2021 Resident & Family Recipe Contest Winners

Posted by Enlivant Support Center on September 28, 2021

Dining plays an important (and fun!) role in the lives of residents at all of our communities. Every year, we give our residents a chance to show off their cooking skills and share their best recipes through our Annual Resident & Family Recipe Contest. We're passionate about creating menus that satisfy our residents’ appetites for great food, and our contest is a delicious way to put their tastes and preferences front and center. Plus - it’s a fun way to cook up a little healthy competition!

Our residents and their families submitted many recipes, and we enjoyed tasting the heart and passion in every single one. In the end, 12 winning recipes were selected in different categories, and will be featured on this year's Fall/Winter menu served at all of our communities across the country!

Check out these award-winning recipes from our seniors and their families, and get cooking!

To see the full recipes, click on the recipe name in the green bars below.

Seven Layer Salad by Marcella

About Marcella's Seven Layer Salad:

The thought of making a Seven Layer Salad might overwhelm the average cook, but Marcella from Eagle Pointe Place assures us it’s easier than it sounds! The secret to this elevated dish is to layer from thick to thin – so the sliced potatoes at the bottom carry the weight.

The tomato soup and brown sugar combo gives this recipe its unique sweet and salty taste, and makes it a must-try for an easy weeknight dinner!


Recipe serves 10; serving size 6 oz.

  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced 
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped 
  • 2 cups celery, thinly sliced 
  • 1 can peas, drained 
  • 1 ½ lb. ground beef, browned 
  • 1 can tomato soup 
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  1. In a 2-quart casserole arrange each ingredient in layers in this order: 
    • 1st layer: Sliced potatoes 
    • 2nd layer: Sliced carrots 
    • 3rd layer: Chopped onions 
    • 4th layer: Sliced celery 
    • 5th layer: Peas 
    • 6th later: Ground beef 
    • 7th layer: Mixture of tomato soup, oregano and brown sugar 
  2. Pour the tomato soup mix over all and bake at 325 degrees covered for 1 hour. 
  3. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes. 
  4. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe

Sunny Salad by Pam

About Pam's Sunny Salad:

This Sunny Salad recipe is a family classic! Sharon from Eiler Place’s Sunny Salad recipe was originally shared as a wedding gift for her daughter Pam. Known for her love of conversation over the dinner table and for making very pretty plates, Pam’s recipe is a show stopper that’s meant to be shared. Before you serve this one up on your dinner table, here’s Pam’s special tip for a great mix – in a bowl, shake the whole salad up & chill. Enjoy!


Recipe serves 20; serving size 1/2 cup

  • 2 broccoli heads, cut into small florets
  • ½ cauliflower head, cut into small florets
  • 4 tbsp red onion, minced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp milk

  1. In a bowl combine broccoli, cauliflower, red onions and dried cranberries.
  2. In another bowl whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and milk. Pour mix over the vegetables and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Before serving add crumbled bacon and mix.

Click here to download the recipe

Squash Casserole by Rosemary & Elsie

About Rosemary & Elsie's Squash Casserole:

This Squash Casserole goes way back – and so does the friendship that cherishes it. Hoyt Place resident Elsie’s dearest childhood friend, Rosemary, submitted this recipe on her behalf. Both Elsie and Rosemary grew up in the same rural town, sharing dinners often. Elsie’s family lived on a farm and was full of aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings, and Rosemary had a small family – and she was absolutely fascinated by mealtimes when staying at Elsie’s for dinner.

Together, they enjoyed this Squash Casserole with home grown squash, carrots, and onions fresh from the farm. Recalling those dinners they shared, Elsie says, “enjoy the food but more than that, treasure the moments and times of sharing it with those you love, because sharing, and especially food, is love.” Share this casserole with your loved ones, and think of Elsie and Rosemary.


Recipe serves 10; serving size 4 oz.

  • 4 oz butter, melted
  • 1 box Stove Top dressing, chicken flavor
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups carrots, grated
  • 2 ½ cups squash, sliced and blenched
  • 1 tsp Accent seasoning
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 small carton sour cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a bowl, mix ½ the dressing with melted butter until moist. Reserve the other ½ of the dressing for topping.
  2. Combine onions, carrots, squash, soup, sour cream and seasonings mixing well and pour in a greased baking dish. Top with reserved dressing.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe

Oreo Cheesecake by Elizabeth

About Elizabeth's Chocolate Cookies & Cream Cheesecake:

Now THIS is a dessert! Submitted by Wyncote Place resident Elizabeth's sister Terry, this Chocolate Cookies & Cream Cheesecake has been a family favorite for over 35 years! Terry would ask Elizabeth to make this cheesecake for every holiday, and she was always happy to oblige.

