Sweet and hot pepper dip

The ManBeast and I were at Brennan’s Friday. The great thing about Brennan’s is all the samples they put out. I tried everything that appeared to be gluten free. But the one thing that stuck out in the ManBeast’s and my memory was the sweet and hot pepper dip. But at $8 for a tub, neither of us were willing to splurge. Between upcoming vet bills, my car needing some work, and a gum surgery I should really schedule already, money is (and will be) tight. But the ingredient list was pretty simple so I figured I’d try to make it myself. And I think I’ve just about got it.

Sweet and hot pepper dip
In a small food processor bowl combine
-1/2 package cream cheese
-1 T sweet pepper relish
-1 T hot pepper relish
-2 t siracha
-1/4 t chili flakes
Combine well. If it seems too thick, add maybe a teaspoon or so of milk.

In hindsight, the hot pepper relish we found isn’t hot at all. I probably could have just bought one bottle of the sweet. I was about to add another teaspoon of siracha when the ManBeast suggested that we’d get more heat quicker out of the chili flakes, and that is exactly what happened. If you don’t likely spicy, what I’d suggest doing is leaving out the siracha and chili flakes, mix the cream cheese and pepper relish, THEN start adding the spicier things. This way you’ll have more control over how spicy it is. If you like spicy food, obviously you’ll want to add more of either the siracha or the chili flakes. I’m currently enjoying my creation with corn chips.

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cats and love

Note: I started writing this last Friday night. I’ve decided to leave what I wrote, and just do my best to wrap it up in the present.

Oh the things we do for those we love. This post finds me sitting on the floor of our tiny bathroom hoping my cat will eat the expensive food mix I’ve put out for him. Rascal had at least one seizure last week that we know of for sure (now actually two weeks ago). But he likely had at least two more. I talked to the vet after the first one and she said just to keep an eye on him. So after the third one she asked that I bring him in. She did blood work telling me it was unlikely that she would find anything. But she did. Sky high eosinophil numbers. Between that and the seizures, her tentative diagnosis is hypereosinophilic syndrome. Very rare, very progressive, and very deadly.

So now here we are, two weeks out from the first seizure, and Rascal is about to become the $5000 cat (at least) instead of the $4000 cat. And he might be dead in a few months any way. This morning we had an appointment with an internal medicine specialist to start additional testing. Hypereosinophilic syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion. First you have to rule out anything else that might be causing elevated eosinophil levels, such as parasite infections, allergies or leukemia. Then you have to look for additional hints that it could be hypereosinophilic syndrome, such as eosinophil infiltration into the organs.

So now Rascal is on twice daily prednisone, his food is being switched to hypoallergenic food, and he was given a treatment of Revolution last week. This morning blood was drawn to test him for toxo, crypto, and heart worm. Assuming those all come back negative tomorrow, he has an appointment next Tue for chest xrays and ultrasound along with taking samples from his kidneys and spleen. This should look at whether he has eosinophil infiltration into his organs and look for swollen organs (another sign of organ infiltration). After that, I’m not sure what.

There is the chance we don’t figure out anything. And there is also the chance that I get home today and he’s dead. So it’s been an emotional past two weeks.

I do have food updates to do one day soon. I’ve got an update on my fruit list, and some fun food adventures in Costa Rica. I’ve also got a few recipes to share with you all. Soon.