buffalo chicken dip

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us! Whether you want to be known as the hostess with the hostess or the guest with the best dish, this is it! (So you can plan accordingly–the chicken is made in a crock pot and then the dip is put in the oven in a baking dish.)

I am a die-hard NY Giants fan! (Yes. Still. Even though our season was embarrassing.) Anyway, since I LOVE football, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide fellow fans a little something to snack on while watching the big-game this Sunday. I’ve made this dip several times and it is always a crowd pleaser. I got it from a co-worker many moons ago and altered it to my own liking. Enjoy!

IMG_1871

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 23 oz. bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Original cayenne pepper sauce
  • 2-8oz. packages of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 4 to 8 oz. blue cheese dressing
  • 2 blocks shredded cheese (I shredded 1/2 block of colby/jack and 1/2 block of mild cheddar)
  • 4 tbs. sauce from chicken

Directions

  1. Place chicken in crock pot with wing sauce.
  2. Cook on low temperature for 4-6 hours until chicken is done.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Shred chicken with 2 forks.IMG_1873
  5. Add cream cheese and enough blue cheese dressing to obtain desired consistency,IMG_1874 adding up to 4 tbsp. of sauce from chicken for flavor and color.
  6. Top with shredded cheese.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
  8. Serve with Scoops tortilla chips.

IMG_1879tara’s tips: I’ve made this by baking the chicken. I’ve made this with different cheeses. I’ve made this by putting the chicken in a food processor instead of shredding it with a fork. Feel free to explore. You can also use ranch dressing if bleu cheese isn’t your thing.

Recipe Review: Sweet Cornbread

IMG_0520I have loved this cornbread since the first time I had it, years ago. Honestly, you could eat it as a dessert (I do)–it’s just that yummy! I have never doctored the recipe (which is rare for me) because you don’t need to. And I owe it all to my friend Denise–who I think owes it to her sister–thanks! Enjoy! (Oh, and it goes perfectly with the fiesta chicken…)

Ingredients:

  • 3c Bisquick
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c butter, melted, then cooled
  • 1 1/2 c milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a 9×13 pan
  2. Bale at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

Recipe Roundup: Mashed Potatoes with Kale

kale mashed potatoesWelcome to March! Since it’s still cold here, very cold, and there’s still a lot of snow on the ground–thought I’d kick off the month with some comfort food. And what says yummy comfort better than mashed potatoes?

Giada DeLaurentiis is one of my most fave celebrity chefs–I even went to see her at a personal appearance and got my cookbook signed. Plus, I DVR her show every week. Which is where I discovered this recipe.

I love kale. But the way I have been taught to prepare it–while delicious–is also relatively unimaginative. But this way, this is just delish. And you get your starch and green veggie all in one dish. Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes with Kale
From Giada DeLaurentiis show, Giada at Home, on The Food Network

Ingredients
Potatoes:
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 4 pounds)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Kale:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 12-ounce bunch kale, stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

(Tara’s Tips: I used pre washed and precut kale from a 16oz. bag and just estimated out 12oz. Worked perfectly. I also used red onion because I just like red onion better. And I did not use low-sodium chicken broth, I used the regular stuff.)

Assembly:
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (about 8 ounces)*
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

(Tara’s Tips: *Ok, so I thought I had all the ingredients for this recipe and it turns out I didn’t. So instead of mascarpone, I used ricotta because that’s what I had in my frig. Was still yummy and I’d do it again! And it goes without saying that I shredded my own Parmesan cheese. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, see my prior recipe with the pre-shredded cheese rant. (Seriously, with all my substitutions, does this even count as Giada’s recipe anymore???))

Directions
For the potatoes: Combine the potatoes, garlic, salt and butter in a 5-quart saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and remove the garlic cloves. Return the potatoes to the pan and mash the potatoes until smooth using a potato masher.

For the kale: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 10 to 12 minutes.

To assemble: Add the kale mixture, mascarpone cheese, chicken broth, butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Stir over low heat until smooth and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Recipe RoundUp: Spicy Mac & Cheese

spicy mac&cheeseIf I haven’t admitted to this before, I will now: I think I’m part mouse. I LOVE cheese. I think it should be a food group all by itself. So, when I come across an intriguing mac & cheese dish, and one that I would definitely make again, I simply must share. Plus, the recipe is from a site called, “Life as a Strawberry;” seriously, how fun is that?

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of your favorite pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve 1/3 cup of this for topping the macaroni before you bake it)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, plus 1/8 tsp. for topping
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika, plus 1/8 tsp. for topping
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package or recipe directions (I use VERY salty water) until it is a few minutes (6 min. are usually good) less than al dente – the pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so having very al dente pasta when you put the pasta in to bake will ensure your macaroni isn’t mushy or overcooked!
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour to make a roux and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Whisk the milk into the roux a little at a time, making sure to work out all the clumps so you have a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat until milk has thickened, about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove sauce from heat. Stir in 2 and 2/3 cups of the cheddar cheese with a spoon or spatula. Stir until cheese is melted.
  5. Stir mustard powder, cayenne, paprika, and black pepper into sauce.
  6. Stir pasta into sauce. Take a bite. Pat yourself on the back.
  7. Pour pasta into a baking dish (I used a 9×9). Top with the extra 1/8 tsp. of cayenne and paprika and the extra 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and edges are crispy.

Tara’s Tips: I used whole wheat elbow macaroni because I genuinely love whole wheat pasta. For all those going gluten-free, this ain’t the recipe for you–sorry. I also used 2 different kinds of cheese–yellow sharp and sharp white cheddar (and since I’m part mouse, I used more than the allotted amount to sprinkle on top). Lastly, I didn’t measure the 1/8 tsp., I just sprinkled until I felt enough was a enough. For those who don’t like spicy or aren’t experienced cooks–stick to the measurements.