coverimage Earlier this year, we discovered an old a copy of the USO Council of Pioneer Valley’s “Celebrity Cookbook” tucked away in our historical archives at the USO headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

The cookbook, which was published in 1992, features over 200 unique recipes from USO entertainers, celebrities, supporters, volunteers and staff including:

  • Bob Hope
  • Randy Travis
  • Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Johnny Cash
  • Lee Greenwood
  • Barbara Bush
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Carol Channing
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Jane Russell
  • Gene Kelly

According the book’s “Expression of Appreciation” page, the USO of Pioneer Valley, headquartered at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass., originally created and sold copies of the cookbook to raise money for its programs and services supporting active duty military and their families:

“The USO is not part of the U.S. government and receives no direct federal funding. We rely on the generosity of the American people through individual and corporate donations, United Way, the Combined Federal Campaign, and local fundraising events such as the sale of this Celebrity Cookbook.”

We decided it was time to roll up our sleeves and give some of these recipes a try in a modern-day kitchen. Although we wanted to whip up all of the dishes in the cookbook (especially the desserts), we decided to start with five celebrity-submitted concoctions:

  • Barbara Bush’s Zucchini Soup
  • Bob Hope’s Lemon Pie
  • Nancy Reagan’s Monkey Bread
  • Johnny Cash’s Chili
  • Julie Andrews’s Carrot Cake

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing these five recipes with you – complete with tips, photos  and videos to help you re-create a perfect dish. We’ll also include information about about the celebrity who donated the recipe and any stories we have about their USO connection.

Check back here for an updated list of links to the recipes over the next several weeks. Until then, happy cooking!