Scenic view of trees at camp

Our Favorite Fall Recipes!

by Pine Cove


Even if you haven’t been a camper or staffer at Crier Creek in Columbus, you’ve probably heard of the legendary Mama Mia’s hospitality and delicious cooking skills. Vikki “Mama Mia” George served as the Food Service Director for our Central Texas camps for several years. Her food was so good, that in 2015 we released a cookbook she and other friends of Pine Cove helped curate with their own recipes! 

The cookbook is still sold exclusively in the Crier Creek camp store, and it’s fittingly titled “Crier Creek’s Elk-cellent Cookbook.” This season, enjoy some of our favorite fall recipes from this well-loved cookbook!

Jalapeno Cornbread

By Jan “Sugar Pop” Robertson

  • 2 Boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 2½ c. Milk
  • ½ c. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 T. Sugar
  • ½ c. chopped Jalapeño Peppers (I used canned)
  • 1½ c. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • ¼ lb. Bacon, fried & crumbled 
  • ¼ c. chopped Pimentos (I omitted this for the cook-off)
  • 1 Clove Garlic, crushed
  • 1 can Cream-Style Corn
  • 1 lg. Onion, chopped
  • 3 Eggs, beaten

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Grease two (9 × 13) pans. Divide batter. Bake at 400° for 15 to 30 minutes (until golden brown). Serves 8.

Note: I won first place at a chili cook-off with this recipe!

Crawfish Corn Chowder

By Debbie Williamson

  • 1 lb Crawfish Tails; peeled
  • 1 pt. Half & Half 
  • ½ C Butter
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions; chopped
  • 2 cans Whole Kernel Corn; using juice from 1 can
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 8 oz sliced Mushrooms
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 cans Cream of Potato Soup

Sauté green onions and mushrooms in butter. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes; stirring often. Season to taste.

Crier Creek Salad

Vicki “Mama Mia” George

Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • ⅔ C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ⅔ C Distilled White Vinegar
  • 3 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4½ tsp Onion Juice
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire
  • 1 C Canola Oil

Combine and whisk until well blended.

Spicy Pecans:

  • 2 Lg Egg Whites
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ C Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 4½ C Pecan Halves
  • 6 TBS Melted Unsalted Butter; cooled
  • 2 TBS Hungarian Paprika

Preheat oven to 325°. Beat the egg whites with salt until foamy. Add sugar, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Fold in pecans and butter. Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 30-40 minutes; stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an airtight container. May be frozen for future use.
Yield: 4+ cups.


  • 4 C Mixed Field Greens or
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple; peeled and chopped spring Mix
  • ¼ c Chopped Spicy Pecans

Combine and toss with dressing. Serve immediately

Acorn Cookie

By Vicki “Mama Mia” George

  • 2 c. Flour
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 c. finely chopped Walnuts
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 8 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 c. Unsalted Butter, melted
  • ¾ c. Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ c. finely chopped Walnuts

Heat oven to 375°. Beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients (except walnuts) in a separate bowl. Add creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in 1 cup of walnuts. Form 2 teaspoons of dough into an egg-like shape resembling an acorn.

Arrange acorns 1-inch part on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in batches until the undersides are light brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool. Dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and then in chopped walnuts. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper to set.

Note: This cookie takes a little extra effort but has great taste and presentation!

Posted Oct 3, 2023

Pine Cove

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