Patsy Bond enjoys cooking quick, easy dishes

Photo by Ann Cipperly

By Ann Cipperly

When it comes to cooking, Patsy Bond prefers quick and easy recipes. She uses convenient products and often creates her own recipes. Her family assembled a cookbook with favorite recipes and photos from special occasions. Patsy and her husband Bobby have a busy lifestyle volunteering, exercising and line dancing, as well as continuing to work part-time jobs after retiring.

Patsy and Bobby both grew up in Opelika and graduated from Opelika High School.

Patsy remembers that her mother, Myrtle Murray, who was one of ten children, was an excellent cook.  Her mother loved to cook and sold cakes at Christmas. Patsy watched her cook and picked up many basics of cooking. Her mother did not measure, except for baking, and Patsy often cooks without recipes.

After high school, Patsy attended Southern Union. She was a substitute teacher for 12 years and then worked at EAMC Federal Credit Union as assistant manager for 25 years. She now works part-time in the office at Arbor Springs where she and Bobby both volunteer.

They both also volunteer at the voting polls. Patsy will take food when they are volunteering.

Bobby was employed at Uniroyal for 42 years and retired when they closed. He works part-time as a bailiff at the Justice Center.

In their spare time, they enjoy going to Sportsplex and line dancing. They are members of Trinity United Methodist Church. While they have enjoyed traveling some, Patsy hopes they can travel more now that the grandchildren are grown. They have spent a great deal of time at the ball field watching their grandsons play baseball.

Patsy and Bobby are thankful that their two daughters and grandchildren live here. Their oldest daughter, Melanie, is married to Kenneth Senn, and they have three children, Kenslei, Casey and Cullen. Their other daughter, Crystal, is married to Steven Moore.

Patsy enjoys cooking for her children and grandchildren. She tweaks recipes to suit their tastes. When they visit, she tries to make everyone’s favorite dish.

Her niece, Sally Walker, who lives in Beauregard, assembled the family’s recipes and photos in the Murray Family Cookbook. The Murray family meets in early December at a barn in the country to celebrate Christmas.

The Double Crust Chicken Pie recipe is one recipe that Patsy created. She uses Pillsbury crust rolls in a box in the refrigerator section at the grocery store. She keeps the boxes of crust in the freezer. She will also freeze baked chicken pie to have on hand to take to a friend who is not feeling well or to someone who has a new baby.

Patsy also uses the pastry crust in making the Italian Meat Pie. It has all the flavors of spaghetti without having to cook pasta. She enjoys making hearty dishes that just need a salad and bread to complete the meal.

She tried making the quick Apple Pie with the pastry and a can of apple filling one night when she needed a dessert. It is now a favorite.

Patsy’s mother made the Vegetable Soup, which is easy to prepare using ground beef and frozen mixed vegetables. She will make the soup and freeze to have on hand for chilly evenings.

The Crock-Pot Brunswick Stew is easy to assemble on busy mornings to have ready to serve when you come home after a busy day. Instead of stewing a chicken, she uses canned chicken breasts. She serves this with coleslaw, bread and chips. The stew as well as the Hearty Mexican Dip is good to serve for watching the Super Bowl.

Adults and children like the Barbecue Cups. The dish goes together quickly by combining ground chuck with onion, garlic powder and barbecue sauce and placing the mixture in biscuit cups.

Another quick dish is the Easy Baked Pork Chops. The topping makes a tasty sauce.

Patsy uses the Fruit Salad for dessert or serves it at breakfast topped with yogurt and granola.

Her Strawberry Pie is like the one she remembers eating at Shoney’s years ago.

Another favorite dessert is the Graham Cracker Pineapple Coconut Cake.
It makes a very moist cake.

Patsy enjoys cooking these recipes for her family and feels blessed to have them living in Opelika too.

Clip and save Patsy’s wonderful tried and true recipes for days when you need an easy dish to put together quickly.

