2022 Resident & Family Recipe Contest Winners

Posted by Enlivant Support Center on November 18, 2022

Good food makes life great, so it’s no surprise that dining plays an important role in the lives of residents at our communities. We serve home-style meals that are chock-full of flavor and fresh ingredients and offer customizable daily menu options. Our registered dietician and 50 chefs from around the country collaborate to ensure our menus are as healthy as they are delicious. 

We’re passionate about creating menus that satisfy our residents’ appetites, and our Annual Resident Recipe Contest is a delicious way to put their tastes front and center. Every year, we give our residents a chance to show off their cooking skills and share their best recipes. 

We enjoyed tasting the heart and passion in every single entry and selected 14 winning recipes to feature on our 2022 Fall/Winter menu served across all of our communities.

Click here for our cookbook collection of these award-winning recipes: What’s Cookin’ at Enlivant

Check out these recipes from our seniors and their loved ones. We hope that they inspire you to get cooking!

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

Grapes Delight by Audrey

  • 4 lb. seedless grapes (washed and VERY dry)
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Nuts (pecans, almonds, or walnuts)

  1. Mix ingredients with a spoon or mixer - not a blender
  2. Place in serving bowl
  3. Top with brown sugar and nuts

Cabbage Roll Soup by June

Tasty Tip:

Resident June and her family love her Cabbage Roll Soup. She enjoys cooking the things that not only she will like, but that she knows others will enjoy as well. If you prefer a thinner soup, June recommends adding more beef broth to reach desired consistency – but wait until the rice is cooked.

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ½ lb. lean ground pork
  • ¾ cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 medium head cabbage, chopped (core removed)
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1½ cups V8 or other vegetable juice
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large pot, brown onion, garlic, pork and beef. Drain any fat.
  2. Stir in chopped cabbage and let cook until slightly softened (about 3 minutes)
  3. Sprinkle flour into cabbage mixture and cook an additional 2 minutes
  4. Add all remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low
  5. Cover and simmer on low until rice is fully cooked (abut 25-30 minutes)
  6. Remove bay leaf and serve

LaVon's Famous Corn Salad by Alicia

Tasty Tip:

Resident LaVon loves to try new recipes and passed on her love of cooking to her daughter, Alicia. As a picky eater growing up, Alicia learned to cook with her mom and was willing to try more things if she helped to make it.

Everyone in LaVon’s family enjoys this recipe, so she makes it for all family gatherings. It’s quick and easy to make, and she usually has all the ingredients on hand. 

Alicia suggests not stirring the corn chips into the salad because they'll get soggy if not eaten right away. 

This no cook dish is a must-have for get togethers. Enjoy as a snack or as a side dish! 

  • 2 cans (15 oz.) of Fiesta corn (drained)
  • cup mayonnaise (may substitute low fat)
  • ⅓ cup sour cream (may substitute low fat)
  • ½ red onion (finely diced)
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (may substitute low fat) 
  • 1 bag Fritos Chili Cheese Corn Chips (no substitutes)

  1. Add first 6 ingredients to large bowl
  2. Mix well
  3. Serve topped with corn chips and enjoy

Pretzel Salad by Joy

Tasty Tip:

Joy is the daughter of resident Joann, and they enjoy attending events together at Mansfield Place.

Everyone in Joy’s family enjoys this recipe at gatherings (and it’s difficult to find a recipe that everyone loves!). 

Joy recommends making the crust a couple of hours in advance to make sure it completely cools and the strawberries and Jell-O set up.

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip
  • 1 (6 oz.) strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 20-32 oz. frozen strawberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix first 3 ingredients
  3. Pat into the bottom of a 9x13 pan
  4. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool
  5. Mix the next 3 ingredients and spread over cooled crust
  6. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water
  7. Add frozen strawberries to the Jell-O and pour over the cream cheese layer
  8. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours

Carrot Coin Salad by Jane

Tasty Tip:

Resident Jane enjoys the fellowship and friendships of her neighbors at Urbana Place. She appreciates the variety of menu options with several offerings to select from at each meal. 

Jane likes serving others with her cooking as well. She made her Carrot Coin Salad recipe for a large group gathering and it was a hit. One of the fans who loved the salad was former Ohio congressmen Bud Brown (she made extra for him!).

Jane suggests buying the precut wavy carrots for a fancier presentation.

