This post is sponsored by Lunchbox, but the photos of the recipe productions and preparation, and my story of the recipe, is my own.
Make everyday delicious with Kraft!
This holiday season whizzed by. One day, I was planning my son’s birthday party for December 7, and the next, I was putting away Christmas decorations. From the minute the temperatures finally dropped here in Southern California, it felt like our family had plans almost every night. Add in my son’s year-round football and wrestling practice, and getting a warm meal on the table posed a real challenge. Family meals have always been important to us, and we try not to let that change even if everyone’s running in a different direction. Sometimes that means creating a list of easy and convenient recipes that everyone likes and may even be a little fun, like the Kraft Foods recipe I found. Kraft products are easy to find at stores like Walmart, so one quick trip and I can have all sorts of options to make every day delicious without spending a lot of money.
What kid doesn’t like to eat with their fingers or dip something into yummy, melty cheese sauce? I haven’t found one yet. Tater Tots are always fun, even if they’re eaten the traditional way just dipped into ketchup — but we like to jazz things up a little bit with a minimum of time and work. The Queso Fundido Totchos recipe was easy to follow and other than grating some cheese, didn’t require a lot of detailed attention, which means I got to hear the latest football news from my son and check in with the husband when he came home from work without messing up my dinner or delaying it.
I had many of the basic ingredients on hand already — pork chorizo, onion, flour, butter, milk, garlic, a can of diced green chiles and some cilantro. I did have to pick up the cheeses though, and the tots. None of that lasts long in our house! I had never tried the Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese so it was a good excuse to try something new, and I think I’m going to be keeping this on hand; I can think of a lot of ways to work this into meals.
Looking good already, right?
I got the oven going, and got the tots heating up. We like them nice and crispy so I wanted to be sure I had enough time to keep them in a little longer, just in case. I didn’t need to though, the recommended 25 minutes was sufficient, and coincided almost perfectly with the prep time for the rest of the meal.
Next was browning the chorizo. Mmmmm, the smell of a nice spicy pork chorizo permeates a house and the only bad thing about chorizo is that it shrinks up so much when cooking! That time is perfect to grate the cheese and chop the onions.
I used a slotted spoon to pull the chorizo out of the skillet after it was heated through thoroughly, and put the diced onions, minced garlic cloves and the entire can of diced green chiles into the hot chorizo drippings. Stirring frequently, they sat on the stove for just 3-4 minutes to blend and pick up the flavors from the pan.
In another wide pan with a 3″+ side, I melted the butter and added in about 1/4 cup of flour. (It was omitted from the list of ingredients but easy to guess the amount necessary to make a roux of sorts.) After stirring the two together for a couple of minutes, until very lightly brown, I slowly added the 1 1/2 cups of milk. Whisk constantly when you do this, as it can lump up quickly, as well as spatter a bit if you’re not careful. It quickly turns into a smooth sauce, so be ready to start adding in the cheeses, 1/3 cup or so at a time.
I started with the Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese, using 1/4 of the tub, then the 4 oz each of the Monterey and Colby cheeses, then the bag of 2% Mexican blend cheese. (I swapped out the Pepperjack for the Colby, as one of the kids is not a pepperjack fan. I personally would have loved it but Colby rocks, too, so it definitely didn’t take away from the recipe at all.) It makes a lot of sauce, so you’re really able to cover them completely — or as one of the kids did, pour some into a separate bowl and dip a few leftover tots after he finished his plate.
Once the sauce is smooth and lump-free, which for me was after it had gently bubbled for a few minutes, I mixed in 1/2 of the chorizo mixture.
What a colorful mixture, isn’t it? I’d pulled the tots from the oven just a couple of minutes prior, so they were arranged on a plate where I poured over a good amount of the cheese sauce. Sprinkle more of the remaining chorizo mixture on top, along with your favorite toppings, like cilantro, sour cream, jalapenos, etc., and it’s done!
With the help of Kraft Foods and Walmart, anyone can make every day delicious — on a budget, in small chunks of time — to help cook up a wonderful holiday season or sweeten up your evening. Let me know if you find a favorite recipe from the Kraft and Walmart recipe list!
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