Are you eating too much-processed food in your diet? I know we certainly are, we try to get away from it but it tends to sneak into our house. And especially when the family is gathered around the Television for a big event, like Super Bowl, it just screams processed food or frozen this, frozen that or packaged this, packaged that. Every commercial shows us how to make a fast breakfast, a fast lunch, a fast dinner or an easy microwave snack for that big game. I know we are busy people but shouldn’t some of the excitement of the day be in preparing for our party or whipping up some healthier snacks?
I remember when the children were little and we both worked full-time jobs with crazy hours, just like all the other Enforcement Officers still do, work crazy hours while raising a family. We always tried to make the most of the time spent together, you know the “quality time”. We were not all at home at the same time for dinner every night, especially when the children were in High School, their school, extracurricular events, and social life calendars were full and sometimes I or the hubby were on duty. Getting a dinner on the table every night, making sure everyone had a nutritious breakfast and keeping snacks in the house was a challenge in this crazy household. I know you don’t have to have a toddler, two teenagers and two adults in law enforcement in your home for things to get out of hand. You have been there, I know you have or still are.
Anyway some of the memories my, now grown, children share are of special events, special holidays or just a certain dish or snack. They associate that fun memory with having that meal or that snack. Ok, I guess our children survived and actually thrived and we did something correct. Was it just throwing a frozen pizza in the oven or was it making the most of that special moment?
I’m not saying we never threw a frozen pizza in the oven, of course, we did and we still do but sometimes it makes a normal event or a normal game into a very special event or memory to go an extra step and make that dinner or snack from scratch using fresh ingredients.
I have a tendency to always serve some form of Queso for any Football or tailgating party. I could have and have in the past, just heated up that cheese that hangs out on the shelf in your local grocery store and throw a can of tomatoes and green chiles in it and called it, “good” and it is good, but it’s not “special”.
This cheesy concoction is a cool spin from the norm and as an added benefit it’s made with real cheeses. It really doesn’t take that long to make and the prep work is minimal. It an opportunity to take a step away from prepared foods and prepare your own. Part of the fun and memories of any gathering should not only be eating the snacks but the time in the kitchen together plating up a great smorgasbord.
Cheesy Queso Dip made from Real Cheeses
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 green onions chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 pint (16 oz) half and half
- 1 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 1 10 oz can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chiles)
- 4 pickled jalapeños diced
- chili powder for garnish
- diced green onions for garnish optional
- tortilla chips and/or fresh vegetables for dipping
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat, add green onions and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in flour and cumin, cook for 1 minute stirring constantly
Slowly add half and half, continuing to stir and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and add cream cheese stirring until melted
Return pan to low heat and add cheeses, stirring until melted
Stir in Rotel and jalapeños and cook until heated throughly. (Do not boil)
Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with chili powder and optional green onions.
Serve with tortilla chips and/or veggies
**Note- can be made ahead of time and transferred to a microwavable safe dish, covered with clear wrap and refrigerated. To reheat microwave 3-4 minutes on high heat, stirring once per minute until hot)
Other Football Party Food: