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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Happy Birthday, America! Happy Birthday, Boone

By Sherrie Norris

Celebrating the independence of our country is not something to be taken lightly. During the past couple of years, especially — more than ever before — we have been reminded of how precious our freedom really is, and how quickly it can be taken from us. As we pause to pay tribute to this grand country of ours, let us not forget the foundation on which it was built. It was true then and it remains true today: We are one nation under God. Hopefully, those next few words that have been recited countless times over —indivisible with liberty and justice for all — will once again become a reality, rather than just a memory.

And, there is much to be said for the phrase: “United we stand, divided we fall.” Again, we are reminded daily of how those words ring true.

With much celebration in the air, literally, in the next few days, we also want to remember the Town of Boone during its 150th birthday and all the special commemorations surrounding this important milestone. There have been, and will continue to be many fun, informative and entertaining events throughout the year; hats off to the folks behind the scenes who have worked so hard, already, to provide a top-notch festival, musical and theatrical productions and other crowd-drawing show-stoppers that the area and its visitors have been able to enjoy. 

A shout out especially to Mark Freed, his staff at the Jones House and those serving on the 150th committee for all the time and effort they are putting into these events. One of the biggest — Monday’s Independence Day Parade —is coming up next! 

The Jones House and staff serve as the town’s hub for all things entertaining, which many people do not realize. There’s a lot that goes on in that lovely house on the hill! Make sure to say “Thanks” next time you are in town.

We hope you enjoy this patriotic holiday with those who are dear to your heart and life, remembering always the ones who gave their lives to make our freedom possible.

When you see Old Glory waving in the breeze, don’t take it for granted this time. Stand up for what’s right — and be proud!

Red White and Blueberry Cream Pie

1 prepared graham cracker crust

1¼ cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Fresh strawberries, sliced

Place ¾ cup blueberries on bottom of crust. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth; stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into piecrust and chill for at least three hours or until set. Top with remaining blueberries and strawberries. Keep refrigerated.

Firecracker Burgers

1 lb. ground beef

1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained

1 tsp. beef bouillion granules

4 slices Monterey Jack Cheese

Mix beef, chilies and bouillion; form into patties. Grill 3-8 minutes per side to desired level of doneness. Top each with cheese about 2 minutes prior to removing from grill.

(Double, triple recipe as needed.)

Grand Old Flag Cheese Spread

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese

2 Tbsp. sliced black olives

¼ cup salsa

Variety of crackers

Place cream cheese between two sheets of waxed paper; roll out to a 6 x 4-inch rectangle with rolling pin. Remove top sheet of waxed paper, coat top and sides of cream cheese with shredded cheese. Invert onto serving plate and remove waxed paper. Arrange four rows of olives in top left corner of triangle to make “stars.” Make deep rows using round end of a spoon, leaving ¼” between rows. Fill rows with salsa and refrigerate until time to serve. Serve with crackers. ( This is rather small; you may need to double recipe for more than 3-4 people.)   

Strawberries and Stripes

1 pkg. Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe White Cake Mix

2 pkg. (10-oz.) frozen sweetened strawberry slices, thawed


1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

1 cup milk

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Fresh strawberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 13×9-inch pan. Prepare cake mix as directed on package. Cool and poke holes 1-inch apart in top of cake, using handle of wooden spoon. Puree thawed strawberries with juice in blender or food processor. Spoon evenly over top of cake, allowing mixture to soak into holes.

For topping, combine pudding mix and milk in large bowl. Stir until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over cake. Decorate with fresh strawberries, if desired. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.