Thursday, July 21, 2016

{CopyCat} Torchy's Queso

Today is National Junk Food Day.  Last night Mr. Devilish and I had a debate as to whether chips and queso were junk food.  I say junk food.  He maintains they are Mexican food.  He said, "Junk food is stuff like Oreos or potato chips."  To which I replied, "I don't have any Oreo or potato chip recipes to share." So queso it is.  Torchy's Queso to be exact.  Not all of you may be familiar with Torchy's Tacos as they started in Austin, Texas and are regional to Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma.  Their motto is, "Damn Good" and that is the truth.  They have some unusual combinations like the Trailer Park Taco featuring fried chicken.  If unusual isn't your thing, don't worry.  You can get something mainstream like green chile pork or beef fajita.  One thing everyone can agree on is the queso.  It's topped off with guacamole, queso fresco, fresh cilantro and Torchy's Diablo Sauce.  I had seen several copycat recipes for their queso and we decided to give it a try.  Mr. Devilish Dish is more of a queso connoisseur than I am.  He said this was pretty spot on.  All I know is it was Damn Good. 

Damn Good!
The famous Diablo Sauce.
If you don't have a Torchy's nearby,
use a good quality hot sauce like Cholula.
Just wait until you stir it all together!
Just like Torchy's.
Grab some chips and a cold beer and you will be so happy.

{CopyCat} Torchy's Queso

1 cup fire roasted salsa (We used Brother's)
1 (4 ounce) can Hatch chopped green chiles
1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
2.5 tablespoons heavy cream
Torchy's Diablo Sauce (or other hot sauce like Cholula or Valentina's)
guacamole (our recipe)
1-2 tablespoons Queso Fresco cheese
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped Roma tomato

Combine the salsa, green chiles, Velveeta and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently until cheese is melted and hot.  Pour queso into serving dish.  Drizzle generously with hot sauce.  Top with a big dollop of guacamole.  Sprinkle with crumbled Queso Fresco cheese, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and tomato.  When you're ready to eat, stir everything together, grab some chips and enjoy!

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 15 minutes

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cookies for Cops {With LARGE BATCH Dishpan Cookies}

I once saw a documentary about a beached whale.  A hysterical woman ran up to the camera and said, "I didn't know what to do so I made sandwiches."  As funny as her comment was, I'm exactly like that woman.  Maybe it's my Southern roots.  When someone has a baby you take food.  When there's a death in the family or some other tragedy, you take food.  I'm like Annelle in Steel Magnolias.  If someone I know is suffering, then I look for something in the "freezes beautifully section of my cookbook."  Without getting into a political discussion, in light of what is happening around the country I felt compelled to do something for our police department.  While I live in a good-sized town, it hasn't always been this big.  It's grown a lot since I was a kid.  But it still feels like a small town and we treat each other with good 'ol Oklahoma kindness.  I wasn't sure what to do, so like the woman in the whale documentary I decided to make sandwiches.  Only not sandwiches.  I decided to make cookies.  And when I say I made cookies, I made cookies.  This recipe makes a HUGE batch of cookies.  So many that I'm taking a big platter to our local police department and a big platter to our local sheriff's department.  Now Little Devil's BFF's Dad is a police chief, so I asked if it was alright if I took cookies to the office.  He said yes.  Mr. Devilish Dish is acquainted with the sheriff through golf so I simply called him and told him who I was and that I would like to bring cookies to his office if that was okay with him.  He said sure.  If you aren't up to making something homemade, then use my FREE PRINTABLE SIGNS and take some store-bought cookies.  I saw a Facebook post today where a mother and daughter took a basket full of everything blue (Cool Ranch Doritos, Oreos, etc...) to a police station. Take a card.  Say a prayer.  Let them know you appreciate them.  At the end of the day they are husbands and wives and fathers and mothers.  And right now they need to know my family supports them. 

I didn't know what to do so I made cookies lol.
Golden brown oatmeal cookies full of M&Ms and
chocolate chips!

18 cups of oats.
I told you that you needed a big bowl.
Here's the creamed ingredients.
I have a big mixer.

