Crustless Buttermilk Quiche!

This "Crustless Buttermilk Quiche" is a great quiche you can whip up in no time and it's good served for breakfast, lunch, brunch or a light supper!   I started making crustless versions of quiche when I was trying to cut some of the carbs in my diet and I found that I really didn't miss the crust all that much.   These are also great when you don't have a pie shell or time to make a pie crust!   The use of buttermilk in this is a little different also and you know it can only make it better!  Buttermilk is one of the ingredients in southern cooking that just makes it or breaks it!    Here is what you will need for this quiche:
1 lb. breakfast sausage (1 roll),  browned  (can substitute diced, cooked ham for sausage)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
3 Tbs. butter, melted
4 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
1  1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
dash of hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Crumble and brown the sausage in a skillet.  Add the green onion for the last 5 minutes just to get it tender.  If there is excess grease, drain that off.  
Spray a quiche dish or deep pie plate with nonstick spray and place the sausage and onions in the bottom.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, buttermilk, flour and seasonings.  Stir in the cheeses.  Pour evenly over the sausage mixture.  Make sure to spread the cheese around evenly.
Place in a 350 degree oven.  It's best to place this on a cookie sheet.  I used the Temptations pie plate which is just the perfect size, but if you use a regular deep pie plate, it will be very full.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.   If it starts to brown too much, just lay a piece of foil over the top.  Slice and serve immediately!
This is great served with hash browns or fried potatoes!

Sarah's Italian Meatballs!

As I have told you before, I come from a huge extended family on my mother's side.  My mother is from a family of 11 children who all had several children and they had several more children and on and on, you get the picture.  There are lots of people and a lot of good southern cooks. Most people in our family cook to some degree, some better than others, but we really believe in teaching our children to cook!
This recipe, is my little 16 year old cousin, Sarah's recipe for meatballs.  She not only gave me the recipe, but she and my mother cooked it also.  Wasn't that so sweet?   Sarah really likes to cook and, of course, I think that is great!  She really has a talent for it also and I hope she continues to develop that.  Her mother, my Aunt Mary (she has also provided us some good recipes), has always had Sarah in the kitchen and let her be creative in there and do things she enjoyed making!  This is how you get kids to cook!  Let them experiment and create and then brag on them like crazy!  This would be great recipe to have your children try, because it's fairly basic.
Here is what you will need for these meatballs:
1  1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (could use Italian bread crumbs)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil (optional)
1 cup water, divided
1 (24 oz.)  jar Marinara sauce
1  lb. box spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
extra Parmesan for topping
In a  mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients.  Mix in 1/2 cup water.  This keeps the meatballs moist.  
Divide the meat mixture into 6 large meatballs.   If you prefer smaller meatballs, you can divide it into 12 smaller meatballs.   If you do the 6 meatballs, one of these is a serving since they are pretty large. 
Place on a baking sheet you have sprayed with nonstick spray.   Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  
Place the meatballs in a Dutch oven or in a casserole dish with a cover.  Pour the Marinara sauce overall and the other 1/2 cup of water. Cover and  place back in the oven and bake for 30 -35 minutes. 
Serve over cooked spaghetti or whatever pasta you desire.  Garnish with more Parmesan. 

Asparagus Tomato Bake!