For Elizabeth, the best part of cooking is watching everyone enjoy the finished product - and this one is certainly a crowd-pleaser. Enjoy it during your next celebration!


Recipe serves 8; serving size 1 slice

  • 1 package of cream filled chocolate cookies
  • 4-8 oz packages cream cheese. Softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar

  1. Grind up 23 cream filled chocolate cookies in a blender or food processor.
  2. Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter and place in the bottom of a greased nonstick 9-inch spring foam pan to form the crust and set aside.
  3. Beat softened cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla extract together in a mixer, then add eggs, one at a time.
  4. Take 12 cream filled chocolate cookies and break into 3 or 4 pieces each.
  5. Add to cream cheese mixture, mix on low until combined and pour cream cheese mixture into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 300 degrees pre-heated oven for 60-70 minutes, place a pan of water on bottom rack while cooking to help keep crust from cracking.
  7. Cool cheesecake in the oven, opened part-way for 1 ½ hours.
  8. Store cake in the fridge. Garnish with whipped cream and cream filled chocolate cookies and enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe

Broccoli Cheese Chicken Soup by Lonnie

About Lonnie's Broccoli Cheese Chicken Soup:

This classic Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe isn’t as straightforward as it may seem – it’s got a protein-packed punch! Lonnie, daughter of Clen-Moore Place resident Julia, submitted this recipe on her mother's behalf, telling us Julia had always been a fan of broccoli cheese soup and added diced chicken to make it a complete meal.

Julia's favorite thing about cooking is that taste is completely subjective – and she’s all about the personal tweaks because of it. If you’re making her soup and you like spicy flavors, add a dash of hot sauce! If you like it a little salty, add a pinch more of salt! Any way you like it, enjoy!


Recipe serves 6; serving size 1 cup

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 3 cups broccoli
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 ½ cup light cream
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ⅓ cup fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • Seasoned salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large saucepan, cook butter, onion and carrots over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli, chicken broth and seasonings. Simmer until broccoli is soft for about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove 1 cup of veggies and set aside. Mash remaining veggies and broth in pan.
  4. In a small bowl, place flour. Slowly add cream whisking until smooth.
  5. Bring veggies and broth to a boil and whisk in the cream mixture, continue whisking until thick and bubbly for about 4 minutes.
  6. Add diced chicken and heat through.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses and reserved veggies.
  8. Garnish with shredded cheese and enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe

Yummy Cole Slaw by Norma

About Norma's Yummy Cole Slaw:

Norma from Chapman Place had riffed on a classic coleslaw for years, and she finally found the perfect not-so-secret ingredient: instant ramen noodles and slivered almonds! Along with all that crunch, an instant ramen noodle seasoning packet adds some extra spice that really takes Norma’s Yummy Cole Slaw to the next level. Bring this one to your next BBQ and watch the high-fives roll in.


Recipe serves 8; serving size 4 oz.

  • 2-1lb bag coleslaw mix
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1-3oz pkg Ramen Noodles, crush
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white vinegar

  1. Separate noodles from seasoning packet, crunch noodles into small pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, layer coleslaw mix, green onions, slivered almonds and chopped noodles.
  3. Mix Ramen seasoning packet, salt, sugar, pepper, oil and white vinegar well together, you can use a shaker bottle.
  4. Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss.
  5. Enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe

Baked Glazed Salmon by Kasandra

About Kasandra's Baked Glazed Salmon:

This Baked Glazed Salmon couldn’t be an easier, healthier or tastier weeknight dinner. Submitted by Kasandra for her mother Johna at Heron Place, this salmon cooks in only 10 minutes! The glaze, made with lemon juice, honey, ginger, and thyme, leaves this dish with fantastic fresh and herby flavor…and leaves you feeling totally full and satisfied. Enjoy!


Recipe serves 5; serving size 3 oz.

  • 2 lbs. Salmon, fillet no skin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp ginger, fresh minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, sliced (optional)

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Grease pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place salmon on baking sheet or glass baking pan and season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice, honey, ginger and thyme.
  5. Pour over salmon. Add lemon slices (optional).
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes and serve!

Click here to download the recipe

Caramel Corn by Dorothy

About Dorothy's Caramel Corn:

100-year-old Dorothy, resident of Masonville Place, raised and cooked for seven sons – so you know this Caramel Corn recipe is tried and true! Dorothy has tons of tips and tricks up her sleeve for homemade bread and cinnamon rolls, but her beloved caramel corn recipe is what she’s famous for. After all her years in the kitchen, she’s got a go-to trick to make sure this one is a hit: “Just follow the recipe!” You got it, Dorothy.


