A Fiesta Potluck

I know it’s a little “late” to be sharing a slew of Mexican recipes but rarely does anyone ever eat Mexican food ONLY on Cinco de Mayo! Besides, it’s Mexican Monday!

On May 5th my friends and I had a Cinco de Mayo potluck. As can be expected, our fiesta theme brought everyone out of the wood-works and we had a great turnout and more importantly amazing food!

The day before the party my friend came over to help me make these Papel Picado Banners to put on the bar below the food. I think it really added some holiday flair to the place. And it was fun to be crafting something. Thankfully both of our babies napped at the same time and we were able to tackle this project quickly.

Fiesta Potluck

Here are most of the recipes from the night:

IMG_4821I brought my baby baked beef burritos to the party, which ended up being a perfect potluck food. I doubled the recipe, accidentally quadrupling the amount of black beans, to yield 33 burritos. (I left 3 of them for Stuart) I was able to make the beef mixture while the little man was taking a nap and while he was playing happily at my feet with the tupperware cabinet I rolled up the burritos. I then baked them in two batches (because my oven is small) right before leaving the house. I put foil between each layer of burritos to keep them warm. (I felt like a caterer!) IMG_4822Stuart had to stay at work late that night so I brought my son to the party until he could be picked up. I let him try all of the food off my plate and he ended up eating the filling of three burritos! (I took 8 of them home with me when the party was over and we both enjoyed them for lunch the next day, too.)

Next month we’ll celebrate summer with a BBQ themed potluck!

Black Bean Dip

Let me tell you about my new favorite snack. Well, healthy snack. I’m still a sucker for Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. Which is why I tend to not buy them. Unless I have a good excuse. Like people coming over for a grill out and game night. Such as happened over the weekend. And why I’m now sitting here munching on processed food deliciousness.

Salty and crunchy foods are always my mid-afternoon craving, so I try to keep a smarter option on hand. A bean dip is a great snack – full of protein and fiber – and I can enjoy it with a slightly guilty pita or tortilla chip along with carrots and celery. I think the biggest challenge with eating healthy is satisfying those unhealthy cravings, so it’s important to “cheat” in a smart way. By combating salty chips with a filling and healthy dip you end up feeling satisfied.

This black bean dip is a huge hit! I’ve made it three times now. If it’s still on the table when my husband gets home I find I don’t have any left the next day. My son even enjoys it – he’ll eat it with his hands, off a spoon, or even gnaw it from a piece of celery.

Black Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 C salsa
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Steps:

  1. Place beans in food process and pulse until they’re broken up. Add salsa, garlic, cumin, chili powder, olive oil, and lime juice. Puree until smooth.
  2. Season to taste with S+P and add in the cilantro. Pulse until combined.
  3. Serve with multi-grain tortilla chips, pita chips, pita bread, or veggies.

*This recipe is adapted from Bobbi at http://www.bobbiskozykitchen.com/2015/02/chipotle-black-bean-dip-sundaysupper.html#.VSrAH_nF_0e*

Black Bean Dip | Sew You Think You Can Cook

SRC: Nacho Cheese Sauce

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Today is another Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned the blog Burnt Apple. In her about me section, Burnt Apple admits to being a not-so-great cook, but after having kids she turned it around and you can see her success on her site. Her husband has diabetes so her page is full of healthier meals. Not that I picked one… there were just too many cinnamony desserts to pick from! Like cinnamon pie – WHAT?! And churros – but hey, they’re baked and not fried. And then there were apple cinnamon quinoa cookies – quinoa’s good for you, right?

I decided to go in a savory direction. But still, not exactly a healthy one. We’re talking nacho cheese sauce people! I enjoy this guilty pleasure at sporting events and the bowling alley. Add it to your March Madness party for a dip everyone will enjoy!

I doubled the recipe and needed to use whole milk in addition to the evaporated milk. I found I needed to add a little extra splash of milk to the nacho cheese sauce to get my desired texture.

