I am certain by now my family and friends have realized that I am by far the furthest thing from a gourmet chef. To be honest, I have never excelled at cooking. I can’t follow a recipe to save my life. The words and numbers get scrambled and I usually end up with cookie dough that tastes and resembles something more like play dough. Also, I am an adventurer. I LOVE to experiment and take recipes to a “whole new level”. My family does not appreciate this, but it’s an impulse that I just can’t seem to curb. However, once in a great while I do stumble across an amazing casserole or dish that I excel at, and I simply delight in the murmur of approval and the sound of spoons against my Corelle dishes. Once I discover a dish that I can cook, it becomes a favorite in our house. I cook that particular dish so often that soon it reaches a point of being comical. (We eat tater tot casserole at least twice a week) My husband teases me about this relentlessly, and when the kids finally start to moan and groan, I realize its time for a new cooking adventure. In the following days, my kitchen usually resembles something from a hoarder’s nightmare. My pots and pans are scattered across the countertops, my cupboards bulge with new ingredients, and the aroma of burned food fills my house. My children do not enjoy this time and their eyes alight when I finally offer them a peanut butter sandwich.
But to finally get to the point of this blog—I have discovered the greatest ingredient of all. While trying to bring new life to our tater tot casserole, I discovered a block of cream cheese lying dormant in my fridge. On a whim, I tossed half the block into the mixing bowl and—WALLA! My tater tot casserole suddenly had a new face. My children loved it! Now, I’m not the sort of person who can just stop at that. The next morning I ran to the grocery store and filled my basket with cream cheese. I have discovered that it tastes great as an addition to quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even macaroni and cheese. I even went so far as to chunk it on top of our homemade pizzas. Cream cheese has now become one of our very favorite pizza toppings. Add chunks of cream cheese into your scrambled eggs and…umm. (my sister, Candi, who is an amazing cook, suggested this) I realize that many of you have already discovered the miracle of cream cheese, and I’m guessing it was probably many years ago. (I’m always a little behind the times) But, I just had to share with you my excitement and wish you all “happy cooking” for the coming weekend.