Monday, February 1, 2010

Super Bowl Chicken Tortilla!

According to Krista's post on Saturday, I'm the first to reveal the lie in our Creative Writers "contest" (a.k.a. Bold Faced Liars). How mystery lovers love to lie, plant clues, subvert the truth. But in our own lives? Oh, yeah, it's fun for a blog. Thanks, Lesa, for having us come up with memories from our pasts.

My two lies and a truth. Here's what I shared on Saturday in Krista's post.

1: I played a murderess on a mystery cruise.

2: I attended the American Culinary Institute.

3: I performed a skit on stage with Robin Williams.
Now, many of you might know that I started out as an actress before becoming a writer. But I have also mentioned that I catered. So perhaps you had a hard time choosing which were the lies. Well, I might have catered, and I might love researching cheese for my book, and I adore cooking, but I am no gourmet. Rule out #2. That's a lie.

As for the acting. I was lucky enough to make a number of TV commercials and TV shows, like Murder, She Wrote. I did some small parts in a couple of movies. And I toured the country singing and dancing in Broadway shows like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Bells are Ringing. But I did not play a murderess on a mystery cruise. Rule out #1. That's a lie.

#3 is true. When I first started acting in Los Angeles, I joined a comedy group led by comedian Harvey Lembeck, rest his soul. He taught many actors how to improv on stage. My first day in class, I was thrown on stage with a rather chatty guy. It was all I could do to keep up with him, he was so talented, so funny, so exhaustingly kinetic. We made up dialogue as we went, and in the end, I came up with the punch line. The man was Robin Williams. A month later, he was cast as the lead in Mork and Mindy and the rest of his career is history.

And now...for this week's foodie fun!

Chicken tortilla!

The perfect meal for the Super Bowl is a casserole, and Super Bowl is this coming Sunday! Something hearty that can be eaten hot or cold. Great for men as well as women!

My mother gave me this recipe. Though she became a great cook, starting out in her marriage, she learned to follow directions off cans and boxes. I'm sure she found this on the side of a soup can or got it from one of her bridge-playing pals. Who cares? It's delicious and easy. And packed with cheese. Betcha can't eat just one portion!

Note: Best if cooked a day ahead and reheated, but cooking the same day is fine, too. You put it together like lasagna.

Joanie's Chicken Tortilla


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, baked ahead, 1 hour, in foil.
1 chopped onion
2 (7-8 oz.) cans green chile salsa
1 can Campbell's cream of chicken soup
1 can Campbell's cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
12 corn tortillas, sliced in 1" strips

Mix onion, salsa, soup, milk in a bowl. [Third note: this stuff will look like glop and unappealing. Don't worry. It makes a great sauce!]
In 13 x 9 pan, LAYER the following:

1 scoop sauce
half of the tortillas lengthwise and widthwise
half of the chicken
half of the sauce


Cover with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake 300 degrees (a slow oven) for 2 hours.

To reheat, put in oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour.


Congrats to Helen K. who suggested our next Secret Ingredient for the Mystery Kitchen’s Iron Chef contest! Helen won a $25 chocolate gift from Fannie May Chocolates. What was the secret ingredient? Find out during our next Iron Chef week in late February! And keep reading our posts to find out how to enter our next contest!

Lastly, check out my website and join my newsletter. I just gave away my first "newsletter" contest prize of a gift certificate to Williams Sonoma. Anyone signed up for the letter was eligible. You could be the next winner! Click this link: Avery Aames

Best to all.


  1. You're a great liar! I'd be exhausted if I had to be around Robin Williams, much less on a stage with him! That's pretty cool that you were able to hold your own with him and his manic energy!

    This recipe looks awesome! I have all the ingredients here at the house and can't wait to try it.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Hey Ladies. Thanks for always sharing such wonderful recipes. I left an award for you on my blog.

  3. How fun to be able to say that you knew Robin Williams before he was Mork!

    We aren't having a Super Bowl party, but the casserole might just become dinner this week.

  4. This recipe sounds great for any type of gathering. I can see this one being useful when everyone gets together for a night of movies. Enjoyed finding out your truth and your lies. :)

  5. Thanks, all. Glad you're liking the recipe. Yes, re: Robin, I was shocked to find out that my first time on stage in that class was with a future star. The class knew he'd been cast already in the sit-com. I had no idea! He wouldn't remember me, I promise you, but I'll never forget.

  6. I got a real kick out of your stories, Avery. You totally fooled me. Given your "Murder She Wrote" credits, which I already knew about, I guessed you were the murderess on a murder mystery cruise, lol! Your experience with Robin Williams story is priceless -- what a great comedian and actor. guess which of those photos is you...Hmm...I have my theories, but I know I have to wait until Saturday when Krista reveals all.


  7. What a great, great story about Robin, but I was ecstatic to see the recipe, because my boyfriend and I just bought a HUGE pack of corn tortillas that's just about to go bad, AND chicken... we'll only need to grab the cream of chicken and green chile salsa... and we're going to a Super Bowl party, so yaaaaaaay!!!

  8. Oh my gosh, this is a great recipe. I love all things tortilla and can't wait to give this one a shot. We're not hosting a party, but I know my husband will love this.

    And I got a huge kick out of your lies and truth. Too fun! Thanks for the great stories. What an interesting life you have!!


  9. Robin Williams! Wow!

    And with equal wow factor is the Chicken Tortilla. Looks mighty fine!

  10. I live in San Antonio - the home of Tex-Mex. This is the easiest Enchilada Verdes recipe I've ever seen. And it sounds plenty tasty, too. It'll be on our menu this week. Thanks!

  11. Thanks for today's Chicken Tortilla recipe. I was looking for a simple recipe for the upcoming Bowl
    weekend! This will be just perfect!

    Pat Cochran

  12. I love your stories, Avery! True one and fictional. Thanks for doing all you do. The recipe looks great!

  13. Robin Williams! Wow. He's scary when he's on stage by himself on a roll. I can't imagine having to improvise with him.

    Your mom's recipe sounds like perfect Super Bowl food!

    ~ Krista

  14. Thank you all for your comments. So glad the recipe is a hit. And so glad everyone enjoyed the truths and lies. This is sure a fun and appreciative group! Best to all! Go team!

  15. Yay! I got one of the truths right, Avery! That will probably be the only one this week. (grin)

  16. I'm always looking for a new (and easy) chicken recipe. Can't wait to try yours.

  17. Just made it, can't WAIT to see how it turns out!! Will report back!