Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell – Fresh recipes for the New Year


By Andy Bedwell

Don’t get stuck like Old Mother Hubbard with a cupboard that’s bare. 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 to 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 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 3-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 5-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 Christmas, and it was called Ambrosia. She grated a fresh coconut, and she also added red cherries. When I make this, I always double the recipe. You know sometimes, you just want a fruit salad.

The 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 3 ingredients together. Fold in whipped topping and chill. Serve in individual bowls. Garnish with a red cherry!

Andy’s Note: Children love this dessert! Also, 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!

Happy Cooking to all of my Messenger buddies for this New Year of 2023!
Andy Bedwell

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

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