Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mama's Recipe Collection

With the Autumn season fast approaching, I find myself craving more comfort foods. That being said, I thought I'd share one of our family favorite recipes. Most of the recipes I make have been gathered from here & there along my life's journey. Family reunions, work parties, or just thrown together out of sheer necessity when tummy's were growling and the dinner hour was upon me. Most are simple and budget friendly & what I like to call "down home gourmet"~delicious ingredients that dance on the tongue, stick to the ribs and satisfy both body and soul. Being a single working mama for many years, I had to abide by the three "F's" when it came to feeding my little family: fast, frugal & flavorsome.

Tex-Mex is something I could eat everyday so I present to you...

Mexican Casserole*
1 lb. of hamburger meat (can use any ground meat~whatever you like)
1 onion, chopped (no onion on hand? I've used onion powder or dehydrated onion flakes)
1 can (14 ounces or so) chili beans (Ranch Style works too!)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 teasp. chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste
1 package (ten or so?) corn tortillas
grated cheese (again, whatever amount shakes your mariachis)
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup that has been mixed with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water
Put on whatever apron makes you feel a little spicy, a little motivational music (I like Gypsy Kings!) and then fire up your oven to 350 degrees. Turn the fire on under your hefty cast iron skillet (yeah, the one we use for personal protection) to get it nice & hot. Add your hamburger meat & chopped onion & cook til browned. Drain off the fat then add the beans, Rotel tomatoes, chili powder, salt & pepper & cook til bubbly.
In a baking dish (9" by 13" or maybe a tad smaller) that has been sprayed with cooking spray, begin layering your ingredients. I layer in this order: 1/2 the package of corn tortillas, 1/2 the meat mixture, cheese (whatever amount you like). Repeat the layers then pour the chicken soup/water mixture all over the top, top with a bit more cheese and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
I like to serve this dish with a bit of sour cream and chopped green onions as a garnish.
Mama's Menu (just an idea)
appetizer~chips & salsa
Mexican Casserole
simple salad
club soda (or lemon-lime soda) with a squeeze of lime & a lime twist for garnish
buen provecho!
*I don't know where this recipe originated from to be able to give credit where credit is due~I did not invent it...

Friday, August 27, 2010

I've Been Away Too Long...

I seem to take the summers off from blogging life. Probably because Ari is home & we do mama/daughter things. And then there's work. And this also has been a season of having to take care of my tootsies with the dreaded bunion surgery & shortening of my toes. Yeah. Ouch. I sit here in the boot as I type. So, needless to say there's been stuff going on besides just the usual summer stuff.

I have begun feeling the thrill of anticipation as I look forward to, probably my favorite season of the year, Autumn! We have experienced a couple of days of lower temperatures and less humidity recently! I love it! I'm ready for the inviting aroma of apples, cinnamon, pumpkin and freshly baked bread! The sounds of family gatherings! And the deep, beautiful colors of the leaves on the trees as they prepare for their winters rest. I long for that golden glow that graces the afternoon sky as I turn the corner into my quiet neighborhood heading home after a long day or a quick errand.

I'll be happy to say good bye to the sweltering heat and buzzing mosquitoes. For a while anyway! Each season has it's wonderful qualities. (I learned just how effective Avon's Skin So Soft Bath Oil can be repelling mosquitoes this summer for sure! I gave that stuff a workout let me tell ya! And it smell sooo much better than bug spray. Ooooh and let's not even talk about all those harmful chemicals~yikes!)
We're settling nicely into the routine of the new school year and I plan on getting back to journaling the goings on of our lives again, but for now I will just go light my Fresh Bamboo candle, pour a tall glass of ice cold lemonade, have a freshly baked sparkling sugar cookie, put my feet up & enjoy the last few days of sunshine & summertime!


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