Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip, Mexican Tortilla Bake and Alabama Chocolate Nut Pie

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By Andy Bedwell

One of the things I really love about vacations are the people I meet. I never meet a stranger that I can not strike up a conversation with, especially concerning foods. I guess it is a common ground for nearly everyone. Most of my life, I have focused on food, recipe collecting and developing my own style of cooking.

I have always told my sister that I follow a recipe exactly the first time and then begin to “tweak” it according to my taste. The experimenting with a recipe is so much fun, and talking to people I meet about their cooking adventures is so interesting. My family still laughs about me being in line at Disney World and talking with a lady about a certain recipe. As hot as it was, I hated for the line to end!

Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip

1 cup mayonnaise

3 cups Swiss cheese, grated (please grate your own)

16 oz. cream cheese,

softened

½ cup green onions, chopped

1 cup Ritz crackers, crumbled

16 slices bacon,

cooked and crumbled

assorted crackers

(I love Wheat Thins)

Combine cream cheese, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise and green onions. Mix well. Spoon into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with Ritz crackers and bacon. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling. Serve warm with crackers.

Andy’s Note: This is one of my favorite dips! Your dish will be empty before you turn around. Don’t you just love a good warm dip?

Mexican Tortilla Bake

1 pound ground chuck

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tablespoon shortening

2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce

1 ½ cups water

1-2 tablespoons

chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

9 tortillas

½ cup sour cream

2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

(8 ounces)

Brown meat, onion and garlic in shortening; drain off excess fat. Add tomato sauce, water, chili powder and salt. Simmer 20 minutes. Spoon one-fourth meat mixture into two quart casserole; spread tortillas with sour cream and arrange three over meat sauce; sprinkle with one-half cup cheese. Continue to layer meat sauce, tortillas and cheese ending with meat sauce and cheese. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Andy’s Note: This is a layered casserole for Mexican food lovers. Add the amount of chili powder to suit your taste. I usually double this recipe and put it in a large foil pan.

Alabama Chocolate Nut Pie

1 cup sugar

½ cup flour

2 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans, chopped

¾ cup chocolate chips

1 stick margarine, melted

1 9-inch pie crust

Mix sugar and flour. Stir in all other ingredients. Pour into pie shell and bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Andy’s Note: This is one of the easiest and best little pies that you will ever make,  AND it is chocolate! Serve with a big spoon of vanilla ice cream and you will have a great dessert!

Happy Cooking, Andy

Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” may be purchased at The Messenger newspaper located at 1957 Rainbow Drive in Gadsden.

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