Monday, January 30, 2012
This coming Sunday is the Super Bowl. Whether or not you're a big football fan there's a good chance you're invited to a party, having one at your home or you'll flip to the channel now and again to check the score or watch the much waited for commercials.
OK, so some of you may not even turn on the TV that day, but if you're one of those that I've described above, then you're probably going to be cooking up some grub for the game. One dish that's almost always on a Super Bowl game day table is a hot cheese dip.
This dip that I'm sharing IMO, is positively the most incredible dip you'll ever try. It's so quick and easy to put together you'll be surprised at how sensational it tastes. Your guests won't be able to stop eating it and you won't either!
If you're still not sure you're getting together with friends, I suggest picking up this simple list of ingredients, just so you're prepared. It will take all of 10 minutes to toss together.
Oh, and if you forget to pick up the chips try making my simple Homemade Tortilla Chips (below) with those tortillas sitting in your refrigerator. They're better for you than the store bought - but then who's counting when the cheese dip is packed with fat and calories!
Ooey Gooey Cheese Dip
Makes 2 cups
8 oz. mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese mix (2 cup package)
4 oz. cream cheese
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup canned diced green chilies
1 Tbsp. hot sauce (or to your taste)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Serve with home baked tortilla chips (below) or your favorite brand
Place all of the ingredients except the chips into a small saucepan. The recipe can be completed to this point up to 8 hours before heating.
Place the pan over low heat and warm the dip, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted. Be careful not to let it boil, or the oil will separate from the cheese.
Taste and adjust for spiciness.
Transfer to a warm serving bowl or a mini Crock Pot.
Home Baked Tortilla Chips:
Take flour tortillas and cut in pizza wedges. Lay on foil covered pan and spray with Pam. Sprinkle with cumin, S& P or desired spices and bake for 8-10 minutes in 350 degree oven until crisp.
Both recipes are so simple. In fact, if you have any leftover cheese dip, pour it over your burger or use as a dip for your fries or pretzels. Pour it over a plate of chips with chicken, olives, sour cream, etc. for a great Nacho appetizer.
Trust me your friends will be raving about this dip. IT'S OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS!
Friday, January 20, 2012
Ever since I went to Paris with my daughter 9 years ago and had a Macaron at Ladurée Pâtisserie, I've wanted to try making them. Although it's only recently that they've become the rage in the United States.
For those of you that aren't familiar with Macarons NOT Macaroons they come in an infinite array of colors with fillings from the ordinary to unimaginable.
Macarons are made with few ingredients: almond flour, sugar and most importantly aged egg whites. The process is precise to achieve perfection for simple and few ingredients.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I know it's been quite some time since I've posted any recipes but I needed a bit of a break from all the holiday food. I love sweets and as always I overdo it during the holidays - or rather from Halloween right up to New Years. I just can't help myself. Fortunately I didn't gain any weight this year - how? I have no idea!
It use to be that each New Years Eve I'd make a resolution but I'm wiser now that I'm older. Forget about not eating sweets, that's never going to happen. However, the quantity at which I eat them will be smaller and paired with exercise for my health, heart and temperament.
I love to bake so when I came across this recipe given to me by a friend who attended Miraval Resort & Spa in Arizona, I knew I had to try them. A luscious low fat, low calorie chocolate meringue cookie with a mere 59 calories per serving.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
I hope you had a happy holiday filled with lots of joy and laughter! I had a wonderful time with my family. We left for a couple weeks and escaped from the cold to the warm tropical climate of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. We stayed at Caneel Bay a beautiful resort where seven secluded beaches border 170 lush Caribbean acres. This was our 4th visit to Caneel Bay and loved it, as always.
The purpose of this vacation was for total rest and relaxation. Our days were spent at the beach, lying in the hot sun, squishing our toes in the sand, swimming in the crystal clear turquoise ocean waters with the turtles, stingrays, sand sharks and fish, with the occasional iguana walking by. Taking breaks to snorkel, play tennis, exercise, have lunch and ice cold pina colada's. Our routine was the same almost daily and so restful.
The evenings were spent having dinner in one of the 4 restaurants at the resort. Years prior we ate in town often, but decided this trip we'd stay put and enjoy what luscious meals Caneel Bay had to offer. All meals were a delight with an abundance of fresh seafood, fruit and veggies. I had fish daily at lunch and dinner, while my family often had beef and chicken. It was heavenly!
I thought I'd taken photos of so many dishes but apparently not! A few of the dishes I enjoyed were:
Grilled Scallops on Sweet Potato Puree'
Beet Salad with Watermelon, Arugula & Pistachio Encrusted Goat Cheese
A favorite of my husband, daughter and son was the Espresso Encrusted Beef Tenderloin while we all adored each and every dessert - which we indulged in nightly. Our favorite was the Banana Cheesecake with Foster Sauce! I plan to post that recipe soon.
A highlight of my trip was when I found myself lying next to Eric Ripert on the beach, then chatting with him while we both cooled ourselves off in the cool waves of the sea.
He's very nice, tall and handsome with a charming accent! He looks identical to his photos and what I've seen of him on TV. I asked him a few questions about work and food, then we both continued on with our day. I saw him several times after that at the beach and we exchanged our hellos. Although I would have loved to have invaded his space asking him millions of questions I chose not to since he was vacationing with his family.
New Years Eve was delightful, unfortunately my husband and I didn't make it to midnight, but had a great time dining and drinking champagne with our children. They of course went on to make it to the strike of 12:00 while we were off in slumber land.
The smiles, laughter, sunshine, rest, swimming, snorkeling, exercising and dining were plentiful and a glorious way to end the year and start off the new year!
My tummy is still full from our trip but it's time to get back in gear. This year I plan to add a number of new menus to my culinary classes, that are sure to excite you. I'll be posting those in the near future. Plus, creating more videos for my blog, sharing techniques I know you'll find helpful in your kitchen.
In 2012, I look forward to working with new clients, making new blogging friends, while continuing my relationship with clients and friends from the past.
I'd like to wish my cousin Bob and his son Alex all the best in 2012. Bob lost his wife and Alex his mommy on New Years Eve. I love you both and will always be there for you - whatever you need!
Wishing each of you the best of health and happiness in the year to come. Bringing you more delicious recipes, tips, videos and all things foodie in 2012.
Here's to A New Year!
Posted by Vicki Bensinger at 10:15 AM