Battle of the Quesos

Red Gold versus Rotel. The Queso dip challenge.

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It’s been well documented that I love Mexican food. And that I love dips. A Mexican dip ~ perfection, especially one without meat as so often people throw beef or sausage in Mexican dips {gross}.

So when Red Gold offered to send me the ingredients to the standard queso dip, I said sure! We took advantage of the NFL playoff weekends to make the queso dips. I won’t attempt to say they’re healthy, but the babies enjoy the fattiness as does their Mommy!

In case you’re searching for an easy & delicious dip to bring to your super bowl party Sunday night, or just like us, to enjoy sitting at home on a cold day, here’s my thoughts on this queso made two ways.

First up was the traditional staple queso dip, 16 oz Velveeta cheese & 1 can of Rotel tomatoes. I melted the combined ingredients in the microwave & served with Tostitos scoops. It was good. It was cheesy. There was a bit of a kick which we like & tomatoes which I really like. It was thick & really stuck to the chip. I had some on the side of a Whole Foods bean burrito & it was just as good on its own for a snack later on.

The following weekend, my parents were in town helping take care of RSV sick babies. We broke out the Red Gold tomatoes & Velveeta and made queso dip Saturday evening as warm comfort food appetizer. My parents hadn’t had this type of dip in a while & both really enjoyed it.

REd Gold & Velveeta, all ready to be microwaved into delicious queso dip.

Red Gold & Velveeta, all ready to be microwaved into delicious queso dip.

I made Jason aka the husband be more critical than his normal “it’s good”. He said he actually like the flavor of the Red Gold queso version better. I definitely agreed.

Red Godl & Velveeta Queso Dip

Red Gold & Velveeta Queso Dip

The can of Red Gold & green chilies was larger {16 oz vs 12 oz}. That meant more tomatoes & more green chilies per bite. A definite plus in my book as I love tomatoes & the flavor of the green chillies. It also made the dip a little runnier, less super-think which I liked. I didn’t think it was any ‘hotter’ though for those afraid of too much heat.

As someone who doesn’t really care who wins the game tomorrow night, I just say enjoy the food! Happy Super bowl weekend friends!

While I was sent the ingredients for both dips from Red Gold, I wasn’t otherwise compensated for this post. All thoughts & opinions expressed are completely mine {& the husband’s} own.

Cheesy Mexican Chicken

I’ve been bored with our go-to easy baked chicken recipes. After seeing an email from Kraft Foods Tuesday, I searched their site & found this recipe. I did it a little different, so I’ll share what I did.

Ingredients
4 medium-large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pack taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 & 1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c milk
crumbled tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 375. While that’s warming, place chicken breasts in a dish. I used our favorite 8×11 one.

Mix together taco seasoning, soup, 1 c cheese & milk.

Mixture ready to top the chicken.

Mixture ready to top the chicken.

Pour mixture over the chicken.

Top with tortilla chips. I just crumbled what we had left of a bag & sprinkled a few handfuls over the chicken.

Oven ready

Oven ready

Bake for 30 minutes covered with foil. Top with remaining 1/2 cheese & bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered. IMG_20130108_203052

I served this is Spanish rice & it was awesome. Very easy & still tasty. We were full on one breast each, so this made enough for two dinners. Score!

Snack Day Recipes

My work had their annual ‘snack day’ last Thursday. It’s a 60 person pot luck which equates to an all day eating feast!

I brought in cranberry white chocolate cookies that I’ve made for years because they’re delicious & look festive for the holdiays.

There were lots of biscuits, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, sausage balls & meatballs. But what stole the show for me was the two recipes below. I begged for the recipes before 10 am & just had to share {plus posting them helps me remember the recipe}!

Fiesta Dip

8oz cream cheese, softened
16 oz sour cream
11 oz can sweet yellow & white corn, drained
15 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

I love the easy directions. Just dump it all together, mix it up & cover for at least 24 hours. It can be served cold or warm with tortilla chips. It had just the right hint of spicy to counter all the sweet dips & cookies I’d eaten that day. Perfect for any event.

Chicken Salsa Wraps

1 can chicken, shredded
1 container garden veggie cream cheese
1/2 c thick & chunky salsa
tortillas

Mix the chicken, cream cheese & salsa together in a small bowl. Spread thin layer on tortilla. Roll up the tortilla & slice in approximately 1 inch pieces. My coworker served them with extra salsa on the side & red & green tortilla chips!

{Make Ahead Meals} Bean Burritos

Another great meal thanks to my sister in law. She found the recipe on allrecipes. These have been fabulous as a quickly microwaved lunch or dinner.

Ingredients
2 c uncooked brown rice
4 c water
4 cans black beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can diced tomatoes & green chiles
16 flour tortillas
1 lb shredded pepperjack cheese

Combine rice & water in saucepan & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover & allow to simmer for 35-40 mins. When tender, remove from heat & allow rice to cool.

Strain & rinse the beans in colander; add the corn & diced tomatoes with green chiles. Toss to mix. Pour into bowl & mix with rice & cheese.

Divide mixture evenly among the tortillas & toll up. Wrap individually in plastic wrap & place in freezers safe bag. Freeze & reheat in microwave.

I topped with salsa & found pineapple salsa was my favorite.

Chicken Burritos

I’ve been craving Moe’s Joey Jr for a while. I love that place! But I was looking at my pantry Sunday night & realized I had just about everything to make our own Joey’s at home. I loved them! Jason thought they were good. Good enough that he ate the leftovers instead of me taking them into work. They were easy & delicious. I’m pretty sure this will go on our dinner rotation now. They can be made with the stuffings of your choice. I’ll list what we did. You could easily switch out chicken for beef or ground turkey. We also ate ’em up before I had a chance to photograph them.

Ingredients
Soft taco/burrito sized flour tortillas
~ 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast tenders, diced
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can black beans
1 pkg Spanish rice mix
salsa of your choice (we used Newman’s own Mango Salsa & Tostitos Chunky Mild Salsa)
shredded cheese

Directions
Saute chicken until no longer pink. Add 1/2 c water & the seasoning packet. Continue sauteing until water is absorbed (around 4-5 minutes). While chicken cooking, warm black beans in a small pot & follow directions on Spanish rice mix. We warmed torillas for 20 seconds in the microwave to soften. Once everything ready, we made our own burritos by scooping chicken, rice, beans, salsa & cheese into the tortilla. We were prety laid back & served with scoops & a beer. Enjoy!