The Sort of Seven Layer, Maybe Nine Layer, I Lost Count Layer Dip

My husband is the king of buying stuff we don’t need, never tried, and does not appear on any shopping list I’ve ever written.  Costco is like a playground for him.  There are aisles of things I never knew I wanted clogging up precious space in my freezer, pantry, or refrigerator.

A few months ago, he discovered a 7-Layer Dip, a multi-colored, who knows what’s in it, what are those funky colors anyway pasty looking concoction that is apparently delicious on tortilla chips and eaten during sports.  Did I mention my husband doesn’t watch sports?  But, if there’s a sport on any of the 43,000 ESPN channels, it’s okay to eat this dip.

7 layer dip fixed 2

No one else in my house will eat this gooey, nasty looking stuff.  It might be the way my nose wrinkled up when I opened the container for the first time, wretched, gagged, and then held my nose while handing it to Jim to take to his desk and eat in solitude.  When I did get the courage to eat it – blech.  It was every nasty thing I thought it would be.

At one point, I said to my husband, “I could probably make that – and better.”  Ladies, don’t try this at home.  As soon as you say, “I can”, you will.  No need to add to your already overwhelmed life by taking on even more chores.  But really, how hard could this dip be?  Right?

Here’s the hardest part – keeping track of how many layers there are, so you can accurately relate to friends and family who are enjoying it the exact name of the dip.  And you know me with math – once we hit layer 4, we’re talking numbers I’m too afraid to tackle.  This is really an easy dip to throw together.  And you know what?  My kids – and, okay, me too – like the homemade version.  MUCH better.

So – here’s how you do it.

1 can of refried beans

1 packet of Taco seasoning

fresh guacamole (I get mine at Wegman’s, about 16 ounces, but you can make your own)

1 container (16 oz) sour cream

1 jar of your favorite Salsa

Lettuce

Tomato

Mexican or Taco spiced cheese

Olives

To prepare, take the can of refried beans and put into a mixing bowl.  Empty the packet of Taco seasoning into the beans, and using a hand blender, mix together.  Spread this layer in the bottom of your dish (I use a glass baking dish).  Next, spread the guacamole, followed by the sour cream, followed by the salsa.  Top the salsa with lettuce, top the lettuce with the cheese, and then top with diced tomatoes and sliced olives.

It is so much fresher tasting, not as plasticky, and is really quite good, if I do say so myself.

If you want to add layers, cooked and diced chicken breast makes a nice addition, as does seasoned ground beef.  You could leave out the salsa to make it less runny, but add jalapenos or other hot peppers to give it more of a bite.

The best thing about the dip is the ability to adapt it to your family’s preferences.  And if, like me, you don’t care a whole lot about their preferences, but want to make it as easy on you as possible, you can slant the recipe to keep it simple.

The fresh dip can be kept in your fridge about 2 days, but I wouldn’t go much longer than that.  I barely lasts that long in my house.

7 layer dip fixed

Enjoy!

How Not to Starve on Two Meals a Day – The Disney Dining Plan

Disney-Dining-Plan

Friends and family alike are always asking me questions about the Disney Dining Plan.  Is it a good value?  Can I eat anywhere I want?  Can I eat anything I want?  But the question that keeps coming up again and again is the question about how much people need to budget for the third meal that is not included in the quick service or regular Disney Dining Plan.

And my answer to that really should be – you aren’t going to starve.

In addition to credits to cover you for two meals, you also get a snack credit for each night of your package on either of those plans.  When I tell them “snack”, most people think an ice cream bar or a box of popcorn, but when I tell you what your other snack options are, you’ll understand the not starving thing.

If you’d like to save your meal credits for lunch or dinner, check out some of the amazing breakfast options that count as a snack.  You’ll find muffins, pastries, scones and coffee cake on the list of snacks you can use to enjoy breakfast.  You might also opt for a mixed fruit cup, a whole piece of fruit, a hefty cinnamon roll (you could share this between two people!), or a yogurt.

Maybe breakfast has to be your biggest meal of the day, so you’d like to use one of your meal credits to get yourself a nice platter of breakfast foods somewhere.  Save those snack credits for lunch instead – or even a light dinner.  If you’ve eaten a big breakfast, you might be satisfied with an egg roll or some sushi, both options you can use snack credits for.  If you’d like something a bit more filling, you’ll find one snack credit buys you a good sized serving of chili cheese fries.  Be Our Guest has delicious and filling crocks of potato leek or French onion soup as snack offerings.

You might split your snack credits with friends, and make a meal out of the lobster bisque and a whole baguette – each one snack credit – available at the recently opened Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie at EPCOT’s France pavilion.  A nice breakfast is half an oatmeal and half of a yogurt and fruit parfait – a whole one of each is available at Animal Kingdom for one snack credit each, and can be shared with a friend.

