By Ann Cipperly
On a raining afternoon, Fara and Jamie Flick’s daughter Madeleine is happily playing with a colorful rope she made as one of her arts and crafts projects. The 8-year-old is the delight of her parents. Jamie is looking forward to Father’s Day when he will savor the afternoon and evening spending time with Fara and Madeleine and will cook a special dinner for them.

The Flick family moved to Opelika in 2013 for Jamie to become the director of worship arts at Trinity United Methodist Church. They enjoy living in Opelika. Madeleine will attend Morris Avenue School next fall.

Jamie was born in Mt. Holly, N.J. and then lived in different places as his family moved to Illinois about 40 miles south of Chicago and to Pittsburgh a year later. He spent most of his growing up years in Zelienople, Penn., which he considers to be home.

He attended college in Pittsburgh and received a degree in vocal performance.  After college, he worked in a summer stock theatre where he did seven shows in a row.

Jamie then lived in Nashville, Tenn. for a year before accepting a teaching position at a boarding school in Connecticut. He taught music and other subjects for seven years.

He went back for his master’s degree at Marshall University in W.V. where his parents were living. When his voice teacher moved to the Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La, he followed her there to finish his master’s degree.

Within the first six months in Louisiana, Jamie met Fara.  “After meeting Fara,” Jamie says, “I went back to my apartment and prayed that God would forgive me for who I was and that I would be acceptable to her.  I was not the same person I had been. God makes all things new, and He did that with my heart.

“I had been working at churches through my years in Connecticut and Marshall,” adds Jamie. “I feel like the love the people showed me broke my heart for God to move back in. That is where it started that I knew the reason I was alone was me.”

Jamie and Fara married a year later, and Madeleine was born four years later.  “The best day of my life,” he says, “ was the day I married Fara, and the second best day was when Madeleine was born.”

In Louisiana Jamie taught voice lessons and worked part-time at a church, which later became full time. He served at the church for ten years before moving to Opelika.

As Father’s Day approaches, Jamie talks about what it means to be a dad. “It was the dream of my life come true being a father,” he says. “It was what I always wanted. I knew in college that I wanted to be a husband and father.

“I think being a dad is a gift a lot of people take for granted,” he adds. “I think I have been successful at taking each day and really cherishing every moment I get to be a dad.”

He sees many fathers who are wrapped up in their work. “I feel it is very important to be as involved in my child’s life as possible. That goes hand and hand with being the best husband I can be because if I am not a good husband, I am not going to be a good dad, and if I am not a good dad, I am not going to be a good husband.”

Jamie feels fathers should be involved and informed about what is going on in their child’s life. He has good examples of fathers in his dad, his grandfather, his brother–in–law and others.

“There is something the Rev. Earl Ballard says to his kids,” adds Jamie, “and it stuck with me, and I have tried to adopt it. I let Madeleine know every day that no matter what her Dad always loves her.”

In showing love to Madeleine and Fara, Jamie enjoys cooking, especially on the grill and smoker.  Madeleine enjoys her father’s steak cooked on the grill and also likes venison. He is sharing recipes he has collected from family and friends over the years.

His mother and grandmother are good cooks and bakers, as well as his father. One of his favorites is his mother’s potato salad, which is a simple recipe with the difference being pickle juice mixed with the mayonnaise. He also bakes his mother’s recipe for Dilly Bread.

Fara, who does most of the cooking, grew up in Chalmette, La., just east of New Orleans. Her family also has good cooks, including her father. Her uncle created the Crawfish Pasta Penne, which is one of Jamie’s favorites.

He is especially fond of Fara’s mother’s recipe for Thousand Island Dressing, which he prepares.

In his spare time, Jamie enjoys hunting and wood working that he learned from his father. He has created shelves, tables and a headboard, and turns pens.

Father’s Day will be a special time for Jamie spending time with Fara and Madeleine, thanking God for answering his prayer for a family to cherish.

