This is sponsored content from BlogHer and The Laughing Cow.
This month, my task was to share a cooking or eating mishap. And folks, if you've read my main blog (Smaller Fun Pants) for long, you know that I don't do a lot of whatever it is that people do in the kitchen. I think people call it "cooking."
Alright, alright...I may not be THAT bad. I know how to make a mean grilled cheese sandwich, a good bowl of cereal, and a boiled egg - but not a whole lot else. Recently, I decided to try one new recipe a week for myself and my boyfriend, Joe. We have this deal, Joe and I - if I cook and its absolutely horrible, we get to throw it away and go out to eat. It's worked out well so far but as luck would have it, everything I've made is edible.
Incidentally, I blame my lack of natural cooking ability on genetics.
My father is a good man; a smart man. He, however, does not have any interest in cooking. Truthfully, when my sisters and I visit his house once a year, we're surprised that he's been able to live on Ramen, Hungry Man dinners, and Easy Mac and Cheese for as long as he has.
This past Christmas was no exception.
My two sisters and I live in various parts of the country so while arranging the flight schedules, we decided to make something special for my Dad that Christmas...a family tradition that has no actual recipe and has been passed down to us. Chile con queso. Since I know not everyone will know what that is, think of it as awesome, spicy cheese dip. Although writing such a description of this wonderful dish makes me want to cry a little inside. In fact, if I had the time, I'd go into all the wonderful details that is our chile con queso, but I'll just say that my father hadn't had it in over 15 years and STILL salivated over the thought of it. It's that good.
Since we were all arriving and leaving within a day or two of Christmas, we told my dad what items to pick up at the store for the queso. Dad carefully made a list of the ingredients and assured us all would be taken care of by the time we arrived.
So picture this: it's Christmas Day and it's snowing A LOT. The grocery stores in his Chicago suburb are closed. We are all flying out the next day. We decided it was the perfect time to start making the much anticipated queso - the queso that beats all other queso - a queso WORTHY of celebrating baby Jesus's birth (or Santa's arrival depending on what you believe in).
We start making the roux (base for the dip) and then ask our dad for the rest of the ingredients. My father comes forward with a bag of groceries and proudly places it on the counter, much like a hunter would display something he had just slain for his family's nourishment.
As we're shuffling through the contents, my older sister says something like, "Uh oh. This is NOT good."
I look over and realize that my father did NOT buy the right ingredients. Instead of normal condensed milk, my father bought SWEETENED condensed milk. For the non-chefs out there, sweetened condensed milk is condensed milk with eleventy billion pounds of sugar in it. It's like cotton candy and whipped cream got together, had a baby, and then put it in a can so that people could make pies with it.
We asked him about it and he shrugged his shoulders saying, "What? They didn't have any other kind of condensed milk -that's all they had in the store. I looked. It'll be fine." He then left the kitchen to go read in the den, as he is wont to do.
Of course, it was NOT fine and even thinking about making the queso with sweetened condensed milk was likely causing the person who created the recipe to roll over in her grave, rise up as a ghost, and immediately start making plans to haunt us starting that very night.
But, it was Christmas. And my dad had been looking forward to it. And isn't Christmas all about miracles?
So we quickly tried to think of alternatives for condensed milk. It was like we were the MacGuyvers of the kitchen. What could make the queso creamy but not soupy? What could we add that wouldn't change the taste but would could take the place of condensed milk?
AHA! We had it. We would just take the 2% milk in my dad's fridge and reduce it (which is a fancy word for heat it up until it thickens). Then it would be like condensed milk. We congratulated our quick and resourceful thinking by drinking a
So we poured the milk into a sauce pan and heated it, stirring the whole while.
|My younger sister and me stirring.|
|My two sisters...still stirring.|
And stirred some more.
Want to know what takes longer than watching a pot of water boil? Watching milk thicken.
I wish I was kidding.
After about 45 minutes of non-stop stirring and a few glasses of wine, we decided to just use the slightly thickened milk anyway. Dad was getting grumpy - and besides? What's the worst that could happen?
When we added the rest of the ingredients to the milk, we were left with the runniest queso ever.
"I know!" I exclaimed, "let's just add something to the queso to make it a bit thicker...like flour!"
"Yes!" my younger sister exclaimed.
"Sure, why not?" my older sister agreed.
(Wine may or may not have been a contributing factor to their quick agreement.)
So we added flour. At first, it seemed to be working - it was thickening! This was working! We celebrated by drinking more wine.
Only, after a few tastes it was like tasting runny bread dough because it was well...doughy. So basically, it was a cheesy doughy (and yet still runny) mixture with onions, chiles, and jalepenos.
I'm not going to lie to you. It was pretty much the worst thing I've ever made...and that includes any baking I did via my Easy-Bake Oven when I was 6.
At that moment, my father walked into the kitchen, grabbed a chip, and used it to scoop up some of the queso from the pot.
"Great job girls," he said. "See? I knew it would be fine."
It turns out a Christmas miracle DID happen that day. Well, either that or my dad's taste buds had dulled over 15 years.
So now it's your turn.
Laughing Cow (and BlogHer) are giving away another $150 Visa card in return for a laugh.
Share any funny story, video clip, picture etc in the comment section (it doesn't have to be cooking related) and you will be entered to win $150. Please keep your comments G-rated as any profanity or offensive content will automatically disqualify you from sweepstakes entry. You should also visit The Daily Laugh hub to read funny content each day and for weekly chances to win $100 at the “Play For Laughs” game. If you share something really funny, we may even use it in The Daily Laugh!
Click here for the full rules.
Want more chances to win? Visit the The Daily Laugh hub and comment on the other funny bloggers and their cooking/eating mishaps.
Update: THE WINNER HAS BEEN RANDOMLY DRAWN AND CONTACTED!