Susan Deloach has love of cooking, experimenting with recipes

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By Ann Cipperly

Sitting in her newly remodeled kitchen, Susan DeLoach talks about her love of cooking between sips of coffee and bites of her yummy Snickers Pie. Cabinets over a counter were removed to open up the kitchen, while new granite countertops and soothing green colors provide a cheerful look.

Susan enjoys experienmenting with recipes, adapting them to suit her family’s taste. She also prepares recipes from her mother, grandmother and aunt that are long-time favorites.

Her parents grew up on farms in the small community of Stroud, located between Lafayette and Roanoke. After her parents married, they moved to Opelika. Her father was the manager of the A&P grocery store when it was located on North Railroad Ave. When Susan was only 9 months old, her father died in a car accident.

Her mother, Ruby Smith, worked as the office manager at Meadow Gold Dairy, which was also located on North Railroad Ave. She was active in the Pilot Club of Opelika, serving as president several times.

While Susan’s mother was a good cook, she didn’t have time to cook much until after she retired. Susan began helping her cook while she was in elementary school. Once her mother called and told her how to bake potatoes. When her mother came home, she asked Susan if the potatoes had been washed. Susan replied that she had scrubbed them good with dishwashing soap!

After graduating from high school, Susan studied accounting at Troy University. She worked at Auburn University and for Frank Jones and Pepperell Baptist Church before going to work as financial secretary at First Baptist Church of Opelika, where she has attended church since she was in the nursery.

Susan was the financial secretary for 34 years. When she decided last year she wanted to work just part-time, Susan and the financial assistant secretary switched jobs. This suits Susan, as it gives her more time at home with her family and to cook when they visit.

Susan has two sons. David Sellers and his wife, Emmie, live in Newnan, Ga., and have two girls, Hayes, 16, Bennett, 14. The other son, Drew Sellers, lives in Opelika and has a son, Tyler, who is a senior at Opelika High School and played football.

Susan enjoyed watching Tyler play football on Friday nights, especially when he kicked the winning field goal for the team to go to the play-offs.

Her husband, John, is employed at Craftmaster Printers in customer service. Susan and John met while singing in the choir at church.

Susan enjoys cooking for their Sunday school class’ breakfasts. Members of the class sign up to bring dishes each week. Susan is sharing several delectable recipes for breakfast or brunch.

The Breakfast Casserole with crescent rolls can be prepared the night before or at the last minute. Susan generally cooks the sausage the night before and then assembles the casserole in the morning.

Her other easy Breakfast Casserole is made with frozen hash browns, cheese, bacon or sausage. This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker and cooked on low all night.

The Pecan French Toast is baked with pecans, brown sugar and butter on the bottom. When serving, the slices are flipped to reveal the praline style topping and served with warm syrup.

Her Sweet Potato Rolls can be served for breakfast or dessert. She places half of a frozen sweet potato patty into a biscuit topped with a pecan sauce laced with cinnamon. This is her family’s favorite for Christmas breakfast.

Susan had problems making biscuits until she found the recipe for Basic Buttermilk Biscuits. When she has been out of buttermilk, she made the recipe with milk, which were just as good.

To include more vegetables in their meals, she created Vegetable Spaghetti. Mushrooms, peppers, yellow squash, onion, broccoli and fresh or canned tomatoes are combined, seasoned, and served over spaghetti noodles, topped with Parmesan cheese. Susan says it is even better the second day when the flavors have had time to develop.

Her Grandmother Smith’s Vegetable Soup also contains abundant vegetables with okra, black-eyed peas, baby lima beans, corn, potatoes and tomatoes. During summer, Susan freezes fresh vegetables to enjoy year around.

Mozelle’s Chicken and Rice Casserole is her aunt’s recipe that is a favorite of everyone in the family. Sometimes Susan adds cooked broccoli to the casserole. Cornflakes add a crunchy topping.

For dessert, the Snickers Pie is easy to assemble and freeze until ready to serve. While she uses low fat ingredients, the pie has a rich, yummy taste everyone will savor.

Cooking is a relaxing hobby for Susan. “I just love cooking,” she adds, “and I love for people to enjoy it.”

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

Recipes:

Snickers Pie
3 Tbsp. crunchy peanut butter (I use Jiff extra crunchy)
1/2 container fat free Cool Whip
1/4 gallon low fat or sugar free ice cream
1 box chocolate pudding (I use Jell-O sugar free instant)
1 large deep dish pie shell (graham cracker)
Soften ice cream and mix all ingredients together. Pour into pie shell. Place in freezer until ready to serve. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Vegetable Spaghetti
Spaghetti noodles
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
1 yellow squash, halved and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup chopped broccoli
5 Roma tomatoes, diced, or 1 can of petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
Seasonings: salt, pepper, sweet basil, oregano, garlic salt, 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Parmesan cheese
Cook spaghetti in salt water. While that is cooking, in a wok (or large skillet) place olive oil and add all the above vegetables with salt, pepper, sweet basil, oregano, garlic salt and Worcestershire Sauce. Sauté vegetables until desired tenderness.
Place spaghetti on plate. Add vegetables on top, as you would sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy!

