Slow cooker chile con queso is the best possible party food
January 29th, 2014
12:45 PM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

Chile con queso has fallen on hard times; often it’s just Ro‐tel diced tomatoes and chiles mixed with Velveeta, microwaved, and stirred. We wanted to keep the simplicity but ditch the plasticky flavor and waxy texture.

We started with a base of chicken broth, cream cheese, and cornstarch to help stabilize the cheese and prevent it from breaking. For the cheeses, we chose Monterey Jack for its great flavor and American cheese for its superior meltability. We kept the classic Ro‐tel tomatoes but bumped up their flavor even more with garlic and canned chipotle chile.

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Filed under: America's Test Kitchen • Content Partner • Dip • Staples • Super Bowl • Tailgating

People-pleasing pizza dip
March 6th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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My folks have the kind of house where people walk in the door and feel like they’ve come home. It always smells like my mother's latest culinary creation and it pleases me to no end when someone who doesn’t live there feels comfortable enough to kick off their shoes and dig in at the dinner table.

This outwardly barren time of year makes me think of gatherings that brought a full-bodied glow to our home.

Like all good gatherings, it started out small and became a necessity because it was such a success.

It was junior year of high school, and my friends and I were slogging through AP U.S. history. The class was a behemoth of information that made it feel as though we had to relearn the entire history of our young country. After nine months of that oddly rewarding torture and joy, I can safely say that our country didn’t feel so young. But nevertheless, the study session snack marathon was born.

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Filed under: Dip • Make • Recipes • Super Bowl • Tailgating

The man who'd never heard of hummus
February 16th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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Editor's Note: Rick Morris is a web developer and volunteer firefighter from Canton, North Carolina. He is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The seven athletes met up two weeks ago in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the program, where Rick developed a new taste for hummus.

Hummus. The very word, for those like me, not in the know, sounded like a foreign term for something gross. Globular pustules on a teenager's face. A backwoods verb for singing under one's breath (“hummus a song, Cooter”). Perhaps a brand of automobile.

Until recently, I can honestly say that I had never heard of hummus. In fact, I was somewhat taken aback when it was placed in front of me at a recent restaurant gathering. It evolved something like this...

February 3rd, 2012
04:30 PM ET
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"After double-dipping just a few times, researchers found 50 to 100 times more bacteria in the dip - and that was just from one mouth," says Sanjay Gupta.

We're gonna be waaaaaayyyyy over here with our own no-sharesies bowl of guacamole, thank you very much.

Poll: How you dippin'? | Recipes Dip, dip, hooray! | All Super Bowl food stories

Tune in to SANJAY GUPTA | MD every Saturday and Sunday at 7:30am ET on CNN.

Filed under: Dip • Health News • Holidays • Hot Messes • Sanjay Gupta • Staples • Super Bowl • Tailgating • Tainted Food

Getting dippy with it on Game Day
February 1st, 2012
12:15 PM ET
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If there's dip on the table, you know you're at a party. If there are at least three varieties present, that party is probably for bowl game - and lucky you.

People don't go making dips all willy-nilly for a weeknight meal or a prim Sunday brunch. They're reserved for gloppy, sloppy abandon in the company of other revelers and these dips should not hold back. We repeat - they should not hold back.

Food editors like us are bombarded with recipe suggestions from celebrity chefs and product representatives touting non-fat, mayo-free, cheese-free, joy-free options for game day. We maintain that if you're eating sensibly the other 365 days of 2012 (okay - 362, because what fun is life if you can't go a little nuts on Thanksgiving, your birthday or New Year's Eve?), a little sour cream on a Frito isn't going to spell your demise. (Though apparently insufficient safety procedures might.)

So go ahead and get dippy with it, and scoop up a few of our favorite recipes from dip devotees Richard Blais, Eva Longoria, John Currence, Marcela Valladolid and our very own recipe boxes.

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Filed under: Dip • Holidays • Junk • Make • Pimento Cheese • Recipes • Staples • Super Bowl • Tailgating

Fame Bites - Eva Longoria
April 4th, 2011
06:00 PM ET
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Fame Bites goes inside the belly of the entertainment beast. We're dishing out where the celebrities are eating, what they're eating and who they're eating with.

Eva Longoria isn't your average "Desperate Housewife" - in fact, she's anything but.

Not only is she a lean, mean, guacamole-making machine, she owns two restaurants - Beso Hollywood and Beso Vegas - and has a new cookbook, "Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends," out in stores now. She'll also be appearing on Piers Morgan Tonight at 9 p.m. ET on April 7.

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Filed under: Bite • Columns • Cooking • Dip • Fame Bites • Make • Recipes • Staples • Tailgating

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