other kind.
  • I like anything with it. Carrots, radishes, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno crackers . . . you name it, I love them together. (Also good in pocket sandwiches.)

You’ll often find Hummus served at places that serve Lebanese food.    

Try it, and let me know if you like it.

Ps: I almost forgot–If you’ve tried the stuff you get already prepared in the grocery store, it doesn’t hold a candle to this.

Oops. For those of you who don’t know the candle phrase, it means “doesn’t even compare.” Kind of like the difference between fresh lemon juice and the bottled stuff. No contest.


Fry Bread

We used to call this Squaw Bread, but that just doesn’t sound very nice.

This is a recipe Mama got from Grandma Reeves, who lived in Cherokee County near Tahlequah for a while, and I believe she got the recipe there or from one of her neighbors in one of her many moves.

Grandma raised her family during the Great Depression of the ’30’s. During that time, Grandad worked where ever he could while Grandma kept the family together. At one time he went off to Illinois or Iowa or one of those “I” states to work while she stayed alone with their seven kids.

Mostly Grandad worked in the oilfields of Oklahoma and some in Baja-Oklahoma (Texas) although they did raise chickens at one point in Park Hill.

I’ve never met anyone who has eaten Squaw Bread and wasn’t related to me, but I found two nearly-the-same recipes also called Squaw Bread in a sorority cookbook my MIL gave me years ago. Here’s the recipe from Mama/Grandma–

2C flour
2T baking powder
1T shortening
1t salt

Mix these ingredients, then add enough milk to make a dough. Knead in flour until no longer sticky, then roll out to about 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick. Cut slits in the dough and fry in oil until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels, top with syrup and enjoy.

I know it sounds a little like sopappas (I can’t spell it, but I mean the dessert you sometimes get at Mexican Restaurants and eat with honey) but it’s not really. 

They’re delicious but aren’t diet food!


Chicken and Rice–YUM!

 I love church cookbooks. You know the ones I mean. They have all the best recipes the women in a church prepare.

In C-Town our church has rotating committees for funeral dinners, and happily, the one I’m on is headed by one of the best cooks around. (I don’t mind a bit!)

When I was in Pryor Creek, one woman did most of the cooking for funeral dinners by herself. Joy (the perfect name for her) was what I call a master chef. 

To be truthful, at that time I was a working mom with three very active boys. I learned to cook from my mom, who had six kids and cooked a lot of fast and easy recipes. Spaghetti sauce from a mix, taco sauce from an envelope and pizza dough from Bisquick. 

I probably deemed anyone who made her own Alfredo sauce instead of pouring it out of a jar a master chef, but Joy truly was fantastic.

She was very organized, and did everything–at least the things I knew about–just the way they should be done. Especially in the kitchen. (If I can find my shoes in the morning when I’m getting ready for work, I’ve scored a victory!)

So the other day when Joy commented on Facebook that she was making my recipe for Chicken and Rice, and that it’s THE BEST, I nearly cried with happiness! I couldn’t have been happier if Paula Deen had bragged on my recipe.

But it’s really not my recipe. It’s Eunice Posten’s and I got it from this cookbook.

If you can’t read it, it’s from the Lakeview Christian Church in The ‘Ford. Published in 1981. I’d show you the actual page, but I used it so many times, it was torn out years ago. That didn’t keep me from submitting it to the Southside Cookbook in Pryor Creek. (If I ever had a copy, I can’t find it now. Somebody tell me how to get one or loan me yours so I can copy it.)


This recipe is easy and  Y-U-M-M-Y!!! Here you go–

1 stick of butter or margarine
2 C Instant Rice
1 C Chicken broth
2 Cans Mushroom Soup
Chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a baking dish (in the oven.) When the butter is melted, add rice, mushroom soup, chicken broth, salt and pepper and mix well. Smooth rice mixture and top with chicken breasts. (I lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts, too.)

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until breasts are done.

Rather than topping with chicken breasts, sometimes I  take small pieces of breast meat (such as for fajitas but cut into bite size pieces) and stir them into the rice mixture and cook as above.

Everyone in my family loves this dish. It’s a golden tan color when you take it from the oven, and right around the edges is the best crunchy goodness! Yuuuuuum . . . . 

Like my grandad used to say, it’ll make your tongues lap your brains out! Try it and let me know what you think!