By Ann Cipperly

On a recent sunny afternoon at the Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church on Society Hill Road, participants in the 47th annual Heritage Cooking Contest were busy adding last minute touches to their dishes for judging. This year, recipes for meat sliders were featured in the competition, sponsored by the Lee County Women’s Leadership Committee, a division of Alabama Farmers Federation. A different category is selected every year for the contest, which spotlights Alabama commodities and agricultural products.

Winners were Jackie Henderson, first place; Mary Richburg, second place; Carole Clements, third place; and Jamie Lazenby, honorable mention.

Jackie will compete in the state contest this fall with her winning Roast Beef Sliders. These are quick and easy, delicious sliders with deli roast beef and provolone cheese spread with a horseradish sauce on dinner rolls or Hawaiian sweet rolls. Then, a savory topping with Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and poppy seeds in a butter sauce is poured over the top before baking.

For the contest, Jackie tested the recipe on family and staff at church and city hall. They all gave it a thumbs up.

A member of the Women’s Leadership Committee for 16 years, Jackie has a love of cooking for her three children, four grandchildren and great-grandson. She was the lunchroom manager at Beulah School for 37 years.

Mary Richburg, who is chairman of the Women’s group, prepared cranberry-turkey sliders for the second place winning entry. She created this recipe using leftover foods from Thanksgiving to make snacks for watching the Auburn-Alabama football games. Keep this recipe handy for anytime you have leftovers, especially during the holidays.

A tasty spread with cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, minced ginger, orange zest and horseradish is spread on dinner or Hawaiian rolls, then topped with sliced turkey and a mixture of cranberry sauce, orange marmalade and green onions for a delectable slider.

Mary and her husband, Mahlon, have a hay production and registered Angus and SimAngus cattle operation. Mary enjoys canning and freezing vegetables in the summer months.

The Richburgs both taught in Auburn City Schools for 40 years. Mahlon taught agriscience at Auburn Junior High and Auburn High School, while Mary was an elementary school teacher and guidance counselor. They have two children, George and Katie.

Carole Clements received third place for her Corned Beef/Swiss Cheese Sliders. These go together quickly by layering sliced Hawaiian rolls with thousand island dressing, very thin slices of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and sweet pickles for a flavorful slider.

Carole has enjoyed cooking for her family over the years. Her husband Bill was a veterinarian, and they kept horses at their War Eagle Farm. When their daughters, Cheryl and Cynthia, were growing up, they rode show horses and received many awards.

After the girls were grown, Carole and Bill began racing thoroughbred horses. Their horses raced in Texas, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Florida and at Churchill Downs in Louisville, but not in the Kentucky Derby.

Carole worked at Auburn University in the animal science department for 36 years. Since retiring, she has enjoyed traveling. She has been active in the Lee County Women’s Leadership Committee and at Farmville Baptist Church.

Jamie Lazenby has been involved in the Women’s Leadership Committee for many years and has been a first-place winner several times. Her Chicken Sliders received honorable mention as another yummy choice. Chopped, cooked chicken and pepper jack cheese is stuffed into Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and then topped with a butter sauce enhanced with Worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds before baking for a tasty slider.

In the sewing and craft completion, Jackie Henderson’s pumpkin-themed wreath was the winner of the Alabama Commodity Wreath Contest. For the Quilted Pillow Covers Contest, Jackie made an orange and blue quilted pillow cover using gathered fabric circles, and yo-yo shapes, stitched on a blue background.  Using a Fresh from the Farm theme, Jackie highlighted farm-raised fruits and vegetables on her winning entry in the Commodity-Themed Lap Blanket Sewing Contest. 

Ann Whatley serves as secretary for the Lee County group and is on the board as a member at large for the Alabama Farmers Federation State Women’s Leadership Committee.

The Women’s Division was organized to promote agricultural products and commodities, as well as to provide an opportunity for women to participate in policymaking.

