4:37 PM Posted by Martha A Cheves
(A Dave Special)
This recipe can be made many different ways. If you don't have an ingredient on hand, you can leave it out. There's really only one ingredient you can't leave out or change much, that's the refried beans. Here's the usual way:
one pound of ground beef. More or less, but it's good to have some for the flavor, you can leave it out.
two regular size cans of refried beans, whatever kind you like. You can add more beans than that, depending on your family and your taste.
half a large bag of taco chips (or fritos or potato chips, or you can serve it on bread, or with no base at all. Chili Chese Fritos works best, I think.)
one medium onion, diced. (or not)
One medium green pepper, (or not)
One packaged fajita seasoning, (or taco or season it to your tastes with separate seasonings."
One package of "so cheesy" taco seasoning ( or not, as above)
at least eight ounces of your favorite cheese, shredded or diced, or whatever cheese you have on hand, Campbell's Nacho Fiesta cheese sauce works well.
You might also like: Mushrooms, black olives, sliced, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and or sour cream.
In a deep skillet, brown the ground beef, add the seasonings as soon as it's browned off, if the meat is particularly fatty, drain some off, but not all. There's a lot of flavor there. add in the onions and green pepper and mushrooms if you're using them, cook until the onions and green pepper are as soft as you want them.
Add the refried beans, stir everything together and keep heating them up until the beans are hot all the way through. If using chips, crunch them up, and cover the bottom of an appropriately sized casserole dish, bread pan, whatever works. Spoon in the meat and beans mixture. level it out, then put on the cheese. If using canned diced tomatoes, you can put them on now.
When you plate it up, you can add more cheese sprinkled on it, shredded lettuce, a dollop of sour cream, and or the black olives... if you want them and have them on hand. I sometimes use salsa or picante sauce instead of tomatoes, and I might add my favorite hotsauce to my plate full. So long as you don't burn it, you can hardly go wrong with this meal. Yes, it's better some ways than others, but it's doable pretty much any time, if you have the beans.
Trouble Starts, Pane Follows – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds
Ralph is the claims chief for a very large insurance company. The disembodied voice is trying to be sweet, but it’s not Ralph’s way, it sounds fake, “Ash pack a bag, I have a dozy of a case for you to work your magic on. Ash, I really need your help on this one. A Stradivarius violin has been stolen from a courier company. It had just been sold at auction for twenty two million bucks. It was stolen on the way from the authenticator’s to the new owner. The courier company is putting up an extra million bucks to whoever gets it back to the rightful owner, no questions asked. I guess they’re worried about their reputation. I’ll gladly pay your usual twenty five percent on top of that should you work your magic again. I authorized the coverage on the damn thing, my neck is on the chopping block. I’m not doing this as a favor to you, but to myself. The leads are slim, but if anyone can find it, you will, I just know it. I’ll fax you what info there is on this damn case as soon as I hang up. Let me know if I can help in any way. I’ll do so gladly. Good hunting, oh, you have a month to find it, so don’t let it spoil your weekend. Later.”
This was the message Ashling (Ash) Pane heard emanating from her voice mail recorder. Ash ended up taking early retirement from the FBI after being shot with an armor piercing bullet that went right through her vest. While an agent she gathered the goodwill of many rich and powerful people, including the President of the United States. Trouble was, she had also earned a reputation for herself of not going by the rules. That's what got her retired, truth be told. Now she does recovery work for high end insurance claims. Her reputation precedes her, ’Ash Pane goes by her own set of rules!’
Following the trail takes Ash towhere she meets Paul Roman, who is world known as an authenticator of musical instruments. At the time of Ash’s visit to Paul has, two guitars locked in his safe that once belonged to David Seymour. David overdosed on the flight back from after doing a tour. For some strange reason, the guitars been shipped to Paul to authenticate. This wasn’t to be, due to a group of Russians busting in to take possession of one of the guitars by force. As it turns out, their unwanted visitors are from the Russian Mob and the leader of the group is none other than Anatoli Ivanovich, one of the most wanted men in the world. He’s noted for stealing priceless art, jewels, gold and anything else of extreme value. He also has a $20,000,000.00 price on his head. Ash wants his valuable head, more for trying to kill her than the reward, the reward offered will see that he stays alive... maybe.
When I first started reading Trouble Starts, Pane Follows, I saw Ash as an overly macho female character, but the more I read, the more I have to say I liked her, macho and all. She is a man’s woman and she is a woman’s woman. She isn’t afraid of anyone or anything making her the envy of a lot of women. She loves her toys which includes anything that makes a bang which makes her the envy of a lot of men. When someone crosses her, she doesn’t get mad, she literally gets even plus. Heaven help you if you’re a man coming after Ash or one of her friends for you just might lose your family jewels. And if you come at her with a gun, you might find it stuck where the sun doesn’t shine. However, when Ash loves, she loves deep as with her new found ward Roz, a musical prodigy. Her main love interest in this episode, Paul, is quite the opposite, it's almost as if the typical male and female roles are reversed. I'm sure that was the idea, and once it gets rolling, it works well.
Macho or not, I really enjoyed Ash in this book and am waiting for the next one to come out. You can bet I’ll be one of the first to get my copy.