The Danielle con Queso Project

“I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.”

“The whole idea of writing a blog is to get away from what I do all day. The way that cooking is a way that I get away from what I do all day.
‘So write a blog about cooking.’
I’m not a real cook, like Julia Child or Mario Batali.
‘Julia Child wasn’t always Julia Child.’
If I really wanted to learn to cook, I could just cook my way through Julia Child’s cookbook. I could blog about that.”

“When you flip anything, you’ve just got to have the courage of your convictions. Especially if it’s a loose sort of mass like… That didn’t go very well. But, you see, when I flipped it, I didn’t have the courage I needed… the way I should’ve. But you can always put it together. And you’re alone in the kitchen. Who’s to see?”

“But I’ll probably need a deadline. Because otherwise it’ll be like everything else I do. ‘Cause let’s face it, I never finish anything. Well, it’s true. You know why I think it is? ADD. That’s why I’m so bad at housework.”

“It’s a regimen, Mom. Like doing sit-ups. It’s sort of like being in AA. It gives you something you have to do every day, one day at a time. I’m saying it’s good for me to have short-term goals.
‘Who’s reading this blog?’
People. People are reading it, I’m sure. I can’t stop, I have to finish.”

– Julie & Julia, 2009

Julie : Julia :: Danielle : Lisa

Earlier this year, I re-watched Julie & Julia after years had passed since I first saw the movie, and the above quotes totally spoke to me. The story truly inspired and – dare I say – motivated me. I’ve actually wanted to start a blog for ages, but felt trapped in analysis paralysis, overwhelmed with all the decisions to be made that would come with starting a pet project blog of my own.

In addition, even after having the idea and inspiration to do something similar to Julie & Julia allowing me to already have a set focus and purpose, being the chronic procrastinator I am, found ways to talk myself out of just doing it. Reason #1, (internal thoughts) “Well she already did it, if I did something like that now it wouldn’t be original”. But the more important reason #2 was: “I don’t even have or know of a cookbook I’d be that intrigued by to try to cook every single recipe inside”. Until now that is…

Danielle & Queso

I’ve always had a love for cheese, including mac ‘n cheese as another all-time fave food, and growing up (okay, even after I was grown), at any given Tex-Mex restaurant I’d often order just a bowl of queso and free flour tortillas for my entire meal. The shared experience of filling up on chips and molten cheesy goodness before our entreés arrived was a common bond between me and my family, and me and my friends.

I. LOVE. QUESO. Bread to Oprah is like queso to me. My mother-in-law knows this, and recently shared this bon appetit article with me. Upon my discovery that such a chile con queso cookbook existed, my immediate thought was, “Lisa is my hero and I’ve finally found a conquest worthy of my own Julie & Julia project!” Within a week of telling my husband, Reid, about my half-baked idea, he promptly ordered Queso! delivery from Amazon and surprised me with it.


The feat:  cook thru every QUESO! Recipe

The cookbook:  Queso! by Lisa Fain

There are 51 queso recipes, plus accompaniments such as homemade tortilla chips. So, I figure I’ll make one queso per week, sprinkling in accompaniments whenever I’m feeling ambitious, and then it will take me a year to complete cooking through the book.

The contender:  Danielle Garcia

Wife to Reid, dog mom to Lincoln, and roommate to four others. Graduated from Texas A&M class of 2013 with a bachelor’s in Psychology then moved to Redondo Beach, CA. Also a homesick Texan, but not THE Homesick Texan. Chronic procrastinator, empathy advocate, and miserable recruiter turned content executive assistant. If I can’t even keep up with laundry, how will I keep up with cooking and posting regularly to a blog? Only time will tell, but hopefully the intrinsic reward of nomming on some delicious queso helps with my motivation and ability to stick to a routine…

So whaddya think?

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