The understated thrill of the road trip is in the realization that you have the choice to keep going; to never come back. Responsibility washes over and away from me in a wave of relief. I exhale. I stare out the window. I sleep. I dream.
I am on vacation....
Because I absorb so many life experiences through food and cooking, my vacation souvenirs are usually aprons and ingredients. So to mark the trip we took to New Mexico, I bought a jar of authentic roasted New Mexican green chiles. And now, almost a year later, on the eve of our next road trip, I will honor last year's trip by using them in an authentic Chile Con Queso Recipe.
On our road trips we eat grocery store roast chicken, continental breakfasts and swim in heavily chlorinated swimming pools. And although we sleep in hotel beds, the van is our home – our cocoon. It is there that we really live; we bond and we grow. We don’t have to keep to a schedule – we have the freedom to go where and when we want. It is heaven.
Art by: my talented young artist daughter Abby Gilson
We don't always go to Winnipeg...
We’ll drive from Calgary to Winnipeg again, my family and I. We've been taking road trips with our kids since the first months of their lives and long before they were even born. And we’ve done this trip a number of times over the years.
Over the years we have taken road trips to Mt. Rushmore, Las Vegas, Portland and Minneapolis. And last year we had the unforgettable experience of driving through Colorado to New Mexico.
Aside from the usual grocery store grub, we do eat the odd meals at restaurants. One of the many highlights of the trip was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we ate dinner at the Blue Corn Café. It came highly recommended in reviews, and for good reason. It was unpretentious, had great service and awesome authentic New Mexican Food.
This Queso dip is made without Velveeta cheese. Instead, I use cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. It's a quick, delicious and easy recipe to make and you don't need to go to New Mexico to buy the chiles. You can buy them at any grocery store. Although, you really should get there one day - it's worth the trip! We definitely plan to go again.
This dip is really easy to make in one pot on the stove top. Just be sure to follow the directions exactly. And yes, you can make it the day before. And since it makes 5 cups, you may have leftovers. I store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, then reheat them in a microwave safe bowl (in the microwave, of course!)
If you are looking for the perfect dip for Cinco de Mayo, then give this Authentic New Mexican Queso Dip a try!
And if you like authentic Mexican food, then give my Gluten-free Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas a try.
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📋 Chile Con Queso Recipe
- 1 cup chopped green chiles, (canned) drained
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp finely chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups 1 % milk or skim/non-fat milk
- 4 cups grated old light/low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup salsa
- 4 tbsp (or more) chopped jalepenos - to your heat preference
- cilantro sprigs/pieces
- tortilla chips
- In a medium pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring, until lightly browned.
- Once the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes more, add the flour and cumin and whisk into the butter mixture and cook until lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Increase the heat to medium and slowly pour in the milk, whisking continually until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the cheeses, a ⅓ of it at a time. Stir until cheese in incorporated before adding more cheese.
- Fold in the salsa, chiles and jalapenos. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm with tortilla chips