When Spring finally comes along or even when it hints that it is on the way, I start to think about cooking vegetables like asparagus.  It's just a springtime vegetable to me, even though I eat it all year long.  I think asparagus is somewhat under used in southern cooking.  I am not sure why, but recipes including asparagus are not plentiful.  
 This is a recipe, my mother came up with that is just a bit different and it is absolutely one of my favorites.  It's delicious!   It's also good, because you can use fresh or canned asparagus and in the summer it's a great way to use some of your fresh tomatoes   If tomatoes are not in season,  Roma tomatoes work really well in this.   I am always partial to fresh asparagus, but if it's not available a good canned one will work.  I think this will be a great Easter recipe also!
Here is what you will need:
2 (8 oz.) cans asparagus spears, drained or an equal amount of fresh asparagus, blanched
3 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced (if you use Roma tomatoes, you might need 4)
1/4 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
dash of hot sauce (Tabasco)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange your whole asparagus spears on a shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.  A quiche dish or deep pie plate works well.
If you are using fresh asparagus, break off the woody ends and place it in a skillet with about 2 inches of lightly salted water.  Bring to a boil and cook for just about 2-4 minutes. Drain and place on a paper towel, then place in your casserole dish. 
Place the sliced tomatoes on a triple thickness of  paper towels and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Allow them to hang out on the paper towels for about 10- 15 minutes.  The salt will bring some of the moisture out of the tomatoes and your dish won't be too watery. 
Lay the tomatoes evenly over the asparagus spears.   Dot each tomato with a pat of butter.
In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce.  Mix well. Spread over the tomato layer. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Place in the 350 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown and melt.
This makes a wonderful side dish or it could be served as a vegetarian main dish or meatless meal!
I could definitely make this a main dish!   It's so good!  I am looking forward to making it with fresh garden tomatoes this summer also!

Chocolate Chip Pie!

I have been making this pie for many years and it's still one of our favorites.  It's just like a big chocolate chip cookie in a pie form. It's best served a little  warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.  Here is what you will need:
1 unbaked 9" deep dish pie shell
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter (1  1/2 sticks), softened
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
dash of salt
Beat the eggs with an electric mixer until they are foamy.  Beat in the flour and the sugars until it's smooth, then beat in the butter and add vanilla.  Fold in the chocolate chips and the nuts. 

Place the pie shell in a pie plate or use a frozen pie shell and place the dish on a cookie sheet or pizza pan which aids the pie in cooking evenly and will catch any spills.   Pour the batter into the pie shell and place into a preheated 325 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool slightly before serving.  Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls!

This is a really easy little yeast roll you make in a muffin tin.  The rolls take on an interesting shape and are just delicious!   It's so easy, even those who don't make homemade breads can do this one!  When making yeast breads, there are a just a few key things to know about that can make it or break it.  I will let you know what those are as I give you this recipe! 
Here is what you will need:

3  1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 pkg. (1/4 oz.)  dry quick acting yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
vegetable oil
1/4 cup half and half cream
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  The water should be warm, not hot.  If it's too hot it will kill your yeast! It should feel just warm to the touch.  This is one of the keys to yeast breads and a mistake so many make.
Mix the warm milk, sugar, butter, salt and egg.   Stir this wet mixture into the flour and mix just until combined.  
Now add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix again until it is all well combined.  Make sure to add the yeast mixture after the other wet mixture has been added and mixed, because the salt and yeast to do not need to make direct contact.  Salt added right with the yeast can also kill the yeast and your rolls will not rise!  This is tip #2!
Put about 1 Tbs. of oil over the roll dough and turn it over in the bowl to just cover it.  Cover loosely with clean kitchen towel and place in  warm place in your kitchen to rise for about 2 hours or until it doubles.
Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Shape into a ball and with a knife cut it into 4 pieces.  Cut those 4 pieces into 3 pieces.    The cut each of the 3 pieces into 3 more pieces and roll each one in a ball.   This assures you get uniform size rolls.
Brush a 12 cups muffin tin with the oil.  Be sure  to brush around the tops and of each tin, because the will rise over and bake onto the edge and top of each tin. 
Place three of the dough balls in each tin to make a shape like a cloverleaf. 
Brush each roll top with a little half and half cream. 
Place in a warm spot in the kitchen allow to rise for 1-2 hours or until they have doubled in size again.   The amount of time they take to rise depends on how warm the area you place them in is.  If I have the oven on, I try to put the pan on the counter by the oven for faster results.

Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for  12-18 minutes or until just brown on top.
Serve immediately with butter!

Coconut Pound Cake!

