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Don’t allow temporary fumbles to ruin your cooking game

I’m like my beloved Auburn tigers when it comes to cooking. It’s never a guaranteed victory but with good prep work, flexibility and a dash of prayer, I might just pull off a big win!🙏🙌 It’s such an AUsome feeling to dominate a dish!🧡🐯💙 However, as a true blue fan of the underdog you must also prepare for major upsets and losses.

Oftentimes, I view my kitchen as a playing field. I think that qualities of a good cook are similar to those of a good football player. It means identifying a solid game plan, playing to your strengths and adjusting to setbacks when a given strategy isn’t working. Sometimes you have to scratch an ingredient or even toss a whole batch and go back to the drawing board.

Take beer cheese soup as an example. I lived in Wisconsin for a spell and they love their beer cheese dip up there. It would be the first thing to disappear at every single work function. (In the South, we call that a potluck but up North it’s a pig out! )🐽 The boozy dip was an acquired taste that I eventually grew to love. Years after the fact, I decided to make it.🍺🧀

Only somehow, I forgot the dip part and made a soup. That would be my first of many errors. The recipe I was referencing advised that you could use any beer of your choosing so I picked a fancy Ale. Wrong again! It completely overpowered the other ingredients. In hindsight, I should have went with a Pilsner. I added water to tone down the hoppy flavor but that resulted in runny soup. I also put in way too much onion. I should have scrapped it then but stubbornly refused because I had invested too much time and ingredients to give in to defeat.😓

I decided to regroup and call my mother in law in for a huddle.📞😤 She tasted the concoction and agreed that it was edible but had taken on a bitter quality. She took it home with her to attempt a Hail Mary but ended up just trashing it. As painful as it may be, sometimes you have to reconcile mistakes in preparing for the next challenge. The point is to keep trying for the win which makes victory taste even sweeter after all of the hard work you put in.

Ok, I have just one more play to review before we’re ready for the big game.✋🎥🔜 My husband choked back tears the first time that I pan fried burgers for him.😭 Not out of joy but because I scorched them and smoked up the entire apartment. The smog was so thick that I could barely see him in the next room. He sat and ate his charred burger in compassionate silence while I hid in the kitchen.😍☺️ He could have rubbed the loss in my face but he chose to keep it classy!🤟Now, we work as a team and combine strengths when making burgers. I prep and season the patties while he is the official grill master.👨‍🍳🔥🍔

In the spirit of these culinary fumbles, I wanted to redeem myself by making beer cheese dip. See recipe below. Just like every year at the Iron Bowl, Auburn has to use their past losses as fuel and show up to win!🙌They just so happened to beat Alabama last night 48-45 which is a perfect ending to this story. What are some of your fumble and redemption dishes?✌️🏈🍴

Redemption Beer Dip

Ingredients: 3/4 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning, 8 oz pack of cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of beer

To prepare: Cut softened cream cheese into cubes and mix with ranch seasoning. Add beer and cheese. Stir and chill for at least an hour or two to firm before serving. 

Notes: This recipe was soooo much easier than the soup! The ingredients are things that you likely already have on hand and are very customizable according to your preferences. I didn’t use the whole packet of ranch to prevent the dip from being too salty. I used Corona light which was perfect in achieving a mild beer note. It was great paired with club crackers and tastes even better the next day. Cheers!🍻 

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Mood Ring Kitchen

I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.

The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩‍🍳👩‍💻

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