Tons of cookie dough!

This was only one side of the counter.
I have a lot of cookie sheets.

I found these cute blue platters at Dollar Tree.

And I made a little sign to attach to the cookies.
Don't they look yummy?
I wish I could have had just blue M&Ms.
All ready to go!
I've included the FREE PRINTABLE signs
for you to use too.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.

Here's a single version of the sign.
This one includes the ingredients in case
there are any food allergies.

These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.
Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.
-Dalai Lama

Cookies for Cops (LARGE BATCH Dishpan Cookies)
*NOTE: This recipe makes approximately 20 DOZEN cookies.  You could easily halve the recipe and still have tons to share.  You'll need a very large bowl, dishpan or large soup pot to mix them.

2 pounds brown sugar
4 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks margarine, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
12 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 teaspoons white corn syrup
1 (3-pound) jar peanut butter
8 teaspoons baking soda
18 cups old-fashioned oats
1 (16 ounce) package chocolate chips (I used a variety of milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate chips)
1 (16 ounce) package plain M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  If you have a large stand mixer, you can cream the first few ingredients in it.  (My mixer is 7 quarts and it was pretty full.)  Cream together the brown sugar and granulated sugar with the softened margarine and butter.  Add the eggs.  Combine until creamy.  Add the vanilla and corn syrup.  Add all of the peanut butter and mix until it is very creamy.  (If you're doing this by hand you'll need some elbow grease.)  Finally add in the baking soda until well combined.  Place the oats in a very large bowl.  Add the creamed mixture and stir really well until combined.  The dough will be pretty sticky.  Finally mix in the chocolate chips and M&Ms.  Place tablespoon-sized scoops of dough onto greased cookie sheets.  (Grease them well because they tend to stick a tiny bit where the M&Ms melt to the pan.) Flatten slightly. Bake approximately 10-12 minutes until puffy and golden.  (They will sink a little as they cool.)  Cool on the pan at least 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Bake Time:  Approximately 12 minutes (times 20 pans full)

NOTE-  Any negative, derogatory or political comments left on this post will be deleted.  If you don't want to make Cookies for Cops, then feel free to skip this post and check out my Southwestern Pasta Salad.  Remember what Thumper says:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

French Quarter Cheese Dip

I come from a long line of ladies that like to entertain.  My Aunt Sue has guests at her lake house, my Mom belongs to the Red Hat Ladies and is active in her church.  She and her friends have a monthly birthday group that eats together.  So we're always on the look out for new recipes for pot lucks and other occasions.  Most of my entertaining revolves around sports.  Whether we're tailgating or parked in front of the television with a big group of friends, we want something delicious to snack on.  You can't beat a cheese ball and crackers when you need a fun appetizer for a crowd.  But cheese balls bug me.  They look cute. But you have a giant softball-sized mound of cheese rolled in just a little bit of coating.  Once the outside is eaten, you're basically left with a lump of plain cream cheese.  Whenever I make a cheese ball, I prefer to spread it on a serving platter and top it with the coating.  That way every bite has an equal amount of cream cheese and topping.  That solves the plain jane ball of cheese debacle.  The other great thing about this recipe is the cream cheese is flavored and seasoned.  It has a savory onion and garlic flavor while the topping is slightly sweet, slightly tangy.  The perfect combination.  Definitely a recipe I'll be sharing with my mom and my aunt.

French Quarter Cheese Dip....
Like a cheese ball only better.
And perfect for entertaining.

