Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Casserole Classic and New Love

I have to ask... How was your Valentine's Day? Mine was stupendous. 
One filled with old love and new love.

You see, our family expanded on Valentine's Day 2014. 

Meet Maddie, the newest addition to the Obenhaus clan.

Maddie is an adorable 4 month old Schnorkie (Schnauzer and Yorkie mix) we adopted from an animal rescue.
Do you see the mischief in those dark eyes? 
It's showing itself just a little more every day.

Of course she is a puppy. And puppies like mischief.
But they can also be sweet and cuddly. 
Like when they fall asleep under my desk just to be close to mama.

Even though I'm basking in the glow of puppy love, life still goes on. Which means my family still demands to be fed.


So it's time to whip out a classic.

King Ranch Casserole is a staple here in Texas. And it's no wonder...
With a nod toward Mexican food, yet tame enough for the most sensitive of palates, King Ranch Casserole is a heaping helping of down-home goodness.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 rotisserie chicken (boned and chopped)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups Chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Ro-tel)
  • 15 corn tortillas, quartered
  • 2 cups (or more) cheddar cheese (I used a blend of sharp cheddar and Monterrey Jack, because I like the creaminess of jack cheese)
Note:  I used a rotisserie chicken I picked up from the grocery store because I was in a time crunch. You know, playing with puppies takes up a lot of time. However, you can also boil your own chicken or use leftovers. Just so you have about 5-6 cups of chopped chicken.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix your soups, chili powder, garlic salt and diced tomatoes and green chilies together.
Kind of looks like queso, doesn't it?
I don't think I'd want to try a scoop of this on a chip though.

Saute your bell pepper and onion in some oil (I used olive oil).

Once tender, add the pepper and onion to the soup mixture and stir to combine.

Thin mixture to desired consistency with chicken broth. I used about three-fourths to a cup.

So you got your chicken, your soup mixture, your cheese and your tortillas. Now it's time to assemble.

In a greased 9 x 13 pan, layer tortilla quarters along the bottom.

Sprinkle with half of your chicken.

Spoon half of your sauce/soup mixture over that.
Doesn't that red and green look pretty?

Cover that with a layer of cheese.
Confession time...when I'm assembling casseroles like this, I never measure my cheese. I just add it until it looks right to me.

Repeat the layers, adding a final coating of cheese on top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. You want it bubbly and the cheese golden.

While that's baking, play with puppy.
Maddie loves to play ball. And it's a good thing, too. All that chasing after it will wear her out.

Oops...there goes the timer.
Though I couldn't hold the natives off long enough to get a pic.

Creamy, cheesy, chickeny goodness. 
Mmm, mmm, mmm...

Aren't casseroles like the greatest invention ever?
Of course, they were the invention of some poor, frazzled mother, frantically looking for something to feed her family for dinner. And there's nothing like hungry kids to spur us into action.

Right, Ruthy?


  1. Oh, my gosh! I asked a friend what a good "Southern" dish would be that nobody else would really have heard of and she told me King Ranch Casserole. I looked it up, thought it sounded great.... and here it is!! I love it!!

    1. It was meant to be, Virginia. Hope you and yours like it as much as we did. ;)

    2. I love when that stuff happens!!!!

    3. I don't know about y'all, but God always speaks to me in repetition. Probably because I tend to be hard of hearing. :P

    4. Well, it was for a line in a book that has already been turned in and I decided not to use it (chose something else she listed) but it was just WEIRD to see it here!

  2. OOOOOOhhhhh..never mind the casserole -- Maddie is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!!!!!!! What a fuzzy-headed cutie. LOL...a Schnorkie!!!!!! I didn't know they existed but now I want one! Give that furball a kiss from her Auntie Kav!

    1. Kav, I knew you'd approve. LOL. I didn't know there were Schnorkies either until we took her with us to the pet store and one of the workers asked what she was. I said schnauzer/Yorkie and she says, "I knew it was a schnorkie." Well, slap me silly.

      Looks like we'll have more gratuitous puppy photos. :)

  3. Casserole's and crockpots. Anything that makes cooking last two days. This meal looks amazing. One night with salad. One night with whole green beans. Perfect.

    Hi to Maddie!!!!

    1. Yep, that's exactly how we did it, Tina. Great minds think alike. :)

  4. TEX!!!! I remembered to get over here on a Tuesday morning!!!!

    I love casseroles, just love them, anything with one-dish prep has made my multi-career short list. This looks marvelous, but it's the PUPPY I want to play with!

