Getting ready to watch the big game with the guys, or having family and friends over for a special gathering? You're going to need snacks! Don't offer those old, tired cheese dips you've been serving to everyone for years. Put out a dip with some kick to it—creamy, spicy, fresh, and unforgettable.

Okay, I know you're skeptical. But if your taste buds love heat, we've got the perfect cheese dip recipe for you. We're not going to use any thin, processed cheese to make this dip. Blah! We're going to use a specialty cheddar cheese. Because as they say, "Cheddar is always better."

You won't need many ingredients, and you should already have in your home all of the utensils that you'll require. Preparation is fast and easy, and the results will have everyone clamoring for more!

Ingredients

You'll need one large mixing bowl; make sure it fits into your microwave. Find any cheese slicer that you have around. You'll also need a colander. Grab a large spoon. Just something to stir with. You'll need some sort of cling wrap or plastic lid, and some pot rags or oven mitts, so you don't burn your hands.

How to Prepare

First, slice the cheese. Super thin slices aren't necessary. It will still melt just fine. Once done, toss those pieces into the bowl. Empty the can of chili right on top. Take the jar of jalapeños and dump the contents into your colander to drain off the juice. Make sure you put the colander in the sink first or you'll have a mess.

If you don't want as much heat, remove the seeds from the jalapeños. Once the juice has drained, drop the jalapeños into the bowl. Mix everything together the best that you can (we'll do more mixing later, so don't sweat it too much).

Now, place the cling wrap or lid on top of the bowl, so it doesn't explode all over the inside of your microwave. Leave a small area on one side of the bowl uncovered, just enough to let it breathe.

Cooking Instructions

Place the bowl in the microwave and set it for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, take it out using oven mitts (this bowl will get hot), and peel back the cling wrap. Watch out for any hot steam that escapes, then stir. Re-cover and place the bowl back into the microwave for another 4 minutes. Remove and again stir.

Then, back in it goes for another 4 minutes. Stir and check the consistency. If you want your dip chunky, it's probably about perfect now. If you prefer a thinner dip, then it might need a few more minutes of in and out. Don't forget to stir each time.

Finalizing

After the cheese dip is the consistency that you want, give it a taste. Ah, delicious! If it's not spicy enough, add 4-5 shakes of the Chicago Hit Sauce. Stir it in and taste again. If it's still not hot enough, you were probably a fire-breathing dragon in a former life! But go for it and add some more, until it's perfect.

This recipe will make approximately 8 servings. Once you've divided it up, set out the serving bowls along with your favorite tortilla chips and enjoy!

You might also want to keep a gallon of ice cream on hand for any guests who can't handle the burn but wanted to give it a try anyway. For your family and friends who do love the burn, they'll beg you for this recipe!

For more recipes and specialty products, contact us today. We love great food. Try us once and you're sure to become part of our ever-growing family of happy, loyal Deli Direct customers.

Jack Frost is renowned for giving Americans more than just the cold shoulder, especially when January rolls around. It seems at that time, he’s also got a passion for nibbling on ears, finger tips, little noses and more. But there is one thing that Jack and his frosty friends can’t resist. It’s hot sauce. And using the right one may just keep him from nipping off more than he should this blustery season.

So which hot sauce will distract Jack long enough for everyone to bundle up tight? We’re thinking a nice bottle of Spicy Chipotle Sauce ought to keep his taste buds busy. Chipotles traditionally have a multidimensional flavor profile because they are treated differently than raw jalapeno chilies. Picked at the perfect time, they’re dried in smoke-filled chambers that help concentrate the peppers’ inherent spiciness.

Afterward, they’re combined with other premium ingredients to make a sauce that’s guaranteed to melt a man or woman’s frosty heart. At least it will please those who love chilies with Scoville ratings in the 5,000 to 10,000 range. And all of that heat will undoubtedly do more than just raise a person’s core body temperature. It will perk up traditional, winter comfort foods too.

Let’s take steaming crockpots full of white bean chili as examples. They’re normally made with ground turkey or chicken, chili spices and white beans. As good as that sounds, it’s even better with a few teaspoons of Spicy Chipotle Hot Sauce stirred into the mix. And don’t forget to toss some shredded, Chipotle Pepper Wisconsin cheese on top, if you dare. They make incredible white chili accompaniments too.

