• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

29 October 2009

i'm afraid of my crockpot (bonus: very unhealthy recipe)

Pink Hubby and I got a big wonderful crockpot as a wedding gift. It's really the perfect item for a couple of working/studying stiffs like us, who often don't get home until close to 8:00. Just put the food in there, turn it on, and come home to a hot home-cooked meal, right? Especially awesome during the 6-8 months of our year where temperatures are below freezing (or below zero).

Well, I've been afraid of ours. Mostly because I was raised with the notion that when you leave the house (or go to bed), you don't leave any appliances on. Not the TV, not the dishwasher, not the washer and dryer. I know if my mom has a crockpot, and if she did, I doubt she would leave it plugged in and unattended. I'm afraid that if I leave the crockpot (which is a reputable brand and brand new) alone, it'll catch on fire or explode or at least overflow partially-cooked food everywhere (causing the cat to barf, of course).

Basically all I have had the guts to use our crockpot for (thus far) is for transporting and maintaining the warmth of already-cooked food (in this case, Nacho Dip) to a potluck.

This nacho dip was not made in the crockpot (but I did reheat it in the crockpot the next day!).

To make this horribly unhealthy dip, you'll need:
1 lb of ground or chopped up meat. I used turkey.
3 cups of grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
4 (yes, 4) blocks of Mexican Velveeta (cubed/sliced for easier melting)
1 block of cream cheese
1 can of black or pinto beans (well, I used a can. You could just cook some if that's how you roll)
Half a cup (or so) of salsa
Some milk (to adjust thickness of the dip to your liking - I don't recommend Skim because you need a little fat to allow the milk to become one with the cheese)
Optional: Sriracha (Rooster Sauce) to taste. It's spicy :)


Now here's what you do.
Brown the meat in a big deep pan. When it's about browned, turn the heat down low and add the salsa. Then the cream cheese. Mush that around until it's pretty well mixed in. Then start dumping the velveeta in. I'd melt about half a block before starting on the next block. Make sure your heat is really low. It takes a while, but Velveeta burns easily. (Actually, it's best to melt Velveeta in a double-boiler and then add it after it's melted, but I am lazy.)


Once you get all that velveeta in there, add the real cheese. It melts much more easily. Then add the beans (drain them first if they're canned). My dip was kind of thick, so I added some milk to it until it was a decent dipping consistency. What's left? Well, I like Sriracha. A lot. I add it to barbecue sauce, marinade, meatloaf, enchiladas... you get the picture. So of course I squirted a liberal amount of it in here. (It made people's noses run at the potluck: goal attained!)


In the Crockpot

When it was all melted together and well stirred, I poured it in to the crockpot and set it on my porch overnight (the dish wouldn't fit in the fridge, and it's cold enough here that the great outdoors is the world's biggest fridge!)

My forth grade class was in a portable building on the elementary school grounds. When we had party days (like for Halloween or something), we were allowed to bring a soda (but here, we call it 'pop') or other beverage, and the teacher would stick each child's beverage in the snow outside the building until party-time.

The next morning, the dip was one cold hard block, which made it easy (though exceedingly heavy) to transport to work. I plugged in the crockpot on 'low' in my office and stirred the dip periodically until it had returned to its original dip-like characteristics.

Finished Dip

It was good.

Now I just need to get up the nerve to use my crockpot for actual crockpottery.

With sites like this, and impending weather like this, I think have to get over it. And I think I'll do it soon.