Hi.

Welcome! I'm a new Pittsburgher and mom who is untrained in both life and cooking, but that just makes them both more exciting!

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Dan's mention of Velveeta melted with a jar of salsa last week reminded me that I made a batch of queso blanco that I forgot to post.  It was originally intended to be a Super Bowl snack idea, but I would highly contend that this is a dish that could (and should) be served throughout the year.  I 've made it both on the stove top and in a slow cooker, and both were successful.  Tongues were burned licking those curves of the pot that the chips can't reach.  You have to keep a somewhat close eye when you're making it in the the slow cooker, and keep it on the low/keep-warm settings to prevent the cheese from burning, but when you're having a party (a party of 1 is still a party!) queso blanco can't be beat.

I should also note that the back surgery recovery is going well!  No more shooting pain down my legs, no more sleepless nights, and much more all-around happiness.  Of course, I can't do much of anything for 6 weeks (luckily, we have had lots of Lily help from the grandparents), but I'm pretty excited at the idea of this being the last surgery for a long long time.  I won't say ever.  But I'll hope it.  Many thanks for the support and well-wishes!

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Queso Blanco

1 Tbsp cooking oil (veggie, olive, canola - whatever you have) 1/4 cup white onion, diced 1 large jalapeno pepper, diced (remove the seeds and stem for less heat) 12 oz white American cheese, diced 4 oz Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (don't use pre-shredded - it doesn't melt as well) 1/4-2/3 cup cream, half-and-half, or whole milk 1 tomato, seeds removed and diced 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Cook the onion and pepper until softened and reduce heat to medium-low.  Add the shredded cheese and 1/4 cup of the cream. Stir until mostly melted.  Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and additional cream a little at a time until you reach desired consistency.  Serve on chips, tacos, tortillas, fresh vegetables, etc.

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Crispy Potato Smashers (a.k.a. Irish Road Kill)

Velveeta Soup for Mom (by Dan)