A Great Taco Casserole

This taco casserole is fairly easy to make, which I like. And, like most casseroles, it’s incredibly versatile. You can throw whatever you want in here, and it will probably work.

Here’s how I do it:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray.

We love ground beef, so I use a pound and a half. I brown it in a frying pan with a half cup or so of chopped onions, and about a half cup of diced peppers. I try to use both red and green for the color, but if I only have one or the other, that’s okay.

When the meat has browned, I drain the fat and turn the temperature down.

Next, I stir in a can of tomato soup and some cream cheese. We like cream cheese, so I use one of those small tubs of Philadelphia.

Once that is mixed together, I add a pack of taco seasoning and a cup or so of shredded cheese. We are not real picky about cheese, so if I don’t have a bag of the Mexican blend, I will use what I do have. It all works.

After I stir in the seasoning and the cheese, I pour it all into the baking pan.

Next, I pour a bag of shredded hash browns into a bowl. These should be thawed, so they are easier to work with and will bake faster. I stir in some more onions and peppers, and one or two more cups of cheese. I also season with some salt and pepper, and a little Johnny’s just to make it fun.

The hash brown mixture is placed on top of the hamburger in the pan. I spread it out so it’s even, and press it down a little bit.

Bake it for a half hour or so, until it’s golden brown. We really like this, and I hope you do too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you can join me again on Sunday for another behind-the-scenes look at the Drill series.

Contact Info

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Twitter: @rhanidchae @rhanidchaaebooks

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Drillbooks – Behind the Scenes: Tawnee

I’ve been asked several times by readers if they were supposed to dislike the character of Tawnee. Often, they seem a bit hesitant, as if they’re afraid I will take offense to the question.

Then they relax when I tell them that yes, she is meant to be disliked. In fact, the more they hate her, the better I like it.

I don’t know why I wrote her the way that I did, except that so many of the dancers I knew were mercenary little things who would probably sell their mothers if the price was right. Calculating and cold hearted, their only loyalty was to themselves. And… I also thought it would be fun to have a lower-level nemesis to drive my boys crazy.

Like most of the characters in the Drill series, Tawnee is a compilation of people that I knew in my younger days. She is based predominantly on a girl that I worked with at a club called the Magnolia ThunderKitty, in Oklahoma City. I’ll call her Trish, and she had raised bitch to an art form. She had no friends, only coworkers who put up with her because it was in their best interest to do so. Coworkers who were given the cold shoulder as soon as they ceased to be useful to her.

Even the customers found that her affection for them vanished as soon as the credit card was maxed. She would start getting twitchy when the time between drink refills began to lengthen, and she would abruptly leave the table if one of her regulars walked through the door with a fresh Visa in his wallet.

I never understood why the men tolerated this, but I guess it’s not so hard to understand. She was the prettiest girl in the club, with the best figure and the brightest smile. The fact that her talented fingers could perform numerous under-the-table manipulations probably accounted for great deal of her popularity, but none of us were supposed to know that.

There are a couple of differences between Trish and Tawnee. One is that Tawnee, as I see her, is much prettier than Trish.

The other significant difference is that Tawnee has the potential to rise above her nastiness and join the human race. Trish…not so much.

Tawnee, deep down, is actually a nice person. Cynical, yes. Mercenary, absolutely! But deep down, she longs for the intimacy that comes with human connections. She wants love in her life, even if she won’t admit it, but she also wants someone she can connect to, even if just on a friendship level. I think that’s why she’s drawn to the innocence and naivete of Snowbunny. Bun is genuinely sweet, and not a game player. Tawnee knows that whatever piece of her heart is given to Snowbunny will he kept safe from harm.

Tawnee started out as a fairly disposable character, but I’ve grown quite fond of her. Because of this, I’ve decided to keep her around for a while. I’m working on an outline for a future book in the series where circumstances force her and Decker to take a road trip together for mutual benefit. Personally, I can’t think of anything much funnier then the two of them locked in a small car for an extended period of time, trying to accomplish their mission without killing each other along the way. Can you?

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading today’s post. Please join me again on Wednesday, when I will post another one of my favorite recipes.

Contact Info

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Twitter: @rhanidchae @rhanidchaaebooks

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Direct contact: 253 224 7410

Tater Tot Pizza

I make this recipe often at my house, and we absolutely love it! It’s easy to make, and a lot of fun to eat.

I’ve used several different pans with this, and I don’t think it much matters what kind you use as long as the pan can be safely put into the oven.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Spray the inside of the pan with Pam, or whatever you have handy.

I use Tater Tot Crowns, because their shape makes them much easier to flatten then a standard Tater Tot.
Press the Crowns against the bottom and sides of the pan, until it’s completely covered.