Nacho Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz mild cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 8 oz pepper jack cheese, cubed
  • 1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Melt over medium heat until sauce is smooth, bubbly, and thick.
  2. Serve over chip with pickled jalapenos, if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from http://burntapple.com/2014/07/14/theater-style-nacho-cheese-sauce/*

Nacho Cheese Sauce | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

CIC: Cauliflower & Cheese

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Hey I made it! Talk about procrastination. I made my Crazy Ingredient Challenge dish yesterday during the little man’s naptime. I had to do this during naptime because it required the food processor and my little man absolutely hates it when we run the Ninja. I’m talking completely loses it with big ole alligator tears. We try taking him over to the machine and even let him help push the buttons, trying to prove that we are in control of the loud noise, but it’s not working. So, I prefer to wait to use it if I’m the only one home.

The ingredients that won the vote this month are Cauliflower and Cheese – any kind of cheese! I thought first of doing mashed cauliflower and potatoes with cream cheese. But we had mashed potatoes earlier this week. I really wanted to try a cauliflower crust pizza, but knew I wouldn’t have the time to get that done. (It’s still on my bucket list though.)

I have been keeping a bean dip in the fridge for my afternoon snacks, either hummus or black bean, and thought that’d be a great way to “sneak” cauliflower into the menu. The cheese I decided to use was Parmesan. This dip ended up reminding me of pizza (I now see how cauliflower works in place of crust) so I added some oregano to the mix, if I had sun-dried tomatoes that would’ve gone in too! Veggies are a perfect healthy dipper but pita chips or even whole grain tortilla chips work nicely too.

Cauliflower Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 can (15oz) great north beans (or any white bean), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • zest 1 Meyer lemon
  • juice 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Break cauliflower into florets, about 1″ in size. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake 25 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. In a large food process, pulse beans, roasted cauliflower, cheese, zest and juice of the lemon, garlic, oregano, S+P, and up to 1/4 C water. Pulse until smooth. Season to taste with additional S+P if needed.

*This recipe is modified from Lauren at http://www.fromthelittleyellowkitchen.com/2012/02/22/roasted-cauliflower-white-bean-dip/*

Cauliflower Bean Dip | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

#10DaysofTailgate: Chile con Queso

Tailgate LogoIt’s Monday and it’s still #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. That means my #10DaysofTailgate post gets a Mexican Monday twist!

Okay, it’s not really Mexican. It’s actually far from being real Mexican. Queso is definitely an American Mexican appetizer. BRMLogoVectorFull4CProBob ESOPAnd this one uses processed cheese. But there is Chipotle involved.

ElDiablo_Logo_Color_TaglineToday’s dip features two of our wonderful #10DaysofTailgate sponsors: El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard and Bob’s Red Mill. Combine their products with Velveeta and you have a dip fit to make any tailgater happy.

Bob’s Red Mill provided us with a bag of their 13 Bean Soup Mix. With it, I made 13 bean chili to do a play on my mandatory tailgating dip. I even added El Diablo Chipotle Mustard to give it another depth of flavor – a tiny bit of heat and a mustardy bite of vinegar.

Chile con Queso

Ingredients for the chili:

  • 1 1/2 C 13 Bean Soup Mix
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 C canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Steps for the chili:

  1. Soften beans by boiling for five minutes. Remove from heat and soak at least one hour. Drain.
  2. Cover beans with 5 C water and simmer until tender 2-3 hours.
  3. Brown ground beef. Add onion and garlic, cook until translucent. Drain.
  4. Add beef, tomatoes, chili powder, and S+P to the beans. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 50-60 minutes.

Ingredients for the Chile con Queso:

Steps for the Chile con Queso: 

  1. In a saucepan heat up chili.
  2. Melt in cheese.
  3. Add mustard and stir until combined.
  4. Keep warm in slow cooker. And serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Chile con Queso

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
BBQ Sausage & Cheese Plate by The Spiffy Cookie
Vegified Hot “Wings”  by Curious Cuisiniere
Fried Polenta Cakes with Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella Salad by Love and Confections
Smoky Karma Stovetop Beans by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Mains
Kicking Karma Veggie Fajita Pizza by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
BBQ Chickpea Sliders with Apple Slaw by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili by The Pajama Chef
 Beef Kabobs by A Day in the Life on the Farm

#10DaysofTailgate: Corn and Cheddar Dip

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Today marks day five of #10DaysofTailgate hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla! Hopefully you followed yesterday even though I took a mini break from the event to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. If you didn’t, follow this link to Camilla’s page to check out the wonderful tailgating displays from day four’s tailgating spread.

