Tag Archive: casserole

Easter Egg (or spring forward) Casserole with Fresh Salsa and Cheese Sauce

I liked to have a casserole to serve for Easter breakfast.  It was easy to serve and could be made the night before and popped in the oven while 3 kids were looking for eggs and going through their Easter baskets.  We almost always had to hide the eggs inside the house.  It was either very cold or very windy on Easter Sunday.

It was always such a scramble (no pun intended) to get the eggs gathered, kids dressed for church (when did I ever have time to get dressed?) and have something for breakfast.  The church service was always longer than usual so we had to have something for breakfast.  Especially after all those jelly beans and chocolate bunnies had been nibbled on.

This is easy and can be enlarged or even doubled for a large crowd.  I served it with fresh fruit and made a side salsa of diced tomatoes, green onions and halved grape tomatoes with just a little red wine vinegar.  I usually served the cheese sauce on the side.

Easter Egg Casserole

Spicy Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole for Saturday Dishes

I am happy to be co-hosting this blog hop with Savannah from Hammock Tracks and Paula from Call Me PMC.   Each week we have a theme.  This week it is casseroles.

I am in Austin and visiting with my oldest daughter.  We invented today’s casserole together for dinner tonight.  We call it Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole.

Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole

If you are a foodie blogger share your favorite casserole with us this week.  If you are a food creator and looking to whip up a cozy family meal find your favorite recipes, and create your grocery list before you head out to the store.

To view all of the upcoming “Saturday Dishes” themes, click here.

Be sure to visit Hammock Tracks and Call Me PMC as we will each feature different posts from the previous week party.

Saturday Dishes

Also, please provide a link back to this post either on your parties page or in the post itself.  You can grab the button above if you like.

My featured blog for this week is: Miss Information’s Fish Friday Po’Boy.    My husband loved NOLA too and my oldest daughter is crazy about it.  What a fabulous recipe and I agree with her husband.  Mayo on both sides. But to each their own!

This party starts Saturday morning at 8AM.

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I feature all of my favorites from around the blogosphere at Weekly Rays of Sunshine on Saturday mornings.  Also, don’t forget to come to my Monday linky party to tell me what you did this weekend.
What'd Ya Do This Weekend Button


Mexico-Welcome Juanita’s Cocina!

Mexico first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900 and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since 1924. Mexico has also participated in several Winter Olympic Games since 1928, though has never medaled in the Winter Olympics.Mexican athletes have won a total of 57 medals – with track and field, boxing and diving as the top medal-producing sports.Thanks for joining us for Olympic Week.  I could not think of a better country to end with than Mexico.  It has lent particular depth and meaning to our Texas culture and food.  Those of us who live here don’t call it Mexican.  We just call it food!  I also couldn’t think of a friend I would like to share my kitchen with for this event more than Jen from Juanita’s Cocina.  Her recipes take Tex-Mex to a whole new level.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and visit her Cocina for more inspiration. 

Hi, y’all! I’m Jen from Juanita’s Cocina!

I was SO excited when Linda from Tumbleweed Contessa wrote and asked if I would consider guest posting in her kitchen. You see, I’m a HUGE TWC (that’s what all of the cool kids call the Tumbleweed Contessa) fan. We’re both Texans, and we both love cookin’. Linda is even a West Texas gal, and since I’m from the West Texas area, I feel that we’re sort of on the same wavelength. Us West Texas folks know how to make things sparkle and shine, in spite of all of the dust…cooking included. And of course, we all know how to dodge tumbleweeds on a windy day while driving the country roads.

When Linda told me that I’d be a guest poster during her food celebration of the Olympics, I thought: “Why didn’t I think of that???”

Me and this dish are representing Mexico…which is perfect, because I specialize in all things Mexican cooking. Mexican cooking is my comfort zone…it’s where my heart is at. Sometimes I like to tell people that I was raised with a jalapeno in my mouth instead of a pacifier.

It didn’t take me long to settle on the dish I’d be making to share here in the Contessa kitchen. I immediately went to one of our favorite dishes…this Poblano, Hominy, and Chorizo Casserole from The Homesick Texan.

Lisa Fain and the Homesick Texan is one of my go-to stops for amazing Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. I have never tried a recipe from her cookbook or site that I haven’t absolutely fallen in love with. Everything is full of spice and huge, complex flavors, and this casserole is no different. Lisa’s recipes aren’t for the faint of heart…you need to love spice, in a subtle sort of way. Her recipes won’t slap you directly in the face, but they will leave that good chile burn in the back of your throat. It’s a feeling I love.

