Cheesy Black-Eyed Pea Dip

January 10, 2013


Every year between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day our family consumes a ginormous amount of black-eyed peas; but, I may have finally gone a little bit overboard.  This year my black-eyed pea eating marathon started around noon on New Year's Eve when I started cooking them and ended late on New Year's evening when I polished off what was left.

We've always said that you can never eat too many peas on New Year's since they're supposed to bring you good luck, but I'm sure that I probably consumed several hundred of those little black eyes. Is that overkill?

Don't know yet. I guess time will tell.

Our Southern family tradition has always been to serve ham, black-eyed peas,  greens and cornbread at midnight on New Year's Eve. We've done it for as long as I can remember and I continue to do it every year whether it's for a large group of friends or just our family. This was last year's dinner plate.


This year we were invited to a neighbor's house for New Year's Eve so I decided at the last minute to make this Cheesy Black-Eyed Pea Dip to share with our friends for some added good luck!

Cheesy Black-Eyed Pea Dip
(adapted from Recipe Girl)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
16 ounces Mexican-style or regular Velveeta
3 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed & drained
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed & diced
1 can stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until golden brown. Turn heat to low, add the cheese and stir until melted. Add peas, peppers, chilies, tomatoes, and garlic salt. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into a crock pot or and serve hot with chips.

Note: I couldn't find the Mexican Velveeta at my store so I used the regular instead and just added some chopped stewed tomatoes, an extra can of green chilies and an extra can of peas to make it a little chunkier. I also eliminated the green onions from the original recipe because I just don't like them.

This dip is very similar to another family favorite and one of the guys'  most requested football watching snacks; the infamous Rotel Dip.  The main difference between the two dips is that this one uses the black-eyed peas instead of ground beef, which makes it perfect for vegetarians.

And, something tells me that BigSis knows exactly how to turn this recipe into a yummy vegan dip. 🙂

BigSis' Vegan Twist: You got that right, LilSis. No one loves a dip more than mwah, and I've probably eaten my weight in that Rotel dip over the pre-vegan years!

Blackeyed Pea Dip Chip Vegan

This is actually a pretty easy recipe to veganize. Just nix the Velveeta and substitute a vegan queso. You can find several brands on the shelves of Whole Foods and other grocers who carry natural foods. I prefer to make my own with just a few ingredients like flour, nooch, tomatoes with chiles, and a bunch of spices. It sounds weird/gross, but I even feed it to non-vegetarians and they eat it up.

I started with a bunch of sauteed garlic, jalapeno and onion then built my usual queso and tossed in the peas.

Blackeyed Pea Dip Vegan

My version of the black-eyed pea dip is thicker than the Velveeta version, and not that photogenic really, but I'm fine with that. It's darn tasty, and now it's gone. Happy new year, everyone!


Happy New Year!

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year to all our friends, family, and readers of BigSisLilSis!

Here's hoping that everyone has a happy, healthy, prosperous 2012!

I like the ring of 2012, so I'm thinking, praying that it's gonna be a good year.

What did you do last night? Did you make it to midnight?

I almost did. We watched New York City welcome the New Year and then fell asleep about 15 minutes before midnight.

Have you heard the old wives tale that says if a home is in disarray on New Year's Day, then you'll struggle with clutter and a dirty house for the rest of the year?

I stayed up long enough to clean up our mess from last night just in case there's any truth to this tale. 🙂

What will you do today to welcome in the new year?

I'm making the Traditional Southern New Years Dinner  of ham, black eyed peas (for good luck) and greens (for prosperity) for family and friends. Here's my plate from last year.

I actually ate several more bowls of peas throughout the day. You know that you can never eat too many black eyed peas on New Year's Day!

I also concocted a new black eyed pea dip this year that I didn't have time to post but I'll share that recipe with you soon. It was so good that you can make it any time; not just for New Year's Eve!

Did you make any New Year's Resolutions?

I always do. They motivate me and help keep me focused. I like putting them in black and white because I feel more committed and I can look back at them throughout the year to see how I'm doing. I'll be posting my goal list for 2012 later this week.