For my birthday this year we went to my parents’ lake house in Lake Geneva, WI. While we were there we had a huge “meet and greet” for the family to come on out to the lake and see the newest addition to the family, my son Wesley. The rain stayed away and we had a wonderful time in the backyard with food and drinks. A family tailgate, if you will!

One of my cousins brought a dip over that I’d never had before. It was a cold corn dip with shredded cheddar cheese. She told me the list of ingredients and I knew I would have to try and recreate it for #10DaysofTailgate. The ingredient list included cayenne pepper – but I knew that I would be spicing my dip up with a different secret weapon – Carrot Karma hot sauce by the Intensity Academy.

Intensity AcademyWhen I discovered that I’d be receiving a bottle of carrot based hot sauce, the first question out of my aunt’s mouth was “How do you make hot sauce of out carrots?!” I can’t answer that question, but I do know that the Intensity Academy uses all natural ingredients. Their philosophy is “Through the perfect karma of good foods, one meets the Perfect Guru, whose taste is intense.” The level of heat in this hot sauce is perfect, it’s mild enough for people afraid of spicy foods yet lends perfect flavor for that little somethin’ somethin’. And when people ask you, “What is that?” you’ll be able to surprise them with a reply of “carrot hot sauce!”

Corn and Cheddar Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15.25 oz) Southwest Corn with Poblano and Red Peppers, drained
  • 1 1/2 C shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/8 C mayonnaise
  • 1/8 C sour cream
  • 1 – 1 1/4 tsp Carrot Karma Hot Sauce (depending on your heat preference)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl gently stir together corn, cheese, and scallions.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce, and salt. Add more hot sauce to taste.
  3. Pour mayo mixture over corn mixture and gently mix until combined. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Remix dip to break it up before serving.
  4. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Corn and Cheddar Dip

Thank you Michele for sponsoring our event.

Disclaimer: I was provided a bottle of Carrot Karma hot sauce through this event, however all opinions and statements are my own.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more tailgating recipes today:

Starters
Cherry Chipotle BBQ Pork Nachos by The Spiffy Cookie
Duck Poppers by CafeTerra
Duck Bacon Pumpkin Soup by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Dips
Steakhouse Deviled Egg Dip by From Gate to Plate
Mains
Ultimate Bacon Burger by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Cincinnati Turkey Chili by The Pajama Chef
Smoky Date Pulled Pork by Curious Cuisiniere
Sides
Just Ducky Baked Beans by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Sweets
Linebacker-Sized Chocolate Chip Cookies by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Rocky Ledge Bars by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Pear Poppy Snails {Birnen Mohn Schnecken} by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
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Game Night Cheese Die

Last night we were invited to a game night with friends. We were asked to bring an appetizer.

There are plenty of easy to eat appetizers to choose from, but I wanted to “go all out” and bring a themed dish. Unfortunately I’m not creative enough to come up with my own clever idea so I turned to the trusty internet. Most recipes I found were desert related – domino brownies, rice krispie treat billiards balls, etc. And then there was this die, made from cheese!

I’ve had cheese balls in the past and thought that this was a winner. The trick to making a cube instead of a ball is having enough time for the cheese to harden in a loaf pan. And to create the white exterior you “frost” the cube with more cream cheese. Stud it with black olives and you have yourself a die! (Mine wasn’t anatomically correct, but no one seemed to mind.)

Cheese Spread Cube

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz cream cheese, divided
  • 2 C shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • sliced black olives for decorating

Steps:

  1. Mix together 16 oz cream cheese with shredded cheese and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place cheese in a plastic wrap lined loaf pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours. You can do this the night before your party too.
  3. Remove cheese from the fridge and cut the loaf in half. Place one half on top of the other to create a cube. (Or make multiple smaller dice, whatever you decide.)
  4. Beat remaining 8 oz of cream cheese with the milk until smooth. (It’ll play a mind trick on you, thinking it’s marshmallow fluff or frosting!)
  5. As if you were frosting a cake, cover the die with the smooth cream cheese. Stud the 5 visible sides with olive slices.
  6. Serve with crackers or bread.

*This recipe was modified from http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheese-spread-dice*

 Cheese Spread Die