Ann Cipperly can be contacted at

Double Crust Chicken Pie
1 pkg. Pillsbury Pie Crust
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup frozen peas & carrots
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth (unsalted)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pan sauté onions and celery in butter. Add chicken soup and stock stir until smooth. Add milk, chicken, salt, and pepper stir until blended well with liquid mixture. Add peas and carrots stir in let cook for about 1 minute. Remove from stove.
Put one pie crust in bottom of pie pan make sure edges come to top of pan. Pour chicken mixture into crust. Add second crust on top of chicken mixture and crunch edges together. Make cuts on top of crust so steam can escape. (To brown the crust, brush on 1 beaten egg with about 1 teaspoon water.)
Cook pie in 350 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Crock-Pot Brunswick Stew
4 large cans white chicken breast, drained
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
Small bottle ketchup
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream corn
1 medium onion
Salt and pepper
Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco
Dash lemon juice
Mix chicken and ground chuck together then add remaining ingredients mixing well. Pour mixture into crock-pot. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. If cooking all day, cook at medium or low. Serve with bread, chips, and coleslaw.

Vegetable Soup
1 to 1 1/2 lb. ground chuck, brown and drain
2 pkg. frozen mixed vegetables, rinse with warm water
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 cups unsalted beef stock
3/4 cup ketchup
Salt and pepper
Dash of hot sauce, optional
Use any left over vegetables you might have in refrigerator. You can add more stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and ketchup if you add more vegetables.
Mix all ingredients together in large pot and bring to a boil (be sure all vegetables are covered in liquid. Use more water and stock half of each, if needed.
Turn heat down simmer for 1 hour. During cooking time if more liquid is needed add more. This soup taste much better the next day.

Cornbread Salad
2-3 cups chopped cornbread
1 pkg. buttermilk ranch dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
14.5 oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
l6 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Cut cornbread into 1 inch cubes and place in the bottom of a large glass or trifle bowl. In small bowl combine ranch dressing mix, mayonnaise and milk. Mix well and refrigerate.
Top cornbread layer with rinsed pinto beans. Next layer drained corn. Top with chopped green bell pepper and onion. Add chopped tomatoes. Add shredded cheddar cheese. Pour ranch dressing mixture on top, refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Mexican Dip
1 lb. ground chuck
1 can Mexican corn (do not drain)
1 can refried beans
1 pkg. taco season mix
1 can petite tomatoes (optional-hot or Mexican)
Sharp or Cheddar cheese, grated
Black olives
Green onions
Brown beef; drain. Add taco mix, tomatoes, and corn to meat mixture mix well. Spread refried beans in bottom of baking dish. Pour meat mixture on top of beans. Sprinkle cheese over meat.
Before serving heat mixture in 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until starts to bubble. Remove from oven sprinkle olives and onions on top of cheese and serve with your favorite chips.

Barbecue Cups
1 lb. ground chuck
1 Tbsp. minced onion
Garlic powder to taste
3/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
1 can (8 oz.) flaky biscuits
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sauté ground chuck with onions and garlic powder until meat is brown. Drain fat. Stir in barbecue sauce.
Press each biscuit in greased muffin pan. Spoon in meat mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees about 12 minutes.

Fruit Salad
You can add whatever fruit you like. Serve for breakfast topped with yogurt and granola or serve as dessert topped with whip cream and toasted pecans or walnuts.
1 pint blueberries (about 2 cups)
1 lb. strawberries
1 lb. seedless green grapes (about 3 cups)
21 oz. can peach pie filling
Wash fruit well and dry. Slice strawberries, and grapes combine all fruit in large bowl. Pour pie filling over fruit arid stir gently to combine. Can pour fruit in Pyrex dish or individual dessert cups and refrigerate.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. corn starch or flour
3 Tbsp. strawberry Jell-O
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 deep dish pie crust (follow directions for baking crust on package)
Place water, sugar, Jell-O, starch in boiler and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until clear. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add strawberries and pour into baked pie crust. Refrigerate. Serve with Cool Whip.