Have a fantastic, Happy New Year!



2011 Resolutions Revisited

December 26, 2011

Yes, it's that time of year again. It's time to start thinking about the new year and whether or not you'll be making any New Year's Resolutions for yourself.

Some people despise New Year's Resolutions, but I love them. Resolutions and/or goals help me to stay focused and motivate me to start the year off on a positive note. They don't have to be something major like quitting smoking or losing 20 pounds. They can be small goals that you would like to achieve or just a few things that you would like to improve on during the new year.

(photo credit: Zastavki)

But, before I look forward to 2012, I want to take a little time to revisit my Resolutions for 2011.  In 2010, I had 12 things on my list and that was a bit difficult to maintain throughout the year, so for 2011, I purposely made a shorter, more realistic list.

I only had five things on my list for 2011, so let's see how I did.


Reality: This one is really, really hard for me because night time is finally my time to relax and do whatever I want to do, without interruptions. The first part of the year I had a crazy schedule which made it easy for me to stay up too late if I didn't have an early morning. About four months ago, I got a regular, set schedule which has me starting work at 4:00 a.m. so I HAVE FINALLY learned how to force myself to go to bed at 9:00 p.m.

2. Goal. Plan healthy meals for the week and do all grocery shopping in one trip.

Reality: I try so hard to do this on Mondays, but depending on my work schedule how manic the Monday happens to be, I don't always make this happen. I despise last minute trips to the grocery store two or three times a week, so this is back on the list for 2012.

3. Goal. Get back to yoga class twice a week.

Reality: Since I work on the mornings when my favorite classes are held at the gym, this didn't work out. Yoga is definitely at the top of my list for 2012. If I can't get to the gym, I'll find a way to do it at home. My sanity and “mental well-being” depend on it!

4. Goal. Restrict weekday “cocktails” and afternoon snacking.

Reality: I would have to say that I've managed to cut out most afternoon snacking on the weekdays, but need to get stricter on the weekends. I've done better on weekday cocktails, unless, of course, someone calls me and wants to get together for a drink during the week. But, I have learned how to say “no”, sometimes.

5. Goal. Weigh in once a week on Friday morning.

Reality: I'm pretty good about doing this but it needs to be more of a mandatory thing so I don't let 3 or 4 pounds sneak up on me. I'm not one who is going to weigh every morning, but it's much easier for me to maintain my weight when I weigh once a week. This is still on my list for 2012.

(photo credit: indieshuffle)

Considering that 2011 was a tough year in a lot of ways, I feel pretty good about not completely “throwing in the towel” when it comes to trying to stay in shape.

Between age, stress, hormones and a work schedule that prevents me from early morning exercise, a few pounds have managed to sneak back on my body. So…what am I going to do about it?

Stay tuned.  I'll be back soon with my plan for 2012.


Tips for Sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions!

January 6, 2011

I always make at least one New Year's Resolution, but most of the time, it usually ends up being two or three, or more. Last year, I had 12 things on my list.

Instead of calling them resolutions, I like to think of them as a ‘life list' of things I really want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Some may be harder than others, but some are small, simple things that help me function better on a daily basis.

For me, being a ‘list maker' and a ‘visual learner', the process of setting these goals and making my list helps me kick off the new year with focus and motivation.

Princess of the North

Princess of the North

photo credit: h.koppdelaney

For 2011, I have a few things on my list that were also on my 2010 list and I managed to maintain them for several months, but gradually got away from my routine.

Here are a few things I want to work harder at sticking to in 2011:

  • GO TO BED EARLIER. (This is a real challenge for me!)
  • Plan healthy meals for the week and do all grocery shopping in one trip.
  • Get back to yoga class twice a week.
  • Restrict weekday “cocktails” and afternoon snacking.
  • Weigh in once a week on Friday morning.

Last year I joined the Ten in 2010 Challenge that was led by The Recipe Girl and I did find that by joining the challenge and sharing my weekly progress with others, it kept me motivated to achieve the weekly goals that I set for myself.