To grab a bottle of Spicy Chipotle Hot Sauce and give old Jack Frost a run for his icicles that he’ll never forget, please contact Deli Direct today.

With Halloween fast approaching and the weather crisp, it is once again time to think of some way to get people to eat some real food before they raid the Halloween candy haul. (Personal note: yes, of course I steal all the girls Tootsie rolls. I consider it repayment for their college fund.) The best way to get some bread and vegetables in before the sugar fest is to smother them in cheese spreads - it's a double win because cheese is a delicious source of protein and calcium. Here is a recipe for Baked Cheddar Bacon Spread that will have everyone devouring the bread slices and vegetables.

    Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 16 ounces of sour cream
  • 1 chopped up onion (feel free to use a food processor.)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 pound of cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, with 3 cups to go into the body of the dip and another cup to sprinkle on top.

Beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, onions and mayonnaise, then add the bacon and 3 cups of cheese. Once it is all mixed together, dump it in a 2-quart baking dish and layer the last cup of cheddar cheese on top. Pop it in an oven that is a 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 30 minutes. This will give 7 cups worth of dip, so your party should be satisfied no matter how big it is. If you want to spice it up a bit, try substituting some of our Hot Pepper Cheese for some of the grated cheddar. Our Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Cheese would not be a bad addition, either.

As it so happens, we have 2 lb blocks of Wisconsin cheddar cheese that will work perfectly in your spread. If you need to convince a party of ghouls to eat something filling before the candy binge, contact us for your entertainment needs.

Although you might have gifted plenty of meat and cheese gift baskets in the past, you might have never thought about purchasing them for yourself. However, it's a good idea to buy a few nice gift baskets from Deli Direct and keep them on hand during the upcoming holiday season. These are a few reasons why you won't regret it if you do.

Be Prepared for Impromptu Guests

First of all, the holiday season is always a season of visiting and spending time with loved ones. This means that you might find yourself throwing together an impromptu get-together, or you might find friends or family members knocking on your door when you least expect it. Although you might like being able to offer your guests a nice snack when they come over, you probably aren't always prepared to do so.

If you have a meat and cheese gift basket on hand, however, you can open it up and put the offerings on a nice plate or platter. Since these gift baskets often come with nice cheese, sliced meat, crackers and more, you will have everything you need to offer your guests something tasty.

Always Have a Potential Gift on Hand

You never know when you might be invited to an unexpected party or when you might need an extra gift for someone on your list. Since meat and cheese gift baskets make great gifts for just about anyone, it's a good idea to keep a few on hand, just in case.

As you can see, it's always smart to keep a few of these nice gift baskets on hand during the winter months. If you contact us at Deli Direct, we can help you choose the right gift baskets for your needs.

No matter their age, they are still our babies and we worry about them when they enter college. We wonder, “Will they make friends?” and “Are they eating enough?” Now there is a way to ensure that they’re doing both. It starts with choosing cheese and sausage gift baskets. Traditionally filled with enough food for more than one, they make excellent going away presents. This is especially true for college kids that plan on rooming with strangers.

Go Back to Cool and Classic

Let’s take our Gourmet Deli Classic Treasures basket as an example. It holds six pounds of meat and more than two pounds of cheese. Plus, there are additional items included, like cookies, chocolates, condiments and wasabi peas. So there is enough gourmet, snack food for our babies and the people who will hopefully become their new friends.

Furthermore, the kids can use the accompanying wicker basket, cutting board and cleaver in their dorm room or off campus apartment for other things. For instance, they may want to toss their keys, mail, student IDs or notes in the basket after all of the cheese and sausage is gone.

As for the cleaver and cutting board, it’s perfect for divvying up other snacks or a quick meal. The kids can clean them up afterwards and tuck them inside of their desks, night stands or allotted bookshelf space. Of course they could put them in the wicker basket too.

Variety without the Cutting Edge

Don’t want to give them a cleaver for the dorm? No worries there. We’ve got cheese and sausage gift baskets that are devoid of sharp-edged cutlery. One that tends to perfect for kids is the Special Variety Pack. It still has enough meats and cheeses for a small gathering of students as well as a cutting board. However, knives and cleavers are not included.

To find the perfect sausage and cheese gift baskets for your big babies, please contact us.