If you love coconut cake, but you sometimes shy away from making the layered stack ones with the cooked and beaten frosting that takes so much time, like  Mama's Southern Coconut Cake!, then this easy "Coconut Pound Cake" is the answer!   This is a delicious cake that has all of the flavor of a coconut cake and it smells heavenly!   Here is what you will need for this cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (7 oz.) can of flaked coconut
2 cups powdered sugar
5-6 Tbs. half and half (you can use milk)
1 tsp. coconut extract 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. 
Cream the shortening and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.   Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.   Add the buttermilk and the dry ingredients mixing after each addition. 
Stir in the coconut, coconut extract and vanilla.    Spoon into a tube pan or a Bundt pan that has been sprayed well with nonstick baking spray.   The baking spray with flour in it is best for baking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Invert onto a cake plate.  Stir the ingredients together in a bowl for the glaze.  Poke holes in the cake with a wooden pick and drizzle the glaze over the cake.  
This is  a really moist cake that just gets more moist as it sits!

Bacon Ranch Potato Bake!


In my part of the country, potatoes reign supreme as far as side items go!  That's probably due to the predominant Scotch, Irish and German ancestry in this area and the fact that potatoes grow well here for the most part!   Now, we also eat rice and pasta, but most, given the choice will go for the potatoes.   The thing about serving potatoes so often is that you run out of different and innovative ideas for them.  This recipe is so easy, but it really turns out fantastic.  Everyone loves these potatoes and they go well with just about any main course.  Here is what you will need:
6 baking size potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2" cubes  (if you have smaller potatoes use about 9-10)
2 Tbs. butter
1 (10  3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1  1/2 cups milk
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
6-7 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with water.  Boil just until starting to get tender, but not too long...about 7 -10 minutes.  
Drain the potatoes and place back in the warm pan.  Put the butter on them and cover to just let it melt.
When the butter has melted place the potatoes in a 2  1/2 quart or 3 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

In a separate bowl, mix the soup, milk, ranch dressing mix, seasoned salt, black pepper, and 1 cup of the cheese.  Pour this evenly over the potatoes.
Sprinkle the top with the other cup of cheese and the crumbled bacon.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  It should be bubbly around the edges.
This is good with just about any meat or main dish! 

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Alfredo!

I love a good Alfredo sauce and when in a time crunch, I will reach for a few of the brands you buy already prepared. They aren't bad if you doctor them up a bit, but this homemade Alfredo sauce is so easy to make and so much better,  I make it if I have the time.  Also, most of us have the ingredients for  this on hand.   This is one of our favorite meals when I don't have time to cook for hours.  Here is what you will need:
6-7 slices of bacon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced in bite size pieces
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbs. butter, divided
3 Tbs. flour
1 (15 oz.) can of chicken broth
3 cups milk (you can use half and half cream  for an even richer sauce)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1  1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. pasta (fettuccine or fine egg noodles work well)
green  onions, sliced for garnish (optional)
In a large, heavy skillet fry the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate.
Reserve about 2 Tbs. of the bacon drippings in the skillet.  Add 1 Tbs. of butter to the drippings.   Saute the chicken, you have sprinkle with the seasoned salt and the pepper, in the skillet until done.  Remove to a plate.
Add the rest of the butter to the skillet and melt.  Add the flour and cook just until it's mixed with the butter and starts to bubble a little.  You just want to get rid of the flour taste.  Add the chicken broth and the milk.  Whisk  and cook on medium low until the flour is incorporated and it is smooth.  Bring this up to just a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer just until it starts to thicken.   Add the cream cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth and thick on low heat.  Don't let this boil after adding the cream cheese.  Add in the salt, parsley and garlic powder.  Add the chicken back to the pan. 
Cook the pasta just until al dente according to the package directions.
Drain the pasta and place in a large pasta bowl.  Top with the sauce and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan cheese,  crumbled bacon and green onions, if you are adding them! 

Spicy Barbequed Beans!

These barbeque beans are very different than your run of the mill baked beans.  They are less sweet than baked beans and a lot spicier.   They are also very meaty and filling and men seem to really like them, probably for that reason.   They are the perfect side for any type of barbecue meat and you will need some of your barbecue meat for the beans, so coordinate making these when you barbecue.  These beans are perfect with the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork in Coca Cola Barbeque Sauce.  You will need about 2 cups of the pork chopped for the beans.  You can also used chopped beef brisket.  They are also good served over Cornbread Hoecakes.    Here's what  you will need to make these beans:


1 28 oz. can Busch Homestyle Baked Beans (do not drain)
2 cans Ranch Beans (do not drain)
2 cups chopped barbequed pork or beef (I like to use the end pieces)
1 cup chopped onion (I used Vidalia, but any sweet onion will do)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup Coca Cola (Diet or Regular will work)
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
3 or 4 dashes of Tabasco sauce (optional, leave this out if you don't like too much heat)

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour the beans, undrained, and all of the other ingredients except the meat in the dish and mix together.

