Monthly Archives: June 2009

Frito Pie

I remember the first time I tried Frito pie. I was with my grandparents at our yearly fair in the small town in Tennessee where I grew up. This recipe is about as Southern as you can get. It is simple and extremely delicious. I have heard some people bake it all together but where I’m from we just pile it on top of one another so we do not get soggy chips. When making this meal I lay out everything buffet style and allow everyone to help themselves.

Frito plain chips (11 ounce bag)
4 cups prepared chili (alternatively 2 cans of chili)
Sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Tomato, diced
Jalapenos (optional)

1. In a large serving dish, add chips, pour chili on top, sprinkle cheese, and add tomatoes, dollop with sour cream and sprinkle jalapeños or set up buffet style and let everyone help themselves.

Yields: 4 servings

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Kids as well as adults will love this tasty dish. Moms can feel good knowing everyone is getting vegetables as well. If you are a vegetarian, you can easily leave off the meatballs and have yourself a very filling main dish as well.

1/2 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 carrot, diced
5 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon marjoram, ground
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces dried spaghetti

1 pound lean beef
1 egg
3/4 ground breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a large sauté pan on low heat, add olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, carrots and onion. Allow onions to become tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley and sugar. Bring to full boil then reduce heat to simmer. Allow to cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

2. Cook pasta according to pasta directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, add beef, egg, breadcrumbs and salt. Mix well with hands. Shape into 19 meatballs. Lightly oil a baking sheet, arrange meatballs onto sheet and bake 20 minutes.

3. Carefully add noodles into the pan, coating well. Place cooked meatballs in pasta, coat as well. Cover and allow simmering 2 minutes.

Yields: 6 servings


What can ever go wrong when you serve lasagna? This Italian dish has so many varieties and I have yet to meet one I have not adored. The actual word in Italian is lasagna but Americans seemed to turn it into lasagna. Although this dish has Italian roots, the word is actually Greek so some say it is Greek. And then we have the British which say the saucy dish belongs to them. What do you think?

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, un-drained
4 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 dried lasagna noodles
1 beaten egg
1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese or
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces mozzarella/cheddar blended cheese. Shredded

1. For sauce, in a large saucepan cook beef, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in un-drained tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and black pepper into meat mixture. Bring to full boil; reduce heat. Simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta noodles according to their package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add egg, ricotta, and the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 F.

3. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom a baking pan (13x9x2 inches) Layer enough noodles to just cover the bottom. The take turns layering filling, meat and cheese. You should eat with a layer of cheese then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

4. Bake in oven for 30 minutes

Yields: 8 servings

Cocoa Cake

This cake is deliciously moist. I prefer to leave it in the fridge for a day before eating so the butter cream frosting can develop almost as if it is ganache hugging your cake so tightly.

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups milk

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans then lightly dust with flour, sit aside. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Blend well. Add eggs, vanilla, butter and milk, blend on low with an electric mixer until smooth. Evenly pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool on wire racks.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Gradually add milk to get desired consistency while blending with an electric mixer. Generously frost cake.

Yields: 1 cake