Debut Author Christina Berry & Chicken Chalupas ala Grandma!

My guest today is Author Christina Berry whose first novel The Familiar Stranger will be available soon. This sounds like a delicious recipe I plan to try out! Here’s Christina:

“Doritos chips, cream soups, and green chilies—doesn’t sound like the most appetizing mix of ingredients, does it?

My grandmother made this dish decades ago, passing the recipe down to my mother, and then to me. She labeled it Chicken Chalupas, though it’s nothing like what you’d receive if you ordered a dish by the same name in a Mexican restaurant.
Chicken Chalupas

Nacho Cheese Doritos
4 chicken breasts, baked and shredded
1 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
½ c. chicken broth (I use what’s left from cooking the breasts)
1 small can diced green chilies (I use mild)
½ c. chopped onion
grated cheddar cheese ( as much as you prefer)

Grease a 9 x 13 pan, cover bottom with several layers of broken chips. Sprinkle shredded chicken evenly over the chips. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream, soups, broth, chilies, and onion. Pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins, until chips begin to blacken. Serve with tomato wedge garnishes.

Both my mother and grandmother have handed down quite a lot of things to me besides recipes: faith in Jesus, the ability to go through hard times with trust in an Ultimate Good, a love of card games, a slightly risqué sense of humor … but they’ve shown me how to be a strong woman.

In the last five months I’ve gone through a divorce, a close loved one’s arrest, entering the part-time work force, placing my home up for sale, and moving forward to adopt a foster child. Add to this my first book release EVER coming in less than two months. I’m so thankful to have a legacy of strong women to emulate!

Kind of reminds me of my heroine. She doesn’t think of herself as a strong woman at first. Just like this recipe, Denise Littleton’s marriage has ingredients that don’t seem to go together.

Poky chips of uncertainty concerning her husband’s love, spicy chilies of unrest about finances, stinky onions of bad circumstances … but when it’s all baked together in the oven of hard times, though the end product isn’t fabulously good-looking, the flavors have melded in a marvelous way.

Happy cooking! And please come by AshberryLane and subscribe to my infrequent, humorous newsletter for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Familiar Stranger. Or drop by my blog or my editing services.

Thanks Christina. You sound like you’ve been on the “dartboard in hell.” That’s how I always describe those periods when it’s just one thing after another and none of them happy.

I’m thrilled about your first book. Now that’s something to be happy about! I wish you much success and many happy readers!–Lyn

To pre-order The Familiar Stranger, click


About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
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7 Responses to Debut Author Christina Berry & Chicken Chalupas ala Grandma!

  1. Joan says:

    Not sure about the recipe but the book sound great.

  2. Sherrie Ashcraft says:

    Having eaten the casserole many, many times, and having read an early version of The Familiar Stranger, I highly recommend them both. Just don't drop casserole on the book page while you're reading! Thanks for featuring her on your blog, Lyn.

    ~Sherrie (aka Christina's mom)

  3. Christina Berry says:

    Jessicue, I don't blame your reticence! The first time I saw the dish, I determined I wouldn't like it. Never have been one for chilis … but once I tasted it, I was won over.

    Though, if I had to pick between you liking the book or the recipe, I'd go with the book! 🙂

  4. Jessiecue says:

    Lynn Thanks for hosting her today. I enjoyed reading this. I am not sure about the recipe though. I am not going to knock it because I am yet to try it. I happen to love to use dorritos in Taco Salad so they may very well be good in other things.

    Christina I love the title of the book I wrote it down to put it in my TBR pile. The title just kinda caught my eye.

  5. Christina Berry says:

    Thanks, Lyn for featuring this. Hmm … maybe I'll make this for dinner tonight!

    Christa, I was just thinking about your prologue the other day! Beautiful, beautiful structure, rhythm, and feeling. 🙂

    By the way, I'm sticking everyone's name who leaves a comment in for a drawing for a free book when it releases.

  6. Lyn Cote says:

    Encouragement is so necessary for creativity but so rare. Glad to hear such a recommendation about Christina.

  7. christa says:

    Love the "dartboard in hell" image! Recipe is a keeper. Christina is one of my favorite writer-people!. At the last ACFW conference, she and her mom were so encouraging about my writing–and all they heard was the prologue.

    Christina is a "no excuses" woman, and one that I pray will be blessed over and over and over.

    Thanks to you, too, Lyn!