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(In association with Dr.Cletus Shepard)
Recipes and stories with Holly Thornton

Subject: Attention: HOLLY'S KITCHEN

Finally after months of planning, I am proud to add Holly Thornton to Longhorn Hatters' Board of Knowledgeable Contributors on Important Subjects. She will supply a new recipe, or important facts and stories in a new section called "Direct from Holly's Kitchen" each month.

Holly has had a long, and experienced background in the fields of Cooking and Catering, and,has worked in those capacities with some of the Entertainment Industry's top stars, Country, and Pop during her career. Eddy Rabbit, Wynonna Judd, Loretta Lynn, Chrystal Gayle, Roy Clark, Ray Charles, The Oak Ridge Boys, Bill Cosby, Wayne Newton, Liza Minelli, Sammy Davis Jr,. Rich Little, Mac Davis, and Willie Nelson who is featured in her first recipe.

And now, Buckeroos, and Buckeretts, with out further ado, "Direct from Holly's Kitchen".

Bar-b-que Ribs made for Willie Nelson

My rib recipe has won the hearts of many including Willie Nelson. I call Willie the “King of Country and guitar”. I cook for Willie and his sister Bobbie at least once a year when they appear at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. They are some of my favorite people....good souls.

Willie loves breakfast (even at night) bacon and eggs over hard), but when he tasted my ribs, he loved them, which is quite a compliment being from Texas, home of great bar-b-que.

One of my great memories was when Willie, Bobbie, and the rest of the band rehearsed “Bridge over Troubled Water” right in the living room of the Villa. The next day, they were going to perform live for the opening ceremonies for the winter Olympics in Utah. What a treat for me!


Holly’s Baby Back Pork Ribs

It’s hard to say how many this serves because people take more than their fair share, but here we go.

  1. Baby Back Pork Ribs. Purchase 40 ribs. Should serve 8.
  2. Salt & pepper combined with Lawry’s garlic powder (not salt).
  3. Cattleman’s barbecue sauce.


  1. Turn on broiler in oven.
  2. Cut rack(s) into individual pieces
  3. Place ribs in a deep baking pan
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides
  5. Place under broiler and brown both sides
  6. Pour off excess fat
  7. Add about 1 inch of water on bottom of pan
  8. Smother ribs with Cattleman’s Sauce
  9. Cover and seal tight with foil
  10. Bake at 200 degrees for at least 2 hours

As the ribs steam, the meat gets very tender. Pull from oven, and before serving, put on the barbeque for about 4 minutes to get the charred taste.

The ribs are SO GOOD that they will disappear fast....so, add to your menu some filling things to compliment them.

In the past, I have served some sort of potatoes, (cold or hot), baked beans, a crispy green salad or coleslaw, and of course steaming, hot bread.....yummm! Don’t forget the pickles and onions.

See you next time.

Enjoy, Holly

You can contact Holly by email at: don@longhornhatters.com



Carol Lawrence is beautiful, kind, classy and elegant. She is also a very good cook. I was given this delicious chicken recipe by Ms. Lawrence, and made it frequently during her stay at Lake Tahoe. She liked this dish because it helped to lubricate her vocal cords before her performance.

She was always cordial and cared about the shows and the audience she performed for, always maintaining the elegance and class she possessed not only on, but off the stage.

Also author of I Remember Pasta, a cookbook.


  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • onions
  • celery
  • or any root veggie of your preference
  • butter, or butter spray
  • Lawry’s garlic salt
  • parmesan cheese (grated, not shredded)
  • chicken broth (14oz. can)

The set up:

This recipe HAS to be made in a pan with a lid. A clay pot gives excellent results, that, or a Dutch Oven.


-clean the chicken, and pat dry.
-rub butter, or spray all over the chicken
-sprinkle garlic salt over entire chicken
-sprinkle parmesan cheese over entire chicken, (I do all of this in the pan to avoid extra clean up)
-quarter onions and place in the cavity of the chicken as well as around the bird
-quarter potatoes, carrots, and celery and place in cavity and around the chicken
-pour in the chicken broth
-cover, and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until the veggies are tender


It will not hurt to cook longer, however watch the veggies  so they don’t get over done.

The last fifteen minutes, remove lid. Your baked chicken will come out like a stew, and is very tasty. Serve family style with a country flair. Baskets of bisquits or bread, chilled green salad, green beans, corn on the cobb or creamed corn, chilled veggie platter, and finish it off with hot apple pie for dessert. Marie Callander's makes an excellent one).

Next, try to sing to see if this helped your voice like it did for Carol Lawrence......, if not, go ahead and enjoy some more of your OVEN BAKED CHICKEN.

Bon Appetite,

Holly Thornton



Being raised in Texas my whole life, the word calorie, cholesterol, carbohydrates, or heart disease, were not in the everyday vocabulary. My Grandfather lived to be 88 years old, my Grandmother lived to be 82 years old, and as of this writing, my Mother just hit her 89th birthday. We were raised on Steak, Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn-on-the-Cobb, Apple Pies, Cobblers, Eggs, and Bacon...EVERYTHING THAT IS BAD FOR YOU TODAY!

The following recipe is one my Grandmother used to make, and now wherever I go, I cook this for friends and business associates. It was very well received in California when I lived there as a performer. It was in California that with my good friend Skipper Ferraris (after he was introduced to this) and I, would put on CHICKEN FRIED STEAK PARTIES!

Below are the “tools of the trade”.... This will be our secret.


* Iron Skillet
*Bar-be-que fork (a big one)
*Two large mixing bowls
* Two 3” square baking pans
*Two large pots for boiling (beans and potatoes)
*Sharp carving knife *One large oval ranch style plate
*Plastic wrap
*Plenty of wipe cloths (you will make a mess)


(We will prepare for a party of eight)

*Three packages of round steak (Yes, steak, not chicken). Ask your Butcher to tenderize it for you. You will cut this in to five smaller portions per package, or fifteen servings
*One gallon of butter milk
*Five pounds of unbleached flour
*Three pounds of fresh (NO CAN) green beans
*10 large Russet potatoes
*Six cans of Pet milk (what you don’t use, save for a rainy day)
*One quart of half and half (this is in case you run out of cream)
*One-half pound of bacon
*Two store bought Apple pies (We’ll give ourselves a break here. You have a lot of other food to cook. This recipe can be given at a later date).
*One gallon of vanilla ice cream
*Loaf of Texas (thick cut) bread, or rolls
*One pound of REAL (not margarine) butter That should do it.

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