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.

A cheese gift basket is a unique and delicious gift that is perfect for so many occasions. Whether you want to give a gift "just because" or you're celebrating a special moment in a friend or loved one's life, a cheese gift basket is a great way to show you care. Looking for some great ideas? Consider these three perfect occasions for giving cheese gift baskets.

Birth of a Baby

Cheese gift baskets make wonderful gifts after the birth of a child. The parents are exhausted, and they probably don’t have a lot of time on their hands to prepare meals. In the days and weeks following the birth of their new baby, they’re more likely to snack and graze on whatever they have around. Cheese makes the ideal snackable gift. Have it delivered directly to their home or bring it to them in the hospital to provide a welcomed alternative to bland hospital food. The basket isn’t just practical, though. It’s also an excellent way to let the couple know you care and share in their joy.

Wedding Anniversaries

Cheese baskets make fabulous gifts for friends or relatives celebrating their wedding anniversaries. Most couples want to celebrate over a quiet, romantic evening, and a cheese basket is a perfect addition to their night. Pair it with a bottle of the couple's favorite wine to create a thoughtful and delectable gift. Having a beautiful basket of quality cheeses gives them something to munch on while they enjoy each other's company and reminisce.

Housewarming Gift

A cheese gift basket is also a great way to welcome someone into their new home. In the chaos of moving, unloading, and unpacking, the pantries and refrigerator often sit empty. A basket of delicious cheeses and crackers is the perfect snack to satisfy your friends’ appetites as they get settled into their new home. If your friends enjoy cooking, you can even include the extra ingredients to make a whole meal, including directions for this tasty macaroni and cheese recipe.

The Best Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 pound macaroni noodles
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • Half cup flour
  • 7 cups grated cheese—choose your three favorite Wisconsin specialty cheeses
  • Half teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • Half teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°

Add oil and salt to a pot of water. Bring it to a boil and add macaroni noodles. Cook as directed. Drain and cool noodles.

Heat the milk without boiling it. Milk should be very warm. Melt half of the butter, and add the flour to it. Stir in hot milk, and cook for about two minutes or until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Add the cheese,salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir. Place mixture into a baking dish. Slice the tomatoes and place them on top.

Mix remaining butter and breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Next time you’re looking to give someone a gift that they'll truly enjoy, consider a cheese gift basket. Contact us for more information or for help creating a custom basket of your own. We offer a variety of gift baskets that are perfect for almost any occasion. We take great pride in selecting only the best products. When you give someone one of our baskets, you know you are giving the best.

 

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.

Don’t torture friends and family with leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches. There are so many better ways to get rid of leftovers, especially when cheese dips are in the house. A Spice Above’s Blazin’ Buffalo Dip is one of our personal favorites to use with holiday leftovers. Sold in one ounce packages, it’s made with cayenne peppers, paprika, garlic, hot sauce, butter, vinegar and more. Here’s what this fabulous cheese dip can do:

Shred any leftover holiday meats and fold them into a big bowl of Blazin’ Buffalo dip. Make sure that every last morsel of meat is absolutely drenched in the stuff. Then fill a platter with leftover bread, celery sticks, tortilla chips and other starchy dippers. Put the two dishes on to the table and let everyone dig in as often as they please.

Got leftover cranberry dressing too? Puree the dressing until it’s nice and smooth. Next, stir some into the cheese dip, tasting as you go. Then finish up by using the spread to make a platter full of turkey or ham Paninis. If you don’t have a Panini press, don’t get your winter scarf in a knot. Try grilling the sandwiches on the stove top or using old-fashioned toast instead.

Wondering what to do with leftover cauliflower and other vegetables? Guess what, Blazin’ Buffalo dip can jazz them up too. Just reheat the vegetables and use the cheese dip as a saucy topping or toss the veggies into it. Either way, they’ll be coated with hot, cheesy goodness. So everyone is less apt to complain about eating leftovers again.

And if your assortment of leftovers consists of nothing more than a little of this and a pinch of that, rejoice. Then reach for the refrigerated pizza crust. Pillsbury™ has a fantastic recipe posted online for Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. They’re not really cupcakes, they just look like them. And the cups are filled with cheese dip and spoonfuls of leftovers. To discover other ways cheese dips can easily turn lame leftovers into something spectacular and mouth-watering, please contact us.

On rare occasions, people who serve our stuffed artichoke cheese dips at parties have some leftover. If you ever find yourself in that situation, don’t panic. There is actually a lot that can be done to convert leftover dips into fantastic, new meals. So pop that bowl of stuffed artichoke dip into the fridge for now and take a look at some of the great options there are to choose from:

Cheese Dip Soup

This first meal idea works perfectly with more than just our stuffed artichoke cheese dip. Simply scrap the leftovers into a saucepan or microwave safe bowl. Then add two cups of consommé and pureed cannellini beans to the pot. Only use enough puree to give the soup the consistency that your family will love. Stir it all together and when it’s hot enough for you, go ahead and serve it with a bug hunk of crusty bread.

Cheese Dip and Grains Bake

Don’t want to make cheese dip soup? No problem! Simply cook quinoa, rice or another one of your family’s favorite grains. Next, butter the inside of a baking dish. Mix the grains of your choice with the leftover dip and use it to fill the baking dish. Cover the top of the dip and grain mixture with some seasoned bread crumbs. Then heat the dish until the cheese dip is nice and melted. It makes a super main meal or side dish.

Cheese Dip and Potatoes

Leftover cheese dip tastes amazing in mashed, au gratin and baked potatoes too. Just drop it on top of the baked potatoes or stir it into the mash. As for the au gratin, use the dip in place of the tasteless mess that comes with the boxed mixes or gently stir it into your own creation. And if you’re feeling inspired, go ahead and use up any other party leftovers as toppings too.

To share your results and leftover cheese dip ideas with our customers, please contact us at Deli Direct today.

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