Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spicy Cheese from Pinterest

Pinterest Challenge, find something you’ve pinned, TRY it and share it. Was it worth pinning?

I do believe that Pinterest is the newest form of EVIL! It takes my already precious time and eats it up! It sucks me in, complete with the Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha evil laugh in the background.

So I really try to be careful how much time I spend there.  I have found some amazing things, however!

My favorite, so far, is the ability to make authentic white queso dip (like at the local Mexican restaurant). I  constantly looking for it at the grocery store, but all the pre-packaged ones either don't taste authentic or are loaded with preservatives and junk (or both). I WAS SO EXCITED to learn how to make this at home!

I will tell you (because I simply cannot leave well enough alone), that I did alter the recipe for mine and my family's taste, but it is incredibly AUTHENTIC tasting and SO GOOD!

So here it is (the original):
Queso Blanco Dip (White Cheese Dip), The Second and Final Attempt
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 30 fluid ounces
  • 1 1/4 lb block White American Cheese (Land O'Lakes brand preferred), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 ounce pickled jalapeno juice
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • pinch of cumin (optional)

Toss all ingredients into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute. The mixture might seem watery during the first few stirs, but should come together as a nice runny dip after all the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately as a dip with tortilla chips or as a sauce over your favorite Mexican dish.
*Recipe Note: White American cheese is found at most deli counters in your local grocery store.
*Reheat Instructions: Store any leftover cheese dip in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until creamy and hot.
Source: Adapted from Christine, Reader of Pennies on a Platter

Keep in mind this makes a HUGE batch of cheese dip (or spicy cheese as Sweetpea calls it), so you can half the recipe and have plenty.

NOW My changes and other tips:
First of all, my microwave (1100 Watts) will scorch the cheese around the edges in less than 30 seconds after the first minute or so.  So I know I have to stir more often, once the mixture is hot.

Also, I can only find the Land O'Lakes White Cheddar by having them slice it fresh at the deli counter (which is fine, they just don't carry it prepackaged in my Walmart). In addition, I found the pickled jalapenos easily at Walmart on the same aisle with pickles, olives, and cocktail onions.

Lastly, in our local Mexican Restaurants, the cheese is spicy but smooth and creamy and completely white (no green chilies or jalapenos in it when they bring it out). So I made the following changes and to us it is just as good!

  • 1 whole pickled jalapeno (if you like less heat, split the jalapeno in half lengthwise and use a small tool or spoon to remove the seeds AND ribs since they actually contain more heat than the seeds.) LEAVE it whole rather than chopping.
  • splash pickled jalapeno juice
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (2 % works just as well)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • pinch of cumin 

Toss all ingredients into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute. Continue to microwave and stir in 15 second intervals.  The mixture might seem watery during the first few stirs, but should come together as a nice thin dip after all the cheese is melted.
Use a fork to fish out the jalapeno and let the cheese drain back into the bowl.

Voila! Spicy Cheese dip with no green bits, but all the flavor!

Serve immediately as a dip with tortilla chips or as a sauce over your favorite Mexican dish.

When I make this amount (half the original recipe amount) we can generally eat off it for two meals.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All Shiny and Stuff!

Describe an outfit you LOVED wearing.

When I was in the 6th grade, my new back to school outfit was amazing! A fairly simple and straightforward denim skirt, about knee length, and some sort of top which I can't remember.

BUT neither of those things was the cool part!

The cool parts were the accessories! I had silver penny loafers with a matching silver belt that just totally MADE the outfit if you know what I mean.

They were a shiny metallic silver, but actually made out of leather (or pleather, if you will). The belt was sort of V shaped in the front which gave it a cooler shape than a normal belt. It sort of (a little) reminds me of Wonder Woman's headband, only on my belt the point pointed down towards the floor.

I loved that outfit for sure! It made me feel cool and powerful...kind of like wonder woman or something!

What about you? Do you remember an outfit you loved to wear (or LOVE to wear)?

I'm sorry to me?

I feel like I owe an apology to myself.

I have totally failed in my attempt at blogging for the last several months.

When I first started this thing, it was totally for my own growth and personal development as a woman, wife, and mother.  A very wise friend told me before I started Gleaning Grace some very important things to know, which I apparently ignored :-) I reached out to her to ask about blogging and get some questions answered and general advice before I started it. What she said that was so insightful was this (or something like this):

"it's easy to get caught up in the approval factor of the comments our readers leave."


I told myself over and over again, "that's not why I'm doing this."
I actually envisioned this as more of an online Mommy diary! I am a firm believer that walking through life with others we can share with (in various ways) just makes life more enjoyable!

So while I do not fancy myself a writer, nor do I think I have a lot of Mommy expertise to share, I think it is always possible to teach and learn from each other.

Somewhere along the way, I got discouraged.  Not just because I was busy and blogging was just another "obligation," but because I thought "who cares? No one's reading it anyway!"

I did let the lack of comments and followers totally get to me.

At this point, I'm lucky I have any followers left considering the ridiculously long hiatuses (is that a word?) I take.

So anyway, I really am making an effort to get back on track.

So if you're here, reading this, THANK YOU! Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by!

And look for more topics coming soon, starting with Mamakat's Writer's Workshop.

Striving for grace,