Handwritten Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This one comes from my uncle - I knew as soon as I saw it that I would love it.  Indeed - it was the kind of perfect comfort food that I need on cold winter nights.  We all went back for seconds.  I may have even gotten thirds.

It pairs so nicely with a salad and some hearty toast, and leftovers (if there happen to be any) are incredible.

*Parenthetical notes in the recipe are mine
Bake 4 chicken breasts in oven at 400 degrees (this took about 25-30 minutes for 2 pounds of chicken).  If necessary, take off bone.  Cut up.

Butter a casserole dish (I used a 9x13" pan) and add juices from chicken.

Layer the following ingredients with the cut-up chicken:
-9 corn tortillas
-1/2 lb. of grated jack or cheddar ceese
-mixture of 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can green chili salsa (salsa verde is what I used), 1 chopped onion, and 1 can chopped black olives.
(I layered in the following order: half of the chicken, half of the tortillas, half of the cheese, half the soup mixture, half of the chicken, half of the tortillas, half of the soup, and topped it with the rest of the cheese.  I'm not sure if this is how it's meant to be or not, but I exercised some creativity and it seemed to work).

Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.  Bake covered for 1.5 hours at 325.


Handwritten Recipe: Hello Dollies

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted (3/4 c.)
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
12 oz. chocolate chips (1 bag)
2 c. shredded coconut
2 small bags pecan pieces
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Mix butter and crumbs, put in a 13x9" pan.  Layer chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans.  Top with milk.  Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until browned.  Loosen sides while warm; cut when cool.

Do you know about Hello Dollies?  If not, let me introduce you to what might be the most indulgent dessert you'll meet in 2014.  Butter.  Chocolate.  Coconut + nuts.  Sugary creamy gooeyness.  They are stick-in-your-molars delicious, and if you're anything like me you'll tell your kid it's a pan of Parent Food for After Bedtime.

These cookie bars are also known as Magic Bars, Outrageous Bars, and Seven Layer Bars (though, honestly, I don't know why ... I only count six ingredients, and five actual layers).  This particular one comes from a friend of my mom's.  It must've been dictated to her (or kindly copied from an email), because that's my mother dear's handwriting.

If you're looking for something to literally throw together from ingredients you have on hand, this would be it.

Please excuse me now.  I hear Parent Food calling.


Handwritten Recipe: Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

I just celebrated a big birthday, and you all helped me out tremendously!  I (shamelessly) asked for you to send me handwritten recipes that I could work my way through in 2014.  I've got quite the stash going, though if you still wanted to send one my way I wouldn't protest.

Here's one that I tried today - black bean and quinoa soup - and I have to confess that it was a pretty stellar way to kick off the handwritten recipe project.  So, without further ado ...
 This recipe comes from a family friend who taught me in 2nd and 3rd grade!  She lives with her husband and four kids in South Carolina.  Thanks for the handwritten recipe, Becky!

1 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. fresh tomato
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c. quinoa
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
4 c. vegetable broth
1 24-ounce can black beans
1/2 c. chopped cilantro

Saute onion in oil for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute.  Stir in tomatoes.  Add cumin, oregano, and crushed red pepper.  Add quinoa, carrots, and bay leaves with 2 cups of the broth.  Boil 5 minutes. Add remaining broth and the black beans, bring to a boil then simmer 10 minutes.  Let sit for about 10 more minutes, remove bay leaves, and enjoy!

It was simple, delicious, and hearty!  I definitely be making this again.  As far as I can tell, it's vegan, which means it's also vegetarian.  Nice one to have up my sleeve if the need arises!


A THREE year old?!

This girl is sweetness itself, and I just can't believe how blessed we are that we get to have her in our family.  Happy birthday to the best three year old I know!