The local Women’s Leadership Group donates to various charities, including Big House, Battered Women Shelter and the Veterans’ Association. It keeps a project going all the time.

All four of the slider recipes are winners to keep on file for quick lunches and suppers during the summer months served with slaw, broccoli salad or potato salad. These are also perfect for tailgating or watching football games at home in the fall.

Along with the winning recipes, members of the group are sharing other favorite recipes to enjoy over the summer months.

Roast Beef Sliders

Jackie Henderson

First Place

12 slider buns (like dinner rolls or Hawaiian sweet rolls)

½ cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish

1 lb. thinly sliced deli-style roast beef

6 slices sharp provolone cheese

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

½ Tbsp. packed light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. finely minced sweet onion

1 Tbsp. Worcester shire sauce

½ tsp. coarse salt

1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by-13-inch baking dish.

Split the buns down the middle, keeping them intact if they came stuck together, and place them into the baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and horseradish. Spread evenly on the bottom side of each bun, and then top with the roast beef, cheese and top portions of the buns.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Once the brown sugar has dissolved into the butter, remove the pan from heat and then whisk in the mustard, onion, Worcestershire and salt.

Spoon the butter mixture over the sandwiches and then sprinkle them with the poppy seeds. Loosely cover the sliders with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top buns are golden brown, and the cheese has melted, about 8-10 more minutes. Serve warm.

Cranberry-Turkey Sliders

Mary Richburg

Second Place

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Dijon or spicy mustard

2 Tbsp. minced fresh gingerroot

1 Tbsp. grated orange zest

1½ tsp. prepared horseradish, optional

1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce

¼ cup orange marmalade

4 green onions, sliced

2 packages (12 oz. each) Hawaiian slider rolls, sweet rolls, or 24 dinner rolls, split

1½ lb. thinly sliced cooked turkey

12-14 Romaine lettuce leaves

Beat cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Beat in mustard, ginger, orange zest and horseradish, if included.

In another bowl, mix cranberry sauce, orange marmalade, and green onions.

Spread cream cheese mixture onto roll bottoms and tops. Top with turkey, cranberry mixture, lettuce and roll tops.

Corned Beef / Swiss Cheese Sliders

Carole Clements

Third Place

½ lb. very thinly sliced corned beef

¼ lb. thin sliced baby Swiss cheese

18 Hawaiian slider rolls

12 oz. jar sauerkraut, drained

12 oz. jar thousand island dressing

Sweet pickles, optional

Slice rolls into halves. Spread both sides with dressing. Layer corned beef, Swiss cheese and optional ingredients.

Close rolls.

Place rolls on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 2-4 minutes to warm.

Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Sliders

Jamie Lazenby

Honorable Mention

1 lb. cooked chicken, chopped

8 oz. pkg. pepper jack cheese

1 box Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Stuff chicken and cheese in rolls.


1 stick butter, melted

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients together and brush on top of rolls. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Carolyn McConnell

Carolyn won the county cookoff with this recipe several years ago.

8 oz. pkg. macaroni, cooked and drained

12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

¼ cup mushrooms, optional

¼ cup chopped onion

¼ cup chopped bell pepper

¼ cup chopped pimento

3 Tbsp. melted butter

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup mayonnaise


Ritz crackers, crushed

Combine all ingredients except topping with cooked macaroni. Pour into casserole this. Top with crushed crackers. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

Strawberry Chess Bars

Mary Richburg


1 box strawberry cake mix

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 egg

1 cup diced strawberries


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir the cake mix, melted butter and egg together to make the crust. Fold in one cup diced strawberries.

Press or pat this mixture evenly into bottom of the prepared pan.

In another large bowl, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth.

Add eggs and mix well. Add butter and mix well.

Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until combined. Mix in vanilla.

Pour filling over the crust.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until the edges are just firm and lightly golden brown but the middle is still jiggly.

Cool completely before slicing into squares.

