Dinner Bell: Janis Chambers

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Janis Chambers of Monette is enjoying being "back home" and getting reacquainted with old friends and making new ones. Chambers and her husband, Fred, both natives of the area, lived in Blytheville for 30 years before moving back to Monette in 1996.

Mrs. Chambers worked at Abbott Insurance Co. in Blytheville. She now works at Monette City Hall serving as water clerk. Mr. Chambers is sales representative for Sudbury Broadcasting in Blytheville where he has worked for 35 years.

Mrs. Chambers was raised in the Childress area, the daughter of Boyce Howell of Monette and the late Jack Howell. Since those years, she has lived in Long Beach, Calif., Hawaii and Blytheville, but she said she is still a country girl and glad to be back in the Buffalo Island area.

Mrs. Chambers calls working in her yard a hobby.

"Yard work is something you like or you don't and my husband and I both enjoy working in the yard," Chambers said. "If you like yard work it is a hobby, if you don't it is work. Growing up, I always enjoyed following my dad around and helping him in the yard."

Collecting miniature colonials is another hobby Mrs. Chambers enjoys. Mr. Chambers is a record collector and buys and sells on E-Bay.

The Chambers have two grown children, Perry Chambers and Julie Lee.

Perry and his wife, Gail, live in Houston, Texas, where he works for the railroad and they have a karaoke business. Gail has two sons, Kenny and Steve Criley. Perry's son, Shawn Chambers, lives in Biloxi and will graduate from high school this year.

Julie is a registered nurse and works at the hospital in Paragould. She is married to Chris Lee and they have a daughter, Teagan, four and a half months old.

Mrs. Chambers is enjoying taking care of Teagan two afternoons a week. Teagan enjoys being outside and the afternoon strolls with her grandmother when the weather is warm.

Chambers said she likes to cook but said she is more likely to try new dessert recipes than anything else.

She is sharing some of her favorite recipes.

Crock Pot Tortillas

2 pounds ground beef

1 medium onion

1 package corn tortillas

2 cans chili beans

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 cans Rotel

1 pound shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and onion, drain, mix chili beans, mushroom soup and Rotel together. Moisten inside of pot with soup. Start layering the corn tortillas, ground beef, chili beans, shredded cheese and soup mixture. End up layering with layer of cheese on top. Cook on low all day. Recipe may be cut in half if desired.

Tiger Candy

1 pound white chocolate (or almond bark)

1 large package chocolate chips

12 ounce jar crunchy peanut butter

Melt white chocolate, stir in peanut butter, pour on foiled cookie sheet. Melt chocolate chips and swirl in, melt, harden and break into pieces.

Flour Tortilla Roll-Up

2-8 ounce packages cream cheese

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup black olives

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 jalapeno peppers (optional)

8 flour tortillas

Mix first five ingredients together, spread on 8 flour tortillas. Roll up the tortillas. Wrap in Saran Wrap and chill. Wrap each tortilla separate. Slice from center out to edge when chilled.

Goof-Proof Fudge

1 (1 lb.) box powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1/4 cup milk

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

In large microwave bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, milk and butter. Microwave on high two minutes or until butter melts. Stir vigorously to blend. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour into greased 8x8" dish. Refrigerate one hour or freeze 20 minutes. Cut into small squares and serve.

Taco Salad

1 green salad

1 pound ground beef

1 package Doritos

1 can chili or pinto beans

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. Crush the package of Doritos. Mix all ingredients and toss with ranch dressing or salsa.

Strawberry Cake

1 package strawberry cake mix

1 package strawberry Jell-o

1 pint crushed strawberries

1 small container Cool Whip

1 pint fresh strawberries

Bake the cake, remove from oven and poke holes in it. Mix the Jell-o and pour over cake. Let Cool. Pour the crushed strawberries over the cake. Cover with Cool Whip. Cut the fresh strawberries in half and cover with Cool Whip. Refrigerate.

Chocolate ...clair Cake

3 cups milk

2 packages instant vanilla pudding (Can use sugar free)

1 small container Cool Whip

1 box graham crackers

1 container milk chocolate frosting

Mix pudding mix with three cups milk. Mix Cool Whip into this mixture.

Cover the bottom of a 9x13" cake pan with graham crackers. Cover crackers with pudding and Cool Whip mixture. Cover this with graham crackers. Cover with pudding mixture. Cover with graham crackers. Heat frosting in microwave for 40 seconds. Pour over mixture and refrigerate.

White Chili

Fajita chicken strips, chopped (no specific amount, enough to make a hearty dish)

1 can diced Rotel

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup chicken stock

3 cans great northern beans

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon oil

Dash of garlic powder, black pepper and salt (careful with the salt because of the chicken broth)

Saute onions in oil until translucent. Add all other ingredients and cook until hot through. Turn heat down to lowest setting and simmer for about 20 or 30 minutes. Very simple to put together and very tasty.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 T. sugar

3 T. margarine, melted

3 eggs

1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp. vanilla


3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

Combine crumbs, sugar and margarine; press onto bottom of 9" spring form pan. Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Blend in chocolate chips and vanilla. Pour over crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees and continue baking for 35 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.

Banana Split Cake

Vanilla wafers

5 bananas

2 sticks butter

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 can crushed pineapple

1 large carton Cool Whip


Nuts, chopped

Crush wafers to spread over bottom of pan. Melt butter and spread over wafers. Spread powdered sugar evenly over this crust. Slice bananas, spread over powdered sugar. Drain pineapple, spread over bananas. Top with Cool Whip, cherries and nuts.

Crockpot Dressing

1-8" pan cooked cornbread

8 slices day old bread

4 eggs

1 medium onion chipped

1 can cream of celery soup

1-1/2 tablespoon sage

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cans cream of chicken soup

2 cans chicken broth

2 tablespoons margarine

Crumble breads and add all ingredients except margarine. Pour into crockpot and dot with margarine. Cook on high three hours or on low 3-4 hours. Stir half way through.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: