Beginning in December 1991, Shelly Magie Moran gave Lonoke County cooks an open forum for "Sharing the Best." The column became popular and continued for nearly 10 years until she moved to northwest Arkansas at Siloam Springs.

The invitation to local cooks to Share the Best remains open, especially for family favorites handed down between generations or with special stories behind them.

The mailing address included in the column is still good, and anyone without access to the Internet is invited to send in those 3x5 index cards. In fact, handwritten personal notes are preferred – but be sure to print legibly and include a contact phone number.

Of course, email contributions are most welcome, being easier to read and block copied. E-mail to:, add "Sharing the Best" to the subject line – and include a telephone contact in case a question arises. Including three or four sentences about what makes a recipe special would be nice, too.

- Ed Galucki

May 19, 1993

From Shelly Moran -

It’s always refreshing – and encouraging – to see out youngsters learning food preparation and cooking skills. Perhaps the organization which does the most to promote the continuation of and appreciation for these skills is the 4-H club. Through the educational and consumer information focus, kids can choose from among many diverse areas for projects and programs. Cooking is just one of many.

This week we’re featuring members of the Sherwood Angels 4-H Club who were blue-ribbon winners in their club’s recent events, Mini-Fair, Muffin Mania, and Big "B" Day. These youngsters provided their "own versions" of recipes and made them themselves. The winning recipes are featured below.



2 cups cooked spaghetti (4 oz. uncooked)

1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

2 tsp. butter

In a medium bowl combine all the above ingredients until thoroughly blended. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan with butter to avoid sticking. Put the spaghetti mixture in the bottom and up the sides of form a crust. Chill until the other ingredients are ready.


2/3 cup cottage or ricotta cheese

½ cup diced onion

½ cup diced bell pepper

1 clove minced garlic

6 oz. cooked ground beer, turkey or veal (allow 1 oz. for shrinkage in cooking)

1 cup whole canned tomatoes, chopped

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

1 tsp. oregano

4 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cottage cheese over the spaghetti crust and return to the refrigerator. Combine onion and bell peppers in a non-stick cooking pan and sauté until translucent. Add meat and brown with the onion mixture. When mea is brown, add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thoroughly mixed. Spread over the cottage cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with grated mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with a tossed salad and toasted Italian bread. – Molly Stanley, age 10, Sherwood, Ark.



1 cup cottage cheese

3 eggs, slightly beaten

3 8-oz. pkgs. Cream cheese, softened

16 oz. sour cream, divided

½ cup grated Romano cheese

2 Tbsp. potato starch

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. dried basil

1 Tbsp. oregano

1 tsp. cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender mix cottage cheese and eggs, then blend 30 seconds or until smooth, scraping sides as necessary. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and add to the cottage cheese mixture.

Add 1 1/3 cups of sour cream and all the remaining ingredients. Blend thins until smooth. Pour into a spring-form pan. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake 60 to 70 minutes or until top is slightly browned. Leave in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 30 minutes. Remove and cool, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the pan an spread with the remaining sour cream. Serve with crackers. – Ashley Buc, age 10, Sherwood, Ark.

(Shelly’s note: I am unfamiliar with potato starch. Perhaps it is liquid from boiled potatoes. If it is something different, I hope Ashley will call and let us know.)

[Ed’s note: cornstarch or flour may be used instead. Regardless of which is used, to avoid lumps I would add it to a quarter-cup of milk or water and mix it smooth before adding to the cheese mixture.]



9" deep dish frozen pie pastry

1 tbsp. shortening

½ lb. ground turkey

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp. Dash seasoning

½ tsp. Nature Seasons

dash of ground nutmeg

½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese

½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 lightly beaten eggs

¾ cup milk

¾ cup sour cream

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt shortening in a skillet. Add ground turkey and cook. When turkey is done, drain well. Return turkey to pan and add flour, Dash and Nature Seasons, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Spread turkey mixture over bottom of unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle with salt and nutmeg. Top with Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Combine eggs, milk, and sour cream with chives; mix until smooth. Carefully pour into pie shell. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting. – Jonathan Hinton, age 9, Sherwood, Ark.



Chocolate layer:

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

12 large marshmallows

½ cup margarine

dash of salt

6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup nuts (optional)

Mix together sugar, milk, marshmallows, margarine and salt. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Take off burner and add chocolate chips, vanilla and nuts (if used). Stir until melted and pour in an 8"x8" buttered dish.

Peanut Butter Layer:

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. butter

½ cup evaporated milk

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup marshmallow crème

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix sugars, butter and milk; boil to a soft ball stage; add peanut butter and marshmallow crème. Immediately take off fire as peanut butter and marshmallow crème are added. Add vanilla and beat until it thickens. Spread on top of chocolate layer. Cool 20 minutes. – Aaron Hinton, age 11, Sherwood, Ark.



Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine:

1 slightly beaten egg

½ cup milk

1 pkg. Martha White Bran Muffin Mix

½ cup blueberries

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Sprinkle with topping and bake 12-14 minutes.


1 Tbsp. softened margarine

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup chopped walnuts

½ tsp. cinnamon

– Kelly Morgan, Sherwood, Ark.


While thumbing through a newspaper from Graham, N.C., I found this recipe which sounded really good. It haven’t tried it yet, but intend to.


1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup sour cream (may substitute plain yogurt

½ cup margarine, softened

2 eggs

1 ½ cups mashed bananas

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour (may use 1 ½ cups flour and ½ cup oatmeal)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ cup chopped nuts or coconut

Mix sugar, sour cram or yogurt, margarine and eggs well for about one minute. Beat in vanilla and bananas. Mix well, then add dry ingredients. Add nuts or coconut. Spread in jellyroll pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. May ice with powdered sugar icing or leave plain. Cut into squares when cool.


At church potluck dinner Sunday, Betty Magness brought a delicious pie and many asked for the recipe. This dessert is a diabetic recipe. Since Betty’s husband cannot have any sugar, she is constantly searching for good recipes to please his palate. She thought other diabetics and those who cook for them might be interested in this one.


1 tub lemonade-flavor Crystal Light (from a package of 4 small tubs)

12 oz. tub Lite Cool Whip

2 small pkgs. Sugar-free instant vanilla pudding

3 ½ cups milk

1 baked pie shell

Stir the dry Crystal Light and pudding together. Add mild and beat with electric mixer until thickened and thoroughly mixed. Add Cool Whip and beat well. Pour into baked, cooled pie crust. Chill until serving. Keep refrigerated. – Betty Magness, Cabot


[From Shelly] I started this column as a means for recipe exchange. In other words, I’m asking you to share your favorite recipes for publication here. They need not be fancy or original – just good cooking which you and your family enjoy.

To submit your favorite recipe, write it clearly or type it. Then check carefully for correct measurements and clarity of instructions. Include your name, address and telephone number. Mail to Sharing the Best, P.O. Box 1058, Cabot, AR 72023.

Or e-mail to - enter Sharing the Best in the subject line.