Kathy Barrett shares favorite recipes for fall entertaining

Photo by Ann Cipperly

By Ann Cipperly

Flanked by rock columns, the turn to the home of Kathy and Tutt Barrett leads down a winding path through towering trees. Once the land clears, the house comes into view situated in front of a lake. The setting is a good indication that the Barretts have a love of the outdoors.

Although he is a busy attorney, Tutt still finds the time to have a garden by the barn that he manages himself, and cooks on weekends, preparing his Taco Chili or Vegetable Soup. He also hunts, with his trophies from many adventurous trips mounted in the den and his study.

Kathy has a love of the outdoors as well with tennis being her favorite pastime between working part-time in accounting at Tutt’s office, the Dean and Barrett Law Firm.

Kathy grew up in Auburn and graduated from Auburn University. Her mother enjoyed cooking and was a good cook. While Kathy collects recipes and cooks for her family, she always preferred to be outdoors. She says with a laugh that her sister, Margaret Cope, picked up the love of cooking from their mother.

Shortly before graduating from Auburn, Kathy met Tutt, and they continued to date after she moved to Birmingham to work for Amsouth Bank. She returned three years later to marry Tutt.

Tutt grew up in Butler, about 30 miles from the Mississippi border. He attended Birmingham Southern where he met Opelikans Stan Martin, Rainer Meadows and Carson Jackson. They ended up being such good friends that Tutt decided he wanted to practice law in Opelika.  After graduating from the Law School at the University of Alabama, he made Opelika home.
The Barretts have two daughters, Chandler, who works for the Lee County United Way, and Austill, who married her husband Andy Patterson in May, lives in Birmingham where they are both physical therapists.

Kathy finds she cooked a great deal more when the girls were at home. She is sharing their favorite recipes.

Austill’s husband’s favorite dish is Tutt’s Taco Chili that is made in a slow cooker. They often serve the chili after football games once the weather turns cooler. It is good served plain with Spoon Bread or offered with assorted toppings, such as grated cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions and corn chips.

Kathy’s standby for entertaining is Perfect Beef Tenderloin. She cooks it five minutes per pound for 30 minutes and turns the oven off for two hours. It always turns out perfect. “The great thing about this recipe,” says Kathy, “is you have a little more well done on the skinny part to rare in the center.”

She serves it with Glazed Marsala Carrots, Autumn Chopped Salad and Sour Cream Muffins. The salad is prepared with dried cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta mixed with greens. The dressing is easy to make by mixing purchased poppy seed dressing and balsamic vinaigrette.

Kathy prefers to prepare meals that are good and also easy. She will serve leftovers differently for a fresh taste. She sautés mushrooms with butter, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to serve over leftover slices of beef tenderloin on toasted bread.

With the Mississippi Roast cooked in a slow cooker, she serves Mushroom Rice, Green Beans and Sweet Potato Rolls the first night. The second night she will serve the tender roast in slider buns with cheese or add barbecue sauce to the roast for sandwiches.

Being able to create different meals with leftovers saves time and creates tasty meals. These meals are good for her to take to her father now that her mother has passed away. Kathy and her sister share taking meals.

Tutt keeps a freezer full of wild game that he grills, including duck, doves, turkey, deer and elk. He has made several hunting trips out west and traveled to South Africa to hunt big game. He also hunts on his farm in Union Springs.

The Barretts are active at Trinity United Methodist Church where Tutt is chairman of the Staff Parish Committee, while Kathy is on the finance and Legacy committees.

Kathy feels their home has been the setting of many fun times, including Austill’s wedding reception. With horses in the barn and fishing at the lake, they call it “Camp Barrett” for children who visit. “I want it to be home for whoever comes here,” says Kathy.

With Kathy’s warm, welcoming smile and good sense of humor, any visit to Camp Barrett is bound to be filled with fun times and plenty of good food.

Ann Cipperly can be contacted at recipes@cipperly.com.


Tutt’s Taco Chili
The chili is good served plain with Spoon Bread or offered with assorted toppings such as grated cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions and corn chips.
1 1/2 lb. ground beef chuck
Two 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes with chilies, not drained
16 oz. can chili beans, not drained
16 oz. can dark red kidney beans
15.25 oz. can Southwestern corn with peppers, drained
15.8 oz can white hominy, drained
10 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
1 oz. packet taco seasoning mix
Preheat large nonstick skillet on medium high 2-3 minutes. Place beef in pan and brown 5-7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat until no pink remains. Drain fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix.
Combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker; stir in meat. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.
Spoon Bread
1 box Jiffy mix
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large can creamed corn
1 small can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
Grease baking pan. Mix ingredients and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

Donna’s Mississippi Roast
Serve with Mushroom Rice, Green Beans and Sweet Potato Rolls.
1/4 cup water
3 lb. chuck roast
1 oz. pkg. dry ranch seasoning
1 oz. pkg. dry au jus gravy mix
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
5-6 pepperoncini (in a jar)
Add 1/4 cup water into the insert of your slow cooker, and place chuck roast on top.
Sprinkle dry ranch seasoning mix on top of the chuck roast, then sprinkle the dry au jus mix on top. Place 6 tablespoons butter on top of roast and 5-6 pepperoncini around the roast.
Cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred and serve with gravy.  You can add vegetables to the slow cooker, if desired.

