Dale’s Cousin’s Chicken and Olive Casserole

After the memorial service for Dale’s mother, the family gathered at the house to visit, exchange news and memories and console one another. Neighbors and family members brought food to share.

One of Dale’s cousins appeared with a hot dish that Dale liked so much, he begged the recipe. It was actually a recipe from his cousin’s mother-in-law, so the recipe really should be called “Dale’s Cousin’s Mother-in-law’s Chicken and Olive Casserole” but that makes for a name too long to fit on a recipe card plus a lot of apostrophes.

Recently Dale brought it to a church potluck, where it was a big hit. I loved it too and Dale was kind enough to share the recipe. For once, that collection of all knowledge we call the Internet lacked a recipe like this. Until now, that is.

If you enjoy chicken and noodles and a mild but rich and flavorful casserole, this is a dish you really need to try.


1/2 cup butter
1 large onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken
1 cup sliced ripe olives
1 cup pecans
2 cups chicken broth
1 package noodles (12 to 16 oz.)
French fried onions (optional)


First, prepare your ingredients and put a large pot of water mixed with about two cups of chicken broth on the burner to heat. Grease a three quart casserole. Preheat the oven to 300º.

Peel and chop the onion medium fine. Wash and chop half a medium green bell pepper to about a quarter inch dice. Clean and chop the mushrooms to the same size. Cut the cooked turkey or chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice the olives. Grate the Parmesan cheese and coarsely chop the pecans.

When the water and broth are boiling, add the noodles and cook them just to al dente.

While the noodles are cooking melt the butter in a large skillet and cook the onion over moderate heat until it is soft but not brown. Add the green pepper and mushrooms and cook them for a minute or two. Reduce the heat and stir in the cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Mix the turkey or chicken into the sauce and remove the skillet from the heat.

Drain the noodles and return them to the pot. Add the sauce from the skillet along with the olives and pecans and mix well. Put the mixture into the casserole, cover and bake for an hour.

NOTES: Dale says that you can use leftover turkey or chicken if you have some in your freezer.

The original recipe called for butter or oleo. Neither Dale nor I think oleo is a good idea. Go with the good stuff.

Dale likes to use those tasty “Amish” noodles, which are a little thicker than the conventional packaged noodles, but either kind will work.

He also stirred in a cup of crushed French fried onions and sprinkled a few on top before baking the casserole.

Kathy’s Green Grape Dessert—Elegant and Refreshing

Jerri learned how to make this wonderful dessert when she was teaching at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois, the school that Hillary Clinton graduated from the year before Jerri joined the faculty. Her friend Kathy, who also taught English at the school, brought a bowl of this dessert to school one day, and Jerri has been hooked on it ever since. I love it too.

If you are like Jerri’s cousin Sherril, who claims that she never uses a recipe with more than four ingredients, this is the dessert for you. Three ingredients. So simple a toddler could make it, though you might want to oversee the knife work.


Green grapes
Sour cream
Brown sugar


Wash enough grapes to fill parfait glasses or dessert bowls for the number of servings you need plus a few extra for tasting. Cut the grapes in half and put them in a mixing bowl.

Add just enough sour cream to coat the grapes. Then spoon in about one-fourth as much sugar as cream and mix everything gently. Taste and adjust the amounts of sour cream and sugar until you have the right balance. This may take several spoonfuls of grapes, thus the need to start with more than you plan on serving.

Fill parfait glasses or dessert bowls and sprinkle a TINY amount of brown sugar on each. Chill before serving.

NOTES: For four servings, Jerri uses about two cups of grapes plus a few more and starts with two tablespoons of sour cream and a scant tablespoon of brown sugar.

You can use either light or dark brown sugar.