I figured nothing screams Mexican cooking and is more appropriate for the Tumbleweed Contessa’s Olympic-worthy celebration than chiles, chorizo, and posole (hominy). We served our casserole alongside some smoked brisket, but you can absolutely have this dish as your main entree. It’s THAT good. You don’t need anything else. This casserole is also better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld for a bit longer.

Poblano, Hominy, and Chorizo Casserole


  • 2 poblanos
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 lb. Mexican chorizo, removed from the casing and crumbled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 2 15 oz. cans of hominy, drained
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Roast the poblanos under the broiler in your oven until skins blacken and char, approximately 5 minutes per side. Once roasted, place the poblanos in a bag or container with a lid, seal and set aside for 10-15 minutes. After 15 minutes, peel the poblanos, remove the stems, and de-seed if desired. Dice the poblanos and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Over medium-low heat, heat the oil in a 10-inch iron (or oven-safe) skillet. Cook the chorizo in the skillet until it is cooked through. Once cooked, remove from the skillet, set on a paper towel-lined plate, and allow to drain.

Add the diced jalapenos and onions to the skillet and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute before removing the skillet from the heat.

Add the poblanos, chorizo, hominy, sour cream, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 of the cheese to the skillet and stir until well-combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until top is browned and casserole is bubbling.

Y’all are going to LOVE this casserole. Sometimes I think people are scared of the word “casserole” (me included). There’s no need to be fearful of this one…unless you’re afraid of delicious!

I truly think that this dish is worthy of an Olympic-style celebration!

Thank you to Linda and Tumbleweed Contessa for allowing me to share one of my favorite dishes here in the Tumbleweed Kitchen. I can’t wait to see what else is served up during this amazing celebration of the foods from different countries!

Fresh From the Garden Week!

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Welcome to our first harvest from the garden and a week’s worth of vegetable recipes.

Almost too pretty to eat….ALMOST!


First up, an old family favorite made just for kids that don’t like vegetables.

There is nothing like making a dish that takes you back to good times.  As I was in the garden foraging for squash hidden in between the giant leaves I was thinking about this casserole.  I picked almost three pounds of squash and a pound of peppers this morning.  I weighed it just to be sure.  Amazing!  I plant squash almost every spring.  Sometimes I get beautiful plants and blooms, but never a squash.  This year, for some reason, the plants are huge and are loaded with squash!

Now what to do with it?  I could make zucchini bread, grate it and serve it in place of spaghetti, or chop it and freeze it, but I want a taste of it now.  So I think the Summer Squash Casserole is my best bet.

Amy, my middle child, doesn’t like “squishy feeling” food.  No tomatoes, squash, jello, most fruits….  You get the idea.  So in the summer when the squash was coming on I had to figure out some way to get her to eat some.  (My children weren’t picky eaters.)  So I called this Cracker Casserole and Amy would eat it when she was little.  I bet we can’t fool her any more.

Happy summer gardening and cooking!

Cracker Casserole (with squash) aka Summer Squash Casserole

  • 3 medium yellow squash*, halved length-wise, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 stems fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium, low fat
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used saltines)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly spray with non-stick spray an 8-inch square baking dish.

Bring the squash, onion, bell pepper, thyme, and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a lid.  Add enough water to almost cover the squash.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates a little and the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a collender.  At this point I mash the squash a little with a fork.  Transfer back to pan.

Stir in the cream of chicken soup, 2 tablespoons butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. You can dress this up with any cracker crumbs.  You can substitute cheese for the cracker crumbs and butter as a topping. This is a very versatile recipe.  Make it to your taste.  Maybe I’ll skip the carbs and add the cheese for my dish.

Bake until the juices are simmering around the edges and the top is crusty, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve hot.

*You can use zucchini squash too.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce for a Casserole

A friend at work, Nelda and I were discussing how the Food Network has influenced our cooking style.  I think it has improved my cooking and it has certainly made me more aware of how I can improve the flavor by using broth and fresh herbs and olive oil.  When I learned to cook with my mom, we didn’t use those at all.  She had 4 children to feed and the budget didn’t include all the extras.  Salt and pepper and maybe a dried bay leaf were her flavor enhancers.  She made good food though.  As time went by she began to venture out to try more and different things. I cleaned out her kitchen when she moved, her spice cabinet was still pretty basic.  There were more flavorings she added to cookies, cakes and pies than there were for savory dishes.

