Mostly Homemade Mom

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cheesy Mexican Lasagna

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.

Layers of shredded chicken, poblano peppers, seasonings, corn tortillas, and cheese create this amazing dinner the whole family will crave!

Oh MAN do I love a good food challenge. I mean, I'm pretty much addicted to several Food Network shows, Chopped being one of my absolute favorites. I've seen some episodes where it's professional cooks who are competing, and others with amateur home cooks. I love them all!

It's always so suspenseful to have them open up those baskets and find out those mystery ingredients. If you haven't caught the show yet, the basic premise is that three people are creating dishes to compete against one another in front of food critics who will judge their dish. The catch is that, in each round, they are given a basket of ingredients and they have to incorporate all the ingredients into their dish. Some combinations I can see, others are just WACKO! At least once an episode I learn about an ingredient I'd never heard of before. It's really interesting!

I was recently given a Chopped at Home challenge with a "basket" of ingredients to incorporate in my recipe. SO FUN! My list of ingredients were... drumroll...

Ok, ok - I know. They totally went easy on me!! I honestly had at least 5 different recipe ideas with those amazing ingredients. After discussing with my resident food critic (AKA my husband) we both decided I should go for the Cheesy Mexican Lasagna. 

Friends, this is a dinner that you MUST try! I know my photography skills have come a long way since I began this blog adventure 5 years ago, but even these cheesy photos aren't doing this lasagna justice - trust me on this one!

Cheesy Mexican Lasagna

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups chunky salsa
  • 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup diced poblano pepper
  • 1 oz pkg taco seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups Sargento 4 Cheese Mexican Blend
  • 9 corn tortillas
  • sliced green onion
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken, salsa, black beans, corn, pepper, and taco seasoning.
  2. Lay 3 tortillas in the bottom of a 3 quart casserole dish, overlapping as needed.
  3. Spread 1/3 of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and then 1 cup of cheese.
  4. Repeat layers twice more, leaving the remaining 1/2 cup cheese aside. Cover dish with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove foil, sprinkle remaining cheese and green onion, and bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Slices of this amazing lasagna turned out so pretty plated, too! I served this with leftover grilled vegetables, but some Mexican rice and a side salad would go great too if you are expecting a crowd. If you're freezing, end with the cheese topping and cover. Thaw completely before heating according to baking directions above, but leave the foil on so that the cheese on top doesn't get too well done.

Sargento shredded cheese is available in 30 delicious varieties, blends, and cuts. Sargento Shredded Cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. Their packages of shredded cheese range from 3.25 to 3.95 ounces for a suggested retail price of $2.69 - which is why it's one of my favorite things to pick up during my grocery shopping!

If you think you have what it takes to be a champion on Chopped, submit your recipe to for the chance to win $5,000 and a trip to NYC to compete in a televised Chopped cooking challenge where the grand prize is $10,000! Be sure to check out Sargento's website ( and Pinterest page ( for more yummy recipe inspiration!

Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Toasted Pecan Pudding Trifles

Layers of sweet pound cake, crunchy toasted pecans and coconut, and creamy vanilla pudding with whipped cream make these mason jar trifles perfect for spring and summer!

I look forward to Mother's Day every year! Yes, of course, because I'm a mom and I get special treatment from my family for the day. But in our area, Mother's Day is unofficially when most people feel it's safe to plant flowers and vegetables outside. It means that spring has definitely arrived and summer is on its way!

This year I plan on putting in some zinnias in our front yard and a few vegetable plants in containers. Last year I did exactly ZERO gardening because Reuben was giving me a run for my money in my belly! With nausea and blood pressure issues, the LAST place I wanted to be was outside in the heat. The summer before last though, my zinnias took off like crazy. We had lots of caterpillars and butterflies, too - the boys loved it!

My mom has always loved gardening and, up until recently, I really could have cared less to join her. At my time of life right now though, it's such a nice change of pace to get in the garden outside and take something that looked dead and make it look alive again. Every day is filled with laundry, dishes, picking up things, and taking care of kids. With gardening, I get to use my creative energy again and I love it!

This beautiful Toasted Pecan Trifle is the perfect treat to prepare for you Mom this Mother's day! Pack it up in a mason jar and have the kids pick out a pretty potted flower plant and you have the perfect Mother's Day gift that she will love!

Toasted Pecan Pudding Trifles

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 3.4 oz pkgs instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 1 frozen Sara Lee Pound Cake, thawed and cut into cubes
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, toss together pecans, butter, flour, brown sugar, and coconut. Spread evenly onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  2. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, stirring at 10 minute intervals (check the last 5 minutes to prevent over browning). Cool completely.
  3. In another bowl, beat instant pudding and milk for 2 minutes. Refrigerate 5 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip.
  4. To assemble trifles, place a layer of cubed pound cake, pudding, and toasted pecans. Repeat layers until jars are filled. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Recipe makes 5-6 jars.

The sweet crunch of the toasted pecan coconut layers goes perfectly with cubed Sara Lee Pound Cake and vanilla pudding with Cool Whip - these went way too fast in our house!

Sara Lee and Cool Whip are brands I trust to create delicious and easy desserts, especially for Mother's Day! I like keeping a Sara Lee Dessert and Cool Whip in my freezer on hand for quick entertaining, or even an every day snack. Cool Whip is actually celebrating its 50th anniversary in May 2016 so let's celebrate! Leave your favorite Cool Whip recipe in the comment section below - bonus points if it features a Sara Lee Dessert as well! You can find Sara Lee Desserts and Cool Whip Whipped Topping products in the frozen foods section of your local Walmart! Find out more about Sara Lee and Cool Whip by visiting their websites. Happy Mother's Day, friends!

Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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