Recipe serves 20; serving size 4 oz.

  • 6 quarts freshly popped corn
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup dark Karo syrup
  • 1 cup margarine
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda

  1. Combine sugar, syrup and margarine and bring to a light boil.
  2. Add cream of tartar and boil for another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add baking soda, stir thoroughly.
  4. Combine mix with popcorn. Pour into shallow buttered pan and spread evenly.
  5. Bake in 250 degree oven for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool down.
  7. Break into serving size pieces and enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe

Corn Casserole by Geraldine

About Geraldine's Corn Casserole:

Whether it’s corn season or sweater season, Geraldine from Strake Place’s Corn Casserole is just the recipe for you! Her corn casserole is perfect for a summer picnic or a Thanksgiving feast and will have your friends and family wondering what the secret ingredient is. With green chiles for heat and sour cream for tang, the secret ingredient could be a couple different things…cook this one up and taste for yourself!


Recipe serves 10; serving size 4 oz.

  • 1-8.5 oz box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
  • 1-14 oz can cream style corn
  • 1-14 oz can whole corn
  • 1 small can green chiles, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz butter, melted
  • 1 cup Colby cheese, grated

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
  4. Let it cool and serve.

Click here to download the recipe

Pineapple Orange Gelatin Salad by Vada

About Vada's Pineapple Orange Gelatin Salad:

Vada, resident of Deane Hill Place, was a member of her local demonstration club back in the day, and she made her Pineapple Orange Gelatin salad for every group meeting! It was always a hit with Vada’s group, and it’s sure to be with yours too.

Although Vada has never claimed to be a good cook (she admits her secret to perfecting the salad is to “throw it all together”), with delicious ingredients like creamy buttermilk, smooth coconut, and crunchy pecans, you really can’t go wrong!


Recipe serves 24; serving size 1 2" x 2" square

  • 1-15 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1-6 oz pkg orange flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1-16 oz frozen whip topping

  1. Place pineapple in saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat, add gelatin and stir until dissolved. 
  3. Stir in buttermilk, coconut and pecans.
  4. Cool until begins to thicken and fold in whipped topping.
  5. Pour into a 13’ x 9’ x 2’ dish and chill in refrigerator until firm.
  6. Cut in 2’ x 2’ squares and serve.

Click here to download the recipe

Pumpkin Pie Dip by G. Dayle

About G. Dayle's Pumpkin Pie Dip:

“Easy, breezy and yummy” – that’s how recipe winner G. Dayle from Syringa Place describes this simple Pumpkin Pie Dip that packs a punch! Dayle grew up a member of the 4-H club and loved when her family invited guests over for dinner. She’s always loved the challenge of cooking with a simple main ingredient and turning it into something great – with only experiments and spices!

After years of recipe tasting and notes, her seasoning blends are often shared with the Chef at Syringa Place, who gives G. Dayle’s flavor combinations rave reviews. This Pumpkin Pie Dip in particular received a 10/10!


Recipe serves 24; serving size 1 portion

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 10 oz cream cheese, whipped
  • 1-30 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 12 fresh apples

  1. Mix all the ingredients together, except for the apples
  2. Refrigerate and chill until serving time.
  3. Cut and core apples, cut apples into eating size wedges.
  4. On a large plate or tray, place a bowl of Pumpkin Dip in the middle and arrange apple wedges all around the outer edge.

Click here to download the recipe

Hash Brown Quiche by Pat

About Pat's Hash Brown Quiche:

Pat from Terrace Place never used to enjoy cooking. Growing up, she preferred spending time outside playing sports over cooking in the kitchen. Through the years, Pat turned to cooking to feed her growing family.

Although this Hash Brown Quiche was first introduced by her oldest daughter, Pat quickly took it over and made it her own. She believes the best meals don’t follow set rules, instead implementing a “handful of this” and a “splash of this” until you feel it’s just right. Pat sure sounds like a natural born cook to us – and her quiche proves it.


Recipe serves 6; serving size 4 oz.

  • 3 cups hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 3 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 oz swiss cheese, shredded
  • 6 oz ham, diced
  • ½ cup light cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt

  1. Press hash browns between paper towels to remove moisture.
  2. Press hash browns onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie pan to form the crust.
  3. Drizzle melted butter over the crust and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
  5. Toss ham and cheese together in a bowl and place in the crust.
  6. Whisk eggs, cream and salt together and pour over the ham and cheese mixture.
  7. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Click here to download the recipe