Friday, July 13, 2018

Pile-On Mexican Salad Recipe

Pile-on Mexican salad recipe is a definite people pleaser meal! It is easy to organize by everyone bringing one or two of the items. Great for large gatherings or for fundraisers!

Pile-on salad may be served with Fritos or on a bed of rice, pile your plate with chili, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, coconut and other ingredients as you desire.
This is a great recipe to serve buffet style to a large crowd or for a Mexican fiesta theme party. You may prepare many of the items the day before.

I have planned this meal many times for family and church gatherings. It is an easy party when everyone pitches in and brings a couple of items. It is enjoyed by kids and adults!

Our family gets together on Christmas Eve every year, and we are totaling 45 of us now, and counting. We have Pile-on Mexican salad every year! It is great because you can just keep increasing servings as the family grows! Of course, you must include your family's favorite desserts!

It's a great meal for a fundraiser or a crowd. Serve a large chocolate sheet cake or your choice of dessert and you will have an easy but delicious meal. Okay, let get this pile-on started, get to piling, it grows very fast!

  • 4 pounds ground beef 
  • 5 large onions, chopped, divided 
  • 4 packages taco seasoning, dry 
  • 1 pound bag pinto beans, dry, cooked 
  • 1-14 ounce package rice, cooked 
  • 1-24 ounce bag Fritos or corn chips, crushed 
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 1 large head lettuce, chopped 
  • 6-7 medium tomatoes, chopped 
  • 2-2 1/2 cups black olives, chopped 
  • 2-3 large avocados, peeled, chopped 
  • 1-16 ounce sour cream 
  • 1-16 ounce picante sauce 
  • 1-16 ounce jar jalapenos, sliced 

Optional Ingredients

Some people love these ingredients and others do not! These are for those of you who are adventurous!
  • 1- 18-ounce raisins
  • 1- 7-ounce package coconut
  • 2-2 1/2 cups pecan, chopped
  1. The night before serving; sort and wash the pinto beans and place in a pot to soak, cover with the water.
  2. Drain soaking water from the beans. Place in the crock pot or in a cooking pot on the stove top and cook.
  3. Brown the beef and 3 of the large onions, chopped; drain off the grease.
  4. Add the taco seasoning and the amount of water in the directions. Simmer for about 2 hours.
  5. Cook the rice.
  6. Chop the lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and the avocados.
  7. Shred the cheddar cheese.
  8. Set the bowls of Fritos or crushed corn chips, cheese, onion, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, avocados, sour cream, picante sauce, jalapeños, raisins, coconut and the pecans in this order to serve buffet style.
  9. Guests serve themselves by layering the ingredients they desire. 

Number Of Servings: 18-20 servings

Tips From Margielynn!

Use this recipe for a large gathering. Have each family bring 2 or 3 items and line them up as stated.
This recipe may be increased to the number of servings you need.
You may delete any items that you do not like. I am not a fan of the coconut, olives or the raisins!
For a shortcut, you could add canned beans into the meat mixture; I prefer a fresh pot of pinto beans.
If you use the small corn chips, you will not need to crush them.

Must-Have Desserts, Lots of Desserts!

Our family loves cheesecake served with pile-on! We always have a scrumptious selection to choose from! From pies, cakes, candies to Christmas Cookies!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Recipe

What would be yummier than chocolate cream cheese carrot cake! The carrots make this a very moist cake, it has a layer of cream cheese frosting and topped with a chocolate glaze!

Ingredients for Cake

  • 2 cups flour 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 ½ cup oil 
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded coarse (about 2 cups) 
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup powdered sugar 
Ingredients for Chocolate Glaze
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, good quality, not unsweetened 
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
Instructions for Cake
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. 
  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder and the baking soda in a bowl. 
  4. Place the eggs and the oil in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixed well. 
  5. Add the sifted flour mixture; beat until combined only. 
  6. Stir in the carrots; divide the batter between the two pans. 
  7. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes or until test done. 
  8. Cool the cakes. 
  9. After cakes are cooled prepare cream cheese frosting. 
Instructions for Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Beat the cream cheese and the. butter until smooth with an electric mixer; add the vanilla and the powdered sugar.
  2. Beat until creamy.
  3. Spread on top of one layer and top it with the other layer.
  4. Now we are ready to make the Chocolate Glaze. 
Instructions for Chocolate Glaze
  1. In a saucepan combine all the chocolate glaze ingredients; cook on medium heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. 
  2. Remove from the stove and let the glaze cool a little. 
  3. Spread over the top and sides of cake; chill for one hour. 
Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pack a Back to School Lunch Box Your Kids Will Eat

Pack a Back to School Lunch Box Your Kids Will Eat!

