Thursday, December 31, 2009

Queso Blanco Dip

Oh yummie in the land of all things yummie! This super easy dip can be used for so many things!

1 1/2 lbs Land o' Lakes white American cheese
2 (4oz) can diced green chilies, undrained
1/2 - 1 c. light cream

Ok.. so the cheese you can get from any deli, ask them to cut the 1 1/2 lbs in about 3 chunks. It will make it easier for you once you get home. Cut the cheese into square chunks and plop them into a good sized sauce pan, add the chilies, and a small amount of cream. Simmer all together, and add the cream until you have the desired thickness for the sauce.

Now, this sauce can be used for plain ole tortilla chip dipping, or you can pour it over empanadas, enchiladas, quesadillas... just about anything. It's fairly mild and SUPER yummie (I know I already said that, but I thought it important to let you know one more time).

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

I found this recipe while I was looking for new cookies to make for Christmas this year. It was listed on - I would make a few tweaks the next time I make them because I found them to be a little too sweet.

1 box red velvet cake mix
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. bourbon (I didn't use this)

1 (8oz) pkg. softened cream cheese
1/4 c. softened butter
2 tsp. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. flaked coconut (I didn't use this either)
4 c. powdered sugar (I would use much less, taste as you go)
1/2 c. well chopped pecans

Mix together the cake mix, eggs, and oil (and bourbon if you're using it) in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour. You want it to be firm for the next step!

Now, preheat your oven to 375. Roll the cake mix dough into balls, about the size of walnuts, and place about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until the tops begin to crack, about 8 minutes. Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes before you remove them to cool completely on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, butter, evap. milk, vanilla and coconut if you're using it. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, taste it after two cups to see if it is sweet enough and continue to add until you're happy with the flavor. If it becomes too stiff, add more evap. milk.

Finally, take your chopped pecans and chop them more! =] You want these to be very small pieces, add them to a bowl. Spread a good amount of icing on the bottom of a cooled cookie, sandwich it with another cookie, pressing firmly so the icing comes all the way to the edge. Roll the edge of the cookies in the chopped pecans. Tada! It sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't so bad! Enjoy.

Something I've learned...

So... why do I have these big ambitions to begin an amazing blog only to watch it fizzle out shortly after it begins? I have found the answer! When I have a break from school, then I find I have more time for things I am passionate about; however, when I am in school, I have little time for anything other than my mandatory commitments. Therefore, I will not pretend to have an over-abundance of time to update this blog as I'd like.

Also, I have determined that I don't have an actual goal for this blog. What am I trying to accomplish, what are my goals surrounding it, simply... why am I doing it?

I have found that answer too... although, I've known it for years! I love (LOVE) to cook, host, serve, etc... If anyone were to ask my dream job, it would be to own some sort of establishment that deals with serving people and food! =] It may be a cafe, a coffee shop, a bakery or deli, a full fledged restaurant, a bed and breakkie, a catering business, party planning... you get the idea. However, that is merely a dream. In the meantime, I would love to learn and share what I know with whoever cares to listen.

With that said, I have one year left in school (YAY to 2010 graduation!!) then I will be finding all sorts of ways to occupy my time. My son will be 16 by then, likely working... which means good ole mom will be in need of something therapeutic - you know, like food (or at least preparing it)!

Today is New Year's Eve - I have nothing on the agenda besides hanging out at home with my kidlet and his friend - oh and studying for a HUGE test... but I will hopefully have some time to add some things I have made during the Christmas season this year, including my very first sweet potato pie!!!