Put the pan in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes. I usually use this time to brown the hamburger. We like a lot of hamburger on our pizzas, so I use 1 1/2 lbs. I don’t use taco seasoning, but if you’d like to do that then put about a cup of water in with your meat and stir in the seasoning. I do throw some chopped onion in there, because I like the way it flavors the meat. The fun thing about this dish is5 that you can pretty much do whatever you want.

Once the Tots have cooked for 10 or 15 minutes, take them out of the oven and use a spatula to press them until they are flat. 

Top with shredded cheese, whatever flavor and amount tickles your fancy. I’m a cheese person, so I usually throw quite a bit of mild Cheddar or Colby on top of my pizza.

Put the ground beef on top of the cheese, throw a dash or two of taco sauce on, if you’d like, and then sprinkle more cheese on top of the beef.

Put it back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or so at 425.

When it comes out of the oven, top it with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato pieces, and more shredded cheese. I also like to break up some tortilla chips and mix them in. 

I like this recipe because it’s so versatile. Basically, whatever you like on your pizza can be done here. The Tots are a tasty alternative to pizza crust, and it’s fun to play around with different toppings.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you give this recipe a try, and please let me know how it works for you. I should be back on Sunday with another behind the scenes look at the Drill series. In the meantime, I hope you have a great week.


Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Twitter: @rhanidchae @rhanidchaebooks
Shadow of the Drill

Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge.


A Perilous Thirst

A different kind of vampire story.


One Dyke Cozy


Mr. Happy


A Wednesday Recipe

I don’t know about you, but I like recipes that are easy to make, and don’t require a lot of precision. If I can just throw some stuff into a crock pot and have it magically be dinner, so much the better.

So I thought I’d share one of my favorite crockpot recipes with you: chicken and dumplings.

I use 3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, depending on the size.

I drop them into the Crock-Pot and then pour in a can of chicken broth, about 14 oz.

Next, I add 2 or 3 cans of cream of chicken soup, depending on how thick I want it to be. I do like Campbell’s, but I’ve used other brands, and they taste just as good.

You can season this however you like. I generally use salt and pepper, and I also throw in some diced onions.

Once everything’s in the pot, I put on the lid  and cook it on high for 3 hours. Then I remove the chicken, shred it into bite-sized pieces, and put it back in the pot.

The last ingredient is a can of Pillsbury Grands biscuits. I have used other kinds of biscuits, but I think the Grands have the best flavor.

I cut each biscuit into six or eight pieces, stir them into the crockpot, and recover.

I let them cook for one more hour, give or take, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

I love this meal because it’s super easy and tastes SO good. More importantly, it’s really hard for anyone, namely me, to screw up.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear how it worked for you. Happy Wednesday, and I hope to see you next time.

Contact Info

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Twitter: @rhanidchae @rhanidchaebooks

Facebook: goo.gl/UvY4YY

Drillbooks – Behind The Scenes

Since publishing Shadow of the Drill, I’ve been asked many times about the Toybox, which is the strip club that Decker and Rudy co-own. Is it real? If so, where is it? Do the drinks really cost THAT much?

The Toybox, as it exists in my books, is fictional. When I first moved to Oklahoma City, many years ago, my then-boyfriend introduced me to a little store called the Adult Toybox. It carried numerous items, such as X-rated videos, lingerie, lotions and toys. Today, stores like this are everywhere, but 30 years ago, the Adult Toybox was unique. 

I’m not sure why I chose the Toybox  as the name of Rudy’s club. Maybe it was nostalgia, I really don’t know. 

As for the club itself, it’s basically a hybrid of a couple of different places. The building itself, and the interior layout, came from one of my favorite bars in Tacoma, the 24th Street Tavern. I also used the 24th Street as the setting for my short story, A Perilous Thirst. It’s been gone a long time now, but I can still see it as clearly as the last time I walked through its doors.

The way that the girls make their money at the Toybox came from the clubs I danced in when I was in Oklahoma City. We sold “dancer’s drinks” to our customers and then received a percentage of the amount sold. The percentage varied depending on whether we were being paid a straight commission or if we were also getting a salary. A salary was nice security, but we made a heck of a lot more money if we just took commission.

At the club I danced at most often back then, a dancer’s drink was $7.50 for the smallest one, and then increased in price depending on the size of the glass. Most of the clubs had a similar range of  glasses for the girls, starting at about $7, and going up in price to what we called the fish bowls. Those things were fairly large, and it was quite common to see the smaller one go for $300, while the larger one went for $500 and up. Our drinks did contain alcohol, so you can imagine how toasty we were by the end of our shift. 