Back to school lunch box suggestions for your kids. Pick the foods your kids will eat from this great list of choices! Get your kids involved in selecting their favorites.

Back to School is right around the corner or already here! Are you looking for a suggestion for packing the lunch box with foods your child will eat?

This article will give you some ideas for packing a meal that your child will love and eat, plus some healthier choices.

First, make sure your child picks a lunch box with a thermos and an insulated section where you can put hot and cold foods, but let them pick the design that they like and are proud to carry to school.

Freezing juice or drink boxes will keep foods cold, they will thaw by lunchtime. Or, you can also invest in miniature cold packs that can be found in the sporting goods section of your local department store.

There are so many healthy and delicious options to choose for your child's lunch box! Make your child happy by planning their meals with the foods they love! The lunch box will come home empty!

Pick Your Favorite Lunchbox!

Planning For Lunches

Fruit Choices: 
  • Bananas 
  • Oranges, best to peel and section 
  • Blueberries 
  • Pineapple 
  • Apples 
  • Pears 
  • Plums 
  • Melon 
  • Grapes 
  • Cherries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Peaches 
  • Nectarine 
  • Choose whatever is in season; for smaller children cut fruits in a bite-sized piece. 
  • Fruit cups 
  • Apple slices with peanut butter for dipping 
  • Dried fruit or fruit chips 
  • Let The Kids Pick Their Favorite Fruits 
Vegetable Choices:

Vegetables in finger food size: 

  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Carrots 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Broccoli 
  • Celery 
  • For dipping add low-fat seasoned cream cheese, hummus or ranch dressing. 
Make the Lunch Box Meal Fun! 
  • Sandwiches, Wraps, Salads, and Soups: 
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich 
  • Sandwich wraps 
  • Sliced meat rolled into a tube, some kids do not always want the bread, offer on the side. 
  • Cheese quesadillas 
  • Chicken, tuna or egg salad 
  • Pasta salad 
  • Hot soup, stew or chili 
  • For unique sandwiches, get out the cookie cutter to cut the sandwich, a new one every day. 
Extra Goodies
  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • String cheese
  • Bean dip and baked tortilla chips
  • A Healthier alternative to chip: veggie chips, bagel rounds, or baked tortilla crisps.
  • Trail Mix, you can buy ready-made or make your own.
  • Mini muffins, buy or make your own.
  • Dress up low-fat yogurt by sending some stir-ins like granola, trail mix or unsalted chopped nuts.
  • Bag of pretzels, crackers or cereal
  • Graham crackers
  • Popcorn, popped
  • 100% Juice boxes 
  • 1% milk 
  • Vegetable juice 
  • Water 

Tips From Margielynn

Personal Touch! 

  • Put a personal note, cartoon or a picture of the family pet and remind them how much you love them. 
  • Include your child in the meal planning, if they do not like it they will not eat it. 
  • Food picks are a cute way to make the lunchbox meal really special for your child! Find their favorite theme and they will be delighted when they open it! 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Nutty Caramel Corn Snack Mix

Nutty Caramel Corn Snack Mix

I love caramel corn, with any kind of nut! You can even add dried fruit if you like. If you do not like nuts, leave them out. Cellophane gift bags of caramel corn makes a great gift or take home favor for a Halloween Party.

  • 3 quarts of popped popcorn
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 stick (½ cup) margarine or butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unsalted nuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashew, walnuts or mixed nuts are good. The nuts are optional.
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. You will need two large baking sheets, a large glass bowl, and rubber spatulas, spray all the items with non-sticking cooking spray.
  3. Pour popped popcorn in large bowl, make sure you get all the un-popped kernels out.
  4. If using nuts add and toss with popcorn.
  5. Combine margarine, brown sugar, salt and light corn syrup in a saucepan.
  6. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to boil gently for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, add baking soda and vanilla extract. The baking soda will cause the mixture to bubble. Pour over popcorn and nuts in the bowl, mix well like tossing a salad using two rubber spatulas.
  8. Divide this mixture among the two baking sheets.
  9. Bake one hour at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring every 15 minutes.
  10. Store in airtight container.