Saturday, April 19, 2008


I love to cook. Love, love it. Okay, I'm a daughter of a chef... two chefs, in fact. My parents have the best bakery in Colorado! I haven't officially *been* to all the bakeries in Colorado, and actually, I have Celiac Disease (wheat/barley/rye intolerance), so I couldn't even technically *eat* at all the bakeries in Colorado, but let me assure you... it is *the* best in Colorado.

Heck no, I'm not biased!

I LOVED to help my mom in the kitchen. Well, I remember loving to help her make cookies (any kind really because she made so many different ones) and popcorn (stove-top) and milkshakes. That really doesn't make my mom sound like much of a chef... more of a junk-food junkie. She is, but she's also a chef. Promise. :)

My sister picked up cooking quite easily. So when we got a bit older... you know around age 10 when we were supposed to be making our own snacks and sometimes meals, I just had her do it. She seemed to enjoy it. What little sister doesn't want to make sauteed chicken breasts and loaded nachos for her older sister? None that I know. :)

And when I went off to college, I wasn't much for cooking. I LOVED the cafeteria. I loved that three times a day, they expected me. They didn't care if I cleared my plate (but I always did), and they didn't care if I didn't like it (which was rare). And true as it may be that they didn't want us bringing plates full of cake to our dorm rooms... ahem... carried in my swim bag... ahem, I did it anyway.

My resident advisor (who was also a student manager in the cafeteria) walked by my room one night and saw a big plate (obviously stolen from the cafeteria... and just to let you know... I'm NOT a hoodlum, I DID bring those plates back the next day... or week. Well, at least I brought them back! Okay, usually once there was a huge pile of them and my roommate got annoyed, but still, I brought them back! So there! And now I'm sure you've forgotten what this sentence was *orginally* about... my RA saw a big plate...) of tastiness sitting on top of my microwave, and she shouts in my room, "REYANNA! Stop stealing brownies from the cafeteria!" I smiled and shouted back, "Okay, Tess! Sorry! I won't steal brownies from the caf!" And then I said under my breath... "And that is because I always steal caaaa-aaake!" Tee hee. Chocolate cake I'm sure looks like brownies to passer-byers. Oh well. :-p

Ahem. Anywho, I was fine and dandy eating from the cafeteria and ordering pizzas from the nearby Pizza Butt... err Hut. Until! Until I found out about my Celiac Disease. All of a sudden... POOF! I was on my own. I had to make... *gasp* ... my own meals! At first... I won't lie... things were disgusting! That is partly due to the fact that "back in the day," gluten-free foods were DIS-GUS-TING! It's so much better now. :) But the other part was due to the fact that I didn't... *another gasp*... know how to cook! How was it that I, at age 17, had escaped the house of the chefs, clueless about cooking?! Ahem... if you were reading earlier... that's because I made my sister do all my cooking that my parents weren't doing. Tee hee.

So yeah, long story short (oh, who am I kidding? This is already a novel, the "long story short" boat has now sailed), I learned to cook, and my husband was very happy and well-fed. Probably why he put up with me for so long. ;-) Teasing. :-p
And I LOVE to cook now. I found this super tasty Mexican casserole dish at Gluten-Free Girl, and I adapted it to be easier for me. :-) What's better than fast and easy cooking?! Umm... nothing. :D

Thanks to Emilie Ahern for posting a Mexican recipe on her blog this week. Got me craving Mexican and prompted me to share this with you! :-) And just a note... I don't measure things. I just make it... it's that easy, and you can't screw it up! :D

Reyanna's Mexican Pie

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees (or so)

Can of beans (refried, pinto, black, whatever)
Meat (1/2 pound probably... chicken or beef or whatever you like... I suppose you could even do a pound if you like it very meaty... whatever)
1 cup cooked rice (I cook the Minute Brown stuff because it's fast and... you guessed it... easy!)
1/2 can salsa (whatever kind, whatever size... it's like a cup or something)
1 jalapeno or other pepper (stick this in the oven on 350-450 [whatever] to roast it first, then de-seed it, dice and throw it in)
1 Avocado
2 cups (or so) cheese (I did a jack and cheddar mixture, but again... whatever)
15 corn tortillas (or so)

In saucepan, mix salsa, beans, meat and rice. Low-Medium is fine. Heat thoroughly. Throw in pepper and stir. Season with anything you like (to taste), but I just left mine... the salsa and pepper are fine. Taste it and see if you like it, if it doesn't have enough flavor, throw in some more salsa... or minced garlic or garlic salt or sea salt or kosher salt or a flavored salt mixture like Jane's, which is my favorite. I heart salt.

Get glass or Pyrex dish (circle or square 8 or 9") and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Layer 3 corn tortillas (Or however many cover the bottom), then some salsa/beans/meat mixture, then cheese and avocado, then 3 corn tortillas again, then mixture, cheese, avocado, etc. Keep doing this until you get to the top of your pan. Top with tortillas and cheese. Stick it in the oven until cheese is browned and bubbly. Like 25-40 minutes. :)

So easy. I know these are probably the weirdest steps ever, but I'm serious... you can't screw this up. It's so yummy! Spoon on to plates and use sour cream and fresh cilantro to top it! SO GOOD! Feeds four. Enjoy. :)

p.s. You can also freeze leftovers (or an extra pan of it if you don't want to bake it at the moment) and thaw them and bake them again if you want! :)

p.p.s. Click picture above for some zoomed-innedness (I just made up a word!) that is the cheesy, bubbly, super tastiness of Reyanna's Mexican Pie. :)

p.p.p.s. Please watch for "zoomed-innedness" ... coming to a dictionary near you.


Jane said...

Oh Reyanna!!!!! I'm so happy that you two have worked things out!!! that is so great!! and the recipe, well it looks amazing!!!

ValAnn said...

I cannot wait to try this recipe! I LOVE avocados! So glad to hear everything is going better for you, too.