Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chili Dip (and other musings)

Wow, this has been the month of no posting. I mean, I know I used to go much longer than this, but after so many months of steady activity, it just feels . . . wrong.

Part of the problem is that I haven't had anything really worth writing about. In the past, when I've gone through a dry spell, I'll collect a bunch of "little thoughts" and eventually turn them into a bullet-point post, but now I typically just shoot out a tweet and am done with it. (I know, I'm so long-winded you wouldn't think Twitter and I would get along, but I'm getting used to it.)

This morning I had the realization of how nice it is to actually have a kitchen table where you can sit down. Normally ours is used for storage (our kitchen is rather lacking in that), and we eat with TV trays out in the living room. But last night we had some people over, so we cleared off the table, and it's still sitting there, mostly empty. I just ate my lunch in the kitchen . . . and by "in the kitchen" I don't mean "standing at the counter." I forgot how nice it is to be able to do that.

Anyway, this really wouldn't have been worth a blog post if not for the fact that I made chili dip, which everyone seemed to find as addicting as I do. I told them the recipe last night, which is so simple you don't really need to write it down, but figured I'd post it here anyway, as a reminder for them, and for anyone else who wants a quick and easy party snack.

1 12oz tub of cream cheese
2 15oz cans of hot chili w/ no beans
1 pkg shredded mozzarella cheese

In a 8x8 casserole dish, spread the cream cheese on the bottom. Then, pour the chili over the top and spread evenly. (I'm not really a spicy person, but I still like the hot chili better than regular. Your call, though.) Then, sprinkle mozzarella over the top. (I didn't specify a package size since you don't use all that much anyway. If it isn't something you normally have on hand, just buy the smallest you can find, I guess. Or, of course, you can shred your own, if you like your cheese in blocks.)

And that's it. Pop it in the microwave for 5-ish minutes. If the cheese isn't melted, put it in for longer. If it sounds like it's exploding, maybe take it out sooner. Eat it with tortilla chips. Try not to burn your mouth.

I HAVE made this with turkey chili, for those who don't eat beef. It's really not as good, though, and it has more to do with the consistency of the chili than the flavor. Maybe other brands would be different, but the kind we got (Hormel), the meat was just too finely ground, and the whole thing was kind of soupy.

Anyway, that's my party specialty. It was actually in a cookbook for kids that I got way back when, and I've been making it (and getting requests for it) ever since. Super easy, and super delicious. It doesn't get much better than that.

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