Mexican Corn Bread

Jackie Henderson

1½ cups corn meal

1 small can cream-style corn

1 tsp. baking powder

¾ cup sweet milk

1 small onion, chopped

½ cup cooking oil

2 eggs

¾ cup grated cheese

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

Mix all ingredients. Pour into a well-greased skillet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Easy Bake Chicken

Carolyn McConnell

2 ½ to 3 lb. fryer, cut up, or chicken breasts

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 envelope onion soup mix

Pace chicken pieces in a shallow greased baking pan. Cover chicken with cream of mushroom soup. Sprinkle onion soup mix on top. Cover with foil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Can place under broiler to brown, if desired. (Do not place glass dishes under broiler.)

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Mary Richburg

12 pack Hawaiian rolls

12 large chicken nuggets, breaded chicken tenders, or homemade breaded chicken

1 cup marinara or favorite pasta sauce

6 slices mozzarella cheese

3 Tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan

Cook chicken according to package directions or cook homemade breaded chicken. Set aside to cool a bit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease bottom of a 9 × 13 baking dish.

Cut Hawaiian rolls horizontally in half without separating rolls; place bottoms in dish and bake for about 3 minutes –just enough to slightly toast the bread so that it doesn’t get soggy.

Place a cooked chicken piece onto each one of bottom rolls and then top with marinara followed by the mozzarella cheese and top halves of the rolls. Cooked chicken pieces may be trimmed to fit, if needed. Large chicken nuggets usually fit each roll and make the sliders more consistent.

Mix melted butter with garlic powder and Italian seasoning, and then brush it evenly over top. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Cover dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until buns turn golden brown.

Let the sandwiches cool on the counter for at least 5 minutes before serving. They are steaming hot! Sliders may pull apart easily, but you can also use a sharp spatula or knife to cut them at the separation lines.

Note: The quality of chicken that you choose will make a difference in taste and how the sliders turn out. I prefer chicken tenders or homemade breaded chicken; children often like the large chicken nuggets. Use what works best for you!

Puffs for Chicken Salad

Jackie Henderson

4 eggs

1 cup flour (plain)

¼ tsp. salt

1 stick butter

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup water

Bring water and butter to boil. Add flour; stir until it forms a ball. Add 1 egg at a time. Add sugar and salt. Mix until smooth. Drop ½ tsp. on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes about 60. Split sides and fill with chicken salad

Quick Chili

Mary Richburg

1 ½ lb. ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

½ large green or red bell pepper, chopped

10.75-oz. can condensed tomato soup

28-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

16-ounce can kidney beans

1 Tbsp. chili powder or to taste

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion and green pepper until beef is browned.

Drain away excess grease.

Add undiluted soup, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir well to combine.

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with cheese Serves 5-6.

Cheese Crisps

Jackie Henderson

½ lb. butter, softened

½ lb. cheddar cheese, grated

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups Rice Krispies

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients. Roll into small balls. Flatten with the bottom of a glass. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes.

Buttermilk Salad

Carolyn McConnell

1 large box sugar free (or regular) orange or strawberry Jell-O

1 large can crushed pineapple in its own juices

2 cups buttermilk

13 ½ oz. carton Cool Whip

½ cup chopped nuts

Combine the first two ingredients in a saucepan and heat until Jell-O is dissolved. Add buttermilk and mix well.

When mixture is cool, fold in Cool Whip and nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Parker House Rolls

Jackie Henderson

2 cups water

4 rounded Tbsp. shortening

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 pkg. yeast

2 eggs

About 4 cups flour

Add shortening, sugar and salt to 1 cup hot water. Mix and let cool. Dissolve yeast in the other cup of water (lukewarm). Combine with other liquid and add in enough flour to be able to handle well.

Place in a covered bowl and let stand in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When ready to use, roll out, cut, and brush with melted butter; fold over and let rise for at least 1 hour. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 or 20 minutes.