 Add the pulled pork or brisket and mix in.
These are the Ranch beans that I use.  They are in a sauce that really gives these beans a good flavor.  They can be a little hard to find here and may not be available in your area.  If you can't find them, you can substitute 2 cans of chili beans in sauce.

Place the casserole dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Give the beans a stir about half way through the cooking time.


Cincinnati Chili...5-Way!

Chili is a very regional dish!  Like cornbread, it can also be a very controversial dish.  In some areas, like Texas, I am told you do not put beans in chili and some tell me you don't even use ground beef or meat, but chunks of beef.   Some Texans can get very adamant about this issue and since about one fourth of my readers are from Texas it seems, let me be clear that this is not a traditional chili recipe, but a very specialized chili recipe that the concept for originated in Cincinnati, Ohio!  
This idea of serving chili over spaghetti and topped with beans, onion and cheese or 5-way began at a restaurant called "Skyline Chili" and it was founded in 1949 by a Greek immigrant named Nicholas Lambrinides, which accounts for the unique flavor of this chili.  The flavor and seasoning is just a bit different than usual traditional Tex Mex chili, but it's really delicious.   It's actually more of a sauce to be served over pasta than a soup or chili, but can be eaten either way.   This is definitely an Ohio and Northern Kentucky concept that has spread somewhat to other states where Skyline has restaurants.  Their chili is now being sold in some grocery store chains also. 
This recipe is in no way a reproduction of the Skyline recipe either, because no one has that authentic recipe, but the owners.  This is my own take on it and it does vary somewhat in texture and flavor, but for us, it works well.  Here is what you will need:
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans of beef broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. chili powder (add more if you like more spice)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
2 cans chili beans, undrained
1 lb. spaghetti
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a large Dutch oven, brown the ground chuck, onion and garlic together until it is done.  Drain any excess fat.   The actual Skyline, boils the beef in the cooking liquid instead of browning it, but I prefer to brown mine.  Boiling ground beef seems unappetizing to me!  That's just me!
 Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, beef broth, all of the spices, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, chocolate and brown sugar.  This chili has a slightly sweet flavor. Bring up to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 2 hours on low.  Stir this every now and then to blend and be sure it does not stick.   
I add the beans and cook them with the sauce since we all like the beans in the chili.  Traditionally, the beans would be added on top of the sauce in the 5 way layering, so you can warm them in a individual pan if like.  I think adding them to the sauce thickens it and is better.  
Cook the spaghetti al dente according to the package directions and drain well.  
To serve, layer spaghetti, chili, beans, onion and shredded cheese for a 5-Way or whatever variation you like!   A 3-way is spaghetti, chili and cheese, a 4-way is spaghetti, chili, just onions or just beans and cheese!   Let everyone prepare their own as they like! 

Chicken Club Ring!

This "Chicken Club Ring" is a recipe that I originally saw at a Pampered Chef party, but I have modified it quite a bit to suit the tastes of my own family!   This looks impressive to serve, but it's actually very easy!  It makes a great party appetizer or it's good to serve along with soups or with salad for  lighter supper or for a luncheon.   I also do this in a Beef Taco Ring,  which is very good as well.  I think I might like the chicken one better though!   Here is what you will need: 

2 cups cooked chicken breast meat, chopped fine
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs. dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4-5 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced green onion, including some of the green blades (optional)
8 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese slices, cut in half
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

Dice the chicken in a fairly small dice.  Not as fine as for chicken salad, but small.  In a bowl mix the mayonnaise, mustard, cream cheese, and Ranch dressing until smooth.  Mix in the chicken.  Stir in the cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon and green onion.  Mix just until blended. 