You’ll find carrots and celery with dip, trail mix, and nachos and cheese – all of which are offered in pretty generous serving sizes that will tide you over until your next meal.  I haven’t met many people who regret sacrificing snack credits for food that is more like a meal.

Disney-Favorites-Sunshine-Seasons-Dessert-EPCOT-Land

And don’t forget – you can grab a dessert with your meal that can be boxed up and eaten later – as a snack!

What Happens When You Are Gastrically Altered? Slider Foods are NOT Your Friend

So, a while back, I posted about slider foods and how they will make you fat again after you’ve had gastric bypass surgery.  You can revisit that post here – https://www.beautygirlsmom.com/2008/02/10/slider-foods-will-make-me-fat/

And now you can see that my arse is living proof of how slider foods will cause you to regain and start checking Weight Watcher points and wearing stretch pants.

You can see from the explanation on the previous blog on slider foods that basically what happens with simple carbs is they “slide” right through.  You can eat, eat, and eat without suffering any of the dumping, discomfort, or anxiety over dumping and discomfort.

Here’s the thing – for a lot of us, we really don’t know that full feeling.  We don’t recognize that feeling at the Thanksgiving dinner table when people are pushing their chairs back and saying, “No more, no more – okay, well until dessert.”  I know I certainly didn’t.  I mean, I knew when to back away from the table because everyone else was doing it, and, well, someone had to do the dishes.  But I often stood in the kitchen, snacking on the already carved turkey leftovers or nibbling on the sausage out of the stuffing while I put food away and put dishes in the dishwasher.

Eating slider foods is just like that.  There is no feeling that you’re full.  I can go to a movie theater and get a large popcorn, and even gastrically altered, I can down the whole thing by myself.  I can buy a bag of pretzels for the family to snack on, and before I know it, I’m reaching for the last one before the kids even know the bag is in the house.  The funny thing is when I first realized I could eat pretzels, I would dip them in cream cheese, figuring I’d get a wee bit of extra protein while I was eating them; but after a few pretzels with cream cheese, I’d start to get an uncomfortable feeling and stop eating the cream cheese.  That lets way more pretzels go down!

I think the key to the slider food issue is not to start eating them.  There is virtually no nutritional value to you in pretzels, popcorn, and crackers.  You’re consuming calorie after calorie with none of the risk you have with protein of feeling full.

Slider foods have almost become an addiction.  I keep saying I won’t buy them, but when I’m standing in the grocery store thinking of what I should pick up to snack on (because you are still going to want SOMETHING to snack on), I never think something good for me like Greek yogurt, light cheese, grilled chicken strips.  I always think of something I know won’t give me that uncomfortable feeling.  But THAT’s the feeling I NEED.

There’s a lot of head stuff involved with being gastrically altered.  You think that once the issue of your plumbing is sorted out, you are in the clear, but you’re not.  I think I am a compulsive eater, and while gastric bypass surgery certainly helped make it harder for me to eat to my heart’s content, the objects of my desire have changed so I have the freedom to put more food into my mouth without worrying about uncomfortable consequences.

This is so not the fun part of gastric bypass surgery.

As The Stomach Turns…

You may remembering me mentioning my first strike towards being nominated mother of the year came early in this school year, when on the second day of school, Granuaile told her first grade teacher that I didn’t feed her anything, and the teacher took pity on her and allowed the child to enjoy taco day with the rest of the lunch buyers at school.

After lengthy conversations, we agreed to allow Granuaile to buy the school lunch, which she found much more preferable over the Mommy Packed Lunch.  I reminded her to make healthy choices, always choose a fruit for her tray, and indulge no more than once each week in chocolate milk.

We sent in our first payment of $60, which, based on a five day per week school week and lunch at $2.75 per day, should have lasted us into October.

Imagine our surprise when just about two weeks later, we got a bill saying we owed money to the cafeteria service.  What?  If the child has burned through a month’s worth of lunch money in two weeks, shouldn’t we be rolling her through the front door?  Would the kid not be ripping the seat out of her gym shorts?

We figured we miscalculated, but we called the cafeteria service.  No answer.  So another check for $60 was written.  Now we’re good at least until the first of November.  Or so we thought.

Yesterday, we got a bill saying we were more than $10 in a hole with the cafeteria service.  $10?  So, not only has the child eaten her way through the $120 we’ve sent in less than a month, but she’s eaten $10 over it?  Is there a surf and turf option for lunch we’re not aware of?  Do they serve peanut butter and caviar sandwiches?  How do we get the same ban on foie gras here that they have in California, because they must be serving it during Granuaile’s lunch period!

Finally, Jim got a lunch lady on the phone today.  Granuaile, it seems, has loads of money in her LUNCH account, but she is woefully under funded in her SNACK account.  Apparently, the school separates the funds, and you as the parent have to authorize money for snacks.  Which we didn’t.  Because I send a snack in with her every day.

Either we will be bankrupt by the end of the first semester, or our child will weigh 600 pounds.  Whichever comes first, it ain’t gonna be pretty.