  • 2 (32 oz.) cans of sliced carrots
  • 1 medium red onion (sliced in rings)
  • 1 green pepper (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 can tomato juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup salad oil (light flavor such as vegetable, corn, canola or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook carrots until crisp and tender; drain
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl
  3. Add carrots and stir until well mixed
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours
  5. Serve cold as a salad or warm it up and serve as a side dish
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

BBQ Meatsauce & Hot Dogs by Gilda

Tasty Tip:

When she was younger, Resident Gilda worked at a hot dog stand and learned to make this BBQ sauce. This recipe is one of Gilda’s favorites because it is an easy way to make an everyday hot dog simply delicious. 

Gilda was delighted when the chef at Willowbrook Place made her recipe; everyone agreed it is a winner! She suggests adding chopped onions or mustard to the hot dog when serving.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. water
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 small onion
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • ½ cup white vinegar

  1. Brown the ground beef and set aside
  2. Chop and sauté onion in oil
  3. Once the onion is translucent, add all other remaining ingredients 
  4. Add the cooked ground beef to the mixture
  5. Cook on the stove top for 15-20 minutes until the meat sauce thickens
  6. Pour 3 tbsp. of the meat sauce over cooked hot dogs in their buns

Pork Chop Casserole by Ora Jean

Tasty Tip:

Resident Ora Jean loves to eat and socialize with her friends at Greenwood Place and is considered the resident ambassador for their community.

Ora’s Pork Chop Casserole recipe is a total crowd-pleaser and a favorite of her family. Ora’s most cherished part of making the recipe is her secret ingredient: love.

  • 10 (4 oz. each) pork chops
  • 8 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can chicken soup
  • 2 cups of flour (or more if needed)
  • Garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp. of cooking oil

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Season pork chops with garlic salt, salt and pepper
  3. Coat seasoned pork chops lightly with flour
  4. Add oil to frying pan and cook pork chops until lightly brown
  5. Place them in a 9x13 baking dish, laying them one way and the layer laying the other way
  6. Wash, peel, and dice potatoes (the smaller the potatoes pieces, the quicker they will cook)
  7. Cover pork chops completely with potatoes
  8. In a separate bowl, mix together the two cans of soup with the milk
  9. After mixing well, pour over the potatoes and pork chops
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees
  11. Check the potatoes to see they are done and cook a little longer if needed

Grandma's Beef in Stewed Tomatoes by James

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes

  1. Season ground beef to taste with salt and pepper and shape into 4 thick patties
  2. Brown on medium heat in a large skillet with olive oil
  3. When patties are cooked through, add the can of stewed tomatoes
  4. Cover, lower heat to medium low to low and simmer for about 15 minutes
  5. Serve with mashed potatoes

Italian Oven Fried Chicken by Lorraine

Tasty Tip:

Resident Lorraine enjoys the great food she enjoys while eating meals with her friends at Lowrie Place. Lorraine loves cooking and her favorite part is sampling the finished product. She recommends cooking the chicken a little longer to make sure this recipe turns out perfectly. 

  • 1 frying chicken or any pieces of the chicken you prefer
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup Crisco oil

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut chicken into serving pieces
  3. Mix breadcrumbs and seasonings (may adjust to personal taste)
  4. Dip chicken pieces in oil then in crumbs
  5. Place flesh side down (if not skinned) on foil lined rimmed cookie sheet
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes
  7. Turn pieces and continue baking an additional 15-20 minutes until the chicken is tender and nicely browned

Gourmet Chicken & Potatoes by Gail

Tasty Tip:

Gail, daughter of a Concord Place resident, recommends using your hands to prepare this dish to mix the ingredients together to make sure everything is thoroughly coated. So, start with freshly washed hands!

  • 8-10 chicken thighs
  • 2 large white potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • Paprika
  • Morton Season-All Seasoned Salt
  • Salt and pepper (recommend using a fresh pepper grinder for better taste)
  • ¼ cup olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash chicken thighs
  3. Cut off excess fat using a sharp paring knife, pat dry with paper towels and place on a plate
  4. Peel potatoes and cut them into small pieces
  5. Peel the onions and cut in half, then slice into ¼ inch pieces
  6. Pour oil into the bottom of a large baking pan (add more oil if needed)
  7. Place potatoes and onions in the baking pan and mix around to coat with the oil
  8. Season potatoes and onions with paprika, Morton Season-All Seasoned salt, salt and pepper. Mix all of the seasonings thoroughly together with the potatoes and onions
  9. Place the chicken in the potato and onion mixture. Thoroughly mix together to ensure the chicken is coated with the olive oil and seasonings
  10. Once mixed thoroughly, move the chicken thighs to space evenly apart in the pan and place the potatoes and onions around the chicken thighs
  11. After everything is in place in the pan, sprinkle the top with more paprika (BE GENEROUS!)
  12. Place in the oven in the middle rack - DO NOT COVER
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours. About halfway through the cooking time, use a baster to suck up the juices at the bottom of the pan and squirt over everything. Basting is important, so you may do this a couple of times during the cooking time

Pineapple Soufflé by Joyce

Tasty Tip:

Resident Joyce's daughter, Lisa, said her mom started making this recipe in 1961 and notes it is different than a traditional southern pineapple soufflé.