On a pizza pan or large oven proof platter, arrange the crescent roll dough in a circle with the pointed ends outward and overlapping the wide ends somewhat. I like to spray it lightly with nonstick spray.  With an ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of the chicken mixture evenly around the ring.

Place a half slice of the Swiss or Provolone cheese on each mound of chicken mixture.

Bring the crescent roll dough up and over the filling and press to sort of lightly seal it.
Place in a 375 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cut between the crescent rolls with a pizza cutter to serve!  I used a large square Temptations platter, because you can put it in the oven, so my ring took on a slightly more square shape, but I liked it!

If you are serving this for a party or special occasion, you can dress up the platter with some lettuce, watercress and cherry tomatoes, which looks really pretty!  I just put some honey mustard dressing in the center!  You could also used ranch dressing!

Snickers Cream Cheese Brownies!

These "Snickers Cream Cheese Brownies" are a combination of three of my favorite things...chocolate, cream cheese and Snickers candy bars!  It just doesn't get much better!  These are so good, I need to not make them very often, because I will eat them until they are gone!  This is an easy brownie that starts with a brownie mix so anyone can make these and they will turn out great! 
These would make a wonderful Valentine treat for someone special! 
Here is what you will need:
1 family size brownie mix (19.5 oz.) and the ingredients called for (9"x13" pan)
14 fun size Snickers candy bars, divided and chopped
1 (8 oz.) pkg, cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the brownie mix according to the package directions.
Chop the fun size snickers in pieces and fold 1/2 of them into the batter.  Pour into a 9"x13" baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. 
In a separate bowl beat the cream cheese, egg yolk, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Drop by spoonful evenly over the batter. 
With a knife swirl the cream cheese with the brownie batter.  Don't over swirl or the effect will not look like a swirl and will just be all cream cheese. 
Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. 
Five minutes before the brownies are done, remove from oven and sprinkle the top with  rest of the snickers bars.   The candy bars on top should just be partially melted.  Remove from the oven when done and cool before cutting into squares.  These are rich so cut the squares a little smaller than you normally would.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole!

"King Ranch Chicken Casserole" is a dish we have been making in the South for many years and there are as many different recipes as there are for things like cornbread or chicken and dumplings!  Everybody has a recipe and an opinion on this one.  I pretty much make it like we have since we first started making it way back when.  There are newer recipes that make a sauce and skip the canned soups and I have actually tried a few of those.  They are good, but I always come back to this old, tried and true recipe.   I just think it's the best.   I have tweaked it just a bit through the years, but not much really.
The story has been that this originated at the actual King Ranch in Texas, but then some say they don't actually claim it, so who knows!  I do know it's really good so it's always a winner!   Here is what you will need:
4 cups chopped cooked chicken (I use chicken breast meat, but you can use a whole chicken)
3 Tbs. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 (10 oz.) can of Rotel tomatoes and chillis (do not drain)
1 (10  3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10  3/4 oz.) can of cream of mushroom soup
16 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut in cubes
1  (15 oz.) can chicken broth
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup sour cream
dash of hot sauce to taste (I used Tabasco sauce)
12 (six inch) taco sized flour or corn tortillas, cut in chip size triangles (I used flour)
2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I used Tostitos)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a skillet saute the garlic, onion, and bell pepper in the butter until tender. 
Add the diced chicken, Rotel, soups, Velveeta cheese cubes, chicken broth, black pepper, and chili powder.  Heat on low until the Velveeta has melted, stirring to combine it all.  Add the hot sauce to taste if you are adding it.  Temper the sour cream by adding some of the hot mixture to it a little at a time and stirring.   This brings it to room temperature and keeps it from curdling when you add it to the hot mixture.   Add to the hot mixture and stir.  You can turn the heat off at this point.  
Layer half of the tortillas cut in triangles in the bottom of a 9"x13" baking dish you have sprayed with nonstick spray.
Pour half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas.  Layer the other half of the tortillas and the rest of the chicken over those again.
Sprinkle the crushed tortilla chips over the top.  This is where I changed up the original recipe a little, but I like the nice crunch it gives the top.
Sprinkle the top with the shredded cheese!  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
It should be just starting to brown on top and nice and bubbly!
Garnish with chopped green onion or fresh cilantro!