Mooney spends time cooking with sons
Loretta Mooney quickly discovered the necessity to start cooking on her own when she had her three sons and saw how much they could eat.
“I didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I was growing up, but when I had my boys, I realized I had to keep them fed,” Mooney said. “They’re growing so fast.”
Mooney was born in Alabama but has lived in Philadelphia for most of her adult life. She enjoys spending time with her sons, Grant, Taylor and Nick, who all attend Neshoba Central and are involved in the band and ROTC.
Along with cooking for her sons, she works at Woodstock Furniture and worked the box office for the Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music grand opening at the Ellis Theater.
“The most quality time I get to spend with my boys is in the evening when we cook dinner together, since they are out doing band and ROTC stuff a lot of the time,” Mooney said. “They love the dishes I make, including sweet chicken, poppyseed chicken, caramel apple pie, cheesecake, and homemade macaroni and cheese.”
Mooney said cooking with other people and working as a team while having one-on-one quality time with them is one of her favorite aspects of cooking.
“I also enjoy it when I make something really good and everyone enjoys it,” she said. “I like to mix things up since I want to keep my kids entertained. They don’t like fast food and prefer my meals. They want to be healthy and I make sure to put a lot of protein in there, since they’re growing so fast.”
Mooney said the biggest thing she’s learned while cooking is that it takes a lot of patience.
“You have to trust your instincts,” she said.
1 1/2 cups graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp butter
A pinch of salt
Two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the pie crust, mix all crust ingredients thoroughly and press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pan.
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, and mix in the eggs. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 30 minutes.
2 lbs bone-in chicken
1 cup brown sugar
1 packet dry Italian seasoning
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a baking dish and place the chicken in the dish. Mix dry ingredients and completely cover the chicken. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
CARAMEL APPLE PIE
5-6 green apples
1 cup brown sugar
6 tbsps butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 package of Pillsbury pie crust
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice apples and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Place a piece of pie dough in a 9x2 baking dish and cut the other piece of dough into one-inch strips. Place apples in a dish and cover with strips of dough in a woven fashion.
For the filling: Heat brown sugar and cinnamon until it melts into a thick amber liquid and stir continuously. Mix in butter and let boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.
Pour the mixture over the pie and bake for 30-40 minutes.