Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mexican Cornbread Casserole


Mexican Cornbread Casserole

I guess I must be in a Mexican food lazy kind of mood lately because here is another super easy and delicious pantry meal! The spicy heat goes so nicely with the sweetness of the cornbread. To me, this taste combination says warm and yummy comfort food!


1 lb ground beef (95/5 or 90/10 works great)
1 can Rotel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can creamed corn or regular corn (I happened to have creamed corn so I went with it)
1 packet taco seasoning
2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk (for cornbread mix)
2/3 cup water (for taco meat)
1-2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

In sauté pan or skillet cook beef as directed on the taco seasoning packet: brown meat, drain off fat, add 2/3 cup water and powder taco seasoning packet.

While the meat is cooking – in a large bowl mix the two boxes of cornbread mix, two eggs and 2/3 cup milk.

Drain and rinse black beans in a colander. Once rinsed, add the can of Rotel to the colander (do not rinse – only drain). I mix the beans and Rotel together in the colander so it’s easier to add to the dish later.

In a greased casserole dish (I used a 9 x 13 pan) pour enough batter to cover the bottom and set the remaining batter to the side. Layer corn evenly on top of cornbread batter. Once the meat is done layer it evenly on top. Next, layer the black beans and Rotel on top of that. Sprinkle some cheese on top of bean mixture. (I don’t use a lot as you will also sprinkle cheese on the very top.) Lastly, spread the remaining cornbread layer evenly on the top. Try to cover completely and then sprinkle with cheese.

Throw in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the cornbread is firm and golden on top. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!



Easy Stromboli

Super easy and delicious! You can use any fillings but for this one I used pepperoni and a blend of Italian cheeses.


1 bag/package of pizza dough (I use the fresh dough at our local grocery)
Whatever filling you are using: pepperoni, peppers and onions, beef etc
1-2 cups Italian blend cheese or pizza cheese
Coarsely ground salt, to taste
Dried onions flakes
Egg wash – 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place dough in the center. Press and pull the dough so it is spread across the baking sheet. Tip: spray hands with cooking spray to help keep the dough from sticking. Once you have the dough spread cover the dough with your fillings. Carefully roll up the dough into a cylinder, pinching the edges to seal. Place the Stromboli seem down on the baking sheet. Brush top with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarsely ground salt and dried onion flakes. Bake at 375 for 30 – 45 minutes. Serve with a salad and you are set!

Side note: the orange tomatoes I used in my salad are called Zima tomatoes. They have a genuine tomato flavor with a nice and subtle sweetness. Perfect for salads or a colorful veggie tray with dip.

Taco Casserole


Taco Casserole

This is such an easy pantry meal you don’t have to put much thought into. Perfect for any weeknight dinner. It’s like a deconstructed taco.

1 lb ground beef (I use 90/10)
1 taco seasoning packet
1 jar of your favorite salsa (I used Great Value/Walmart’s black bean and white corn salsa)
1 bag tortilla chips
1 cup cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Whatever toppings you like on your tacos: cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, black or refried beans, black olives, scallions etc

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In sauté pan or skillet cook beef as directed on the taco seasoning packet (ie brown meat, drain off fat, add 2/3 cup water and powder taco seasoning packet). Add the salsa and mix in with the meat.

In casserole dish (I used 2.5 Qt Corningware casserole) put about 2 cups of the broken tortilla chips – enough to cover the bottom well. Top evenly with beef mixture. Sprinkle with about 1 cup cheese. You can really make it your own by adding additional things before topping with cheese like: onions, bellpepper, tomatoes etc.

Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. Top baked casserole with lettuce, tomato, 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips and top with sour cream.

Super easy and really gives it a different flavor from the traditional taco night.


Chicken Taco Soup (Crockpot)


Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

This recipe could not be easier and is very tasty! I especially like to have on those cold nights when you don’t feel like doing anything complicated for dinner or if you just need a simple pantry meal.


1-2 lb chicken tenders, I throw them in frozen!
1/2 onion, chopped (can sauté before adding or add raw)
2 cans Rotel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 block cream cheese, cubed
1 packet Ranch dressing (powder mix)
1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock, if it needs more liquid

You literally just throw everything in the Crockpot and wait. Low at least 6 hours or at least 4 hours on high. I stir everything up about half way through the time. Towards the end just shred the chicken and stir back in and enjoy! Serve with corn bread or tortilla chips. Fritos are also great with this!

Shaved Brussel Sprouts


Shaved Brussel Sprouts

1 bag of shaved Brussel sprouts (14 oz)
6 slices of bacon
1/2 med onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin or diced fine
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large pan over med-high heat. Add bacon, and sauté for 5 minutes or until bacon begins to brown. Remove pan from heat. Remove the bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 1-2 tablespoon drippings in pan (discard the remaining grease).

2. Return pan to medium-high heat, and stir in bacon, onion, and Brussels sprouts; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic, and saute for 4 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cook for 4 minutes or until the broth mostly evaporates and the sprouts are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper.