Monday, September 23, 2013

Visitors, A New Recipe & Adventure

On Saturday my sister and her husband came for a visit. They live out of town, and we don’t get together nearly often enough. We always enjoy the “girl talk” and the “guy chat”. After a trip to the local mall for a bit of shopping and to check out the car show that was being held there, we returned home for dinner.

I had prepared this Spicy Burrito Casserole – a recipe I devised after reading many, many similar recipes – and had it chilling in the refrigerator. After letting it sit on the counter to adjust to room temperature for a few minutes, I placed the casserole in the oven. We were preparing the salad and Green Chile Rice when we heard a loud pop come from the oven. I turned the oven off and carefully opened the oven door, thinking the casserole dish had broken (as I’ve often read that they can do) and that I’d find broken glass and Mexican food all over the oven; however, the noise had come from my baking element, which was glowing and burning through in one spot.

What to do? I couldn’t continue to use the oven, but the casserole was nowhere close to being hot. We cooks do roll with the punches, don’t we? I cut the layered food into sections and heated it thoroughly in the microwave, and it turned out just fine.

Now I have no oven until we get a chance to go pick up an element and my husband installs it. Well, life is anything but boring, isn’t it?


1 pound ground chuck
1 packet burrito seasoning mix
1 cup water
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can refried beans, thinned with 2 tablespoons water to spreading consistency
8 flour tortillas, burrito size
4 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese

Brown the ground chuck and drain well. Stir in burrito seasoning mix, water, black beans and tomatoes with green chiles. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Lay 2 tortillas side by side in the dish and spread with 1/3 of the refried beans, then 1/3 of meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the corn and 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layers twice, top with remaining 2 tortillas, and sprinkle top of casserole with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Let stand for about 10 minutes before cutting.

Top each serving with Chili Sour Cream – stir a teaspoon of chili powder into a cup of sour cream. 

Dessert was fun to prepare and to eat! These Banana Pudding Cake Parfaits in Jars were quite tasty. I simply baked a sugar-free yellow cake mix into cupcakes and prepared a package of instant banana pudding. Then I sliced the cupcakes crosswise in half and placed one piece in the bottom of a half-pint glass canning jar. The next layer was pudding, then a few pieces of banana, followed by a layer of thawed whipped topping. I repeated the process – cake, pudding, banana – then placed the lids on the jars and popped them into the refrigerator. At serving time I removed the lids, placed a big dollop of whipped topping on top and sprinkled with crushed graham crackers. Yum!
Tomorrow, September 24, is National Voter Registration Day. Be sure your registration is up to date so you can take part in one of the great freedoms that living in this country gives us. In many areas there will be primaries and elections coming up this fall, and if you don’t vote you shouldn’t complain if you aren’t happy with the outcome!

Now I’ll get down off the soapbox…..
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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