I was reading a food blog and there was a discussion about plain home cooked food and nothing would do but I was going to have a pork chop and rice dish.  I always stop at that thought because of all the salt in canned food.  I decided if I can make my own Suiza sauce for green chicken enchiladas, I can make my own cream of mushroom soup.  It was pretty good and satisfied my need for a good casserole.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce for Casseroles

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 ½ cups chopped baby Portabella (or button) mushrooms
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth or ½ cup broth/1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick skillet until butter has melted.  Add the mushrooms and shallot and add some salt and pepper.  Cook until mushrooms and shallot are soft.

Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. (Adjust the liquid you add depending on how thick you want your sauce.)  Using a whisk add the broth and milk and stir until bubbly and slightly thickened.

At this point I use it as I would canned cream of mushroom soup (no need to dilute). I know and can pronounce all my ingredients.

Brown your pork chops (I like thin cut ones.) in a small amount of oil in a non-stick skillet.  Let them brown on both sides with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Remove to a prepared oven-proof dish.

I used the same skillet for the sauce as I browned the pork chops in, and sautéed the mushrooms and shallot in the oil and just added a bit of oil and the butter to melt before adding the mushrooms and shallot.

Sprinkle about ½ cup white rice over the pork chops and add the sauce.  Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350° for about 40 minutes or until the rice is tender.

I served this with steamed cabbage and a small plate with radishes and onions from my garden.


A Southwest Chicken Treat

I love the flavors in enchiladas, but sometimes rolling each enchilada seems too time-consuming! This recipe has all the flavor and ingredients of healthy enchiladas, but without all the hard work and mess. You just layer all the ingredients, throw it in the oven, and dinner is done!  This recipe is flavorful and full of vegetables, and it is a great leftover meal too.

Chicken Veggie Enchilada Casserole

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small zucchinis, diced
  • 8 whole green onions, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped/shredded
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 cups cooked rotisserie chicken (or any other leftover chicken)
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of your favorite salsa
  • 1 bunch of fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 4 cups mild green enchilada sauce (I used two cans of Old El Paso green)
  • 16 whole corn tortillas, cut into ½ inch strips
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used Monterrey Jack, but cheddar is good too! Just use what you have)
  • Toppings: sour cream, tomatoes, avocados, etc.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, onions and green peppers and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in olives, spinach, cumin, salt and pepper until spinach starts to wilt. Once spinach is all wilted, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in chicken, salsa and cilantro. This is the filling for the casserole. Set aside.

Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce across the bottom of the dish and place 1 layer of corn tortilla strips over top. Sprinkle some cheese and put half of the chicken and veggie filling over the tortillas and cheese. Top with more cheese, more tortilla strips and 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce. Continue layering the casserole with more cheese, the last 1/2 of the filling, more cheese, the remaining tortilla strips, 2 cups of enchilada sauce and the last of the cheese.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes until bubbly and delicious. Remove from oven and let this cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serve with lettuce topped with avocados, sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, and a little more cheese (if you please).

A Southwest Christmas Morning Breakfast

I am sure that you are busy wrapping up the odds and ends for the big day.  Me too!  If you haven’t planned something here for Christmas breakfast here is one of my family favorites.  I love this for Christmas morning brunch.  I look forward to making this again and again.  This recipe appears a little involved, but it really isn’t.  The sausage can be browned and ready to use in a container in the refrigerator.  The cheese can be grated ahead of time too.   This is warm and very flavorful.  It serves 8 or more with good sized portions.   A smaller version can be made by using half the ingredients too.

Broccoli Rice-Must Have Thanksgiving Side

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Comforting side dishes are necessary to complete any meal in my kitchen.  If you can find a basic one that includes a rib-sticking starch and a vegetable, you can add or switch ingredients and make several different variations.  In my family, this one combination is the most requested.  This came about as an emergency addition one Thanksgiving dinner when my son, Andy asked if we were planning to serve it. (This was in answer to my question, “Are you coming to dinner?”   It has become a part of the menu planning to be sure I have everybody’s favorite.  So, I call this one Andy’s Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Rice was a favorite with my husband.  His family was from the South and rice was included in many meals.  It was new to me, and I had to scrub a lot of pans until I learned the right way to prepare it.  I burned it, let it dry out and served it undercooked!
Burning it is the worst clean up job there can be.  I think it forms a particularly strong bond with aluminum when not prepared correctly.  Non-stick pans weren’t around when I began to practice cooking.

The Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe came from a long-time high school friend when I was just married. Hank didn’t like soup combined with his rice and let me know it.  Then an Aunt made this and he raved about how good it was.   He even requested it with
his favorite meal which was a ham.