Friday, September 30, 2011

A Review and a Recipe: Texas Tamale Company and “Angela’s Tasty Tex Mex Lasagna”

It is an exciting time for me and my blog, "The Southern Fried Bride". This week, I am so happy to bring you my very first product review! In my "A Review and a Recipe" posts, I will bring you a food product graciously provided to me by a food company to try, and I will share the highlights of using the product in my kitchen and a recipe I created with the product or products.

The Texas Tamale Company, according to their website, first began in the early 1980s when a West Houston couple made a name for themselves making fresh gourmet lard-free tamales and fresh salsa in their home kitchen. As word spread of the great taste of these fresh tamales, the demand for a lard-free tamale grew. Enough interest was generated so that the couple began selling from a street-side cart on the far west side of Houston. It did not take long to outgrow their home kitchen and Texas Tamale Company. “The Mexican Deli” was opened on Fountainview, just a few miles from Houston’s prestigious Galleria area. Commitment to quality and customer service soon made them a well-known Houston tradition. Their online store is open 24/7/365. I love that they offer a great selection of gluten-free food products. They can ship their perishable food items in the U.S. and U.S. Territories only and can ship all their non-perishable goods anywhere.

I was very excited when they sent me a box full of their wonderful food products to try out in my kitchen!

Each of the products they sent me I found to taste like a South of the Border flavor fiesta. My favorite is the "Cilantro Sauce De Julia". I found it so flavorful with a great combination of heat yet also a tangy quality. Their products are perfect for all kinds of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes such as tamales and enchiladas and also for using in other types of dishes, such as my recipe this week, a Tex-Mex lasagna. They are great as dips or adding to dip ingredients for wonderful spicy flavor.

Here is the dish I created using some of their wonderful products, “Angela’s Tasty Tex-Mex Lasagna”:

“Angela’s Tasty Tex-Mex Lasagna”

8 ounces lasagna noodles

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup Texas Tamale Company Chipotle Pepper Sauce

1 cup Texas Tamale Company Cilantro Sauce De Julia

1 cup tomato sauce

1 pint light sour cream

1 package (8 ounce) shredded Mozzarella cheese (reduced fat Mozzarella works great)

1/2 cup shredded American cheese

Optional: 1/2 cup black olives, sliced and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Spray 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion. Drain well. Return beef mixture to skillet. Stir in Chipotle Pepper Sauce, Cilantro Sauce De Julia and tomato sauce. Add black olives, if desired. In baking pan, layer 1/3 of lasagna noodles, 1/3 of meat sauce and 1/3 of sour cream and 1/3 package of Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat layers twice. Bake lasagna for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with ½ cup American cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 8-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 6-8. Enjoy!

If you are interested in learning more about their products, you can find them on Facebook at Texas Tamale Company  , on their website at  or by calling 1-800-882-6253.

Disclaimer: I received four food products from the Texas Tamale Company for the purpose of my honest feedback. I was not financially compensated in any way for this review.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Angela's Pleasin' Crock Pot Sausage Queso Dip"

One of my favorite wedding gifts we received is a crock pot. At one of our wedding showers, Craig and I received seven crock pots as gifts from loved ones and we love that memory of opening up each of those crock pots at that shower. Recently on the internet, several women began a page about crock pot recipes on Facebook and the people coming to their page skyrocketed, proving many people are ready for quick ways to prepare meals. Here is one of my favorite crock pot recipes for this time of year, now that football season is here.
"Angela's Pleasin' Crock Pot Sausage Queso Dip"

1 lb. Jimmy Dean light sausage, browned and drained

2 lbs. American cheese, cubed

1 10 oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Brown sausage. Drain. Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Place crockpot on LOW heat setting. Cover with lid and heat one hour. Keep on LOW setting until ready to serve. Serves 8-10. Enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

“Craig's Pleasing Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie”

My husband Craig’s favorite dessert flavor all year-round is pumpkin, so this time of year he has a field day when it comes time for dessert. This week's recipe is a great way to change up traditional pumpkin pie we begin to see served on dinner tables this time of year. It is a quick and easy no-bake pie with healthy choices for ingredients. When you look for canned pumpkin on the grocery store shelf, look for what is labeled as pumpkin pie mix. I have found this to be a real time saver as well as economical because it comes already seasoned with pumpkin pie ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. I hope you and your loved ones will find this pie to be a new fall favorite!

“Craig's Pleasing Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie”

1 cup pumpkin pie filling

1 pint Blue Bell No Sugar Added Vanilla ice cream, softened

1 cup sugar free Cool Whip, thawed

1 ready-made reduced fat graham cracker pie crust

In a large mixing bowl, combine first three ingredients and stir to blend well. Pour into pie crust. Freeze at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Newlywed Kitchen Corner: "Angela's Stampede Trail Bars"

Cooler weather is coming and with it comes one of my favorite autumn traditions: fall baking! The Southern Fried Bride is having a lot of fun baking up fall-flavor treats in my New York kitchen to share with you in the upcoming weeks. Here is another one of my recipes for a quick and easy snack or dessert perfect for this back-to-school time of year.  
"Angela's Stampede Trail Bars"
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 1/2 cups oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

1/3 cup raisins
Optional: ¼ cup coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix together peanut butter, honey, egg, oil and almond extract until well blended. Add in oats, brown sugar and salt. Mix well. Stir in white chocolate chips, raisins and coconut. Transfer mixture into 9x13 baking dish. Take spatula or spoon and gently shape mixture to fill entire layer of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 15 square bars or 30 bite-size bars. Enjoy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Newlywed Recipe Corner: "Angela's Raspberry Oat Delight Bars"

A new school year is here and this time of year always brings "sweet" memories back for me of my own school days when my Mom or Grandma Cleva picking me up from school and bringing me home to a special snack. For today's parents and grandparents, life often finds you on the go in every direction and it can be hard to find the time to bake a dessert or snack. I love my quick and easy recipe for a cookie bar that can easily be modified for healthier eating. You can try it with different flavors of fruit preserves for a fun variety.

"Angela's Raspberry Oat Delight Bars"

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 cup brown sugar (I use a healthy alternative: Splenda Brown Sugar for Baking)

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ sticks butter, sliced and softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (12 ounce) jar raspberry preserves (I use Smucker’s Red Raspberry Reduced Sugar Preserves)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13” x 9” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar and flour. Mix well. Add softened butter, cut into pieces and vanilla extract. Stir together until mixture forms a moist texture. Pour half of oat mixture into baking pan. Lightly press mixture into the bottom of the pan until it forms a layer of crust. Spoon 12-ounce jar of raspberry preserves over layer of oat crust. Gently spread over the mixture to form layer of preserves. Sprinkle remaining half of oat mixture over preserves and lightly pat with spatula. Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely. Cut into 18 squares and serve. Store remaining bars in an airtight container. Enjoy!

My blogger friend Carolyn at "Cookin' for my Captain" made my whole week when she featured me and my peanut butter pie I shared here last week on her blog today! Her wonderful blog is the newest addition to my "I Do Declare" blog roll.