French Quarter Cheese Dip

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons freshly grated onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Combine the softened cream cheese, grated onion and minced garlic.  Mix well and spread on to a serving platter.  In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the brown sugar stirring until smooth.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook about 3 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat.  Add pecans.  The mixture should be slightly grainy (think mushy pecan praline candy).  Cool mixture slightly and spread over cream cheese mixture.  Serve with crackers for dipping.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 10 minutes

Monday, July 11, 2016

Southwestern Pasta Salad

A while back I found a great recipe for Grilled Tri Tip Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.  If you're not familiar with Chimichurri, it's a garlicky sauce from Argentina.  It gets its bright colors and bold flavor from fresh herbs and tangy vinegar.  Obviously it has a Latin flair so I wanted a side dish with complimentary flavor.  It's been so hot around here, heavy potatoes just didn't sound all that great, so when my husband suggested a pasta salad I immediately jumped on the idea.  A cool, crisp pasta salad with a Southwestern twist to match the South American flavors of the Chimichurri. 
Our new favorite side dish!
Crisp pasta salad with a Southwestern flair.
The perfect accompaniment to any meal.
Featuring Cilantro Lime Dressing.
Look at the yummy veggies...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

White Bean Poblano Hummus

Little Devil loves hummus.  It's probably her favorite snack.  Along with raspberries and Laughing Cow cheese.  Not all together though.  At any given time our fridge has a stack of hummus containers and Laughing Cow cheese in every flavor.  While the ready made variety is delicious, it's easy enough to make hummus at home.  Traditionally it's made with chick peas (garbanzo beans) but I've made hummus with all kind of ingredients.  Everything from the traditional tahini (sesame paste) to pumpkin.  I decided a White Bean Hummus might be good, so I started with a can of white (Cannellini) beans.  I didn't want to go with traditional Italian flavors you might associate with that type of bean.  Instead I decided the rich, slightly smokey flavor of a roasted poblano pepper would be a great compliment. I was right.  Little Devil loved it and so did we.  Serve with some pita bread or pretzel chips for a tasty, healthy snack.
White Bean Poblano Hummus
A delicious alternative to traditional hummus...
So good with pita chips, pita bread, pretzel chips
or fresh veggies...

Friday, July 1, 2016

"Moon Pie" Palooza Sundaes

I've had a long time love affair with Moon Pies.  It goes way back to my childhood when my Granddaddy Guy would stuff me and all the cousins with Moon Pies, Popsicles, Pizza and Pop.  Literally stuffed until we were sugar crazed and physically sick.  I rarely eat them as an adult, but whenever I see a Moon Pie, I sure do feel sentimental.  Recently my BFF Barb and I were in Bentonville, Arkansas.  If you don't already know, that's where Wal-Mart is headquarted.  The original Walton's 5 & 10 store is now a gift shop and museum.  You can see Sam Walton's old pick up truck that he used to drive to work every day.  As you exit the museum there is an old-fashioned ice cream shop where you can enjoy a sundae or a milk shake.  Now Barb grew up around my grandparents and she too shares my affinity for Moon Pies.  So when we saw they had a something called "Moon Pie Palooza" on the menu, you can bet we ordered it.  It's a sundae, made with vanilla ice cream, marshmallow topping, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and of course a Moon Pie!  Thankfully we decided to split it.  Otherwise we would have felt like we did when we were kids after we consumed all of that pop and pizza.  Shortly after our trip we celebrated my mom and her twin's birthday.  Inspired by the sundae we enjoyed in Arkansas, I decided to come up with my own version of a Moon Pie Palooza.  I found some Mini-Moon Pies so I was able to make individual sundaes.  They were a huge hit.  Nothing will take you back to your roots quicker than a Moon Pie!

Made with Mini Moon Pies.
The cutest, tastiest lil treats ever.

Here's the original.
Moon Pie Palooza
Bentonville, Arkansas
The mini version = less guilt.
It took a lot of self control NOT to eat
all of those Moon Pies like we did as kids.
Moon Pie Palooza Sundaes
A great, All-American Southern dessert.
It will take you back to the good 'ol days AND
cool you off!

Moon Pie Palooza Sundaes
Mini Moon Pies, cut in half
vanilla ice cream
marshmallow ice cream topping, warmed
chocolate sauce (I used Hershey's)
whipped cream (I make homemade whipped cream in my ISI Whipped Cream Maker)
maraschino cherries

In a small serving dish, spoon a generous helping of warmed marshmallow topping.  Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Add a dollop of whipped cream and a little squirt of chocolate sauce.  Top with a cherry and the two halves of a moon pie.  Enjoy!

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