Monday, August 31, 2015

Chicken Dorito Casserole

This casserole is infamous in our house.  My daughter and I love it.  My Old School Italian husband and Pickiest Eater Ever Son, not so much.  In fact, my husband went so far as to call it "Dorito Grosserole".  Yeah.  That happened.  But, in the casserole's defense, he didn't really give it a chance.  He doesn't like anything creamy or cheesy (or anything called a "casserole").  This casserole is both creamy and cheesy, so he barely looked at it.  Forget about actually trying it.

I made it the other day for lunch, secretly hoping my husband would open his mind enough to give it a second chance.  My daughter and I, again, loved it.  What did my husband do?  He said, "Hey it's Dorito Grosserole" and walked out of the room.

Maybe you will have more of an open mind.  Here's the recipe:

*Note:  I halved this recipe because I knew only two of us would be eating it.  But I wish I would have made the whole recipe because it was awesome left over the next day (and the day after that)!


4 TBS butter (or margarine)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
3 cups cooked shredded chicken (great use for leftovers or use a rotisserie chicken)
1 large bag Doritos
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute the onions in the butter for a few minutes.

Add the broth, soups and Rotel.  Mix well.

Add the chicken and heat through.

Butter a 9x13 baking dish.  (This is an 8x8 dish because I halved the recipe)

Layer the buttered dish with half of the Doritos...

Half of the chicken mixture...

One third of the cheese...

The remainder of the chips...

The remainder of the chicken mixture...

and the remainder of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese melts and it's bubbly on top.

Let it cool a while before cutting (otherwise it will be too gloppy, I'm pretty sure that's a word).

This is basically a chicken tortilla casserole.  Doritos are just fried corn tortillas, so when they are baked in the broth and tomatoes, they soften and the corn flavor really shines through.  The seasoning on the chips give this casserole a nice flavor.  So, even though it may sound weird, it's really not.  It's just short-cut Tex-Mex.

Even though my husband is not a fan (actually, won't even give it a try), I hope you will.  It's actually delicious.  (I should know, I ate it for lunch three days in a row).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Classic Cornbread

Cornbread is probably one of the oldest foods in America.  The corn that was grown by Native Americans was ground and mixed with water then fried on hot stones.  As time went by, other ingredients were added, such as leavening agents and sweeteners, but cornbread remained a staple.  When something has been around that long, there's a reason.  It's good!

I consider myself a cornbread aficionado.  I love to order it in restaurants and try different recipes at home.  I have eaten many versions over the years (bacon, jalepeno, cheddar, crawfish, etc), but this is still my favorite.  Plain, simple, classic cornbread.  There's just something about it.  It's great corn flavor, hint of sweetness, and lovely dense texture are wonderful.  Spread some butter on a warm piece and it's pretty close to perfection in my book.


1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cups oil
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a big bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  I use a whisk to mix it together.

In a large measuring cup, mix milk, oil and egg.  Whisk together thoroughly.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Do not over mix!

One of the great things about this cornbread is the crispy crust it gets on the bottom.  That comes from preheating the cast iron skillet you bake it in.  You can do this one of two ways.  Place it on the stove top over medium heat until hot or place it in the oven while you preheat it.

Once it's hot, melt some margarine (I like margarine for this because it adds some flavor and doesn't burn as easily as butter) in the skillet and brush it all over so the cornbread won't stick.

After you grease it, while it's still hot, pour the batter in.  This is how you get a crispy crust.  Yum!

Put it in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until light golden on the edges.

See how easy it slides out of the skillet?  And look at that crispy crust on the bottom!

You can see how dense this cornbread is.  I love the texture.

This went perfectly with the red beans and rice I made for supper last night.  I ate it again this morning with a cup of coffee and some strawberry preserves.

I know it might seem silly to get so excited about something so simple, but I can't help it.  I love food.  If you're a foodie, you get it.  If not, that's OK.  Either way, I hope you make this cornbread.  Just give it a try.  That's the reason I write this blog, to share simple recipes so that others can enjoy making food as much as I do (and enjoy eating it, too!).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Crockpot Chicken Soft Tacos

This recipe is so easy you won't believe it.  You just throw a few ingredients in the crockpot and in three hours you've got supper.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 package fajita seasoning mix
your favorite taco fillings

Place chicken breasts in the crockpot.


I have picky eaters who don't like chunks of tomatoes, so I zip the diced tomatoes in the blender to puree them.  This makes for a smooth sauce, but, if you like chunks of tomato, you can skip that step.

Next, mix the tomatoes with the fajita seasoning in a large measuring cup.  Add enough water to bring it up to 2 cups of liquid total, like this:

Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken breasts.

Cover and cook on High for 3 hours.

Remove the chicken to a plate.

Shred with two forks.

You get a lot out of two chicken breasts!

Return the shredded chicken to the sauce in the crockpot and stir GENTLY.  You don't want to break up the meat too much.  

Serve the chicken on warm corn or flour tortillas with whatever fillings you like.

This is delicious!  The chicken comes out tender and seasoned just right.  You can substitute taco seasoning for the fajita seasoning if that's what you have on hand.  This chicken also makes great nachos!  Just heat some tortilla chips in a 375 degree oven until warm and toasty (I like to use a cast iron skillet for this).  Then pile the chicken on and top with your favorite nacho toppings.

See, I told you this recipe was super easy.  Taco night will never be the same!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake

I'm a sucker for chocolate.  Dark chocolate bars are my favorite!  But, I also like chocolate ice cream, chocolate pie, chocolate mousse, chocolate milk, chocolate get the idea.  So, when I saw this recipe in my new thrift store find, a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook, I knew I had to make it asap.  I wasn't disappointed.


1 (4 serving size) box Cook and Serve chocolate pudding mix (not instant!)
Plus the milk it calls for on the pudding mix package
1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the bottom only of a 9x13 baking dish.

In a large saucepan, cook the chocolate pudding as directed on the package.  (You just mix it with milk and bring it to a boil while stirring).

In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), pour hot pudding into dry cake mix.

Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour into prepared baking dish and spread it evenly with a spatula (it will be a little bit thick).  Sprinkle chocolate chips over the batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream (it's pretty good plain, too).

Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container.  You can microwave it to reheat it when you want to serve it again (and you will want more the next day, trust me).

This is kind of a mix between a cake and a brownie.  It's moist and fudgy and cakey.  The cook and serve pudding really gives it a unique taste and texture.  It's not overly sweet, either, which I like,  If you like it very sweet, you can dust it with powdered sugar.  But, I love it plain with a big glass of milk.  The family loved it, too.  Many thumbs up!