Sparky, sigh, is growing. It couldn’t be helped – at some point your little sous-chef reaches the age when he’s handing YOU things from the tall shelf instead of the other way around, and you’ve got to adjust. As a parent, you know that adulthood is inevitable and you even look forward to it, but until your child wakes up one morning looking down into your eyes (and yes, it did literally happen overnight) you don’t really realize that school days are going to have a different meaning in the not-too-distant future. No more packed lunches…dorm food hovers on the horizon – admittedly, the somewhat distant horizon, but it’s real and visible these days.
To that end, Sparky punctuated his growth spurt with a taste for nachos – nachos with “BS” cheese, to be specific. While we could make one of those crazy layered concoctions like in the Scott Pilgrim games, I thought he should acquire a skill needed by all students of higher education: the ability to make a queso dip.
Brick of BS cheese (e.g. Velveeta or generic equivalent)
Jar of your favorite salsa (traditionally Ro-Tel, but we used what we had in the pantry)
Simply pour your salsa – about 1/2 cup to a cup – in the bottom of a microwaveable bowl, and top it with 1″ cubes of cheese (we used a little more than a half-pound.) You can play around with the proportions, it isn’t rocket science.
Microwave in 30-second bursts until the cheese melts enough to be stirrable, and then stir and continue with the 30-second-microwaving until you have a smooth dip. Eat with chips, or sparingly with vegetables if you’re trying to avoid the Freshman 15.
I couldn’t stop with something so nutritionally futile, so at our next opportunity I taught Sparky my next-most-simple-college-food dip.
1 Haas avocado
1 small shallot or 2-3 scallions
1 ripe tomato
1 bunch fresh cilantro (you will need about a tablespoon, minced)
Sparky cut the avocado in half and then removed the pit by thwacking it with the knife and twisting. Using a fork so it came out pre-mashed, he scooped the meat into a bowl. He quickly diced the tomato, peeled and minced the shallot and some cilantro, tossed it all on top of the avocado, threw in a pinch of salt and juiced the lime over the top. A quick but gentle stir and there’s your guacamole!