It never fails. The temperature zooms to over one hundred, and you have to make supper for the family. The air conditioning unit can only handle so much and it’s too hot for you to handle much more! It’s time to decide whether to call out for pizza and wings or think of something a little cooler. Then your eye falls on your Deli Direct Deli Classic meat and cheese gift basket. Walking to the fridge, you open it to see how you can combine its contents with the goodies in the gift basket. Grab some skewers, something to use for marinade (we suggest olive oil or Italian salad dressing) and all the fresh veggies you've got. Have we got some cool ideas for you (pun intended)!

Caesar Surfer

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Romaine lettuce with leaves separated
  • Diced tomatoes, cucumber and stuffed olives from your Deli Classic gift basket
  • Diced meats and cheeses

Combine all ingredients and drizzle with classic Caesar salad dressing. Finally finish off with Gourmet Chocolates from your Deli Classic gift basket!

Skewer Fun

Ingredients:

Thread the ingredients onto the skewer. Fold the spinach leaves until they’re the size of the other ingredients. Marinate in a Pyrex dish using the olive oil and a little basil or Italian salad dressing for two to three hours.

Of course, you can always just chunk everything in the fridge into a gigantuous bowl and make a rocking salad. A different meal idea would include flour tortillas, your choice of Deli Direct cheese spreads, a little lettuce, a few chunks of summer sausage, diced tomatoes and strips of red onion for a new twist on a wrap. However you choose to beat the heat, we have the best quality meats, cheeses, pickles, olives, spreads and sweets. Just contact us when the heat is too much for you to stay in the kitchen.

Let’s face it. It’s summer and sometimes it is just too doggone hot outside to cook a big meal. The next time that “I don’t want to turn on the stove” feeling washes over you, reach for the meat snacks, Wisconsin cheese, diced tomatoes and mushrooms. We’ve got a quick, easy and earthy recipe that you won't want to miss:

Choose a Meat Snack

Start by going through our online offerings and choosing the right smoked meat snacks or beef summer sausages for your family’s palate. Many folks we know love to go with the Smoked Pepperoni Curls & Sticks. Chop or slice up your selection and combine it with some diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste before reaching for the Wisconsin specialty cheeses.

Pick a Wisconsin Specialty Cheese

Shred the Wisconsin specialty cheeses and place them into a big bowl. Next, wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Prepare an open-top, vegetable basket for the grill or choose a non-stick one. When you’re ready, place the mushroom caps, depression side up, in to the grill basket. Then carefully fill each one with a mixture of diced meat snacks, tomatoes and shredded cheeses from Wisconsin.

Achieve Grilling Perfection

Turn the grill on and let it reach anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches temp, place the prefilled grill basket on to the grates and let the meat snacks cook for roughly 10 minutes. Afterward, remove the grill basket from the grates and grab a flexible, metal spatula or a pair of tongs. Carefully remove the hot, stuffed mushrooms from the grill basket and place them on to a lovely serving tray.

Serve with a Robust Red

Serve them with a great bottle of wine. Reds like syrah, burgundy, sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon make excellent choices. The same may be said for champagne and dry Rieslings. We promise, you’ll love the way our grilled mushroom and meat snacks taste no matter which beverage you choose. To learn more creative ways to serve up Wisconsin’s best meat snacks, please contact us.

Adding Alfredo sauce into the mix is a fabulous way to dress up a pasta salad, potatoes, vegetable gratin, grilled pizzas and grilling meats. But what about people who love to bring the heat to their summertime tables? Will their taste buds light up over America’s beloved cream sauce? We’ve found that they will if you choose to add hot sauce to the creamy blend. We’re calling our versions hot Alfredo sauces:

Everyday Hot Alfredo

To make enough hot Alfred sauce for two to four people, you’ll need ¾ cups of your favorite Alfredo sauce and ¼ cup of hot sauce. Just mix the two together and you’ll end up with your garden variety hottie. If you want to add more ingredients to round out the sauce, feel free. Any number of Italian-American staples would make great, hot Alfred add-ons. For example, you might want to put those garden fresh peas and flavored bacon crumbles to good use. They’d pair perfectly with the salads, pizzas, grilling meats and the other dishes we mentioned at the top of the post.

Seasonal Hot Alfredo

Oh, and don’t just stop with the Italian-American staples. Try changing things up with a more seasonal version of our hot Alfred sauce. Instead of using store-bought, Parmesan cheese sauce, go wild with summer flavors. Start with a basic Alfredo sauce recipe but don’t use the Parmesan. Go with Perl Creek Harvest Vegetable Cheese Blocks instead. It is an American cheese that has been flavored with spinach, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, onions and celery. So, it will surely make any lunch or dinner dish taste like summer.