    Oh give me that puppy!!!!

    And some babies, I love me some babies!!!! :)

    What fun to see this little funny mix, and who takes a schnorkie mix to the pound? We'd be selling that sweet baby for hundreds of dollars up here, and people would flock to pay it.

    So let's forget the food and talk PUPPIES!!!!

    1. Ruthy, that's exactly why I wanted her. I needed a baby. And since she won't get much bigger, she'll always be a baby. :)

      From what I was told, animal control picked her up. Why no one would be looking for her is beyond me. But that particular shelter didn't like to keep the puppies there, instead they went to foster homes. We had to interview, along with several other people, but we were their top choice. Yay! And we feel blessed to have little Maddie.

  5. I haven't had this in years - last time was at a quilt retreat and unfortunately for me I had been very good on Weight Watchers and wasn't used to heavy foods - almost made me sick! this stuff is the bomb - very rich with all the cream soups and cheese! I could probably handle it now though!
    cute little doggy - can't see her on a ranch LOL! I think the little bitties are cute but I'm a big dog person - I wanna be able to find the dog in my house and not have to dive all the way to the floor to grab 'em! maybe I need a great dane...

    1. We have two big dogs, Susanna. A golden retriever and an Australian shepherd/blue heeler mix. But, as I told Ruthy, I wanted a baby. A snuggle bunny. The big dogs weren't quite sure what to think of her at first. The golden, she's 7, is starting to play with her now. The other one is 12 and tolerates her. She's kind of a grouchy old lady and Maddie has already learned to steer clear of her. ;)

      We'll be keeping a close eye on her at the ranch. At least until she's a little older. My husband has already wondered how she'll react when she sees a cow. However, I doubt her high-pitched bark will garner much of a reaction.

    2. Never mind the cows, Mindy. Keep her away from the snakes and crocodiles!!!!!!!! In fact, I think I'll have to just go on down there and puppy sit every time you go to the ranch! (just had to come back and take a gander at that cute little mugh again. What a sweetheart!)

    3. LOL! You do have a point, Kav. I wouldn't worry too much about the gators, but I could just see Maddie prancing up to us with a snake in her mouth, pleased as punch. The way she shakes the living daylights out of her toys... Yeah, I could see her doing the same thing with a snake. We will definitely be keeping a close eye on her. However, if you'd like to come puppy sit, you're more than welcome. :)

    4. People around here - ranchers and people outside of town - have their dogs vaccinated for rattlesnake bites (our only venomous snake). Do they do the same here?

    5. Sorry - that last word should be "there" instead of "here" :/

    6. I haven't heard of that, but I will definitely have to check into it, Jan. Of course, we don't see rattlesnakes near as often as the copperheads. Wonder if they have a vaccine for that?

    7. she's a cutie! a friend of mine has a yorkie and she's a spoiled little doggy -s he pulls out toys and brings them to her one by one til Anna finally picks one to play with with her! her hubby has a big black lab named Beaux - he's the one I wrestled with- was afraid I'd hurt Mildren but she said the 2 play rough all the time!
      I was worried more about the snakes and the wild animals that snack on little doggies and kitties - coyotes and those big birds that swoop down. :-(
      have fun with your snuggy dog!

  6. Puppy pictures! What a cutie :)

    And I love King Ranch ANYTHING! I learned to crave it when we lived in Texas, and this is going on next week's menu.

    I understand about the little dog, too. When I was thinking about getting Thatcher, a friend of mine (who loves her dogs almost as much as her children) was saying that's why she keeps a Papillon around. The big dogs are great for running with the horses, and she has a Golden that she's training to be a therapy dog, but she likes having a dog that will sit in her lap and snuggle.

    I know our husky, Wynter, loves to snuggle - but she's a bit big for the job on a regular basis :)

    1. Jan, I just had a bowl for lunch and it was delicious!

      My husband has always said that once we move to the ranch we will have outdoor dogs. Little does he know that I still plan on having a lap dog and that means indoor dog.

      Who knows how many dogs we'll end up with. In the country, they have a way of finding you instead of the other way around.

  7. This looks delicious!! And so does Maddie!! I just want to eat her up! (Figuratively speaking, of course!) :)

    1. Yes, no eating of dogs at the Yankee-Belle, Missy. Though I know what you mean. Sometimes I just want to squeeze the puddin' out of her. Figuratively speaking. ;)