Mi Casa Casserole, Fruit Salad and World’s Best and Quickest Mousse

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By Andy Bedwell

Don’t get stuck like Old Mother Hubbard with a cupboard that’s bare. At this time of year when holidays are over, you could make just one big shopping trip to stock up your pantry so that you’re always ready for those everyday meals.

Weather permitting, I am going today and restock my pantry for the cold days ahead. I have an abundant supply of canned Luck’s pinto beans and Luck’s black eyed peas that I purchased for 50 cents a can. These are so convenient for stews, soups and gumbos. With your pantry full, it will also give you the inspiration you’ll need to invent your own off-the-shelf Southern creations.

Mi Casa Casserole

1 pound ground chuck

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3 (8oz.) cans tomato sauce

1 cup black olives, sliced

1 (8oz.) carton sour cream

1 (8oz.) carton small-

curd cottage cheese

1 (4oz.) can green

chilies, chopped

1 (8oz.) package Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1 (70 oz.) bag tortilla

chips, crushed

Brown ground chuck and drain. Add onion, garlic, tomato sauce and olives. Cook over low heat until onion is transparent. Combine sour cream, cottage cheese and chilies. Layer half of chips, meat mixture, sour cream mixture and cheese in a three-quart round baking dish (you know how I am about dishes looking good). Repeat the layers and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Andy’s Note: I have never carried this dish anywhere that I wasn’t asked for the recipe. Even the wonderful cooks at Eastside Presbyterian Church wanted to know the ingredients. When those wonderful Southern cooks asked you for a recipe, you better put a five-star on it immediately! Oh, how I miss those ladies!

Fruit Salad

1 (20 oz.) can crushed

pineapple in own juice

2 navel oranges

1 package grated coconut

Peel oranges and remove membrane. Cut into bowl. Top with crushed pineapple, then coconut. Repeat layers, ending with coconut. Cover with Saran Wrap and refrigerate.

Andy’s Note: I can remember when my grandmother Icy made this every Christ-mas, and it was called Ambrosia. She grated a fresh coconut and added red cherries. When I make this, I always double the recipe. You know that sometimes you just want a fruit salad.

World’s Best and Quickest Mousse

1 can condensed milk

1 (4oz.) instant pudding mix (any kind of pudding

can be used)

1 cup cold water

8 oz. whipped

topping, thawed

1 jar maraschino cherries

Beat first three ingredients together. Fold in whipped topping and chill. Serve in individual bowls. Garnish with a red cherry!

Andy’s Note: Children love this dessert. Adults do, too. Sometimes you just want good, quick, easy and pretty.

I hope all of you will try this menu in the next couple of weeks. Hearty casserole, fresh Navel oranges in a salad and a really cute dessert. I am beginning this new year with a series of great menus and just good Southern dishes that we in the south love!

Happy Cooking!

Andy Bedwell

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

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