Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Fast Food" at Home

I saw this recipe for Warm bean dip over at Life as a Lofthouse back in February. I'd been drooling over it ever since, and hoping I'd get invited to some sort of gathering in which it would be appropriate to bring to share. Alas, no such invitation came.

For Mother's and Father's Day, Mrblocko and I each get to have the meal of our choosing on our respective parenting holidays, no matter how crazy it might seem.  I asked Mrblocko if it would be too weird for us to have this appetizer for dinner, as our main course, on Mother's Day. His reply was, "No, but only if we put shredded chicken in it."

What a stellar idea. So, Mrblocko grilled up two chicken breasts with our burgers on Saturday. I had him use some sort of hickory flavored grill seasoning so the chicken would have a smokey flavor.
Oh man.  This dip was THA. BOMB.  I used homemade taco seasoning, and half the amount of suggested cheese.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been some olives, and maybe a side of guacamole.

I figured olives might be pushing it.  Blockette, in the past, has turned her nose up at refried beans.  I told her it was Mother's Day, so she shouldn't complain about dinner, but that it was sort of like the bean dip she eats with carrots. I even cut up some carrots for her to dip in it.  Her reaction was, "Wow! This dip is soooo good. I love it.  It's like nachos, but even better."  Very high praise in deed.  I even ate the dip with carrots.  I don't know why, but it tasted really good that way.  (Mrblocko, don't knock it 'til you try it.)

If we had gone out to some place like Taco Bell.  I would have ordered something similar to this.  Only this tasted a million times better than anything you can get at Taco Bell.  The ingredients cost me around $8, including carrots, chips and a salad.  Aaaaand, if you notice, we only ate around a third of the dip.

This is why we hardly ever eat out.  Where could you go out to eat and feed three people for $8, with enough leftovers to feed all three of you for a whole other meal?  Plus, did I mention this TASTES better?  Oh, and I got to eat this in my PJ's on the comfort of my couch. Oh, sure, I or my husband, could go out and bring the food back home and then I could eat it on the couch, but it's a good 10-15 min drive to the nearest fast food place. By the time the food would get back home it would be cold.  Cold fast food is disgusting.  I don't know about you, but I'm not into congealed fat.  Doesn't float my boat.

As I'm a dessert obsessed girl, and so is my daughter, we couldn't forget about our after dinner treat.  I wanted to stick with that fast food vibe so I made some slushies/icees like the ones you might find at Sonic.

I had seen this idea for homemade icees over at Real Mom Kitchen.  All you do is stick pop your ice cream maker.  (Yeah, super hard work involved there!) I used Cherry Dr. Pepper for ours.  I was surprised how red the slushy was.  It looks like the normal brown pop color in the 2 liter bottle.  I only made a liter of pop into icees.  We weren't super hungry after dinner, as the bean dip was so filling.  Because I only used half the bottle of pop, the total cost of our slushy was a mere $.50.  I'm guessing what I made would be about the same size as a large icee, and we all know, a large squishy costs more than $.50 at the Kwik E Mart.

Oh sure, I DID have to do dishes. There weren't very many though, and I saved them for the next day.  (I don't do dishes on Mother's Day.)  It probably took me 15 minutes, max.  I think the money I saved more than made up for any output of effort made cleaning up the kitchen.

A Million Times Better Than Taco Bell Bean Dip Nachos adapted from Life as a Lofthouse
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used the low fat kind)
1 cup low fat sour cream
2 cans (16 ounces, each) Or 1 (30oz) can low sodium refried beans (or make your own for even lower sodium)
1 packet taco seasoning (3T homemade salt free taco seasoning)
two cooked and shredded chicken breasts
1 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning. Stir in chicken. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with both cheeses. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese in melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips and carrots.

Homemade Icees from Real Mom Kitchen
4 1/2 cups of chilled soda pop (or more if your ice cream maker is larger than 1 1/2 qt)

Place soda in your 1 1/2 qt ice cream maker and freeze accordingly for 20 minutes. Serve in 4 glasses.


  1. Yum! This sounds fantastic. I'll definitely be adding it to my meal plan sometime this month. I bet it was incredible with shredded chicken!

  2. I'm sure it would be tasty with any ground meat or something like shredded leftover BBQ pork too.

    I hate that something this tasty looks so gross. As a kid, my dad used to always joke that we were eating dog food whenever we had refried beans. So that gets stuck in my brain whenever I take the beans out of the can.


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