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One Meal, Eight Recipes from the Ruth Eckerd Hall Family

Published: July 8, 2020

Have you been trying any new recipes while at home? If you’re like us, we’ve been dabbling in the kitchen and looking to some of our past Ruth Eckerd Hall performers for inspiration in planning our meals! Featuring John Prine’s signature cocktail to Patti Labelle’s famous sweet potato pie, plan your next family dinner with these great recipes.

John Prine’s Signature Cocktail the Handsome Johnny


  • Red label Smirnoff vodka
  • Diet ginger ale


  1. Pour two ounces of vodka in a highball glass filled with ice.
  2. Top with four to six ounces of ginger ale, depending on how strong you like it.
  3. If it’s wintertime, garnish the drink with a lime. In the summer, use a lemon. But do not squeeze it. “Just drop it in from about six inches above,” Prine advised.
John Prine
Alice Cooper’s Pina Colada a la Cooper

Serves: 6


  • 10 ounces dark (151 proof) rum (optional)
  • 1/6 fresh pineapple, chipped into sections
  • 16 ounces fresh coconut milk


  1. Pour the rum into a bowl.
  2. Soak the pineapple into the rum.
  3. Pour into a blender, adding two more ounces rum.
  4. Add coconut milk, then two ounces fresh pineapple juice and one tray ice.
  5. Blend until you freeze it.
  6. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherry.


Main Course


Dolly Parton’s Skillet Cornbread

Serves: 8-12

Ingredients (in baking order):

  • 2 tbsp. bacon drippings (extra needed for skillet)
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-1 ½ cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Grab a skillet and cover with the bacon drippings.
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, salt and additional bacon drippings in a big bowl.
  3. Add in the buttermilk a little at a time and continue to stir until mixture rests into a thick yet smooth consistency.
  4. Pour the batter into the skillet and proceed to cook for 25 minutes or until the entire cornbread is set with no wet batter left.
  5. Take it out of the oven and eat while it’s hot!


John Legend’s Fried Chicken and Spicy Honey Butter

Serves: 8-10

For the Chicken and Brine:

  • 10 cups cold water
  • 6 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 5 pounds chicken wings and drummettes

For the Breading:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups canola oil for frying

For the Spicy Honey Butter:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce (sorry, it has to be Cholula)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Equipment: Deep fryer (or Dutch oven or soup pot), candy thermometer


  1. Brine the chicken: Combine the water, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and cayenne in a really big pot or 2-gallon Ziploc bag. Add the chicken wings, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24.
  2. Bread and fry the chicken: Fill a deep fryer with oil according to the manufacturer's instructions, or just fill a soup pot with the oil, making sure there are at least 4 inches between the oil and the lip of the pot. Heat the oil to 365°F over medium heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, set your burner on medium and let your pan of oil heat for around 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll know your oil is ready if you drop a small piece of white bread in the oil and it starts to sizzle and turn a lovely toasty golden brown right away.
  3. Combine the flour, seasoning salt, and cayenne in a big bowl. A few at a time, remove the wings from the brine and toss them in the flour mixture until coated really well, then place on a tray while you coat the rest. When the oil is ready, turn the heat up to medium-high and carefully slip in the wings, frying just enough so that there’s still plenty of space between each wing. (If it feels safer, use tongs to add the wings; whatever you do, don’t just drop them in! Splashing hot oil is bad.) Fry the wings until golden and crispy, 13 to 14 minutes, per batch. Drain the wings on plenty of paper towels. Let the oil come back to temperature between batches and fry the rest of the chicken in batches.
  4. Make the honey butter: While the chicken is frying, whisk together the butter, Cholula, honey, and salt in a bowl until incorporated. Add more salt to taste if necessary.
  5. Slather the wings with the Spicy Honey Butter and eat that chicken!

Trisha Yearwood’s Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese

Serves: 12


  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick ) of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Two 10-ounce bricks sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
  • Dash of paprika


  1. In a large 4-quart slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray, mix the macaroni, evaporated milk, milk, butter, salt, pepper, eggs and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.
  2. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture and then sprinkle with paprika.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off the slow cooker, stir the mixture and serve hot.
Trisha Yearwood
Sheryl Crow's Roasted-Potato Salad With Sweet Corn and Cider Vinegar

Serves: 8


  • 1 Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 lbs unpeeled red potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Kosher salt
  • 1 Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted fresh corn
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil


  1. Heat oven to 425°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Toss potatoes and onion with canola oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper; spread evenly on the baking sheet. Bake until crispy yet fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Return to the bowl; add corn, celery and garlic powder.
  4. Whisk olive oil and vinegar in a bowl; drizzle over potatoes and onions; toss to coat well. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours; stir in basil before serving.

Cookin’ The Corn:
Soak unhusked ears of corn in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Heat oven to 375°. Cook ears in a shallow pan until kernels are tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool. Remove and discard husks and silk; slice kernels off cob. Three ears of corn should yield about 1 1/2 cups of kernels. If you have a little more, all the better! If you prefer to grill the corn in the husks, simply pull back husks to remove silk, then close husks back over ears of corn. Grill until kernels are tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool; shuck; slice kernels off cob.

Patti LaBelle’s Famous Sweet Potato Pie


  • 2½ pounds Sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup Unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Evaporated milk
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375℉. Bake your pie crust for about 15 minutes, or until it looks dry on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack.
  2. Put your sweet potatoes in the microwave so that you can mash them.
  3. Mix and stir all the ingredients with the mashed up sweet potatoes.
  4. Place the mixed filling in the pre-baked pie shell.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 375℉. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350℉ and bake for 30 minutes more.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool.
  7. Add whip cream if you desire and serve!

Carol Burnett’s Raspberry Riches

Serves: 8


  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄3 cup buttermilk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1⁄4 cups fresh red raspberries

Sugar Crumb Topping

  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons semisweet chocolate, grated
  • 2 tablespoons flour


  1. Melt and cool unsalted butter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375.
  3. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round or square baking pan.
  4. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl.
  5. In another bowl, beat together egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Stir in butter.
  7. Add dry ingredients.
  8. Beat with a wooden spoon until nearly smooth.
  9. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  10. Sprinkle with raspberries.
  11. Top with Sugar Crumb Topping.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven until nicely browned, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  13. Let cool on a rack until warm.
  14. Serve warm.

Sugar Crumb Topping:
With a metal blade in place, add all ingredients to your food processor. Process to a fine consistency.