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Taste of Franklin

FRANKLIN LIVING— When the winter season inspires cravings for homey, simple recipes, home economist Amy Gunderman has a meal that’s sure to satisfy: Snow on the Mountain with a side of “Disney World” Green Beans and her Busy Mom Rolls, finished off with a delicious, delicate Stained Glass Cookie.

Gunderman, who serves as Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Phil Campbell High School, got her love of cooking from her grandmother, who began sharing her kitchen knowledge with Gunderman when she was young. “She would pick me up when I would get off the bus and take me to her house, and she taught me how to cook,” Gunderman explained. “My mom worked in a dental office, so I started cooking supper when I was little.” She said teaching FACS classes gives her the opportunity to pass that love on to the next generation.

Snow on the Mountain is an easy, versatile recipe, allowing everyone at the table to choose their own favorite toppings, and the rolls are a great fast bread recipe for a mom – or anyone – on the go. Gunderman said the green bean side dish is a favorite for her children, a copycat version of a dish they first ate at Disney World. “My kids are wanting to go back to Disney World just because of these green beans,” she said. One of her daughters, Anna Beth, plans to serve this green bean recipe as part of her wedding dinner this summer.

The Stained Glass Cookies, cut into heart shapes, are a fun treat for Valentine’s Day or anytime, and using other cookie cutter shapes can make these suitable for any holiday or occasion.

Snow on the Mountain

Serves 6-8

This is great to serve when entertaining. Place each of the toppings in individual bowls and let each person go through the serving line and prepare their own. 


4-5 large chicken breasts

1 large chopped sweet onion

4 -6 cups of water

2 T.  melted “real” salted butter

1 T.  cornstarch

¼ tsp.  pepper

½ tsp. salt

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of milk

1 small jar of pimentos, drained

Rice of your choice

Toppings of your choice


  1. Boil the first three ingredients together.
  2. When the chicken is tender, strain the water off and shred or dice the chicken.
  3. To create the sauce, heat the next seven ingredients in a skillet until bubbly.
  4. While making the chicken sauce, follow package directions to prepare 8-10 cups of your choice of rice (I use white Minute rice).
  5. Once this is done, begin to build your Snow on the Mountain. Plate each person’s dish individually. Start with the rice, then top with the chicken mixture. Next, add any of the following toppings:

Grated cheddar cheese

Chopped green onions

Chow mein noodles

Chopped tomatoes

Sliced black olives

Slivered almonds

Crushed pineapple, drained

Coconut flakes

Copycat “Disney World” Green Beans


1 pound fresh green beans, blanched

1 tablespoon garlic, freshly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons salted butter (not margarine)

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. To blanch the beans, immerse them in boiling salted water for three minutes then drain thoroughly and immerse in ice water until chilled.

2. Drain beans.

3. Get a sauté pan hot.

4. Add the olive oil to the pan.

5. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.

6. Add the butter.

7. Add the green beans.

8. Cook for five minutes or until desired doneness has been reached.

9. You may add a tablespoon of water to the pan every minute or so to keep the beans from browning.

10. Finish by adding the salt and pepper.

Busy Mom Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls

These are also great as a dessert or breakfast treat with honey, jelly or jam!


  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1 cup sour cream (do not use reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted (not margarine)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using either a regular-size muffin time or mini muffin tin, spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  3. Mix melted butter with sour cream.
  4. Add flour and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
  6. Bake eight to 10 minutes or until rolls are set and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Stained Glass Heart Cookies

My FACS students love to make these. The Cream Savers make a pretty pink center, and the Jolly Ranchers make a vivid red center. You can also use those leftover candy canes and peppermints from Christmas to make a beautiful, if slightly less vibrant, center.


  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 15 small hard candies for cookie center, crushed (I use red Jolly Ranchers or Strawberry Cream Savers)


To make the dough:

1. Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar.

2. Beat in the egg until evenly mixed, then blend in the vanilla extract.

3. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the creamed ingredients, about one third at a time, until evenly blended.

4. Divide the dough in half. Flatten each portion into a disk and seal in plastic wrap.

5. Refrigerate overnight.

To create the cookies:

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a sturdy baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Between two sheets of waxed paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet.

3. Cut out the cookies with a large heart cookie cutter.

4. Use a lightly floured spatula to transfer the shapes to the baking sheet, leaving about an inch between cookies.

5. Remove the centers of the cookies with a smaller heart cookie cutter.

6. Place a pinch of crushed hard candy into the center of each cookie.

7. Bake until the cookies start to brown lightly around the edges and the candy is melted, about 8-10 minutes.

8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Amy Gunderman is a graduate of Phil Campbell and the University of Montevallo, and she has been in the Franklin County Schools system since 2008. She has three daughters, Leah, Anna Beth and Lara.

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