There were two kinds of clubs in those days: beer bars and bottle bars. A beer bar only sold beer and wine, and the age to enter was 18. It was illegal to sell beer past midnight, except on Saturday nights, so the beer bars had to shut down by 12. 

Bottle bars, on the other hand, had pretty much everything. They served the over 21 crowd, and stayed open until 2. However, they had to stop selling beer at midnight, except on Saturdays. It was legal to buy several bottles of beer before 12 and drink them after, but the bar couldn’t sell them. Makes no sense to me. Also, it was illegal for a bottle bar to sell hard alcohol. Regular customers brought their own bottle of booze with their name on it, and it was kept behind the bar. They then purchased overpriced mixer, and their own alcohol was poured in. If a customer visited from out of town/state, and didn’t have his own bottle, he could purchase a dancer’s drink for the girl he was sitting with, and she would “give” him a shot from her bottle. This was also legal, though I’m not sure why since the point of a bottle bar was so that liquor control could match every bottle on the customer shelf with a person sitting at a table. But Oklahoma drinking laws were strange in the early 80s, and I gave up trying to understand them.
So now you know a little bit about how the Toybox came to be. A blend of fact and fiction, it’s become very close to my heart. I’ll give you a bit of a spoiler here: there will come a day when circumstances will most likely force the closure of the Toybox. I don’t know exactly when this will happen, but I’m going to be very sad when it does.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek behind the curtain of the Drill series. And remember, if you can identify one or both of these men (who have been my inspiration for Decker) please email their name(s) to me at rhanidchae@gmail.com and you could win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog. I hope to see you again, next time.

Contact info

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Twitter: @rhanidchae @rhanidchaaebooks

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Direct contact: 253 224 7410

Drillbooks – Behind the Scenes

As some of you know, I’ve been dealing with a severe case of writer’s block for the past year or so. This has prevented the completion of the next novel in the Drill series, Winter of the Drill. I’m now settling in at my laptop for the last leg of this journey, and it will be finished this time, one way or another.

I thought it might help me to reconnect with Decker and the gang if I did a few blog posts that gave you an inside look at some of the characters and events nestled between the covers of #Winter.  If you read and enjoyed Shadow of the Drill, you might find these posts interesting. If not, hopefully this little series won’t bore you too much.

I thought I would start by telling you a little bit about the character of Decker, the title character in the Drill series, and how he came to be. 

When I started writing #Shadow, I knew almost everything about Decker before I first put my fingers to the keyboard. Because he was a composite of a couple of the street enforcers I’d known in my youth, I had to create a single image of what he looked like. Not a problem, I thought. I already knew that he was somewhere in the vicinity of six and a half feet tall. I knew that he was Italian on his father’s side, and that his mother was European. I knew how old he was, how much he weighed, and what his body looked like. I could even hear his voice. The only thing I couldn’t see was his face. And without a face, it was pretty hard to bring life to the man.

Then one day a movie came out that starred one of my favorite actors. My seeing eye son and I had both been looking forward to it, so we went. There was an actor with a fairly large supporting role in the film who caught my eye almost immediately. I’d never seen him before, but he did make an impression. 

Then, at one point in the film, it happened. The camera caught him in just the right way, and I realized I was looking at Decker. From that moment on, he existed for me in no way other than as the Drill. I went home and began to write.

Bringing Decker to life was suddenly so much easier for me. And if writer’s block reared its ugly head, I went back to the movies. I saw that film almost 40 times in the theater. Then it came out on cable, so I was able to watch it at home. THEN it was available on DVD so I grabbed my copy, ran home, and begin the first of countless viewings. The image of Decker was now complete in my mind, and for the first time, he was fully alive to me. 

Here is a picture of that actor. Do you recognize him? If you do, please email his name to me at rhanidchae@gmail.com. I’ll draw a name from those who have answered correctly, and that person will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.

Many years have passed since #Shadow was originally written. Almost 20, in fact. A few years ago, I rewrote the book and published it on Amazon. But as I began working on the following books in the Drill series, I realized that a different actor had taken center stage in the Decker part of my brain. Now, when I write him, this is who I see. The eyes are wrong, of course, but I’ve been living with Decker’s eyes for so long that I automatically see them now.

This man is much easier to recognize, and if you do, please email his name to me, because I’ll be giving away a second Amazon card.

So now you know a little bit about the men who gave Decker life, and lit the fire behind the ice-blue eyes. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I hope you will join me for the next one. I don’t know who I’ll be talking about yet, so I guess that will be a surprise to us both. Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope to see you next time.

Contact information

Twitter @rhanidchae @rhanidchaebooks

Email rhanidchae@gmail.com

Phone (253) 224-7410