Sunday, August 23, 2009

South of the Border Lasagne

Happy Sunday!

Two new recipes in two days! How about that?

I have been craving something similar to a Mexican Layer Dip, and I came across this recipe and knew I had to try it. Again, this is from the AJLI Centennial Cookbook and the recipe specifically comes from the Junior League of Austin. This recipe serves 8-10 (so prepare for leftovers!!!).


  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 4-ounce can of green chilies (chopped)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups cottage cheese, small curd
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Toppings - use whatever you want - Olives, Sour Cream, Chopped Scallions, Tortilla Chips
Let's get started!!!

First you need to brown your ground chuck over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Then, add the onion, and saute for about 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle the chili powder and mix. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, olives, and chilies. Simmer for 15 minutes. NOTE: I felt there was too much salt. When I make it again, I will use only 1/2 tablespoon, rather than 1 tablespoon.

In a small bowl, mix together the egg and cottage cheese.

In a small skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil and add the tortillas one at a time to get them soft and pliable. NOTE: Since they hold so much oil, I recommend having a plate with paper towels nearby to put the tortillas on so the paper towel helps pull out some of the excess oil. Additionally, you will need to add more oil as you go through your stack of tortillas, so don't put that up! Also, I don't know if corn tortillas come in different sizes, but our grocery carries the 4 inch sizes, and that is perfect!

In a 13x9 greased baking dish, layer 1/3 of the meat mixture, 1/2 of the Monterrey Jack cheese, 1/2 of the Cottage Cheese mixture, and 6 tortillas. Repeat. Pour the remaining meat mixture over the tortillas and top with the Cheddar Cheese. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 30 minutes. Let the lasagne rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Doesn't that look good??? Now, let's plate it with some chips.

This hit the spot! And we have leftovers to enjoy! Even better! You better get a move on! Time is "a wasting". Get in your kitchen and try something new!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Acorn Squash, BBQ, and Tomatoes

Happy Saturday!

Tonight's dinner was a tag team effort. My husband was in charge of the meat, and I took care of the sides. Speaking of the meat, he bought a Boston Butt. He did two days of brining to it in a mixture of several things. Molasses is about all I remember. He smoked it all day today so it would be nice and tender then he shredded it into BBQ. If you are interested in his recipe, I will be glad to get it from him.

Now, let's talk about the sides. The first one was a repeat of last week, sorta. We have a vegetable garden, and we planted Jelly Bean Tomatoes. Basically, they are like cherry tomatoes but are supposed to be red and yellow. Apparently we had cross pollination and they came out orange! Since we have a million of them, I cut up some and added salt, pepper, shredded mozzarella cheese, and a dash of basil. The Acorn Squash recipe was one out of an AJLI cookbook. I spoke of the cookbooks last week. This recipe specifically comes from the Junior League of Greater Vancouver, BC. So, let's see what you need to make Acorn Squash with Applesauce.

Ingredients (serves 4):
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Butter
Here is how you prepare it. Wash the squash, halve it lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Mix together the lemon juice, raisins, applesauce, brown sugar, and walnuts (I didn't have walnuts, but had pecans, so I used those instead). Spoon the mixture into the squash halves and dot with butter (Mixture and Squash). Place in a baking dish with 1/2 inch of hot water in the bottom. Cover and bake at 400F for 30 minutes; then remove the cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.


When you plate your squash, simply take a fork and mix the squash with the applesauce mixture. So, let's see this dish plated...

Yummy huh? We sure thought so!

Well, what are you waiting for. Get to the grocery, get you some acorn squash, and try something new!! As always, thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baked Grouper with Mango Salsa and Baked Zucchini

I am back! Sorry that I got slack on posting recipes!

This morning, I pulled out two cookbooks that I have neglected. Both are AJLI cookbooks. AJLI is the Association of Junior Leagues International. Within AJLI, there are almost 300 leagues in 4 countries of women devoted to improve their communities through volunteer efforts.

The two recipes I used for tonight's dinner came out of two different cookbooks put out by AJLI, specifically from the Junior League of Mobile. The Grouper with the salsa was really supposed to be Grilled Snapper, but I decided to use Grouper and bake it. So, let's see what we need to get started:

Baked Grouper with Mango Salsa
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 grouper fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa
  • 1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped mango
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Baked Zucchini
  • 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, scrubbed, and trimmed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Let's get started. First, I must admit. I bailed on the Mango Salsa. When I got to the grocery store, the mangos were not ripe. So, I bought a Mango and Peach salsa.

So, on to the fish: Combine the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, and olive oil in a large shallow dish and mix well. Place the fish in the marinade, turning to coat. Let it marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes, turning several times. In your baking dish, coat the pan with a little olive oil, and place the fish in the pan. Salt and pepper both sides, and add several pats of butter on the fish. Bake for about 20 minutes at 375F, until the fish flakes.

This baked zucchini was amazing! It is a keeper in my recipe book for sure. Let's put it together. Slice the zucchini in 1/4 inch rounds. Boil gently in salted water with the onion for 7-10 minutes, until fork tender. Drain in a colander and pour into a sprayed baking pan. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, poppy seeds, garlic salt and pepper, then place on top of the zucchini and lightly toss. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 375F.

We grow tomatoes, and since we had one that needed to be eaten, I sliced it up, gave it a sprinkle of salt and pepper, topped it with slices of fresh mozzarella and dried basil.

So, let's check it out.

A nice easy meal! Just the way I like it. The baked zucchini was a surprise! My husband went back for seconds! When he does that, I know he really enjoyed what was served to him!

As always, thanks for reading. Now, get into your kitchen and make something new!!!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Marbled Chocolate Bark

Hi there!

I have fallen behind and I apologize. We are going to a friend's house tonight, so there won't be a "new" recipe to share... well, not exactly. I first tried this recipe back in 2007, I think. It came out of the Kraft Magazine. It is a really simple and yummy dessert. I am sharing with you because I made it last night to take over to my friend's house for our gathering tonight. (As usual, I had two helpers!)

  • 8 to 9 HONEY MAID Honey Grahams
  • 6 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 squares BAKER'S White Chocolate
Let's make it!! Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Arrange grahams on bottom of pan, cutting as needed to completely cover bottom of pan; set aside.

Microwave the semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter in medium microwaveable bowl on igh for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until it is well blended. Pour over grahams; spread with spatula to cover completely.

Repeat the above microwave melting steps with the white chocolate. Drop spoonfuls of the white chocolate over chocolate-covered grahams. Immediately cut through the chocolate mixtures with knife (or use a toothpick or chopstick) several times for tiger-stripe effect.

I would place in the fridge at least 1 hour or until firm. (I like to make the night before and let them get nice and firm overnight.) Use foil handles to remove dessert from pan. Peel off foil. Break the dessert into bars. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Let's see what it looks like. (Please note my assistants! And don't worry, they were not allowed to taste test!)
A simple and easy fun dessert! Thanks for reading and go ahead and get into your kitchen and try something new!