I'm always looking for something quick, easy to make and delicious to take to church for those fun after-church gatherings. Everyone brings something yummy to share, and we love to discuss the recipes or where we found them. I usually take a main course and a dessert. I hope you enjoy these tried-and-true crowd pleasers.
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 small can green chilies, undrained
1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed (all other lettuces will wilt)
1 packet taco seasoning mix (or a mixture of cumin, chili powder and garlic powder)
1 cup ranch sour cream mayonnaise, divided (recipe below)
1 (15 ounce) can of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained very well
1/2 can (about 7 ounces) sweet corn, drained very well
1/2 cup chopped purple or green onion + more for top
8 ounces of your favorite tomato salsa
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (3.8 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained very well
½ pound bacon, fried until crispy, cooled completely, and crumbled
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
1 Roma tomato, seeds removed, chopped
Ripe avocado chunks, (optional)
Tortilla chips for topping
Cook the ground beef, canned chilies and taco seasoning in a skillet until beef is brown all the way through and the liquid from the chilies has evaporated. Place in refrigerator and allow to chill until completely cold. Then, place in an even layer on the bottom of a 9×13 glass cake pan. Top with a double layer of crisp, iceberg lettuce leaves (half the head), 1/2 cup of the ranch sour cream mayonnaise smoothed into an even layer, beans, corn, onion, another double layer of lettuce (press down gently after placing the lettuce,) the other 1/2 cup of ranch sour cream mayo, salsa, cheese, olives, bacon, jalapenos, tomato and a little more purple onion. Place cover or foil on cake pan and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before slicing into pieces, crunching tortilla chips over the top, and serving. Feel free to top this with avocado chunks, extra tomato chunks, and your favorite hot sauce too!
Ranch Sour Cream Mayonnaise
3/4 cup real mayonnaise
1/4 cup full fat sour cream
3 to 6 Tablespoons dry buttermilk ranch dressing, according to taste
Mix well. Chill until ready to use.
Lemon Raspberry Bars
For the crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
12 tablespoons salted butter melted
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
For the filling:
4 large egg yolks
2-14 oz. can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
12 ounces fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk the egg yolks and condensed milk until well mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture begins to slightly thicken.
Gently fold in the raspberries with a spatula. Fold carefully so you don't break the raspberries.
Pour the lemon raspberry filling evenly over the graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just set.
Cool to room temperature, then chill for at least one hour before serving. Cut into bars and serve.
Have a suggestions? Email Deana at