Slow Cooker Saturdays: Crockpot Picante Dip
At this very second there are six inches of snow covering my yard. There is more snow falling, and to top it off sleet is covering the snow, making our city one slick, wintery mess. In a few hours I have to go to work so my wonderful husband is shoveling the driveway. It's taking awhile, God bless him, but we Southerners just aren't used to this mess and don't have the tools to deal with the aftermath. When he ventures back inside, cold, wet and sore from all that work I'll have two things waiting for him: cocoa and this picante cheese dip. (Well, three things if you count his cute, smiling wife.)
This would be a great Super Bowl appetizer, too, if you happen to be a fan of those two random teams playing this year and you're having a party to celebrate their success. (We're Steelers fans in this house and we'd rather not talk about this season. Can we discuss the previous one instead?) This is definitely one for the Man Food Files, but we girls can appreciate it, too, because it's so darn easy to make. (But we won't discuss the calorie content. Let's just pretend that party food is calorie-free, um-kay?)
Crock-potting is having a comeback. (I think I just made up that verb, but stay with me, here.) Cooks who at one point turned up their nose at anything involving a slow cooker are embracing them now. I grew up watching my mom use her crock pot, and it was one of the first things added to my wedding registry. I use it at least once a week, and although it's a pain in the astronaut to clean it's definitely this working mom's best friend.
So if you, like us, are covered with snow and ice it's time to break out the crock pot, cook up some cheese dip, and settle in for movie night!
Crockpot Picante Dip
Adapted from About.com
1 pound vegetarian meat crumbles (or browned ground beef)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 pounds Velveeta, cubed or shredded
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 a large onion, minced
2 T chili powder
1 bottle spicy picante sauce (feel free to tone down the heat)
1. Spray crock pot. (I know there are bags you can use to line your crock pot, but I'm not into cooking my food in plastic.)
2. Pour browned beef into crockpot. Cover with remaining ingredients. Cook on low 1 and a half hours, or until cheese is melted. Stir well and serve with chips, toasted pita bread or chopped vegetables.