Italian Meat Pie
1 lb. ground chuck
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
3/4 cup water
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 pkg. spaghetti sauce mix
1 deep dish pie crust shell
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400. Brown beef in large skillet. Drain. Add green pepper and cook 2 minutes. Stir in water, tomato paste and spaghetti sauce mix. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Sprinkle half of Parmesan cheese over bottom of frozen pie shell. Spread half meat mixture in pie shell. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over meat.
Layer remaining meat and Parmesan cheese. Bake on cookie sheet 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts. Serves 6

Easy Baked Pork Chops
Pork Chops need to be about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place pork chops in baking dish and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. On each pork chop place 1 slice of onion, 1 Tbsp. ketchup, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 slice lemon.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes uncovered. Can experiment with sauces and seasonings to fit your families taste.

Graham Cracker Pineapple Coconut Cake
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 lb. box graham crackers (crush into crumbs)
1 cup coconut
1 large can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, drain and save juice
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time beating after each. Add graham cracker crumbs, pineapple, coconut, baking powder mix well. Add nuts to mixture. Pour into greased tube pan bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (May take longer check for doneness by inserting knife.)
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 cups confection sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Saved pineapple juice
Add confection sugar to melted butter add small amount of pineapple juice until of spreading consistency. Add vanilla. Can add more confection sugar if needed. Pour over cake while warm.

Quick and Easy Apple Pie
Pillsbury Pie Crust
2l oz. can apple pie filling
2 Tbsp. Sugar (can use brown sugar)
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
Mix apple filling, sugar and cinnamon together. Place one crust in bottom of pie dish. Pour apple mixture in pie crust. Place second crust on top of apple filling and crunch edges together. Make about 3 cuts on top of crust. Brush top of crust with egg wash. Bake 350 degree for 30 to 40 minutes.

Fresh Green Beans
2 lbs. green beans (snapped and washed)
1 small onion
1 beef bouillon cube
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of beef stock or broth (unsalted)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of nutmeg
In pan add water, onion, beef bouillon cube and butter; heat until butter and beef cube melt. Pour in green beans and season with salt, pepper, sugar and nutmeg.
Cook covered on medium to low heat until beans are tender. Add more beef stock. if needed. You can use can beans (whole or cut) drain and rinse with warm water before cooking.

Best Barbecue Cole Slaw
2- pkg. coleslaw mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. When well blended, pour into serving dish with lid. Store in refrigerate for at least 2 hours before

Mayonnaise Rolls
These are wonderful quick rolls.
1 cup self-rising flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Hellman’s mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Add mayonnaise and stir to combine. Add milk and stir until mixed thoroughly. Spray muffin tin with Pam spray. Spoon mixture into tin. Bake in preheated 420 degree oven until golden brown.  Makes 6 muffins.

Marinated Cucumbers
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped chives
Combine all ingredients and marinate until well chilled.

Turtle Trifle
8 oz. mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (2 lb.) frozen pecan pie, thawed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup chocolate fudge topping
1/3 cup caramel topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Beat mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, and vanilla in a large bowl at medium speed 2-3 minutes or until smooth and firm.
Place half of pie cubes in bottom of a 4-qt. trifle dish or tall clear 4-qt glass bowl. Spread half of whipped cream mixture over pie cubes. Drizzle with half each of chocolate fudge topping and caramel topping. Sprinkle with half of chopped pecans. Repeat layers. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Crescent and Cream Cheese Dessert
2 cans crescent rolls
1 tsp. vanilla
Two 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese soft in tub
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pie filling, optional
Spread 1 can rolls in 13 x 9 pan. Blend cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Spread mixture over rolls. (1 can of any pie filling may be spread over this if desired).
Cover with second can of rolls. Pour melted butter over top and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Bush’s Baked Beans
1 large can Bush’s bake bean (original)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. maple syrup (any syrup will do)
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together. Pour mixture in baking dish sprayed with Pam.
Sprinkle top of beans with a small amount of sugar. Bake beans in 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 can beets
Dash of salt
Mix sugar and flour together in saucepan. Add water and vinegar, cook on medium heat until thick (stir occasionally). When begins to get thick add salt, butter, and beets cook until beets are heated through.


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