Over Christmas, we were back in North Dakota. Staying at my dad's and Pam's house was great--no cleaning to do, no one showing our house, and very little cooking, save for the day when Pam was having major dental work done. (It worked, thank goodness! She had been in agony.) We also did some shopping, and realized living in the middle of nowhere North Dakota does sometimes have distinct advantages compared to the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. I guess being close to Philly, Pitt, Baltimore, DC and NYC means we don't need diddly here. Grumble grumble grumble.
Anyway. We'd go into the local liquor store and marvel at the cheap cheap cheap prices (PA residents will understand--our local laws make our beverages about twice the price). A trip to the mall was mind-boggling at the quantity of stuff available. Unfortunately, we couldn't take too much advantage of the after-holiday pricing, as we had to pay to get it home on the plane, but I did find some jeans and boots and got some dresses for Rowan (much needed--she's a dress girl, every day.)
But my favorite discovery was something Pam brought out when we finally made it, after 13 hours in the planes and airports waiting for the blizzard to let us through on our final leg of the journey. Spread on crackers (crispy rice ones were perfect), it was a fantastic hors d'oeuvre. Slathered on a bun, it topped my burger. Had we run out of crackers, I would have eaten it with a spoon. We went back for more at the local grocery store deli, and looked at the ingredients. However, I'm pretty sure they lied so you couldn't duplicate it, because they listed "blue cheese, pecans" as the only ingredients, and I know of no blue cheese like that.
BUT! I looked on the trusty internet and found some other versions. It's really simple, so you can do with it what you like. On Tuesday, I threw together a hasty bowl and brought half to my ladies at my women's choir rehearsal. They loved it. So much, Marita took the bowl home with her. (Luckily, the other half was waiting in our fridge.) I even used a bit of it thinned with milk as an impromptu salad dressing. I didn't put specific amounts, because it's just a thrown together thing.
So here you go. Try it. Change it. Do what you like. But make lots, because it will go. Promise. And? I think it's magic, because I lost 2 pounds over the break. Woo hoo!!!
Magic Blue Cheese Pecan Dip
*1 tub whipped cream cheese (8 oz. I think? Regular works, too, but whipped made it easy to blend.)
*crumbled blue cheese (anwhere from 2T.- the entire chunk. I did the whole chunk. I'm a hedonist.)
*chopped pecans (I put in 1/2 cup)
*seasoning (I did a shake or two of Creole because I pretty much put it in everything I eat except dessert, but anything would work, as long as it's not too salty. Chives or fresh parsley would be great. Or you could do nothing and just let the other flavors shine through, which is probably what the deli did, and definitely what the internet did. Whatever you like.)
Toast pecans in a dry pan for a few minutes over medium heat until they start to smell good. Don't let them burn. Meanwhile, blend cream cheese and blue cheese. Flavors will blend while chilling, so you don't need a lot of blue cheese, but you can if you like. Add hot pecans and mix them in. (Hot helps to blend them, but if you don't have time to toast your pecans or if they cooled it's not a big deal.) Add your chosen herbs or seasoning. Chill in the fridge for a few hours to blend flavors. If it's too thick, you can thin it with a little milk.
Serve with crackers, as a bread spread, on burgers, thinned as a salad dressing, or just a spoon. Mmmmmm.