Lesia Quimby, Kay Hamill, Dr. Krista Boyette, Phyllis Murphy and Carol Kilpatrick
Lesia Quimby, Kay Hamill, Dr. Krista Boyette, Phyllis Murphy and Carol Kilpatrick
The fourth's annual "Save a Heartbeat with Your Sweetheart," a Valentine's benefit for the Center for Pregnancy Choices of East Central Mississippi, is set for Thursday, Feb. 7 at six popular restaurants in Philadelphia.

That night, from 5 to 9 p.m., ministers and other volunteers from the community will serve as waiters and waitresses at the restaurants with "all tips and donations" going to the center, located on Valley View Drive.

Persons wishing to treat their sweethearts to a nice meal can benefit a worthy cause as well, organizers said.

The date for the annual event was chosen because it is near Valentine's Day, giving everyone an opportunity to share a meal with those special in their lives while making a contribution to the center.

Participants are encouraged to support more than one restaurant by having a salad or appetizer at one, the main entrée at another and a dessert at another, similar to a progressive dinner.

Participating restaurants include City Limits, Ronnie's Steak and Grill, Firehouse Bar-B-Que, Penn's, Dickey's Barbecue Pit and Laredo Grill.

Among the ministers will be Jay Murphy, Dan Howard, Charlie Womble and Mike Carr at City Limits; Jason Crank, Eric Sharp, David Jay and Chester Carlisle at Firehouse Bar-B-Q; Billy James, Coy Miller and Mike Smithey at Dickey's; David Upshaw and John Stephens at Lorado; and Stuart Purvis, Chris Vowell and Fred Britton at Penn's.

All donations are tax deductible.

In addition, brick pavers will be available in memory or in honor of a loved one for $50. The pavers are being placed on the walkway entrance to the center.

Last year, the Sweetheart event raised about $10,000 for the center.

Volunteers extended an invitation to the public to attend the benefit. They also shared some of their favorite recipes.

Italian Crockpot Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 block of cream cheese

1 pack Zesty Italian dressing mix

1/2 box Rotini pasta

Mix all ingredients except pasta in crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. When crockpot food is almost done start on pasta. Cook according to directions on box. Drain and add to crockpot. Toss until pasta is covered and shred chicken if desired.

- Dr. Boyette

Party Chicken

(Men usually like this one)

8 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 small jar dried chipped beef

8 ounces sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup

8 strips bacon

Grease the sides and bottom of a baking dish. Arrange slices of chipped beef along the bottom and sides of the dish. If chicken breasts are large, pound until they're thin enough to roll up. Wrap each breast with 1 strip of bacon and secure with toothpick and arrange on top of chipped beef in the baking dish. (Don't use colored toothpicks: they bleed!) Combine sour cream and mushroom soup and pour over the chicken breasts. Bake uncovered in a 225 degree oven for 3 hours. Baste occasionally to keep from drying out.

(If your oven is hot, as mine is, don't cook quite so long.

- Kay Hamill

Tangy Spaghetti Casserole

2 boxes Kraft Tangy Italian spaghetti dinner

3 pounds hamburger meat

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 pound green pepper, chopped

2 bunches green onions

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 pound cottage cheese

1 (8 ounce) carton sour cream

Boil noodles from both boxes of Kraft dinners. Spray Pam on two 9x13 inch pans, and spread noodles on bottom of each. Next layer, mixture of chopped bell peppers, chopped green onions, cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream. Brown hamburger meat and spread over previous layer. Mix package sauce with tomato sauce and pour over meat. Sprinkle package cheese over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Use one now and freeze the other. Freezes well.

- Phyllis Murphy

Corn Dog Bites

1 cup self-rising flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2/3 cup corn meal

1 tablespoons dry mustard

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 egg (beaten)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons melted margarine

1 pounds wieners

Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Cut wieners into 1/2 inch slices, dip in batter and drop into hot vegetable oil. Fry until golden brown, turning once.

- Phyllis Murphy

Honey Mustard Sauce

3/4 cup mayo

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons yellow mustard

Mix ingredients together and chill. Dip hot dog bites in sauce.

- Phyllis Murphy

Mexican Chicken

4 chicken breasts

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 ounce shredded cheddar

4 cups tortilla chips

1 cup chicken broth

1 can cream of mushroom soup

10 ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

Boil chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with Pam. Line bottom of dish with crushed tortilla chips. Put chicken and chopped onion on top of chips. Sprinkle half of cheese on top of chicken and onion. Mix together chicken broth, both soups and tomatoes, and pour over cheese layer. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

- Lesia Quimby

D.J.'s Dip

2 (16 ounce) cans refried beans

1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped chiles

1 (13 ounce) can chunk chicken breast, do not drain

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (10 ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and stir well. Heat for 15 minutes on medium to low heat. Serve over tortilla chips. Garnish with sour cream.

- Lesia Quimby

Granny's Banana Pudding

2 eggs

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour and sugar, slowly add milk then mix eggs. Stir over low heat until thick, remove from heat and add vanilla. Alternate bananas and vanilla wafers, pour filling over and top with cool whip and enjoy.

- Carol Kilpatrick