Better Than Mom’s King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Growing up, King Ranch Chicken Casserole was in the usual family dinner rotation. And I hated it. Imagine a bratty kid throwing tantrums on the kitchen floor, because her mother is preparing a wholesome meal that includes green chiles and onion. Not only that, but the offending ingredients are sandwiched between layers of cheese and tortillas, making them impossible to pick out. Aren’t casseroles the worst enemy of picky eaters? In hindsight, my mother had the patience of a saint.

The King of Casseroles - basically, a giant enchilada - about to go into the oven.

This casserole made regular appearances at Church of Christ potlucks, and the recipe was always tucked into family cookbooks – always including gloppy Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, Ro-Tel tomatoes, and canned green chiles.

Dave and I whipped this up for dinner recently, using Homesick Texan’s┬árecipe. She uses fresh vegetables and swaps the canned soup for her own sauce. To lighten the recipe, we used fat-free sour cream and low-fat cheese for the full fat versions. It all came together perfectly, and I’m happy to report my taste buds have evolved.

Best topped with avocado, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream.

For the full recipe and a little history on King Ranch Chicken Casserole visit Homesick Texan. Happy eating!

Thing I Like…

I’m digging these “American Atlas” posters by Brainstorm Print and Design.

I wouldn’t mind having The South, The Midwest, and The West, since we’ve lived in each part of the country. I think it would be really cool if Brainstorm did each state individually, but with more detail. I mean, Texas is an awfully large state and has much more going on than oil, cattle, and cotton. And wouldn’t the complete set look great in a classroom?

I’d put the Get Outside, Go Camping poster in Dave’s office, since his space is as much about his favorite hobby as it is about working.

Shop their entire collection here. Fabulous job, Brainstorm!

Home Sweet Holidays: Tradition. TRADITION!

Growing up, we had plenty of holiday traditions, including picnicking and watching fireworks at Miller Outdoor Theater on the 4th of July.┬áSince Dave and I have moved around so much, we haven’t really been able to form our own holiday traditions – something I miss dearly.

For 4th of July this year, we decided to celebrate a day early by gathering our small group of friends and having a beach bonfire. Actually, there were as many friends as there were strangers at our bonfire, but the more the merrier, right?

Photo by David Grant

We made s’mores, watched sailboats glide through the bay, and soaked up the beauty of the sun setting over the Olympic Mountains. It was so much fun, I think we’ll do it again next year. Tradition!

Photo by Bri Leahy

Do you prefer to spend holidays continuing old traditions with family or have you started new traditions with people you’ve picked up along the way?