Mexican and Meringue

My mom’s birthday was this week, so obviously I was going to cook for her. when I asked her what she wanted her first response was “Liver and Onions.” After I politely declined and told her we had to make something I would actually eat, she decided on Enchilada Casserole from her Taste of Home casserole book. Then for dessert, I didn’t make your traditional birthday cake. I made dark chocolate cupcakes topped with meringue.

Enchilada Casserole Recipe


1 pound lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups salsa

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup Italian salad dressing

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

6 flour tortillas ( 8 inches)

3/4 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 medium tomato, chopped


1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

2. Stir in the salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning and cumin.

3. Place three tortillas in a 2 -qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Layer with half of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese.

5. Repeat the layers.

6. Cover and back at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

7. Uncover and bake 5 – 10 minutes longer or until heated through.

8. Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce and tomato.


Chocolate Meringue Cupcakes Recipe

Mine did not look nearly as pretty as the ones in my cupcake book did. But I blame it on my lack of proper tools – no piping bag. At least they were yummy!!!


3 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped ( I just used dark chocolate chips)

1/3 cup light cream

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs


3 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

1/3 cup sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 25 degrees and line a standard 12- cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Melt the chocolate and cream in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

4. Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until pale and creamy.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.

6. With mixer on low speed, add the mixed dry ingredients and melted chocolate.

7. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling each one three-quarters full.

8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack.

9. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Meringue –

10. Beat the egg whites and cream of tarter in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.

11. Gradually ad the sugar, whisking until it is all incorporated and meringue is thick and glossy.

12. Spoon the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle. (Or if you’re me… a plastic bag with a whole cut out of the corner).

13. Pipe the meringue on top of the cupcakes.

14. Bake in the oven until golden, about 5 minutes.


About Nicole Hangartner

A college grad navigating the real world while trying to remain fashionable and well fed. View all posts by Nicole Hangartner

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