My Grandmother Smith’s Vegetable Soup
Both my dad’s (Smith) and my mother’s (Howell) parents grew up in Stroud on farms, so fresh vegetables were always available. When fresh is not available, fresh frozen is the next best thing.
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups cut okra
2 cups black-eyed peas
2 cups small lima beans
1 cup yellow corn
3 medium potatoes, diced
2 cans petite-diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground beef and drain. Add ground beef and all other ingredients to large Dutch oven. Salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 to 2 cups water to fill pot. Cook on stove-top for one hour. (Usually the time it takes me to make cornbread!) It freezes well if you have leftovers!

Mozelle’s Chicken and Rice Casserole
My aunt’s recipe that is loved by my entire family! Usually, I serve with English peas and bread, but if I want to change it up I sometimes add cooked broccoli to the mixture. My aunt Mozelle always added a drained can of water chestnuts.
1 whole chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, halved and chopped
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 bags of cooked Success rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cornflakes (about two cups)
Butter
Cook chicken (reserve and freeze the stock for another time). Let chicken cool and shred.
Add chicken, onion, celery, both cans of soup, mayonnaise and rice into a large bowl. Season to taste. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Crush cornflakes and add them on top of casserole; dot with butter. Place it back in the oven to melt butter.

Sweet Potato Rolls
1 can Grands Flaky layer biscuits
1 pkg. of 8 sweet potato patties (in frozen food section), thawed
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. white corn syrup
1 stick butter
Chopped pecans
Cinnamon
Separate biscuits and leave at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Cut potato patties in half. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix water, sugar and corn syrup together; boil for 12 minutes. Melt butter. Separate a biscuit into two rounds. Stretch biscuit round into oval shape; place 1/2 potato patty onto biscuit; fold edges around potato; and pinch edges shut. Place in dish, seam side down.
Spoon melted butter over rolls and then pour syrup over rolls. Sprinkle with pecans and cinnamon. Bake for 25 minutes or until brown.

Pecan French Toast
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 loaf French bread, sliced
Warm syrup for serving
Melt butter in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Stir in brown sugar and spread evenly in pan. Sprinkle pecans on top of butter; set aside.
Mix eggs, milk and vanilla. Dip bread in milk mixture and then place in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Flip slices to serve. Serve with warm syrup.

Mama’s Spaghetti Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 can Hunts Four Cheese Sauce
Spaghetti noodles
½ cup or more sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup or more Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup or more mozzarella cheese, grated
Brown ground beef, garlic, onions, peppers and mushrooms together. Add in sauce. Cut to low and simmer while the spaghetti cooks. Drain spaghetti and mix with sauce.
Place in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and add the different grated cheeses on top. Bake in 350 oven until cheese is melted.

Breakfast Casserole with Hash Brown Potatoes
8 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1 thawed pkg. O’Brien Hash Browns with onions and bell peppers
8 oz. pkg. grated cheddar cheese
1 lb. fried or baked bacon or sausage, crumbled
Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 glass dish. Bake at 350 degrees 40 minutes or until firm.

Breakfast Casserole with Sausage and Cheddar
1 can of 8 crescent rolls
1 lb. hot sausage (browned)
5 eggs, beaten with 3 Tbsp. milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Brown sausage. This can even be done the day before and refrigerated.
Spray Pam in bottom on 9 x 13 casserole dish. Lay crescent rolls flat on bottom of dish. Cover with sausage. Add salt and pepper to beaten eggs. Pour on top of sausage and top with cheese.
Bake in 350 oven until cheese is lightly browned. Serves 8.

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits
2 1/3 cups sifted self-rising flour
4 Tbsp. sugar (if you want a little sweeter can use 8 Tbsp.)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (I have used whole milk when I am out of buttermilk.)
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour for rolling biscuits
Stir sifted flour and sugar together. Add melted butter and milk; mix together well. Mixture will be sticky.
Put all-purpose flour on a pan and scoop evenly sized balls in the flour. Toss back and forth in your hand to dust and shape. Place in a greased 9 x 5-inch baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Squash Dressing
3 cups chopped yellow squash
3 cups crumbled cornbread
10.5 oz. can cream of chicken or celery soup
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced onion
1 stick butter, melted
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of salt
Cook squash in boiling water until tender; drain well. Place the squash in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Once well combined, pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake in a 350- degree oven for 45 minutes.

Chicken Crescent Rolls
2 tubes low fat refrigerator crescent rolls
26 oz. can healthy low sodium cream of chicken soup
1 cup grated fat free cheddar cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
Boil chicken breasts until cooked; then shred. Roll out each individual crescent. Place about a tablespoon shredded chicken in center and roll it up.
Bake at 350 for about 5 minutes until just starting to turn golden. Pour soup over the top. Bake an additional 10 minutes, and then top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more.

Favorite Quick Cobbler
I have substituted a can of cherries or apples for the peaches, and it is still wonderful. If you would rather use fresh fruit, substitute 2-3 cups fresh sliced, sweetened fruit of your choice. Serve with vanilla ice cream on top!
1 stick butter
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 large can sliced peaches
Melt butter in 8×8 baking dish. Mix flour, sugar and milk (will be thin). Add peaches to butter. Pour batter over peaches. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until brown on top.

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