Food Storage - homemade taco sauce AND hits and misses on sour cream powder, stored Velveeta, canned Queso (taco night)



FIRST TRIAL:  did it work?

The first thing I'm going to note for my future reference are the FAILS.

I do have sour cream powder in my pantry but it's one of those food storage items that is more for baking and cooking than it is for actually trying to make 'sour cream'.  Cookies, cakes, beef stroganoff, yes... actual sour cream?  No.  BUT... I wanted to try something new to me to see if it would work.

Spoiler alert... it didn't. 

Sour cream powder has the fat taken out.  I saw a can of shelf stable 'table cream' in the pantry and thought to myself "I wonder if I could mix that with the sour cream powder to get a sour cream taste/flavor with the creaminess of the actual table cream, which would provide the 'fat' for taste and texture?"

The texture was great.  The smell and taste however were not anything even remotely close to sour cream.

Determined to try a couple more things before failing completely, I tried to add some lemon juice.  Nope.
I tried a little vinegar.  Nope.

Those were my best guesses.  I then covered it and let it chill for 4 hours to see if the flavor would improve.  It didn't.

I asked for other family member input and we all agreed it was a cross between 'cucumbers' and 'cheese'. 
I had some on my tacos.  It made me enjoy them less.  I didn't like them. I ate them (not wasting food) but I didn't like them.
I threw out the fake sour cream.  

OTHER FAILS:  I am trying to use up and rotate out 'older' products and also test out what is storage-safe and a complete waste of money.  While getting the table cream out of our 2-3 year pantry for my sour cream trial, I spied a box of Velveeta that had been pushed to the back, and had another product sitting on it - so that it was completely missed this whole time and I didn't even know it was there. 

Velveeta was 'original' style and best by date was December 2022.  So, it was just over 1 year past. 
Opening it up, it stuck to the foil and basically was pulling apart in huge pieces, and looked like rubber.  (Granted, it kind of does anyway... it's not a real quality food product to begin with!  But it was a trial to see what options I could store for 'cheese' variety.)

It had a very slight 'off' smell - still edible, still fine and safe to eat if we needed to, or if it would have been mixed in with pasta to make homemade mac and cheese in an emergency food situation, but since we are not in that "we have turned into Venezuela" situation YET in this country, it wasn't a food I was ok with eating (yet) or serving to family.  It went into trash.  *NOTE*  I've been VERY happy with the tightly sealed, smaller envelope style packages of Velveeta style cheese sauce.  But the boxed Velveeta isn't sealed well enough through the sealed foil to store very long.  I would not want to use it past it's best-by date unless we absolutely had to.

Canned white Queso:  It was the popular Rico's brand and I've posted a couple weeks ago when I opened and tried other cans of it and the yellow cheddar version.  I think this is the last can of white queso in the 2-3 year storage pantry and knowing it probably wasn't going to be at its top quality, I grabbed it as an "OPEN AND TRY" with no expectations task.

And I was right.  It looked fine, tasted... fine and was... fine.  But it was also just a little bit off in flavor just enough that in order to use it without hesitation, I'd want to mix it in with the taco meat to form a nacho dip, or use in hot pasta, etc.  

Honestly, I think I'm being a little too judgemental over the canned Rico's cheese because even when it's freshly bought and brand new, I have issues with the chemical 'taste' that comes through.  I have a very, very sensitive nose that can smell chemicals and preservatives better than most, so I think the canned cheese (2021) is fine for everyone... else. 

But, I have small packs of Velveeta in the regular pantry I can use if I need to in the near future.   I tossed the can.


I've already posted about this product - but we had more of it last night.
Vegetarian, (imitation) Taco Meat.
Surprisingly good (see previous posts for more in depth chit-chat about it).

TACO SAUCE:  Regular readers know we always keep homemade Taco Bell style taco sauce on hand... always.  I haven't bought taco sauce in years and years because homemade is just so easy and tastes better.

We ran out a few weeks ago and I just hadn't made up another batch yet.    This is a 'half' version of my regular recipe, as I make the whole 3 cup version, using the whole little can of 6 oz. tomato paste, and keep it in glass jars in the refrigerator. 


Just grab a saucepan and add;

1 1/2 cups water
1 t corn starch

Stir until dissolved. Add;

1/2 a can of tomato paste (use 3 oz.)
1 1/2 T vinegar
2 t chili powder
1 t salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
Heat to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring every so often. Cool.

To make a hotter version, add another teaspoon of chili powder, and another 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne - but I wouldn't serve it to children, it's far too spicy and 'burny' for little ones.  To make it even milder for the little ones, leave out the cayenne all together.  A nice mild, taco bell flavor sauce all can enjoy.

Print Friendly and PDF