Ann Cipperly can be contacted at


Jamie’s Raspberry Baklava
1 pkg. phyllo dough
2 cups blanched almonds
2 cups shelled pistachios
1-2 sticks of melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Finely chop almonds and pistachios in a food processor.
Mix in sugar and cinnamon.
Grease a 9×11 pan with melted butter using a pastry brush.
Place 4 layers of dough in the pan (brush each layer with melted butter).
Place 4 more layers of dough on top (do not butter these layers).
Then layer: brushed melted butter/nut mix/1 layer of dough.
Repeat layers until nut mix is all used.
Top with one more layer of dough (brush with melted butter and splash a few drops of water on top).
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
4 cups sugar
3 cups water
1/2 cup honey
4 raspberry teabags
5 cloves
Dash of ground cinnamon
Combine sugar, water, hones, cloves and cinnamon in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
Add teabags and reduce heat stirring constantly until thickened to a syrup consistency.
Leave the baklava in the 9×11 pan and cut into 1-inch squares, then cut the squares into triangles.
Pour syrup over top and allow to cool.

Fresh Corn, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
4 ears fresh corn on the cob, cleaned and washed
1 (10.5 oz.) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
10 basil leaves, chiffonade (roll leaves and slice thinly)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground coarse black pepper
Cut corn off cob; place into a medium mixing bowl.  Add tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with basil.  Set aside.
Add fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to a pint size canning jar.  Shake to combine.  Pour dressing over salad.  Toss to combine and then serve.
*If you are traveling with this salad or making ahead, you can prep the salad and dressing, and wait to pour dressing over salad until ready to serve.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Best Cookies Ever
1 box yellow cake mix
1 bag semi-sweet mini morsels
1 stick of butter, softened
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl; mix well.
Roll dough into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 7 minutes. The cookies will look underdone, but as long as they are browned on the bottom they will be ready to take out of the oven.
Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes until cookies are set, and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Carol’s Potato Salad
5 lb. red potatoes
4 celery stalks, diced
2-3 Tbsp. grated onion
1 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 3 Tbsp. bread and butter sweet pickle juice
Boil potatoes and let cool. Peel and slice them very thin.
To make dressing, mix together mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add sweet pickle juice one tablespoon at a time until it makes a creamy consistency.
Add dressing to potatoes to just coat. Don’t over do it. Extra dressing can be saved in the refrigerator for another batch.
Refrigerate overnight.

Polly’s 1000 Island Dressing
1 cup Blue Plate mayonnaise
1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
1 small dill pickle, grated
1 Tbsp. grated onion
1 boiled egg, grated
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Steak Sandwiches
London broil
2 sticks butter
2 Tbsp. dry mustard
3-4 generous shakes of Worcestershire sauce
Garlic powder, optional
Italian bread loaf
Grill a London broil steak to rare. (The steak will cook slightly when placed in the butter sauce.)
Melt both sticks of butter in a saucepan.
Add dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for a few minutes. A little garlic powder can be added, if desired.
Slice the Italian loaf into thin rounds.
Thinly slice the London broil.
Dip steak slices in the sauce and place several slices on each slice of bread.

Ice Box Cake
1 angel food cake
1 pint heavy cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 can Hershey’s syrup
1 egg
In a bowl, beat heavy cream while adding sugar; beat until good and stiff.
In a separate bowl, beat Hershey’s syrup and the egg for 1 minute.
Combine syrup mixture with the heavy whipped cream mixture and beat on low until blended.
Slice a pre-made angel food cake in half (top and bottom), frost the top of the bottom half and place the top half back on top.
Frost the entire cake and place in the refrigerator overnight.
*Do not consume raw eggs if you are pregnant or have health issues.

