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Lee Harrell shares her favorite comfort dishes

Lee Harrell learned to cook standing next to her mother and when she got married, she perfected her skills.

In 2004, St. Luke United Methodist Church chose Harrell to chair the committee to create a cookbook.

"The St. Luke Collection" is now in its second printing and Harrell says it's a popular gift for off-to-college students and newlywed brides. It's sold at St. Luke, the Columbus Museum gift shop, Dinglewood Pharmacy and the Galleria Riverside.

Harrell and her husband, Joe, have two grown daughters, Susan Scarborough and Patty Branch. They each have children and grandchildren.

The family gathers together for holiday meals. Harrell hosts most of these family dinners, except for Easter which is at Scarborough's home.

Favorite family recipes include buttermilk biscuits, chicken pot pie, brownies and frozen fruit salad. All of these recipes can be made ahead of time, frozen and heated up when the family is ready to eat.

Harrell shares these recipes with her. They are also featured in the St. Luke cookbook.

Easy Chicken Pie

4 boneless chicken breasts

1¾ cups chicken stock

1 can cream of celery soup

1 stick butter or margarine

1 cup Bisquick

¾ cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken in water until done.

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish

Add chicken broth and spoon undiluted soup over the chicken.

Mix melted butter or margarine, Bisquick, milk and salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture over the chicken. (Don't worry if the mixture is lumpy).

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown.

Note: If you're short on time buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.


6 cups self-rising flour

1½ cups buttermilk (you may need to add a little more)

1½ cups Crisco

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour and Crisco then work the mixture with your hands. But make sure not to overwork the dough.

Add buttermilk and mix.

Roll out on a floured board and cut with a medium round cutter.

Bake biscuits for 5-7 minutes.

Split each biscuit and butter.

Then put the biscuits back in the oven and bake for another 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

These biscuits freeze well.

If you're not eating them right away, you can stop the cooking process after 5-7 minutes. After they cool, put them into zip-lock bags and freeze. When you're ready to eat them, put them on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes in 400-degree oven.


1 lb. light brown sugar

1 stick butter or margarine

3 eggs

2 cups self-rising flour

1-2 cups pecans, chopped

1 tablespoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together sugar and butter (or margarine).

Add eggs, flour, nuts and vanilla.

Mix well.

Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch-by-13-inch pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.


1 12-ounce tub of Cool Whip

1 eight-ounce container of strawberry yogurt

½ cup of mayonnaise

1 16-ounce can of fruit cocktail

1 can of pineapple in small chunks (optional)

½ cup pecans, chopped

Mix Cool Whip, yogurt and mayonnaise.

Fold the fruit into the mxture and put into a muffin pan.

Put the pan into the freezer.

When it freezes, pop them out and put into a zip-lock bag.

Put into a small bowl and top with more whipped cream