Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I'm not a huge football fan.  Not because I don't enjoy watching it or love the "rush" of the game, but because we haven't been able to watch sports on T.V. for years since we don't have cable anymore.  And gone are those college days when my hubby and I actually attended sports events.  But after I had kids I became such a home body...I know I'm kinda boring.  But I do love food and I love to feed people!!!

With the Super Bowl coming up next Sunday, you're going to need something under your belt to feed a crowd.  Not only is this SUPER tasty but SUPER easy as well.  I have made it so many times for my husband's work parties and there is NEVER any left.  If you love buffalo-flavored anything, you're doing to die when you taste this dip.  Don't leave it off your Super Bowl Menu!!  Your guests will thank you and will be begging you for more!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

makes about 4 cups

8-oz cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 cup Bleu Cheese Dressing (below)
1 cup Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken

Cook chicken and set aside to cool.  Once cooled, shred and set aside.

In microwave safe mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, bleu cheese dressing, hot sauce and cheddar cheese. Cook on half power at 2 minute increments, stopping to stir and combine, until cheeses are melted and combined.  Stir in shredded chicken.  Place in a small crock pot about an hour before serving to get hot and bubbly.  If you do not have a small crock, you can also place dip in a shallow baking dish and bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Stir again right before serving.  Serve with choice of dippers:
celery sticks
carrot sticks
sliced bell pepper
tortilla chips
Frito corn chips

Bleu Cheese Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 oz crumbled bleu cheese
2 tsp. red wine vinegar

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk and vinegar until smooth.  Fold in the bleu cheese crumbles.  Keep refrigerated until use.

SOURCE: Dip adapted from How Sweet It is, dressing from Williams Sonoma.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fontina and Spinach Baked Eggs with Garlic Brown Butter Bread Crumbs

You don't have to be a reader long to know that I love a good breakfast!  Anything but a bowl of cereal!!  Actually I can't remember the last time I actually had a bowl of cereal.  I don't mind some cold cereals, but most are just loaded with sugar so I prefer not to buy them.

We eat eggs and toast maybe 2 times a week.  They're quick and easy and don't send us into a sugar coma first thing in the morning.

These eggs, however, were pretty life-changing for me!  I could not believe how delicious they were.  I think it was the whole garlicky, spinachy and cheesy eggy-ness all together that did it for me.  Even though they are not quite as quick to throw together as scrambled eggs, they're still pretty easy and only take slightly longer. I thought about skipping the bread crumbs on top because, well, I ate it on a big piece of buttered toast...but DON'T, they totally complete the eggs and make them oh-so-tasty.

Fontina and Spinach Baked Eggs with Garlic Brown Butter Bread Crumbs
6 ounces fresh spinach
4 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
8 large eggs
4 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

Layer fresh spinach on the bottom of the dish, then top with shredded fontina.  Crack each egg and gently place them randomly on top of the spinach and cheese.  I found it easiest to make a slight indentation where each egg was to be placed.  That way they donn't slide completely all over the place.  Top with parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, then drizzle the cream over the top.

Place in the oven and bake about 20 minutes, checking the eggs several times the last 5 minutes or so, so they are cooked to your liking.

While the eggs are baking, add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly while it bubbles. The minute brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and whisk for an additional 30 seconds. Let butter stand for 2 minutes, then add in minced garlic and whisk. Add in panko and stir well to coat and combine.
Once eggs are finished, remove from the oven and cover with breadcrumbs. Serve immediately with toast and butter!

SOURCE: How Sweet It Is

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Menu Plan Monday (2013 Week 5)

Ahhh, I know this is going up late.  I haven't had much time to really sit down and think about the menu for this week.  Last week we ended up having kind of a down week in terms of meals.  My kids have had NO appetite, been super picky eaters and my husband has been sick so I haven't wanted to make full-on meals for just me. Needless to say, my fridge is still pretty stocked from my shopping trip to the grocery store last week.

It would be awesome not to have to have a big grocery shopping trip this week since we have so much already, so I'm just going to try to make do with what I've already got.  And I'm going to be a mean mom this week and tell my kids they can eat it or go hungry!

Dinner Menu Week 5 (2013)  

Greek Quesadillas
Chopped Greek Salad

Ham beans

Sweet Potato Risotto
Honey Mustard Broccoli Salad (steamed broccoli for the kiddies)

Stuffed Acorn Squash 

Thai Chicken Pizza on Garlic Naan (me and the hubbs)
Asian Slaw
Thai Peanut Noodles and raw veggies (for the kiddos)

Lemon Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
Italian Salad

Squash Soup with Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

Other things we'll be having:
Apple Cider Pancakes with Cider Glaze
Homemade Waffles
Banana Bread
Homemade rye bread

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pesto and Fontina Grilled Cheese on Cranberry Walnut Loaf

On my last visit to Trader Joe's I came home with this delicious cranberry walnut artisan loaf.  I was drooling over it the whole ride home in the car and thinking of ways to eat it.  I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it.  Of course, the first couple of slices went straight into the toaster and got slathered with butter--a delicious midnight snack if you were wondering. BUT, I had to restrain myself and wait until the next day day for what I really had planned for it; a good helping of pesto and fontina cheese.

Ooey gooey cheese and delicious basil pesto couldn't go better together. One of the best comfort foods just got a little better!!

Pesto and Fontina Grilled Cheese on Cranberry Walnut Loaf
1 small cranberry walnut artisan loaf
basil pesto, prepared or homemade
fontina cheese, sliced
butter, softened

Slice bread into about 1/2"-3/4" slices. Preheat frying pan over medium high heat. Butter the outer side of one slice of bread and place in frying pan.  Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons pesto on the bread and layer with a couple of cheese slices; enough to cover the piece of bread.  Top with another slice of buttered bread, buttered slice facing out. 

Cook until underside is golden and crisp.  Flip sandwich and continue cooking until cheese is gooey and second side is also golden brown. Repeat with remaining bread, pesto and cheese, if desired.

Slice in half and serve warm.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Menu Plan Monday (2013 Week 4)

Ok, time to get back to real life!!  It's taken me weeks to recoup from the holidays.  We were super busy and I didn't even want to think about cooking or menu planning or anything that took brain power for that matter!  But, I've come to realize over the past few weeks that we haven't had a planned out menu that our meals are significantly just about everything; veggies, fruit, greens, even taste..

So, it's back to the menu board for me.  I'm excited to get my routine back and start cooking new things again.  I'll still be easing my way back into posting regularly, but I'll have this week's menu up and at least one more post on its way.

For the newbies, menu items that are already on the blog are linked, other (successful) items will be posted as I make them. 

Dinner Menu Week 4 (2013)

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Sweet Kale Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Stacked Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas w/ Chile Verde Sauce
leftover Sweet Kale Salad
chopped raw veggies (for the kids)

Greek Quesadillas
Chopped Greek Salad

Egg Drop Soup with Fried Wontons
Asian Slaw with Roasted Peanuts and Ginger Lime Dressing

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
Thai Coconut Rice

Garlic Bread Pizza
Sweet Pepper, Tomato and Feta Pizza

Baked Potatoes
steamed broccoli

Other things I'll be making:
Blueberry Banana Granola
Blueberry Lemon Scones
Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
Potato-Basil Fritatta
Orange-Flax Smoothie
Almond Joy Cookies
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