By Barbie Butz 

I received my very “newsy” Atascadero Historical Society Newsletter the other day and found the “news” very “newsworthy.” It’s nice to be kept up-to-date with everything that’s been happening with the organization, despite the invasion of COVID in our lives.

Barbie Butz e1607969318124
Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at

Last September, Cal Poly Assistant Professor Meredith Sattler presented 16 of her third-year architecture students for a tour of Atascadero’s Historic City Hall, which is not only historic but architecturally significant. It is one of very few double rotunda buildings in existence today.

Thomas Lewis, first vice president of the Historical Society, led the tour. Students were divided in two groups. While one group observed the interior features of the building, the other group sketched the exterior based on measurements they had been provided by the Historical Society.  

Public tours are offered by the Society. For more information, visit 

The Annual E.G. Lewis Dinner is scheduled for March 5 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Atascadero Bible Church, 6225 Atascadero Avenue. It will be a potluck dinner. The speaker that evening will be the new Atascadero Police Chief, Bob Masterson. Presentation of annual awards will follow. For more information, contact Irene Bishop at 805-466-4370. 

This week’s recipe is one that uses a package of taco seasoning, chopped green chilies, and O’Brien potatoes, offering a marriage of Mexican and Irish flavors! I call it “comfort food.”

Nacho O’Lay Casserole 


2 pounds ground beef

¾ cup chopped onion, divided

1 package (1-1/4 ounces) taco seasoning

¾ cup water

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained

1 can (16 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 package (24 ounces) frozen O’Brien potatoes, thawed

1 can (11 ounces) condensed nacho cheese soup, undiluted

½ cup milk

¼ cup chopped green pepper

¼ teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Brown ground beef and ½ cup onion in skillet; drain. Stir in taco seasoning, water, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 minute. Spread meat mixture into a greased 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Top with green chilies, beans, and potatoes. In mixing bowl, combine soup, milk, green pepper, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining onion; pour over potatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Serves 8.

Note: This casserole would make a great addition to any potluck buffet. If nacho cheese soup is not available, use cheddar cheese soup. For heat, serve with a bottle of Tabasco Sauce!