Mushroom Rice
1 cup uncooked regular white rice
One or two 4 oz cans slice mushrooms, not drained
10.5 oz can beef broth
2 Tbsp. sherry
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. seasoned pepper
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
Combine all ingredients in a 1 1/2 quart casserole.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes:  4-6 servings.
Party Green Beans
3 cans Delmonte whole green beans
2 slices bacon, slightly cooked and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
Butter and garlic salt to taste
Drain and rinse green beans in colander.  Arrange in baking dish.  Sprinkle bacon bits and brown sugar over green beans.  Shake garlic salt to taste over all.  Dot with butter – be generous.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring often.  Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp. shortening
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients.  Roll dough on floured board and cut with biscuit cutter.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes.  Makes 1 dozen.

Perfect Beef Tenderloin
Sometimes Kathy will sprinkle a small amount of Dale’s sauce over the beef before baking.
Serve with Glazed Marsala Carrots, Autumn Chopped Salad and Sour Cream Muffins.
Whole beef tenderloin
Salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper tenderloin.  Cut in half if needed to fit pan.  I usually use a broiler pan with rack.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Cook the tenderloin at 500 degrees for 5 minutes per pound.  Example:  6 pound tenderloin – cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cut the oven off and leave for 2 hours – DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR.  Note: If you cut tenderloin in half cook for 4 minutes per pound at 500 degrees then turn oven off.

Glazed Marsala Carrots
1 1/2 lb. carrots, about 8, peeled and trimmed
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup sweet Marsala
1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
Slice carrots into 1/4 inch ovals.  Melt better in sauté pan and sauté carrots.  You may add a little honey to sweeten, if desired.
Add sugar and salt; cook until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Add Marsala and simmer 3 minutes.  Add enough water to come halfway up side of carrots.  Bring to a boil and cover with lid slightly ajar.  Cook at steady boil, shaking pan occasionally until carrots are tender (6-8 minutes).
Uncover and continue to boil until liquid evaporates and forms a syrup.  Toss with parsley.

Autumn Chopped Salad
6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 medium pears, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Poppy seed Salad dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
Balsamic vinaigrette (I like Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)
In large bowl or large platter, combine lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese.
Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a 1/2 – 1 cup of dressing: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette) If you prefer your salad to have more dressing, feel free to experiment with the combination.  You can mix the two dressings together before drizzling.

Sour Cream Muffins
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
Mix together and scoop into greased mini muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.

Tutt’s Vegetable Soup
2 pkg. McKenzie’s frozen mixed vegetables
1 can tomato paste
2 cans beef bouillon or beef broth
3 cans water
1 can whole tomatoes
2 lb. ground meat, browned and drained
5 beef bouillon cubes
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
Salt, pepper and red pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and simmer for about an hour.

Lemon Meltaways
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
In large mixer bowl, combine all cookie ingredients.  Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes).  Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into 8 x 1 inch roll.  Wrap in plastic food wrap.  Refrigerate until firm (1 to 2 hours).
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice 1/4 inch cookies from chilled rolls.  Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until set.  (Cookies will not brown.)  Cool completely.
In small mixer bowl combine all frosting ingredients.  Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until fluffy (1 to 2 minutes).  Frost cooled cookies.

Fudge Pie
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
Unbaked pie crust
Ice cream or whipped cream, optional
Mix dry ingredients together (cocoa, flour and sugar).  Add eggs, butter and vanilla.  Stir until mixed together – no mixer needed.  Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Peggy’s Strawberry Nut Salad
2 pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
Two 10 oz. pkg. frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
1 lb. 4 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pint sour cream
Combine Jell-O and boiling water.  Fold in strawberries with juice, drained pineapple, bananas and nuts.  Pour half the mixture into a 12 x 8-inch pan and chill until slightly congealed.
Spoon sour cream on top and then pour remaining Jell-O mixture over top; chill.  Slice into squares to serve.
Jeanne’s Squash Casserole
2 1/2 – 3 cups squash, chopped
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika to sprinkle on top, if desired
You can also add a chopped tomato is you like.
Combine squash, onions and water to just cover; boil until tender. Drain well. Stir in soup and cheese. Place in baking dish sprayed with Pam.
Combine cracker crumbs, butter and almonds; sprinkle on top of squash. Add a little paprika, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees until crackers are browned and casserole is warm.


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