Dr. Oz has a comprehensive, eleven-week challenge, called  “Move It and Lose It” that he just started and has made available to anyone who wants to join in. He has a team of nutrition and fitness experts who are going to be answering questions and sharing tips on how to stay motivated to help you meet your goals.

Goal Settingphoto credit: angietorres

Whatever your goals may be for the upcoming year, here are a few tips that have helped me in the past that might help you stick to your plan.

  • First and foremost, WRITE IT DOWN! (Until you write it down, it's just a passing thought and you haven't really committed.)
  • Break it down into baby steps. (If you want to obtain something by year end, break it down monthly, weekly and even daily, so it's more manageable and the end result seems easier to obtain.)
  • Visualize. Make a visualization board. Experts will tell you that if you can visualize it, it's more likely to become a reality. (I'm starting a new one for 2011.)
  • Journal. If you've got some weight-loss goals, and a new exercise routine you want to stick to, start logging your workouts and what you eat each day. Last year I bought the fitbook: fitness + nutrition journal(I loved this little journal and have already started using it again. I kept it up daily and I know it helped me reach my goal in 2010.)

Whatever you happen to have on your ‘life list' for 2011, I hope some of these tips help you stick to your plan!

We wish you all a very happy, healthy, prosperous 2011!


Got New Year’s Resolution?

January 3, 2011

Happy new year!  Have you made a resolution, or turned over a new leaf, or decided to get serious, or determined that this is THE year?  Chances are that you want to get in shape and get healthy this year, like most of us do, right?

We would love to help you with your health and fitness goals!  LilSis and I are not experts or professionals; we're just 40-plus women who have worked out for most of our lives and are always striving to be more fit and healthier.  And because we're both in that very challenging menopausal stage of our lives as women, we've had to kick things up a notch and go way beyond what used to work for us.  The battle is getting tougher, but we're not giving up.  We're getting more determined!

We don't know everything, but we want to share what we DO know to be true.  So, for the month of January, we'll put up a new health or fitness tip on our BigSisLilSis Facebook page every day.  We'll share little tidbits on working out, healthy eating, motivation, inspiration; anything that we think might help you meet your goals in 2011.

Have you visited us on our BigSisLilSis Facebook page?  If not, please come check us out and make sure to “like” us so you'll get our tips without missing a thing!

We'd love to have your input, and to learn from you as we share our thoughts.  If we put our heads together, maybe the road to health in 2011 for all of us will be a little tiny bit smoother!


New Year’s Southern Tradition

January 2, 2011

I talked about our Southern Tradition for New Year's a couple of years ago, and without fail, this is what we have every year. Sometimes we have it at midnight on New Year's Eve to welcome in the New Year, sometimes it's New Year's Day lunch and sometimes it's both! This year it's going to be both!

Good Luck Black-eyed Peas

Good Luck Black-eyed Peas

Yesterday, we had three hungry sailors here with us for New Year's Dinner, so there was no time for photos once the dinner was ready. This plate was actually my dinner plate from two years ago, but it's the exact same thing we had yesterday and will continue to have every New Year's Day.

New Year's Day Dinner

New Year's Day Dinner

Our peas were gone in record time because I was feeding five hungry men and I don't really feel like I ate a sufficient amount for the amount of good luck I need in 2011.

So… I'm running to the store for more peas to have for lunch today. I'll be counting them to assure that I eat 365 peas! One pea for each day of the year! (It's a little obsessive, I know…but you can't mess with tradition.)

Here's to 2011 being a year filled with good luck and prosperity. 🙂



January 1, 2011

We wish you all a happy & healthy 2011!


Cats in Hats: Happy New Year

January 5, 2009

So, you want more Cats In Hats, Big Sis? Here's a

Happy New Year Wish from TomTom!






What should we talk about in the New Year 2009?

January 3, 2009

Hey LilSis, and Happy New Year!  How funny that many of your resolutions were mirrors of my thoughts.  Not so surprising after all though, I suppose.  We do have a lot of similar experiences with similar responses to them.