This recipe is great with ham, and Joyce’s family members enjoy it at any meal period: breakfast, lunch or dinner!

  • 1 lb. butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 or 7 slices of bread (broken into cubes and dry/stale if possible)
  • 1 can crushed unsweetened pineapple (drained)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl
  3. Add eggs and beat together
  4. Add drained pineapple and bread cubes and mix well
  5. Bake in greased 1.5-quart casserole dish for 1 hour uncovered

Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls by Douglas

Tasty Tip:

Resident Douglas's family cooked this delicious recipe together at home, and his fellow residents at Hamilton Place have also enjoyed it. Who doesn’t like freshly made cinnamon rolls still warm from the oven? 

Douglas recommends keeping an eye on the baking time to avoid overcooking the cinnamon rolls. 

  • 3 tbsp. white sugar
  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust
  • 3 tbsp. soft butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl
  3. Roll out pie crust to an 8 x 12-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick
  4. Spread softened butter over the entire rectangle
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar evenly over the butter
  6. Roll up the dough tightly, starting at a shorter end
  7. Cut roll into 1-inch slices
  8. Place rolls seam-side down on a greased baking sheet
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown for 20-30 minutes
  10. Let rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Blueberry Delight by Les

Tasty Tip:

This recipe is a family favorite and Resident Les's wife prepared it for all family gatherings. His kids call it the “blueberry stuff,” and there are never any leftovers. Even the staff at Sabine Place requests this dessert, and everyone wants more than one piece!  

Les says you can skip the banana layer, if desired, but his family loves to make the recipe with it. Be sure the Cool Whip is folded, not mixed, and seal the crust edge to edge before adding the cold blueberry topping. This recipe can be easily halved for an 8x8 pan size and the full recipe can be split into two pans for sharing.

  • Crust
    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 3 tbsp. sugar
    • ½ stick margarine or butter
    • 3 large ripe bananas

  • Filling Layer
    • 1 (8 oz.) + 1 (3 oz.) block of cream cheese (room temperature)
    • 1 (largest size container) Cool Whip (defrosted)
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • Topping
    • 2 cans blueberry pie filling (chilled in the refrigerator before using)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter
  3. Pat this mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 pan and seal all the edges well
  4. Microwave for 3-4 minutes OR bake in the oven for 10 minutes
  5. Set aside to completely cool
  6. Place sliced bananas evenly over the cooled crust (be liberal with the bananas)
  7. In a bowl, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla (blend well)
  8. FOLD in Cool Whip
  9. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the banana layer, being careful not to tear up or crumble the crust
  10. Seal all of the crust edges very well
  11. Refrigerate this layer until it sets and is very cold
  12. After the cream cheese layer is set and very cold, pour and gently spread the blueberry filling evenly over the layer. Be careful not to pull up the white layer into the blue
  13. Refrigerate until cold before serving. Slice into squares to serve
  14. Cover and refrigerate to store

Strawberry Angel Food Dessert by Helen

Tasty Tip:

Resident Helen's husband had an enormous sweet tooth, and this recipe was his favorite dessert that she lovingly made for him during their 63 years of marriage. Their daughter, Julie, says her dad could eat this entire dessert by himself!

This delicious recipe was enjoyed by Julie’s parents and their five adult children – and their grandchildren – at family gatherings.

  • 1 angel food cake
  • 1 (16 oz.) Cool Whip
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 lbs. strawberries (sliced)
  • 13.5 oz. strawberry glaze

  1. Break apart angel food cake or cut into smaller pieces
  2. Mix with half of the Cool Whip (8 oz.)
  3. Spread into the bottom of a 9x13 pan
  4. Beat cream cheese with sugar and add vanilla
  5. Fold in remaining 8 oz. of Cool Whip
  6. Spread over the cake layer
  7. Slice strawberries and mix with glaze
  8. Spread over cream cheese layer
  9. Refrigerate before serving