Comfort Foods and New Traditions

Over time, many families develop favorite recipes that are handed down from generation to generation. Those recipes become the tried and true go to dishes that moms, daughters, or aunts always know they can throw together for any social gathering and, in a pinch, present a delicious and filling dish that will win over the hearts of even the most finicky eaters. There is such a dish in my family, not handed down from generations, or found as some otherwise undiscovered page in a recipe book. But this dish has become an absolute favorite for my family, and my own daughter and son have adopted the recipe and now, as adult children, are able to make this dish for themselves without any hesitation. This dish is sure to be a hit with your own family. No matter if you are entertaining friends over for the big game, providing for the company luncheon, taking a dish to the church pot luck, or making a filling appetizer for a family holiday get together, this hearty cheese dip will be sure to please everyone. Utilizing only one pot, this recipe is easy, simple, and sure to become one of your favorite go to dishes.
The first thing you will need to do is assemble your ingredients. There are relatively few ingredients in this dish, but they make a big impact with the result. For this dip, you will need one pound of ground beef, one pound of ground sausage – I usually just get the Tennessee Pride or Jimmy Dean mild, but have used other brands and really do not notice any difference regardless of the brand of sausage used,- one can of Ro-Tel tomatoes with chilis, one can each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup – in regards to the soup, I have substituted the Campbell’s brand for Walmart and Kroger brands, and I can tell a little difference in that the Campbell’s soup does seem to be more creamy than the store brands,- and you will need one two-pound block of processed cheese for melting. The recipe calls for the Velveeta brand, but given the price difference, I always substitute this for the store brand, and have never noticed a marked difference in the cheese.
Then, you will begin by browning the ground beef and sausage in a large pot. Cook them until no longer pink, and then drain. Add in the cans of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup and the can of Ro-Tel tomatoes. Mix the ingredients together until well blended. Then you can cut the cheese into cubes and begin adding to the mixture. You will want to add a little at a time, and stir continually until the cheese begins to melt. Once you have added all of the cheese to the mixture, you will want to stay close by because this dip is very creamy and cheesy and will stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch very easily. Once the dip is well blended, however, it is an easy to keep dish, by simply turning the stove eye on low and keep it stirred every so often. It also re-heats well in the microwave in just a few seconds, I usually warm in 30 second increments.
Finally, once the cheese has been completely melted and the dip is well blended, you will want to serve up warm with tortilla chips. However, over the many times I have prepared this dish for my family, they have discovered their own ways of wanting to serve the dip up for themselves. Some like to spoon it onto a flour tortilla and roll it up to eat it like a burrito. While others have found that poured over crumbled cornbread into a bowl is a choice way to eat it.
This recipe was taught to me many years ago by a paramedic that I worked with during my time working as and EMT for the county I lived in. It was always a huge hit with the firefighters and other EMTs and Paramedics in our department. When I first began trying the dish at home for my own family, there was no doubt this was going to be a long time traditional favorite food for us for many years to come. No matter what creative ways you or your family and friends decide to enjoy this hearty cheese dip, it will definitely be a fan favorite for any occasion.

The recipe:
1 (16 oz package) ground sausage
1 (lb) ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes with chilis
1 (2 LB)package of processed cheese product (like Velveeta)

Directions:
Brown ground beef and sausage in a large pot, drain. Add cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, and Ro-tel tomatoes. Blend well. Cut cheese product into cubes and slowly add to mixture until thoroughly melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
This recipe can also be placed in a crock pot- once beef and sausage are browned, place all ingredients into crock pot and cook on low for two hours to melt cheese. Place crock pot on keep warm setting, and stir occasionally.

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