We haven't talked about this offline, but I can give you some of my thoughts on what I'd love to talk about in BigSisLilSis in 2009.

  • More MAC, more skin care, more beauty product info! I think we're all looking for the thing that works best for us, and if we put our heads together, we can compare notes and maybe save each other some time and money,  I have some leads on some interesting products that I'm working on already.
  • More food and more recipes! I've got a bee in my bonnet to try some baked goods using agave nectar and coconut oil, since these two are touted as healthier alternatives to traditional ingredients.  Overall, I want to bake more and post more recipes and photos.  I have a whole bunch of new baking cookbooks that I need to break in, and baking just makes me happy!
  • More tips and thoughts on achieving the healthiest state we can reasonably attain, as opposed to just trying to look good. Not that there is anything wrong with looking our best; I'm just focusing like a laser beam on getting healthy healthy healthy this year, God willing.
  • More cats in hats, of course! My furkids didn't get a new chapeau this Christmas since their Meowmy was busy with the SPCA bake sale (sorry, kitty pies, sometimes you have to sacrifice for the good of your fellow felines).  But I promise more hats on more cats in 2009!  And that isn't just an empty campaign promise!  Since we agree that we need to laugh more, one of the best ways I know of is cats in hats!
  • In the category of “materialistic”, I'd like to talk more about shoes! Buying shoes, organizing shoes, wearing shoes…you know, just talk about shoes.  I REALLY want to share my love (obsession or fetish may be better terms) for t-strap shoes!
  • Last but not least, I'd love to do more Sister Showdowns, Sunday Suppers, and What the “L”s. I get a kick out of doing those, and I hope I'm not the only one who does.

Those are my off-the-cuff thoughts, LilSis.  What are your thoughts for the year ahead?


2009 New Year’s Resolutions

January 2, 2009

Do you make New Year's Resolutions or not? I happen to like making New Year's Resolutions. In my mind, it's more of a goal, than a ‘promise carved in stone' that I'll feel bad about if I don't succeed. I want to reflect on the past year, say goodbye to it, and say hello to the New Year with some short term and long term goals.

It's funny that several things BigSis mentioned are exactly the same as some of mine. Of course, after everything that has happened in our family these past couple of years, we've come to the same realizations on what we feel is most important. I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet so we can move on.

  • Decide between the two churches that I've been visiting this past year and join one. (This is a top priority for me this year, so I couldn't leave it off of this list, but that's all that needs to be said. I don't want to discuss religion or politics on this blog.)
  • Spend more quality time with family. (I don't want to wake up one day and realize that I worked at times when I should have stopped for a few hours to spend some quality time with family.)
  • Laugh more. (I just told SirHoney yesterday that was one thing we need to make sure that we do more in this upcoming year. The daily stresses of the business should not consume our lives so much that we can't make time to laugh more!)
  • Make a commitment to go to yoga class three times a week. (I just feel better physically and mentally when I stick to this schedule)
  • Lose 5 pounds this month. (I've got to kick start the year by being focused on increasing my cardio and adding some weight resistance training to boost my metabolism and lose a few pounds.)
  • Eat better. (I have to make the time to get back to weekly meal planning and shopping so we aren't going out or picking something up during the week. And, I want to substitute a fruit for an afternoon snack instead of breaking out the Triscuit and cheese!)
  • Be more forgiving, more patient and worry less. (I've been working very hard on this for over a year and will continue to make it a priority. I want to forgive things that have happened in the past, not worry about the future and just enjoy today!)
  • Work smarter. (I have to multi-task less and follow my daily Time Map more closely in order to be more efficient.  I need to set aside specific time for blogging, emailing, and commenting and designated time for accounting and paperwork. I'm going to TRY really hard to not toggle back and forth throughout the day.)

That's it in a nutshell. I think we've officially said goodbye to 2008 , so let's say hello to 2009!

BigSis, maybe we should talk about what's in store for the future of BigSisLilSis for 2009?