Chicken and Potatoes
Skinless chicken (thighs, breasts, leg quarters)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder
Baking potatoes, quartered
Thickly sliced onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can of milk (measure using empty soup can)
1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet
Place chicken in a baking pan or dish. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place potatoes in the pan and top with onion slices.
Mix together soup, milk, and Kitchen Bouquet. Cover everything with the soup mixture.
Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Chicken Baseballs
3 oz. light cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. light margarine, melted
1/2 tsp. Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt
1/4 tsp. Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups finely cubed cooked chicken
Garlic powder, to taste
1 (8 oz.) can reduced fat crescent rolls
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Mix together cream cheese, margarine, salt, pepper, onion and milk. Add chicken. Season with garlic powder.
Separate the crescent roll dough into 4 rectangles and seal at the perforations.
Spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture into the center of each rectangle and seal.
Shape each of the filled crescent rolls into a ball and roll in breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Meatloaf with Tomato Mustard Topping
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lb. ground beef or ground venison
1/4 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar, optional
1/2 tsp. mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs and milk.
Add in breadcrumbs, onion powder, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Transfer meat mixture to a 9 x 5-inch pan and press into dish to evenly distribute the meat mixture.
Bake for 1 hour. Take out of oven and pour off fat.
In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Top meatloaf with ketchup mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes. Let meatloaf stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Crawfish Pasta Penne
2 lb. cooked penne pasta
Olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 can (10 oz.) Original Rotel Tomatoes
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 cans (8 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
2 Tbsp. parsley
2 lb. cooked crawfish tails
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 bunch of green onions, finely sliced
Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a large pot, sauté onions, celery and bell peppers in olive oil.
When onions are clear, add Rotel, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned mushrooms, and soup.
Simmer for a short time, then add parsley and cooked crawfish tails.
Add cubed Velveeta, and when it is melted, add evaporated milk.
Let simmer while adding in the cooked pasta to the sauce.
If it looks too dry, add more milk or evaporated milk.
Add in green onions, reserving some to use as garnish.
Remove from heat.
If desired, top each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Dilly Bread
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup creamed cottage cheese
1 Tbsp. salad oil
1 Tbsp. dried onion
1 Tbsp. margarine
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. dill
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
3 1/2 cup plain flour
Mix yeast and warm water and set aside.
Add together cottage cheese, oil, onion, margarine, sugar dill, salt, baking soda and egg in a saucepan and warm.
Remove saucepan from heat. Blend in flour and let rise until doubled (1 – 1 1/2 hours).
Knead on a pastry cloth until air bubbles are out.
Grease a 1-quart round bowl and form dough round.  Let this rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Rub the top with butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Olive Stuffed Cheese Puffs
5 oz. jar of Borden’s Very Sharp Cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour
Manzanilla Olives stuffed with Pimento
Cream the cheese and the butter.
Add salt and flour.
Form 1-inch balls of dough around olives and place on wax paper
Chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400.
Remove cheese balls from wax paper and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Red Devils
Great for Sunday night supper.
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
3-4 slices bacon per person
2 slices bread per person
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat one can of Campbell’s Tomato soup. (Do NOT dilute.)
Cook bacon. Once bacon is cooked, toast bread.
Place two slices of toast on each plate. Top toast with shredded cheddar cheese.  Be generous. Pour undiluted soup over cheese and top with bacon.

Slow Cooker Venison Stew
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. venison cube steak or stew meat
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
Parmesan cheese
Place celery, onion, garlic and parsley in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown venison well, then add to slow cooker.
Season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Pour in tomato sauce, red wine and water. Cook on low for 7 to 10 hours.
Sprinkle servings with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Clint’s Venison Chili
1 1/2 lb. ground or diced venison
1 onion, diced
2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can Rotel, drained
1/2 cup chili powder
Several shakes of sugar
8 oz. sour cream
Corn chips
Cheddar cheese
Brown meat and onions, then rinse.
In a large pot, add cooked meat and onions, tomato sauce, Rotel, and any other spices you desire (such as garlic powder, Slap Ya Mama, Worcestershire sauce, Liquid Smoke, oregano).
Mix well and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add chili powder and sugar and continue to cook.
Remove from heat and mix in sour cream.
Top with corn chips and cheddar cheese.