Saturday, January 11, 2014

Where's my Velveeta?


It's been all over the news. Kraft has announced a Velveeta shortage due to changes in production location! Oh, what to do for the Superbowl? Never fear. They promise the fast melting ingredient for the queso dip made famous will be in stock prior to the Big Game. Find the original recipe here. But Kraft is warning people in advance it will be hard to find afterwards!
This is actually called Velveeta LOAF on the Kraft.com website.

Now I have been around for a few decades so I've experienced a few product shortages.  I also am a WWII historical fiction writer so I know about shortages before my time. But the most traumatic time was the 70s. I remember it well.

The oil crisis in 1973 led to a gas shortage. Daddy was glad he had a VW Bug but he still had to wait in line an hour to get gas. Dinner was later because Daddy came home later. We watched every mile we drove in the family station wagon.

I inherited Daddy's bug when I went to college. Pictured here with our first house and ManO's Nova!


But 1973-4 was also the year of the infamous toilet paper crisis. Thanks to the writers for Johnny Carson, king of late night at a time when folks watched a few channels instead of hundreds, and a government official who remarked they were behind on getting bids on toilet paper supplied, people were in a panic. They took what Johnny said about not being able to find TP, added their own anxiety caused by the oil crisis, and voila. Toilet paper flew off the shelves.



So you can see I know panic over shortages. Just because I have four plus 24 packs of toilet paper in my upstairs closet does not mean I was scarred in any way. Never mind we are empty nesters.  

Ahem. Well, back to Velveeta. I can't argue with the smooth melt ability of the orange block. But if you want to try something different, here is an easy substitute that ends up with the same smooth texture. There are lots of recipes on the web but this is by far the easiest and so delicious.

2% Milk, cream cheese, and cheddar. That's it.

1) Combine two cups shredded cheddar, one 8 oz block cream cheese and a scant 1/2 cup of 2% milk in a small sauce pan. NOTE:  Do NOT use pre-shredded cheese because it will clump due to additives.

2) On medium heat, constantly stir ingredients with a whisk until smooth. You can turn the heat up a bit at the start but turn down to medium low as soon as the cheese starts to melt. Keep stirring with the whisk until smooth and there are no shreds of cheese left. Don't let it sit without stirring.

You will have this:
Smooth, creamy and NO flour added. Amazing.

Your substitute sauce is now ready to mix with salsa (fresh is fantastic to add) to make a great dip or pour over shells or any recipe where you would use one large block of Velveeta.

Are you worried about a Velveeta shortage? Do you have a favorite Velveeta recipe? Do you remember shortages on a mass scale or just when someone forgot to go to the grocery store?


  

 

  

26 comments:

  1. I remember the gas shortage well, but TP? I missed that one, somehow.

    And yes, my parents were avid Johnny Carson watchers.

    Maybe they stocked up and I just didn't notice.... I was rather involved in trying to catch the eye of a certain hunky guy back in those days. (Don't ask me what his name was - I just remember hanging around the hall where his locker was!)

    And the homemade velveeta sounds so good for queso! I'll have to try it!

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    1. Oh, I remember my crushes too.

      Be glad you missed the TP shortage!

      Hope you are staying as warm as you can these days!

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  2. Haaahahahaha! Oh this is hilarious!

    And I recently bought some Velveeta to make some dip. I had fond memories of it from somewhere. maybe summer camp?

    Anyway, I bought a block, melted it with some Ro-tell and... no one would touch it. I ate some and realized, "this is pretty salty plastic". Ew. We're real cheddar people. Sometimes even Gruyere people when I need some fondu. Sadly, like most things, my memory of Velveeta is better than the reality.

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    1. I have no clue why my toilet paper hoard in my closet picture is not showing.

      But yes, give me this mix of cheddar and cream cheese instead.

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  3. I've only used Velveeta a couple of times to make a yummy jam filled cookie bar but I lost the recipe. I had no idea what else it could be used for. I like my cheese fresh from the dairy with as little processing as possible. :-)

    This horrible winter we already have shortages on generators, propane and ice cleats...and winter has barely begun! Oh and the province of Alberta has run out of flu vaccine.

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    1. Wow. I had heard tamiflu was running out everywhere down here.

      I have seen those old weird recipes but don't think I want to reproduce them.

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  4. I don't think I ever lived without it until the last decade. Nothing could beat it for grilled cheese, and we used for a breakfast dish called Welsh Rarebit. I'm sure the Welsh Rabbit of the prior century had not been made with Velveeta... but alas, I ahem grew up in the excited age of WOW PROCESSED FOOD WHAT A LIFESAVER!

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    1. I know. I had to give it up with all my food allergies. I had to go with foods made with the fewest ingredients. And no additives.

      No processed food in my house. Sigh. I miss it.

