Thursday, June 27, 2013

Carlo's O'Kelly's Chili Con Queso Dip! (Copycat Recipe)

I made a slight mistake! I moved far, far, far away from home (that's not the mistake), and I moved to a place that doesn't even have my three most favorite places to eat! You should just know that I love food. I grew up surrounded by the stuff! Anyways, my three favorite places to eat:    

                 1. Hu Hot- Iowa is the hub for Hu Hots, who would have guessed. It is a build your own dish Mongolian grill. It is my absolute favorite place to eat.This is not as tragic but it is now about an hour and twenty minutes away. I suggest that if you haven't eaten there yet, do all that is in your power to get to one. It is well worth it, trust me. 
                  2. Panera Bread-Okay if you haven't been here, you might be living in a cave, like my boyfriend was before we started dating (But he didn't know the power of butter before my mom and I came into his life and now he is hooked!!! Muwahahahah!). My mom and I started going here every Saturday when I was younger. We would order potato soup and bread and have some girl time. Then my dad and I would secretly go there and get Cinnamon Crunch and Asiago Cheese bagels.They're the only ones that I like after the Bagel Incident of '98.
                    3. Carlos O'Kelly's-This one I will forgive you if you haven't heard of it. It's a Mexican restaurant and the closest one to me now is three hours away. My friends and I would go there after school and eat our hearts away. Ohhh I'm making myself  so hungry right now!

   Late one night my friend Bobbi and I were craving Carlos Chile con Queso. My dad did us the lovely honor of making us some of his specialty of Todd's Cheese Dip, it doesn't really have a name, I just named it... It took us several tries to make it with out almost dying of curdled cheese. But it still wasn't as good as Carlos. The other night Josh and I were waiting for a train to cross and in the down time, I did some research. I then raided our fridge and created the Frankenstein of Queso. And let me tell you it tasted as good as Carlos'! The secret was in the butter, it's always in the butter! 

Carlo's O'Kelly's Chili con Queso Copycat Recipe
*Keep in mind that I don't measure much if I'm not baking so these are my rough measurement estimates. Just add things to taste!

2 Tbsp. Butter (Not Margarine, real butter!) 
1/2 c. Sour Cream
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese cubed
3 Tbsp. Green Chilies (I just use half of the little cans that you can buy at the grocery store by all of the stuff to make tacos and what not!) 
2-3 Tbsp. Chopped Sweet Vadalia Onion (but any white onion would work as well) 
2 Tbsp. Salsa 
1-2 Tbsp. Taco sauce    

In a small Crock Pot, combine all of the ingredients. Heat on high until butter, cheese, and sour cream is melted, sir occasionally. Once the cheese has melted turn the Crock Pot on low   or warm and serve with tortilla chips. It so simple, anyone could do it! If you don't have a "baby" Crock Pot, You can make this in a small sauce pan over medium low heat (you don't want it too hot or else it will burn the cheese.) 
This picture doesn't do it justice, but it was the best I could get in my poorly lit kitchen. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Invisalign Adventure -Days 1-4

My dentist adventures have been interesting the past couple of years! In the last five years, I have seen three different dentists and we are just now getting somewhere with fixing my teeth. I have pretty straight teeth, so that was not the need for Invisalign. When I was little, my dentist told us that I didn't need braces because my teeth were pretty straight. Then in high school we started seeing a new dentist. He told me that I needed to consider getting braces because I have a slight overbite, but since he didn't make a huge deal out of it, neither did my dad. That was about 3 years ago. Over winter break this past year, I started seeing a new dentist. She told me that I had to get something done soon because my overbite was damaging my teeth and causing the top teeth to wear away my bottom teeth. Why was it doing so much damage? Well probably because that slight overbite was 100%.
     I ventured out and found an orthodontist and I didn't really like what he had to say. First of all, I would have to have braces for about three years. I couldn't have the white porcelain braces because they wouldn't be strong enough to pull my jaw into the right spot or something like that. That was something I was really hoping for. I am going to school to be a teacher and I really didn't want my mouth full of metal during my student teaching because I thought it would make me look younger and not as professional. On top of that he wanted me to go down to Madison and have a surgery to have part of my jaw cut out and then place my teeth higher in my mouth because I have a pretty gummy smile. All of this was going to cost about $10,000. I don't know about you but it seemed really overpriced and not affordable at all.
      I was really disappointed. Instead of getting braces in elementary when it was "cool" to have them, I was getting awkward adult braces. The amount that I was looking forward to this was about 0%. And then somehow we got to the conclusion that my dentist would do Invisalign. It was much more affordable ($4,000 total) and it would be a lot easier with school. I need 24 trays on the top and 14 on the bottom. I have to wear them for two weeks at a time, so I will be done completely in a little less than a year. That was already a big plus that regular braces didn't offer! I have 12 buttons on my teeth to help grip the retainers and push my teeth in the right positions. I can already tell a difference in the way I hold my jaw. At first it hurt a lot to put on and take off my retainers because of all of the buttons, but my teeth are starting to shift into the right position so it doesn't hurt as much. It does hurt to eat though because it feels like my teeth are bruised, but I expected this. I found out that if I take my retainers out and wait five minutes to eat, it doesn't hurt as bad. 
    So far I am satisfied with my decision to do this. It definitely is better than having to get my jaw cut apart and what not!