Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Love of Mexican Food

Do you ever buy those little recipe books that are  placed at the check out in the grocery?  You know, the one's published by Pillsbury and other companies.  They usually cost only a few dollars.  I love these books.  Some of my all time favorite recipes are from them.  You see, I read recipe books like novels.  I love searching for new things to try, many of which have become family favorites  made over and over through the years.

I apologize for the picture, it is not the best.  It does not do justice to this bread that is called "Mexican Fiesta Biscuit Bake" in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Cooking and Baking Contest recipe book, March, 1994.  It is an oldie but a goodie in our family and made the $2.75 paid for the book worth every penny spent.  This one is a definite "request" favorite. 

Our oldest daughter was in college at the time this book was purchased and I made the bread on one of her visits home.  She loved it, wrote the recipe down and took it back to school with her.  She went to a Conservatory in St. Louis.  Their musical theater class was small and they had a lot of potluck dinners because no one had any money and even less time due to the intensive program they were in.  It became an instant hit and was requested every time they had a dinner for the remainder of their time in school.  Many of them moved to New York after graduation and she continued to make it for "get togethers."

  My first encounter with Mexican food was the summer of 1960 when our family took a vacation trip to  Phoenix, Arizona.  It was the summer before my sixth grade year in school.  Our family had our first brand new car, but it had no air conditioning.  We drove to Phoenix, driving Route 66 most of the way.  I have been to St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri, Oklahoma City and it was mighty pretty.  I've seen Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico.  We drove through Salt River Canyon and I have never been that hot in my life since, but it was such an adventure.  One I will never forget.  I can say I definitely would not enjoy that drive today with no air conditioning! 

My parent's best friends had moved to Phoenix.  We spent the week with them and we had one amazing time.  One day for lunch, Bonnie, my mom's friend went to a taco stand and bought burritos, tacos, enchiladas, beans and rice for lunch.  The only word that comes to mind is ecstasy!  Needless to say, our southern Indiana hometown had nothing like this except a guy who sold tamales from a push cart!  I loved tamales a lot, but all these different foods were simply amazing.  We visited many times after 1960, and my biggest anticipation was always for the delicious Mexican food I knew we would get to enjoy.  It was many years before our southern Indiana home town would have the luxury of Mexican cuisine.

This recipe is really good and certainly not traditional Mexican food, but has all the flavors I love.  


2 TBSP butter1 (17.3 oz) can Pillsbury Grands! refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 (10.8 oz) can Pillsbury Grands! refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 (16 oz) jar (1 3/4 cups) medium thick and chunky salsa (we like spicy but medium works too)
12 oz. ( cups) shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onionssliced black olives if desired (2 1/4 oz can)


Heat oven to 375.  Melt butter in oven in 13x9 inch glass baking dish or non-aluminum baking pan.  Tilt to evenly coat dish.  Separate dough into 13 biscuits, cut each biscuit into eighths.  Place biscuit pieces in large bowl; toss with 1 3/4 cups salsa.  Spoon evenly into baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese, bell pepper, onions (and black olives if desired.)  Dan doesn't care for black olives so I usually leave them off.

Bake at 375 F for 35 to 45 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown and center is set.  Let stand 15 minutes.   Cut into squares, serve with 1 cup of salsa for dipping if desired.  12 to 15 servings.

Again, sorry about the picture.  We had eaten a lot of the bread when I realized I had not taken a picture.  Oops.  Hooray for all the flavors of Mexico.  They are still my favorite after all these years (and that's been a long, long time).

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

We are all the same, we just come in different wrappers.

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