"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Queso Blanco Dip (White Cheese Dip)

this stuff is toddler approved. that's all i really need to say, isn't it?

Queso Blanco Dip (White Cheese Dip) adapted from Pennies on a Platter
You Need:
1 1/4 block of American Cheese (cut into 1 inch cubes)
1/4 cup diced green chiles
2 jalepenos chopped (i used canned)
1 ounce jalepeno juice (i used the canned juice)
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
pinch of cumin (optional)

Directions: Toss all the ingredients into a large microwave safe bowl.

Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute.

The mixture will seem pretty watery at first- but keep at it- it'll come together beautifully as it all melts.
you may have to microwave it a bit longer- mine took 7 minutes total.

Server pronto as a dip with tortilla chips or even as a sauce on some Mexican food.

*Things to note:
- buy the block of cheese at your local Deli counter. go for the good stuff- Land O Lakes is best
- store leftovers in the fridge. re-heat in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds or so until hot

*PPS: i had about 1 cup worth leftover & i used it 2 days later by adding it to my normal macaroni & cheese recipe. i tossed it right in after making the rue & adding the milk. omg. amazing. there's just something about American Cheese.

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Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

if anyone tells you they don't like Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supremes then they're lying to you. it's as simple as that- because those things are like crack.

now i like them. a lot. but the husband loves them. a lot lot. in fact, i think he considers himself a connoisseur of Crunchwrap Supremes.

anyway- since i can't justify going to Taco Bell ever, because i'm not an overworked & underpaid college student, i have to settle for my own creation.

and damn it's good. so good.

Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme (adapted from Full Bellies)

You Need:

large flour tortillas (burrito style)

1 lb ground beef (i use 93% because then i don't need to drain it)

1 package taco seasoning

bite size tortilla chips

sour cream

jarred queso style cheese

shredded cheese

shredded lettuce

diced tomatoes

Directions: Brown your ground beef & add the taco seasoning (according to package directions)

Microwave (1 @ a time because they tend to cool off pretty quickly) the flour for tortillas for about 10 seconds.

Working quickly- spread a dollop of sour cream in the center of the tortilla.

Top with a good amount of ground beef (i got 4 crunchwraps out of 1 lb)

Then add some shredded cheese

Next, layer on the tortilla chips (i used 6 or 7 bite sized rounds)

Plop on some queso style cheese sauce (i heated up in the microwave for a few seconds)

Toss on some diced tomatoes & shredded lettuce

Now get your pan ready- put a little butter in a large frying pan & turn on medium/low heat. Once it starts meting it's time to start wrapping your crunchwrap...

It's hard to explain how to wrap it, but you basically want it to look like the above picture. Basically, start at the bottom & work your way around.

You'll have an open spot on top- that's ok.

Now you want to gently place it folded side down in the pan:

let it cook for a few minutes (like 3 or so) until it's browned (don't give in to the temptation to flip it early because it'll fall apart...believe me, i know) & then flip it over:

cook for another 2-3 minutes & then slide it onto a plate:

give yourself a pat on the back or make sure no one's looking & do a wicked roundhouse kick. because you're about to put Taco Bell out of business.

ok, not really. because Taco Bell still has Chalupas- oh man, Chalupas.
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Beer Bread

just a friendly reminder that Beer Bread is always a winner.

i whipped up a batch today (using the normal beer bread base) with some Shipyard Applehead beer + 1 tsp Apple Pie Spice. I also tossed 2 Apple Pie Spice shakes into the butter before i poured it over the bread.

...there may only be 1/2 loaf left. shameful.
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Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

this stuff is crazy rich- akin to drinking a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.
yes- i just said drinking a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. doesn't that sound amazing?
let me assure you- it is.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (adapted from babble blog)
You Need:
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup 1/2 & 1/2
2/3 cup peanut butter

whipped cream or marshmallows for serving

Directions: In a medium saucepan warm the milk & vanilla until hot (not boiling)- Whisk in the cocoa & sugar & stir until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the cream & peanut butter & then allow the mixture to simmer for 4 min or so, whisking constantly.

Ladle into mugs, top with whipped cream or marshmallows & enjoy!

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Cheesy Mashed Potato Crescent Pockets

this was a result of an excess of leftover mashed potatoes, a few too many rolls of crescent dough & lots of cheese. i was also tired & lazy...but hungry. tragic.

thankfully these turned out- in fact, they turned out wicked & i've been patting my back ever since.

Cheesy Mashed Potato Crescent Pockets
You Need:
1 roll of crescent rolls (i used the big & flaky ones)
1 heavy cup of leftover mashed potatoes (mine were already buttered & seasoned)
2 slices of American cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (i used Monterey jack)
3/4 container Tomato & Basil Cooking Creme
smoked paprika, salt & pepper

Directions: Pre heat the oven to 375. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.
Mix together the mashed potatoes & 3/4 cup shredded cheese.
Unroll the can of crescent rolls & split into 4 large rectangles (pinch seams together)
Evenly spoon the potato/cheese mix between the 4 rectangles & season with the spoked paprika, salt & pepper. Then top each with 1/2 slice of American cheese.

Roll & pinch the dough to form a fat little packet & place the 4 packets in the baking dish.
Spread the Tomato & Basil Cooking Creme over the top of each packet.

Then sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.

bake (un covered) in the oven for 25-30 min.

remove & let sit for about 3 min or so (just to let it set)

Then dish out & enjoy.

Seriously you guys- these things are fabulous. Cheesy & creamy & doughy.
You can also change them up by making your own cooking creme or using different flavors.
You can also stuff them with some meat or vegetables- there's a reason i always keep crescent rolls on hand!
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Smore's Brownies

i'll be honest- these were only ok. i was expecting to be wowed because, hello? smore's brownies? duh. but alas- i think smore's are best left for summer.

but i'm still going to post this because minus the marshmallows- these were tasty. so maybe next time i'll just nix the marshmallows.

Smore's Brownies (via Food Network)*
You Need:




  • 4 cups large marshmallows ( i used those jumbo marshmallows & cut them in 3rds)

Directions: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

* my changes
i used jumbo marshmallows & cut them in 3rds.
i cut the brownies when they were still pretty warm- i made sure to rinse the blade with warm
water between each cut

like i said- if i made these again i'd probably nix the marshmallows- or use fluff instead...yeah. fluff.
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Homemade Vanilla Extract

so obviously i bake a lot. hence- i use a lot of vanilla extract. vanilla extract is expensive. i'm not rich...(i didn't mary for money)
sooo, making my own is only smart, plus, it makes a killer Christmas gift.

Vanilla Extract
You Need:
glass bottles (i got mine from the container store)

get thee some good quality vanilla beans (i ordered mine from Amazon)

cut each bean in 1/2 & split down the middle

put in 3 1/2 beans per bottle (i used 5, 8oz bottles)

top off with Vodka, pop in the topper & store in a cool, dark place.
give each bottle a shake about 1x per week.
let it be for 3 months.

then start baking.
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7up Biscuits

quick. easy. insanely delish.

7up Biscuits
You Need:
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7up
1/4 cup melted butter

Directions: Pre heat oven to 450. Pour the butter into the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish.
Mix together the Bisquick & sour cream. Then add the 7up- though dough will be pretty sticky.
Sprinkle addtl Bisquick onto the counter & pat out the dough to 1 inch thickness.
Use the bottom of a glass (or a biscuit cutter) to cut out the biscuits. Arrange the biscuits in the baking dish & bake for 8-10 minutes.

Serve with more butter. because Paula Dean says so.
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