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  5. Oh Julie, if you knew how much Velveeta, I go through....well, thanks for this recipe! Velveeta is not cheap, even if plentiful and these ingredients are readily on sale. And, as Virginia points out, this is better for you. A win all around! Let Kraft keep my blocks for others!

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    1. Great! I just took a spoonful out of the fridge to see how it does after refrigeration. Still smooth and creamy. Yay!

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    2. I am thinking of spreading some on bread and making ManO grilled cheese for lunch. Or maybe broccoli cheese soup.

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  6. Hmm...might give this a try sometime. I know there's a recipe out there that I wanted to try at first, but then when I discovered it called for Velveeta, I gave up on it immediately. Just the IDEA of Velveeta is a turn-off (Velveeta LOAF??? *gag*). We are cheddar people here, so if I can't use cheddar in a recipe--or sometimes mozzarella--well, then... ;-) (I wonder if the recipe was for broccoli-cheese soup...now I'll have to go looking again.)

    I don't remember the tp shortage either, but do remember the oil crisis, although that was pre-driving days for me. ;-)

    Thanks, Julie!

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    1. I'm glad to have expanded your options! Seriously. This is good stuff. And it does have that cheddar taste but smoooooooth.

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  7. Growing up in Texas, Velveeta is a staple in most households--especially those that make chile con queso on a regular basis. And we add all sorts of extras to the regular recipe of Velveeta and Rotel. There are as many additives as there are recipes down here. We add onions, fresh or pickled jalapenos, more green chiles, cumin... And so we bought a 2 pack at Costco yesterday. :) I'm keeping your recipe for Velveeta alternative--it sounds really good, and you never know when a chip will scrape the bottom of the bowl seeking the last little bit of queso and come up with air.

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    1. Stocking up, are you?

      I've seen it with ground beef added but I know I am going to try it with the cumin and fresh veggies!

      I figure the shredding of the cheddar and stirring knocks off some of the calories!

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  8. I'm not crazy about Velveeta, although I do like some recipes using it. Julie, I think your recipe sounds way better! I'll give it a try. Thanks for the warning about using shredded cheese. That's what I usually buy. So I'll be sure to buy a block next week.

    thanks for sharing!

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  9. Hope you have good success. ManO tried it today and said it was pretty close but better.

    Yep, the fewer additives the better. And taking the time to shred burns calories!

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  10. I remember the gasoline shortage - odd and even day lines, but I have no recollection of the TP shortage either. Could it be regional?

    My worst shortage memory was when my husband was released from the hospital a few years ago with a prescription they said he absolutely had to have - except that it was back-ordered for FIVE months. I finally struck gold with a wonderful CVS pharmacist who took pity on me in my desperation and found a few stray pills left over from another prescription. Doctor decided that would suffice.

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    1. Wow. I googled shortages and came up with LOTS of drug shortages. That was scary. Glad things worked out.

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  11. I had to run over here and see what the fuss was about!!!! Shortage of velveeta???? Say it ain't so!!!! I love using Velveeta for some cheese sauces because of the smoothness factor, but ususally we use and extra sharp cheddar because of the "bite". I love a cheese with bite, but I do like dips with smooth cheese that I doctor with hot sauce, or peppers or bacon, etc. Julie this is a great tip! Thank you!!!

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    1. Bacon? I totally forgot about adding bacon. Peppers are great but bacon is AWESOME.

      Thanks for the reminder!

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  12. Velveeta was a pantry staple in my house growing up but now it makes me kinda queasy eating a lot of it - I 'need' it for my mom's tuna casserole so every so often I'll try the 2% version and just use a tad less.
    but they changed it up with the transfat bizness - my mom claimed once that it didn't seem to melt or taste the same but could be her taste buds and mine were had just changed.
    had no idea they put stuff in my shredded cheddar...think I might have to start shredding my own...
    Susanna

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    1. Usually it is cellulose. Just the thought...

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  13. Chiming in late here, but this looks great, Julie. Yes, I had heard about the Velveeta shortage. Matter of fact, I grabbed a small block when I was at the store this morning, just in case they ran out for the big game. Wish I'd read your post first. But I will definitely tuck it away for next time. Thanks. :)

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    1. The thing about Velveeta is it seems to keep forever!

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  14. I don't remember gas and tp shortages..I do remmeber one day my dad was watchng tv and turned to my mom and said 'I bet you gas is gonna get to a whole dollar a gallon what you wanna bet!' yep it did that more!

    like I said not wild about velveeta but it's traditional for lots of stuff esp my mom's tuna casserole and that famous dip- we add cooked breakfast sausage to the rotel and velveeta mix! my dad was taking the plain version to work and I came in and asked if he was gonna add sausge then my brother came in and asked then my sister in law asked so he went to the fridge and pulled it out LOL! he came in from work with the crock clean as a whistle and my mom commented on how she couldn't beleive they'd cleaned it and he said they hadn't - they had run out and the guys took slices of bread and wiped the sides and bottom...
    susanna

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