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Tamale Casserole

BloomingCactusDavid and Kaleb have been working really hard to clear out the brush, trees, vines, etc. around the trees in the field. And have to say it is looking terrific! But what a lot of work. (The cactus is one that was rescued from the field before cutting and has been planted in an old, black wash pot in the front yard.)

Things should get easier since David has ordered a new tool that is built to grab and pull the trees rather than having to cut them. It arrives this week – so we’ll see if it works as advertised.

 

Monica and Peyton visited last weekend – and we had a grand time. Went shopping in Palestine on Saturday which we never do. Have to say we were surprised there was less traffic, i.e., shoppers than when we go in during the week. The primary goal was go get stuff for the puppy which we pick-up this coming weekend. Since Monica is an expert dog person, we thought she’d best be able to show us what to get and what not-to get. We had fun trolling the aisles in the pet store – it’s amazing what all is out there for pets. It’s all new to me.

 

Cactus1_2013This past weekend was dedicated to puppy-proofing the yard. Fortunately the weather was pretty good and there is always a good breeze on the deck. Really missing the plums this year . . . thanks to the late freeze. We had 2 lonely plums – which I went to check on yesterday . . . bad sadly, they were gone! Guess the squirrel or crows got them.

 

I am pleased that the blueberries are ready to pick – thanks to the netting. Saw a couple of red birds out there yesterday morning trying to find a hole they could get through – but all the clothes pins I used to hold the edges together must have worked since the pesky birds left sans blueberries. I picked enough on Wednesday to have a Banana-Blueberry Pie. Hadn’t had one in quite a while and we really enjoyed it. Note past tense of verb…..it didn’t last long.   Hydrangea_2013

 

RocksThe hydrangea bushes are blooming and gorgeous. And, another new project to add to the list is to take down the flower beds along the car port and replace them with a low rock wall. We’ve been collecting rocks off the road and out of the yard – but – will have to work that one into the schedule – hopefully when it’s a little cooler.

 

We always enjoy tamales (with chili), but sometimes there’s not enough of them left in the package for another meal – nor is there enough chili. That’s when you gotta be creative – and serve up a tamale casserole. I find making a casserole a good ‘catch-all’ for using just about any leftovers.

 

For the tamale casserole take the left over chili . . .

 

BTW- if you’re using canned chili, make it taste better by adding 1 teaspoon of chicken bullion and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder while heating. I sometimes also add in 1-2 teaspoons of either cornmeal, masa, or crushed up Saltine crackers to the chili. For us, this  enhances  the flavor and the crackers change the texture a little . . . now back to casserole. . . .

 

place chili in the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Choose a dish size based on how much chili and tamales you have. If you have any rice you want to get rid of, you can put it under the chili – or like we prefer, serve it as a side dish.

 

TamaleCasserole

 

Place the unwrapped tamales on top of the chili. Next layer – cheese of choice, and chopped onions if desired. Heat in microwave on half-power or in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.   Serve with corn chips, taco sauce and guacamole.

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