Christmas Gift # 12: White Queso

My husband is so good.   As the trials and tribulations (or what I perceive as trials and tribulations) at work seem to mount, he tells me every morning to think about what inspires me.   What great advice to start the day!

However, last week I called him from work around 10:00 in the morning.   “What was I suppose to be inspired about today?”

His response:    “I will bring dinner home.”   See, what a sweetie.

There is a catering business next to his office that offers pre-made meals.   This place has a great reputation around town so he stopped there after work to pick up a lasagna (which was in a 6″ x 4″ pan and was $14.99), two small garlic loaves ($6.99), a bag of tri-colored tortilla chips ($7.99), and White Queso.

Another $7.99.

So, before tax, this meal came to a grand total of $37.96.    Wow, we could have gone out for a pretty nice dinner AND my lasagna is better than theirs.

However, that white queso is something and I decided I could make it a lot cheaper.   I set about figuring out a recipe.  This is what I came up with.

White Queso

14 oz. canned quartered artichoke hearts ($3.45)
1/3 c. sliced pickled jalapenos (approx. $.44)
16 oz. lite sour cream ($2.29)
8 oz. Third-less Fat Cream Cheese ($.99)
1/3 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (approx. $1.35)

Drain artichoke hearts well.   Place artichokes and jalapenos in a food processor and pulse until chopped.    Add sour cream, cream cheese, and Parmesan.   Pulse until incorporated.   Serve cold or at room temperature with tortilla chips.   (Add more jalapenos for more heat.)  Refrigerate any leftovers.

This recipes makes 32 oz.   To buy that much at our take-out caterers it would have cost $15.98 before tax.  My concoction cost a grand total of $8.52 for twice as much.

I’m just sayin’—that is about half price.

A fairly cheap gift.

Put this dip in a holiday ziploc container and pair it with a bag of tri-colored fancy, smancy tortilla chips for a cool gift.  (Or, just eat it yourself with a spoon directly out of the food processor!)

For more ideas for the holidays, check out my other Gifts from the Kitchen posts or explore last year’s Twelve Days of Christmas Treats.    To keep up to date, please subscribe below.


15 comments to Christmas Gift # 12: White Queso

  • Liz

    Oh, yeah…I’d be eating it right out of the food processor! YUM!

    PS…I have no patience for icing cookies either…that’s why mine were so simple and just get made once a year 🙂

  • I’m dreaming of a White Queso now too! The pickled jalapenos sound great in this.

    Feel free to use and edit the Christmas Orange story for your blog. I can’t claim authorship, but I like to pass it on. This makes a nice little gift too, to print up the story and attach it to a chocolate orange candy.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Eliot

      That is a great gift idea! Thank you. Check out my New Year’s Eve post b/c I am giving you a great big SHOUT OUT!

  • Sometimes when you go to catering places and bakeries, you do walk away astounded by the prices1 I guess they are particularly proud of their food. I saw Mexican Wedding cookies priced at $1.50 each, yes each-ridiculous but apparently someone is buying them.
    Glad to find this delicious queso recipe on your site. Thanks for experimenting at home to come up with this-it is definitely a keeper-yum!
    Merry Christmas!

  • “Or eat it directly out of the processor”, that’s why I love you, something I would totally do. The queso dip sounds amazing (and cheaper than purchased obviously). I wonder how it would taste with pasta, I’d bet it be awesome, I may have to experiment.

  • I’m a dip fiend so I doubt any of this would make it into gifts! ha! Silver lining to spending that much is that (hopefully) it lasted more than one meal, right? Buying it like this is more like ending up with something you made instead of individual servings, so at least you got some mileage for the high price, even if it wasn’t as good as homemade. Kudos to your hubby for helping you stay positive and bringing home the dinner!

    • Eliot

      Oh, yeah, we got a lot of mileage out of the $7.99 dip, but even more out of this double-batch. Veronica, I loved your post today. You are amazing! Happy Holidays, Veronica!

  • I’d pay double that if white queso could magically appear in front of me right now though!

  • Ann

    That sure does sound delicious! I am amazed at how much it costs to have others prepare food for you these days. There are times it’s absolutely worth it (when they’re making something truly artesian). However, if I can make it, and it’s often better, I’ll go ahead and save my wallet! This does look amazing!