Mini Southwest Fiesta Bowls

Just saying the word Fiesta puts you in a better mood does in not? Try it.


See? You’re happier.


Or, you will be, if you throw this simple and surprisingly delicious dinner together tonight. Mini Southwest Fiesta Bowls are perfect for a quick meal, served with a side salad and corn, or, if you want to make them in mini-muffin tins, what an excellent appetizer! I feel sure these will show up at many a tailgate come this fall…at least MY tailgates!


Mini Southwest Fiesta Bowls

  • Prep Time – 15 minutes
  • Bake Time – 25 minutes
  • Makes 12


  • 1 cup canned Old El Paso Traditional Refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 cup prepared white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared Pico de Gallo, divided
  • 8 ounces prepared steak, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 package frozen Phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine beans, cheese, rice, and one cup Pico de Gallo. Set aside.
  3. Place one sheet of Phyllo dough onto counter. Brush liberally with melted butter. Place another sheet of Phyllo dough atop the butter. Repeat with butter and another sheet of dough until you have five layers of Phyllo.
  4. Cut Phyllo dough into six pieces (large rectangles/squares) Press each square into a muffin tin. Fill with rice and beans mixture. Repeat with five more sheets of Phyllo, making twelve total cups.
  5. Top each muffin cup with a few pieces of chopped steak.
  6. Place muffin tin into oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until Phyllo is golden brown. Remove from oven. Serve hot with a tablespoon full of reserved Pico de Gallo.


Speaking of TAILGATES.

I couldn’t tell you the last High School football game I’ve gone to. Years, for sure. I’m a college football fan though – like you wouldn’t believe. But High School? Well, unless there was a boy playing I had a crush on, I didn’t go. Of course, there was rarely a time I didn’t have a crush, so, well, okay fine. I went to a lot of football games in high school.

But on April 20, instead of going to the annual Hokies vs. Hokies Spring Game, we are going to go to the first ever Battle of the State Lines Alumni Game.

You all don’t really know me, and I don’t know if this is info you care to know, but I’ll save you the Googling. I went to Peterstown High School through the end of 8th grade. Peterstown High is in Monroe County, West Virginia. I went to school there my entire early life. In fact, I love and remember those schoolmates so much that I am going to attend the 20 year class reunion with them, even though I bailed on them a few years shy of diploma. Why? Well, those girls were my first best friends. The first slumber party giggles. The boys were the first I held hands with. They were my first kisses, my first dances. I want to see them all again. And so I shall. (And did I say 20 year class reunion? I, um, meant 10 year. Yeah. TEN.)

So anyway, in 9th grade, I transferred to Giles High School, in Giles County, Virginia. This is where I graduated. I made friends there as well, and if the timing works out, sure, I’ll go to that class reunion, too. But you know what? I never dated any of those boys. Not a ONE. I always had boyfriends from other schools… Don’t ask – I can’t explain it. I did, however, make one of the best friends ever, and we are still as thick as thieves. I hope she comes to visit!

So where am I going with this?

The State Lines Game. I have no idea who thought this debacle up, but I have to see it for myself. Alumni from both schools are pitting against each other in a football showdown on April 20th, and I, for one, have to see it to believe it. I’ve seen posts on Facebook professing great practices, I’ve seen the jerseys, I’ve seen the cover of the program. Heck, I’ve seen the frightening photos of alumni cheerleaders practicing.

Don’t get me started on that, please. I would surely lose a bunch of readers with my candor. Let me just say there is a reason that no one cheers over age 22. And… there’s a such thing as gravity. All kinds of gravity.

So anyway – there’s a little backstory on my younger days, and an upcoming preview of what I intend to do with my very little free time this spring.

Laughing my fool hind end off, most likely. I may even get asked to leave the stadium. I can be a problem, as I haven’t a filter. But filters are over-rated, and at this point in my life, if the worst that happens to me is being asked to leave an Alumni Game for making fun of the grazers, well, so be it.

And no, I’ve not yet decided who to root for…but I’m leaning Pirates. Those boys were quite the kissers.

This post is sponsored by Old El Paso. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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