Posted by: thefitacademic | January 24, 2011

Take a “dip”

Wow! I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments about the last couple posts!

It sounds like lots of you guys are more “go-with-the-flow” types of peeps. Open-mouthed smile

I wish I could be that way. Honestly though, If I didn’t plan weekly meals & plan out my To-Do’s (often in List format), I wouldn’t remember what was going on! I feel like I’m always juggling so many balls & I already have a poor memory as it is, so if I don’t write it down, I forget about it ALL TOGETHER. And then I miss a deadline and that’s never good. So yeah…..I write down EVERYTHING!

On another note, I’ve been keeping so busy that I almost haven’t even noticed that Chris is gone! It’s funny because I feel like my school friends are trying a little extra to keep me occupied. I’ve been getting extra phone calls and invites, etc. The weird thing, though, is that I actually enjoy having time by myself! Before Chris and I started living together (6 years ago!) I lived by myself for awhile and I LOVED IT! I really don’t mind being by myself! Of course I miss him, but it helps that it’s a short and finite period of time (It’s not like he’s military and won’t be back for months or something!). So I’ve really enjoyed my “alone-time.” And honestly, I haven’t really even been alone that much!

Last night I ended up having my arm-twisted into going over to a friends’ house to watch football. This is unusual for me because (1) I hate football and (2) Sunday afternoons are usually when I like to prepare for the week

Remember how I plan everything? Yeah, on Sundays I like to clean and chop veggies for snacks throughout the week, cook some chicken so I can have it easy to grab for salads, wraps, etc., and do my “weekly planning”, where I look at all the things I need to get done for the week, and divide it up amongst the 7 days so I know what needs to be accomplished everyday. OCD much?

But, since I’d already turned down a Saturday dinner invitation (I, instead, watched Dinner for Shmucks & scrapbooked) I decided to go over for a couple hours. I couldn’t go empty handed & I thought I had some beans on hand so I said I’d make a dip to bring, but then discovered that we had no beans in the house!

I couldn’t show up empty handed, so what did I do? I made a quick spicy cheese dip to take over.

Here’s how it’s done:

First, I put a nice mix of mozzarella cheese, pepper jack cheese, and nufatella cheese in a sauce pan on the stove on low heat to melt the cheese (Stirring frequently so it didn’t stick to the bottom or burn!)

While the cheese was being heated, I used the Slap Chop to dice up some garlic, jalapeno, and onion. I sautéed them just for a minute in a skillet, then I threw it into the same pot with the cheese. Next, I put some bacon into the skillet I had just used for the garlic/pepper/onion mixture (fewer pans to clean!)

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This is what the cheese looked like at this point (still clumpy and not melted throughout)

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I added some milk and butter to the cheese to make it creamier. When the bacon was done I crumbled it up & threw it in the pot. Then I slap-chopped some cherry tomatoes & added them to the cheese mix.

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Side Note: Several of you have asked about my Slap Chop. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the thing! I have to be honest, I was worried it was going to be crap – it’s one of those “As Seen On TV” brand products and EVERY time I’ve gotten one of those things it has been a total piece! But, this Slap Chop gets HEAVY USE and it’s still going strong! It is way faster & easier to clean than a food processor & way less bulky, too! I totally recommend it!

Finally, I added a little bit of flour to help the mixture thicken. At the end, it looked like this:

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I put it in a container with a lit and took it over to my friend’s house. It was a BIG HIT!

BONUS: There was a little bit leftover, so when I got home I made some whole wheat pasta & threw the leftovers on top! Tomorrow I’ll get to have a nice alfredo pasta, so this recipe is also very versatile and can be used as an appetizer/side (as dip) or as a main dish as a pasta sauce!! Open-mouthed smile

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SPICY CHEESE DIP

Ingredients:

3 cloves garlic

1 jalapeno (with seeds removed)

1/4 of a large sweet onion

1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese

1/2 package Nufatella cheese (can substitute with 1/3 less fat cream cheese)

1 cup pepper jack cheese

1/2 cup milk

2 Tbs. butter

4 cherry tomatoes

1 Tbs. flour

Can’t wait to have it for lunch today!

So remember my long To-Do List? Well here’s what it looks like this morning.

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Almost everything from Saturday was crossed off, but I still have a few lingering things from Sunday left un-crossed (Oops!) I ended up doing really well with not watching TV! I didn’t even notice it was off & although I ended up seeing some Football yesterday, I don’t think that really counts because I really didn’t care about it & was really using it more as a socializing opportunity than a “watching tv” type of thing.

And it’s not like I was slacking off – I was BUSY this weekend! It’s just that some of the things on my list were really time consuming, so I did what I could & some things just got left undone. I’m using the same list as my working “To-Do” List for today, so hopefully I can cross some more things off.

Speaking of the List….remember all that scrapbooking I wanted to do? Well, I didn’t quite finish all the way through June (I’m currently working on May 2010, so I’m close), but I did get a ton done! Check out some of my pages!

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Nothing like a good old Texas Crawfish Boil!

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Our first year in Tucson we went to a pumpkin patch/apple orchard to pick some apples & get a pumpkin!

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Halloween & Thanksgiving with the family.

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Presenting at a conference in Vegas!

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And doing a little playing in Vegas, too! Chris won $500 on that slot machine pull right there!!!

It’s been so fun to go back and re-live all of these experiences while scrapbooking! Often times my life feels so consumed with school that I forget about all the cool things that I get to do!

Speaking of things to do – I need to run! I was going to give you another recipe (spoiler: I made my own Almond Butter yesterday!), but I think I’ll tell you more about my experiences with that tomorrow! Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Ever made your own nut-butter? Any tips?

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Responses

  1. I haven’t made nut butter yet! The cheese dip looks amazing — and way to go on your scrapbooking! It looks great! =)

  2. Like you, I am a HUGE list maker! That’s funny because we both posted about that today 🙂 Unlike you, I’m not a big weekly meal plan person. I’m a wake up and what sounds good that I should start thawing from the freezer person. lol.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe…sounds good!

  3. The cheese dip looks yummy.

  4. Love your pages! I long for the day when I can scrapbook again Just dont have the time/space to do so right now.

    I also make lists like you. I write mine on the chalkboard and erase it as I get it done.

    My grandma has a 1950s (or maybe 70s haha) version of a slapchop.. I LOVE IT!!!! Its the best invention ever. I was wondering if the modern slap chop version was any better.

  5. I’ve made nut butter and my best tip is to add the oil slowly as the nuts are grinding. That way you can add just the right amount. Also, honey or maple syrup are great additions for a little sweetness.

    Don’t worry if it take a while to blend, it will all of a sudden turn into nut butter just as you give up hope 🙂

    • I completely agree with the just as you give up hope statement! I made almond butter Saturday night in my tiny food processor that you have to hold the button down on and I am so stinkin excited about it!!! 😀

  6. I’ve never made my own nut butter before. My cousin made me cashew butter that was so delicious I’ve been looking for a new food processor! I want to make it!

  7. I love having alone time too. It’s so peaceful! Love the idea of a spicy cheese dip! Yum! The scrapbook is looking great! I’ve never made my own nut butter before, but I definitely want to!

  8. Glad to hear you are doing OK in the on your own department! I like having alone time, too…but at the same time I can get lonely!

  9. Spicy cheese dip? Def copying that one down!

  10. i sooooo want to make my own nut butter! i don’t have a food processor though. 😦 it’s on my wedding registry so hopefully within the next couple months i’ll have one of my own!


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