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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Layered Tostado Bake - A Walk Down Memory Lane

When I was a young woman - in the late 70s - waaayyyy before Internet, home computers, or even office computers... in the days of recipe "clipping" - I started accumulating so many clipped recipes (which of course didn't fit on recipe cards unless you re-wrote them) that I started my own little recipe book by using a photograph album with those peel-back plastic sheets to safely encase my favored recipes... and those I thought looked interesting.  I also accumulated a HUGE number of the Food Sections from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.  Every Wednesday I snatched the section from the newspaper and read it cover-to-cover - carefully saving "special" editions...for YEARS I did this.  Then we moved to the coast.

I had to "get rid of" things I couldn't have imagined ever discarding - but I truly had no choice.  Downsizing from a large 4-bedroom home with a filled attic and garage, to a tiny 2-bedroom condo 375 miles away required relentless re-evaluation of "what was really important".  I've looked everywhere in storage for those newspaper sections I saved for 30 years - and I can't find them - so I must have finally taken the plunge and tossed them.  I know I was getting desperately ruthless as we neared the move.  I got rid of things I had been hoarding for ages (not really hoarding - but my husband and I both tend to "collect" things).

What I did NOT get rid of was about 15 of my favorite cookbooks (out of over 100 - because I had acquired my Mom's as well).  One of those I saved was my old "photo album-cum-cookbook".  I take it out from time to time and browse through it.  It is a walk down memory lane.  This morning was one of those times.

I, again, realized how very disorganized it was - although, at least, I had confined it to a "sort of" savory section and a "sort of" sweets section.  So today, I made two dividers...the book will hardly close it is so stuffed - and all I could do was manage two dividers.  My brain is prone to desiring organization...people laugh because I make spreadsheets for everything.  My Christmas gift lists are on Excel - my address database is in Access - I make Word forms utilizing tables for my son's homework assignments - new book releases are on an Excel spreadsheet - I make slide shows of my photographs which are in computerized files by year and, it is almost painful to go to a collection of recipes that are so disorganized.  However... it is familiar.  It is comforting.  And, somehow, I know where each item can generally be found. 

I looked, this morning, at old recipes I made for my kids when they were tots (the oldest is now 34!) and I know I will not likely throw this away...ever.  I hope at least one of the kids will recognize the value and history enclosed in the plumped up ancient book and take it with them on that day (hopefully FAR into the future!) when they have to clean out my condo :-)

So, today, since I was looking for recipes that maybe the persnickety teen would enjoy - I found one that I used to serve at least a couple of times per month through the mid-1980s.  I think he would like it (so long as I leave out the olives).  I'm sure it isn't all that wholesome...but it was filling and the family loved when it landed on the table.  I'll share it with you and hope that if you decide to make it, you too will enjoy this filling concoction.  It came from a magazine (or perhaps an insert) and it is grouped with several recipes that use Bisquick baking mix.  That was a STAPLE of my 1970s and 1980s pantry.  I don't think I've bought a box of Bisquick in maybe 7 or 8 years...but I might have to do that again...because I remember this as being a great week-night meal!

Update 1/13/2011 - Made it for dinner!


1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 envelope (1 1/4 ounces) taco seasoning mix
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans (I bet they'll be 15 oz now!)
1 can (4 ounces) whole green chilies, drained, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 egg
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease rectangular baking dish (12x7 1/2x2 inches).  Cook and stir ground beef and onion in 10-inch skillet until beef is brown; drain.  Stir in seasoning mix, tomato sauce, beans, chilies, and olives.

Mix baking mix, cornmeal, milk, 1 beaten egg, and oil until moistened; beat vigorously 30 seconds.  Spread in dish.  Spoon beef mixture over dough.  Mix remaining ingredients; spoon over beef mixture.  Bake 30 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.  6 to 8 servings.

High Altitude Directions (3500 to 6500 feet) - Heat oven to 400 degrees.  use rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches.

A scanned copy of the original recipe

So, enjoy a blast from my past and Bon Appetit, y'all!
It was yummy - served with extra toppings...
avocado, green onion, and salsa...made it even better!

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