Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2015


In Texas, the holiday parties always have a Tex-Mex flair interspersed with family favorites.  One of the most popular snacks is Seven Layer Dip.  This dip can easily be customized to your particular taste – spicy or mild, bold or reserved.  The layers can be anything you desire, depending on the chips, crackers, vegetables, and fruits you’re serving.  Here is my favorite combination:

Seven Layer Dip

⅓ – cup salsa, mild or hot
1 – 9 ounce can bean dip
1 – 1 ounce envelope guacamole mix
3 – avocados
1 – 16 ounce tub sour cream
2+ – cups shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
1 – small tomato, chopped
1 – 4.25 ounce can chopped or sliced black olives, drained
1 – tablespoon fresh or dried chives

Measure the salsa according to how runny it is; you may need a little more or less, as you don’t want the bean dip layer to be too runny. Combine the salsa and bean dip and spread the mixture in a thin layer across the bottom of a 2-quart shallow serving dish.  My dish is approximately 12x8x2.  Most guacamole mixes call for 2 avocados and that’s what I use if I’m making guacamole as a side dish. However in this dip, I use 3 avocados to make sure the avocado taste is not lost in the sour cream and bean dip. Make the guacamole with the 3 avocados and spread it evenly over the bean dip. Stir the sour cream to make it more fluffy and spreadable. Carefully spread the sour cream over the guacamole, being sure to cover the guacamole and seal it all along the edges of the pan. Sealing the guacamole away from the air will keep the guacamole green and fresh tasting. I like that better than adding lemon juice to the guacamole to keep it from turning brown. Sprinkle the cheese over the sour cream layer and top the dip with the remaining ingredients. Cover the dip and chill it at least 2-3 hours. Great when served with low salt tortilla chips.


The Cookbook is Done


A while back I said, ‘Finishing is Hard’.  And it is!  So now you know why I am so excited that I finished the final draft of my cookbook yesterday.  I immediately sent the draft to my editor so he can make me look good.  I don’t know when my book will be published, but I know it will be soon.  It’s called Caveman Chemistry – Bringing Science Back into Cooking.  It has over 600 recipes I have collected over the years, including some very old, family favorites.  This is the biggest personal project I have ever done and it feels so good to flip through it.  Two people have graciously offered to write endorsements for me to put on or around the back cover.  I am so grateful for all the support of my family, friends, and coworkers.