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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spicy Tamale Pie

This is a very popular casserole at my house.  I just discovered a cool ingredient to make it even better - spicy olives!  Of course regular olives are the usual in this recipe, but if you can find these in your grocery store give them a try to make this dish a little more unique.  (Sorry about the picture quality - I'm still having to depend on my cell phone for photos until I can save up enough money for a real camera).

This is dish is yummy served with sour cream.


1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 chopped bell peppers (I like to use one green and one red)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 12-oz can corn
1 small can sliced olives
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water

  • Cook ground beef, onion, peppers and garlic until the meat is browned.  Stir in the tomatoes, corn, olives, sugar and spices and simmer until thickened (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add the cheese and stir until it is melted.
  • While meat mixture simmers, stir the cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the cold water in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling, cook and stir until thickened (about 1 minute).  
  • Pour the hot meat mixture into a two quart casserole and top with the cornmeal mixture.  
  • Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easy and moist Lemon Bundt Cake

The birthday tradition where my husband works is to draw names at the beginning of each year to "sponsor" somebody's special day.  At staff meeting the week of their birthday, the responsible person brings a treat to share with everyone for a birthday celebration.  My husband drew Brian's name and needed a good treat to take to work.  Brian requested something with "tart fruit" and asked that my husband NOT make it - since his cooking usually involves Spam.  So I made this moist and delicious lemon bundt cake....but swore my husband to secrecy about the convenience foods used in the recipe!  Let Brian think I had to have some serious mad baking skills to make this.

Lemon Bundt Cake

For the cake:
1 package lemon cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup warm water
4 eggs
3 oz. package lemon gelatin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup sour cream

For the glaze:
2/3 cup orange juice
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup powdered sugar

  • Prepare a bundt cake pan by coating with shortening and dusting with flour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Combine all cake ingredients in mixing bowl.  Blend to moisten, then beat for two minutes.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Combine glaze ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes.
  • Return the cake to the cake pan,  Poke holes all over the bottom of the cake with a toothpick or fork, then spoon or brush about half the glaze onto the bottom of the cake.  Invert cake onto a plate and poke holes all over the top, then brush or pour remaining glaze all over the cake.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and let cool completely before serving.  Can be served with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.