Three families will open their unique homes to the public Sunday during the Philadelphia Home Arts Club's Christmas Tour of Homes.

The tour will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Home Arts Club member. They will also be available at the houses on the day of the tour.

Overall chairman Leigh Anne Adkins is excited about the tour especially since all proceeds go to the United Way of Neshoba County.

"This is my first year as tour chairman and the homeowners have made it so easy," she said.

The homes of Ronny and Michele Jones on Airpark Drive, Tommy and Pam McCool on Road 399 in the Arlington community and Cheryl Mars on Poplar Avenue will be open to visitors on the tour.

An array of holiday foods will be served to visitors at the McCool house.

With four active children, the McCools built their five-bedroom house with them in mind.

"It's a big house but it's not fancy," said Pam. "The kids still play ball in the house!"

The McCools' three-story house includes a playroom/TV room, which is a popular gathering place for the kids with its pool table.

While they had initially planned to build a new house in the county, Ronnie and Michele fell in love with one on Airpark Drive 18 years ago and after several remodeling phases, it is now uniquely their own.

The spacious five-bedroom, four-bath house includes a formal dining room and big kitchen, which provides an ideal setting for entertaining a large crowd.

The couple's latest project was the addition of a master bedroom and bath, which features a separate sitting area and walk-through closet.

Visitors to the Jones' home will also get to tour their pool/guest house which is utilized frequently for entertaining with its full kitchen.

Visitors will see a showcase of local talent when they step inside Cheryl's turn-of-the-century home at 518 Poplar Ave.

Cheryl recently renovated her circa 1904 home, which features a multi-gable-on-hip roof.

The house, previously owned by the late Florence Mars, still has its original front door with reed glass.

"It's a privilege to live in her home and keep it in the family," Cheryl said.

"I have a love for older homes because they have character. I want to show how one can mix the old and new."

During the renovation, Cheryl used Neshoba County people including her architect and contractor.

Club members have shared some of their favorite recipes.

Breadstick Twists 

(This is good with soup, You can add whatever you like to make it your own)

1 package puff pastry (cold but not frozen)

Egg wash (1 egg and 1/4 cup water, whisked together)

Basil Pesto (you can buy it at Wal-Mart)

Italian cheese mix or shredded parmesan

Salt to taste

Unfold puff pastry onto a cookie sheet. (I think you need to work a few sections at a time because you don't want the puff pastry to get room temperature. It's hard to work with at room temperature.)

Cut pastry into long strips. On one side brush with egg wash, flip over and coat other side with basil pesto, sprinkle with cheese and salt. Take ends and twist then lay out on cookie sheet. Repeat this process. Again, work in sections.

Bake according to puff pastry package directions until brown. Once you take it out of oven, let it cool back to room temperature so when you pick them up, they stand up straight and pretty.

(Side note): I think these would be yummy as a sweet version. Instead of pesto and cheese, brush butter on one side and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake, then after they cool, dip one end in chocolate. Good with coffee!


Mini Cheesecakes

Roll of chocolate chip cookie dough

2 packages of cream cheese

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Cook dough in mini muffin cups at 325 degrees until done. Mix other ingredients and pour into cups and cook for another 15 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool in the refrigerator and enjoy.

Pecan Pie


3 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 un-baked deep-dish (9-inch) pie shell

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk topping ingredients until well combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and egg until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Top with chopped pecans. Pour topping over pecans. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Black Bean and Feta Cheese Dip

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

11-ounce can Mexican style corn, drained

4-ounce Package of feta cheese

5-green onions, chopped

Whisk vinegar, sugar and olive oil together in a bowl. Mix remaining ingredients together, drizzle dressing over bean mixtures. Toss to coat and refrigerate dip one hour before serving.

Pimento and Cheese

16 ounces cheese (one sharp and one mild) hand shredded

4 ounces cream cheese

3/4 to 1 cup of mayo

Large jar of pimentos, undrained

Garlic salt to taste.

Mix thoroughly and serve with ritz or what thin crackers.

Shrimp Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 pound of cooked shrimp

1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 cup of raw rice

1 stick of butter, melted

1/2 can of Rotel tomatoes

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Mix together well and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Chicken and Rice

1 package of chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces

1 stick of butter

1 package of dry Italian dressing

1 block of cream cheese

1 large can of cream of mushroom soup

2 bags of '90 Second' long grain Uncle Ben's rice

Melt butter in a skillet, add Italian seasoning and chicken bites. In another pot, slowly heat cream cheese and cream do mushroom soup. Add entire skillet mixture to the soup pot, and stir thoroughly until mixed.

Cook rice packets according to package. Add cooked rice to the pot or serve mixture over the rice.