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Dumas home health nurse shows her love by cooking | Food

DUMAS • When Klancy Hill was 14, her mother went back to school to become a nurse, and Hill became the family cook.

“I started reading cookbooks and figuring stuff out, and I just went from there,” Hill said. “I stayed with my grandmother a lot in the summers, and she loved to cook for everybody. She always had a garden, was always picking something or putting up vegetables or shelling something.”

When Hill and her husband, Brad, married, she could put a meal on the table, but she stepped up her game when she discovered TV cooking personality Paula Deen.

“When she came on the scene, I thought, ‘Well, if she can do that, I can, too. She’s no different than me,'” Hill said. “I watched her show, and I’ve got several of her cookbooks. I still use her cookbooks and recipes.”

Hill, a home health nurse for Kindred at Home, has three daughters: Carley is a student at Mississippi State University, Macey is at Mississippi Delta Community College, and Hannah attends Pine Grove High School.

“Carley was a cheerleader in high school, and Macey always played softball, so I learned early on to make casseroles or put something in the Crock-Pot so we’d have something hot when we got home from games,” said Hill, 45.

She cooks at least five nights a week – the family eats out on weekends – and usually prepares a meat and a couple of vegetables.

She might fix hamburger steaks with green beans and mashed potatoes, or a grilled pork tenderloin with twice-baked potatoes and lima beans. Desserts are a treat she makes about twice a week.

“At least once a week, I’ll try something new,” Hill said. “I find recipes in magazines – I love Southern Living and Taste of the South – and on Facebook. My favorite food blog is”

Hill describes herself as a very picky eater – but silently picky. She doesn’t like ground beef, sausage, eggs or green beans, and she’s not even particularly fond of casseroles. But she happily fixes all these dishes for her family.

“My husband is not picky at all,” she said. “He’d just as soon eat a bologna sandwich. One year, I was trying to figure out the Christmas menu, and he said, ‘It doesn’t matter. It’s just food.’ He doesn’t understand cooking is how I show love. I don’t think I have but two talents. One is being a nurse. The other is cooking.”

DO YOU KNOW A GOOD COOK? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, P.O. Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can call (662) 678-1581 or email them to [email protected]


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 sticks butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture gradually. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.


1 (7-ounce) package spaghetti, cooked and drained

2 pounds ground beef, browned

1 (32-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Toppings, such as pepperoni, ham, black olives, onion, peppers, mushrooms, etc.

Place cooked, drained spaghetti noodles in the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch pan. Cover with half of the cooked ground beef. Cover beef with spaghetti sauce, then sprinkle half of the cheese over all.

Cover cheese with remaining ground beef, then add pizza toppings of your choice. Cover with the remaining cheese.

Combine milk and egg and pour over all. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter and syrup, for serving

Grease griddle or large nonstick skillet and place over medium heat.

As griddle heats up, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla until combined.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. A few lumps are fine.

Pour the batter out in 1/3-cup rounds onto the hot griddle and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the underside is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing the griddle between batches. Top with butter and maple syrup.


3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Combine flour, baking powder and sugar together in a bowl using a fork. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles corn meal. Add cheese. Stir in buttermilk and stir just until blended. Do not overmix.

Drop by tablespoons onto a well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Brush tops of cooked biscuits with melted butter, or melted butter mixed with garlic powder, if desired. Makes about 2 dozen.


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 (15-ounce) jars Alfredo sauce

2 cups bottled ranch dressing

4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided

1 pouch real bacon bits or 6 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon

1/2 box jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained

Season chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Bake at 400 degrees until cooked, about 30 minutes. Using forks, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. 

In a large bowl, combine Alfredo sauce, ranch dressing, 2 cups cheese and half of the bacon. Gently fold in chicken and cooked, drained pasta.

Pour mixture into a greased 9×13-inch casserole. Top with remaining 2 cups of cheese and the remaining bacon. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 deep-dish pie shell, baked

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the filling, in a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour and cocoa.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and egg yolks. Pour milk mixture into saucepan with the sugar mixture and whisk until all are combined. Cook on medium heat until thickened, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla to thickened pie filling. Stir until combined and butter is melted. Pour cooked filling into baked pie crust.

For the meringue, place egg whites in a clean bowl free of water, oil or residue. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Slowly, add the sugar and beat again until peaks are glossy.

Spread meringue over the pie filling. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.