Simply shred the harvest vegetable cheese blocks first. Otherwise, they may not melt fast enough or evenly. Then continue making the meal as you normally would. To learn more about heating up your Alfredo dishes with our hot sauces and Wisconsin cheeses, please contact Deli Direct today.

Moo-ve over Father’s Day and High School graduations, there is another holiday taking place this month that’s tailor-made for cheesy celebrations. Yes, we’re talking about National Dairy Month and we’ve got the cheese gift baskets that are sure to please every dairy fan on your list. Since we’re sure that many of you plan on making a lot of noise and inviting every Wisconsin Cheddar Head within a 50 mile radius to your National Dairy Month shindig, let’s talk about our Incredible Party Favorites first:

Incredible Party Favorites Gift Basket

Our Incredible Party Favorites gift basket will leave your loved ones in 7th Heaven because it contains seven different cheeses. Plus, we’ve tossed in gourmet crackers, two dip seasonings, beef summer sausage, Perky Pickles and honey mustard glaze. Oh, and there’s a handy-dandy cleaver included in the gift basket too. So you guests can don their wedge hats and cut their favorite cheeses with wild abandon.

For Cheese Lovers Only Basket

Are you worried that there won’t be enough Cheddar N’ Salami Block or Toasted Onion Cheese Spread to go around? Never fear dairy darlings! Our For Cheese Lovers Only gift basket will help ensure that the only thing blue at your party is the dip. You get to choose two cheese blocks and a pair of cheese spreads. In addition, the basket includes another Wisconsin cheddar block, variety cheese wheel, gourmet crackers, Danish butter cookies, gourmet chocolates and other party essentials.

Rat Pack Cheese Gift Basket

Okay, so maybe Ol’ Blue Eyes didn’t appreciate milk as much as he should have but that doesn’t mean you need to follow in his black leather, elevator shoes. Our Rat Pack gift basket will clearly fly Sinatra fans to and then over the moon. So, send them one during National Dairy Month. We’re sure that they’ll love the gourmet cheese spreads, crackers and stylish cheese spreader. And just like Frank, you can have the basket your way by selecting three types of cheese from our great, Deli Direct collection. To learn more and get the National Dairy Month party started, please contact us today!

Don't let the name fool you, because summer sausage is truly a year-round treat.

Sure, the sausage originally got its name because back before the days of refrigerators and freezers, folks had to plan out their eating habits so their food wouldn't spoil. Summer sausage is basically any sausage that is kept without refrigeration, allowing folks to eat it in the warm summer months throughout the centuries that it has been getting made.

But you're not held to the same restrictions as those early sausage makers, so you can enjoy your summer sausage experience any day of the year, be it hot and sunny or cold and blustery.

While summer sausage is enjoyable all on its own or on some crackers with a lovely cheese spread, block cheese or even with a sauce.

But what if you want to depart from the same ol' song and dance? You're in luck. Summer sausages are very versatile, and with original, lite (95-percent fat-free!) and Ragin' Cajun varieties available, there is a way to fit it into everyone's lifestyle or taste.

So what can you do with your summer sausage? Here are three fun and tasty recipes for you to consider trying out:

Summer Sausage Sliders:

Sliders are all the rage in the culinary world, and this grilled version bring a completely different style to those tasty little sandwiches. Make sure to cut the sausage to the right thickness so it stands up well to the grilling. Get the recipe here.

Potato Salad with Summer Sausage:

There is a reason meat and potatoes go together so well. One flavor truly helps balance the other, and there is no place this is more evident than this dilly potato salad that features summer sausage as the main attraction. Go to this link for the recipe.

Summer Sausage and Cheese Omelet:

Honestly, this just seems like a natural combination, doesn't it? Eggs. Cheese. Maybe some onions. Toss in a tomato or some mushrooms. And that oh-so-tasty summer sausage? What a breakfast! Now that's a great way to start your day. The recipe is available at this website.

It doesn't matter if you want to cook it up or eat it all by itself, summer sausage is versatile, it pairs well with multiple foods and, most importantly, it's a tasty treat any time of year. Contact us to order the best hand-crafted varieties straight from the Midwest.

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