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Cooking up good meals for Junior Miss contestants

By Staff
GETTING READY n Susan Hill looks over some of her recipes as she gets ready to host two contestants in the State Junior Miss Program next week. The girls will arrive on Sunday and will stay with the Hills through Saturday. Photo by Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
July 25, 2001
For each of the past eight years, Susan and George Hill have added two girls as members of their extended family.
That comes with the role of "host parents" for the State Junior Miss Program, which is hosted each year in Meridian at the Temple Theater. During the week of the program, two of the participants spend the week at the Hill's home.
Two more "family members" will be moving in Sunday as 40 participants from across the state will be coming to Meridian for this year's program. After three days of practice, the program will be held Aug. 2-4 at the Temple Theater. Tickets are now on sale at the theater.
Providing breakfast and supper are two important roles of a host family. She has already started preparing casseroles that she has frozen. "That's the easiest way," Hill said.
She will warm those up later and serve them with vegetables and dessert. Her chicken rotel and lasagna recipes seem to be the most popular.
Everyone is on a schedule and breakfast sometimes can become a grab and run. Supper is more of a sit-down meal.
The Jaycees provide drivers to get the girls to the places they need to be. "We really depend on those drivers," Hill said.
Hill added that she has kept sisters.
Hill said that her family's participation in the program has created a network of friends across the state.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at
Here are some of Hill's top recipe for the week.
Chicken Rotel
8 chicken breasts
12 ounce package vermicelli
2 pound Velveeta cheese
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes
2 onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 stick butter
3 ounce can mushrooms
Cook chicken in water until tender and save broth. Remove skin and bones; cut into small pieces. Cook vermicelli in chicken broth, then drain. Melt Velveeta cheese and add the Ro-Tel tomatoes. Saute onions, peppers and mushrooms in butter. Combine all ingredients and pour into casserole dish. Cook 30 minutes at 300 degrees.
Pull-Apart Coffee Cake
1 16-ounce package frozen bread rolls, still frozen
11/4 sticks butter, melted
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 3.375-ounce package vanilla pudding (dry, not instant)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup nuts, chopped
Butter a tube pan heavily. Please rolls in pan. Pour melted butter over rolls. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over rolls. Let stand, uncovered, overnight. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees. When done, remove from oven and let set 10 to 15 minutes before inverting plate.
(Variation: Use 1 cup brown sugar, 1 package butterscotch pudding (dry, not instant), and 1 stick butter.)
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground chuck
1 package lasagna noodles
Chopped mushrooms
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 small cans tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/2 clove garlic
Parmesan cheese
Saute onion and garlic in butter; add meat and brown. Next add tomato paste and whole tomatoes, salt and oregano. Cook 30 to 40 minutes (or longer). Boil noodles in Wesson oil and salt. Combine 1 thin layer of meat, noodles, and 2 slices mozzarella cheese. Mix two eggs with cottage cheese; then add1/2 mixture over mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat above steps until meat is on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Stand 10 minutes before serving.
Pineapple Casserole
4 cups fresh bread, cubed
1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup melted butter
Mix together bread and pineapple chunks; place in a greased baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over bread-pineapple mixture. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until top is lightly browned. Casserole can be refrigerated before baking.
Golden Potato Casserole
6 medium red potatoes
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 stick oleo
2 cups dairy sour cream, room temperature
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons oleo
Cook potatoes in skins, cool. Peel and coarsely shred. In saucepan over low heat combine cheddar cheese and1/4 cup oleo, stirring until almost melted. Remove from heat. Blend in sour cream, onions, salt and pepper. Add potatoes, stirring lightly. Turn into a 2-quart casserole. Dot with 2 tablespoons oleo. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through.