Yummy Cheese Dip for Chips

I LOVE nacho cheese! And I love it when I can still dip in it after it’s refrigerated. Like a jar of Tostitos Queso – I can sneak into the fridge with one chip in hand, and satisfy that craving!

There are LOTS of recipes on the internet that start with a Bechamel type-base and add a variety of seasonings like chili powder and cumin… but none of them were quite what I was looking for. If I liked the flavor, it was usually just because it was made of a roux plus milk and cheese. But it missed the acid, and the texture was always off. If I tried to eat any of it while cold, my chips would break off… ugh.

Then one day while working, I actually ran out of Podcasts to listen to for the day. So I started to search for something new to listen to. I saw a Bon Appetit episode available on QUESO. I listened, and learned, and then my daughter and I went to the kitchen, inspired. We came up with this. It’s just a little different then the BA recipe, we adjusted for our tastes. But, I can’t say enough thanks to Bon Appetit for getting me this close!

As with all of my recipes here on my online journal… it’s a work in progress, and I will update it as we learn more tweaks that we like!


Chop 1/4 small onion.

Mince 1 clove garlic.

Mince 1/3 cup jarred Jalapenos, include that juice!

Chop 8 oz. American cheese (You NEED this for texture, trust me. Go with 8 – 1 oz. slices, or grab a block and cut 8 oz. into smaller cubes)

Grate 8oz. Cheddar Cheese (or other cheese of your choice, maybe Monterey Jack)

Melt 1 Tablespoon of Butter (I always have salted on hand) in sauce pan over medium heat until foamy

Cook the garlic and onion until translucent.

Add 1/2 tsp. Cumin and 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper, and cook until aromatic.

Get 1 cup milk. Pour 3/4 cups of that milk into the saucepan and simmer.

Use the remaining 1/4 cup of cold milk to make a thickener, by adding 1/2 Tablespoon of Cornstarch and stirring. Mixing the cornstarch into a small amount of cool liquid helps to prevent lumps.

Add cornstarch mixture to the pan and simmer over medium heat. Simmer for at least 1 full minute. BA says this is necessary to keep it from getting “grainy” in texture.

Reduce heat to medium low and begin to melt in your grated/cubed cheeses. Add small portions of cheese and stir it in to the pan to melt. Then, add more cheese. Do this until all the cheese is added and melted in.

Remember that 1/3 cup of jalapenos that you minced up? And kept some juices from that jar too? Add it into the cheese sauce now and stir. You are ready to go!

If you can’t eat it all, feel free to pop it in the fridge to snack on later! It’ll harden a little when it gets cold… but you can still easily get a nice thin tortilla chip in there and get a scoop! Yay!

Old Mother Hubbard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from “the Mother Goose Cookie-Candy Book”

by: Anne Rockwell


We give these cookies to the neighbors every year around Christmas time.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream together 1 cup softened butter and 1 cup of white granulated sugar.

Add 1 cup Brown sugar and combine until light and fluffy.

Add 2 eggs and beat with a wooden spoon.

Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Mix together: 2.5 cups of AP flour, 0.5 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Stir the flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture.

Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup of chopped pecan meats.

Spoon the cookie batter onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from pans and move to racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Banana Bread for the Baker’s Edge pan

4 oz. butter, softened

1 cup sugar

vanilla

4 bananas, mashed

1 egg

1.5 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together.

Add your bananas. If they are frozen, cut them up into small pieces so they mash up easier. You don’t have to get ALL of the lumps out.

Mix your dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, and salt). Then add them to the wet ingredients and combine. The batter will be nice and thick.

Grease the Baker’s Edge pan. Add batter evenly. I use a medium scoop and start at all the corners, then fill in the middles to get it evenly distributed. Then you can use a spatula or spoon to spread it all out.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes @ 350 degrees. If you used fresh bananas, your baking time may be shorter! I am always using up my frozen bananas and it makes my batter cold. And I do NOT have the patience to let it all come to room temp.

Pizza!

Just a note: this recipe is for my personal reference as I try to perfect my homemade pizza. This one is inspired by a search for Sbarro copycat recipes. Yeah, I love Sbarro. Sborry!

Dough:

  • Mix 200 grams of Bread Flour with 6 grams of salt.
  • Mix 125 grams of Water with 2.6 grams of dry instant yeast.
  • Combine and knead until soft.
  • Cover and keep at room temp (Hawaii).
  • Every 20 minutes or so, stretch and pull the dough to check for readiness.
  • When the dough no longer “breaks” when stretched, you’re good to go.

Sauce:

  • 1 8-oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • 4 oz. water
  • 1/2 oz. grated cheese
  • 2 oz. Olive Oil
  • 1 oz. diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Combine all ingredients and cook for a bit. Cool before use on pizza.

When dough and sauce are done:

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Roll or stretch dough out to desired size on a floured pan.
  • Top with sauce, then cheese and other toppings.
  • Bake until done!

Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

1/2 CUP BUTTER

1/2 CUP PEANUT BUTTER

1/2 CUP WHITE SUGAR

1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR

1 EGG

1 + 1/4 CUP FLOUR

1/2 teaspoon BAKING POWDER

1/4 teaspoon SALT

3/4 teaspoon BAKING SODA

1/2 CUP PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS


375 DEGREES FOR 10 MINUTES UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN

BRIAN’S CANDIED PECANS

1 pound of shelled whole pecans

mix:
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

whisk until frothy:
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon water

Pour dry pecans into frothy egg whites. Toss to coat the pecans.

Then add the sugar mixture and toss it until evenly coated.

Bake for 1 hour in an oven preheated at 250 F. Turn the pecans around in the pan every 15 minutes. They should be pretty dried out compared to the beginning.

Pull out of oven to cool completely before packaging.

p.s. We stole this recipe from the interwebs.

SOMEN SALAD DRESSING

Makes enough for about 9.5 oz (1 pkg of 3 bundles) of somen noodles, cooked


3 Tablespoon Shoyu (Kikkoman)

2 Tablespoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)

2 Tablespoon honey or sugar

1/2 Tablespoon miso

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil  

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 tsp salt 

Fresh grated ginger to taste, a little goes a long way, but I like it!


Just mix everything together!

Shampoo Bar v 1.0

5 oz. bar of Dr Bronners, shredded fine
Set aside

1 oz coconut oil
1 oz shea butter
0.125 oz cocoa butter
0.124 oz beezwax
Melt together.

Add shredded soap in small amounts.

Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Add 1 Tbsp boiling water

Stir until well combined.

Add essential oils

Stir

Add to molds lined with wrap. Cool and cure for a few days

This experiment turned out well.  I’m happy to use the bars!  Not a lot of lather, but my hair is cleaned and conditioned!  It also rinses very easily.  The bar dries well overnight on the counter, then I put it in a tin for keeping.  Smells great – I used Rosemary and Mint essential oils.    I will make this again and give it out to friends for more opinions.  Also thinking of lowering the added oils content to see if it helps it lather better.