Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

salad

In an effort to make something new using yesterday’s leftovers, I made this. I had just enough chicken from this pizza to make this boring salad a meal. I also whipped up a simple buttermilk blue cheese dressing to go with it. And because wasting a perfectly good dressing would be just plain dumb; I made a batch of delicious hot wings to go with it! I haven’t made these in years, but they’re worth the extra time required. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Buffalo Chicken Salad – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • Leftover marinated and grilled chicken from this, chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP Franks Red Hot
  • 2 TSBP butter
  • Romaine lettuce
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Extra Blue Cheese Crumbles

Directions-

Place a skillet over medium heat; add the butter and Frank’s Red Hot. Heat just until butter has melted, then add chicken and coat with buffalo sauce. Turn off heat and set aside.
Heap tossed salad into individual bowls. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles, cucumber, sliced avocado, chicken and cherry tomatoes and top with blue cheese dressing.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing – adapted from My Baking Addiction

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2- 4  tablespoons buttermilk (more to thin out)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled blue cheese

Directions- 

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and milk in small bowl; mix until smooth. Stir in vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder until well blended. Fold in cheese. Transfer to container with tight-fitting lid. Chill until serving time. Stir well before serving.

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Repost: Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

dip

Who doesn’t like spinach artichoke dip?? Seriously, this is the best I have tried and everyone loves it. This post shows all the modifications that I have made to the original recipe. For a big group, I pour it into a small crock pot to keep warm and serve with baguettes or scoop-shaped tortilla chips. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spinach Artichoke Dip – adapted from Allrecipes

  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions –

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Prep the bulb for roasting: Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.  Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Use a small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. (Directions with pictures at Simply Recipes)

3. In an 8×8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.

4. Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.

 

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Hummus

hummus

This was really easy to make and I enjoyed eating it with lots of raw carrots. Now if I can only get my kids to try it, that would be great! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Hummus – adapted from The Kitchn

  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced finely
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Tools

A food processor or blender

Directions –

Combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. If it is a little dry, just add a little more lemon juice or olive oil, a teaspoon at a time, until you have the desired consistency. Add more salt and pepper if you like. Scrape out the hummus in a serving bowl and sprinkle the sumac on top. Serve with raw veggies, or spread on some pita bread.

Pizza Dip

pizzdip1

If I was going to have to watch football, I was going to make up for it by enjoying some junk food at the same time 😉 I was pretty excited to find all the necessary ingredients in my fridge to make this, and just enough pizza sauce and pepperoni left in the freezer. The only thing I didn’t have on hand was a baguette, but tortilla chips were a fine substitute. This came together quickly, and the measurements aren’t too important to follow exactly (“There’s too much cheese in this” – said no one ever!) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pizza Dip – adapted from Closet Cooking

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated (divided)
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated (divided)
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, sliced
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • dried oregano (optional)
  • sliced baguette or chips for serving

Directions –

  1. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmigiano reggiano and pepper to taste. Spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the rest of the cheeses and pepperoni. Sprinkle oregano over top if desired.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the sides are bubbling and the cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

I made these once before, but I think all the pictures that I took stunk, so I decided not to post about them. I have declared Wednesday night to be “Fun Kid Dinner Night”, because M is never able to be home with us on Wednesday nights. It’s a good opportunity to make something I know he wouldn’t care for, and that way I can still get my mushrooms, bell peppers, mustard and onions in somewhere. I mentioned her before that he’s a little picky 😉

Verdict: These were really good and would make a great appetizer. The ratio of cheese and pepperoni is quite a bit higher than batter, so oil up your muffin tin liberally! I like my addition of chili flake which gave these a little kick. Also, marinara is a must for dipping which makes these little puffs a quick substitute when you’re craving pizza. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs – adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • pinch of chili flake
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. pepperoni, diced
  • Pecornino Romano cheese to taste
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375o.  Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and dried seasonings; whisk in the milk and egg.  Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups.  Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Warm the pizza sauce, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil.  Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil.  Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Buffalo Wings

I have never made wings before, so what better time to make them than for Super Bowl Sunday?? It wasn’t the easiest task to prep the wings, but now that I know where to cut it should be much easier next time. I like this method of cooking the wings, because I’m not a big fan of frying – I enjoy eating fried foods, just not being the one responsible for not burning the house down 😉 The steaming renders off a good amount of fat so that when they roast in the oven, there is far less steam and mess to deal with later. It’s actually slightly healthier, too – especially when compared to deep frying. We will soon see if the extra effort and my cautious nature pays off. I have a new 5 quart stainless steel pot that has a steamer insert in it and was able to cook the wings in two small batches. The insert in so much easier to clean than those small, collapsible steamer baskets.

Verdict: These were so good, I wished I bought the party pack! I used Frank’s Red Hot, which has the perfect combination of flavor and heat and the minced garlic gives it a little something extra. These aren’t difficult to prepare, and the only part I didn’t like about making them is dividing the wings. However, after tasting these I would make these again – they’re perfectly moist, tender, juicy and flavorful. The only thing that’s missing is the super crispy skin you get when you fry them. I’m so glad when a little extra effort goes a long way in flavor. Oh, I made a blue cheese dip for these too. It couldn’t be easier! I’ll post that below the wing recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Buffalo Wings – adapted from Alton Brown

  • 12 whole chicken wings
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions:

Place a 6-quart saucepan with a steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Replace the paper towels with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl along with the garlic. Pour this along with hot sauce and salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.

Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.

Super Easy Blue Cheese Dip –

  • crumbled blue cheese – as much or as little as you want
  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • fresh cracked pepper

It couldn’t be easier – just add the amounts that you prefer. For about one cup of dip, I use at least 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese, 1/2 a cup of sour cream and 2 – 4 TBSP of mayonnaise, and lots of pepper to taste.

Creamy Chicken Taquitos and Tomatillo Salsa

What do you do when you have lots of leftover roast chicken sitting in your fridge? You can make these for starters. I discovered this one over a year ago at Our Best Bites. They’re quick, easy and delicious and I don’t know why I haven’t shared these with you all before. These have some of my favorite flavors all rolled up in one package. I like to make my own tomatillo salsa for these because it’s so much more fresh and flavorful. It’s simple to make and always cheaper than store bought. I always omit the green onion cause M wouldn’t touch it, and I usually double this recipe because the leftovers are just as tasty.

Verdict: So good – or “yum” as my son put it. We enjoyed these with the leftover tomatillo salsa and our favorite tomato salsa. Oh, I used soft taco sized flour tortillas and we ended up with seven taquitos. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Tomatillo Salsa – Mom Makes

  • 8 to 10 small tomatillos, husked, rinsed and dried
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic with paper on
  • 1/2 small onion, paper off and cut into thirds
  • 1 jalapeno, stem cut and sliced in half from top to bottom
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime
  • cumin to taste
  • kosher salt to taste
Directions –
Turn on your broiler and while it’s heating, prepare your tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic and onion for roasting. Slice the tomatillos at the equator and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Add the rest of your prepared vegetables to the baking sheet and place under the broiler – about 5 or 6 inches from the heating element. I roasted mine for about 10 minutes, but if you prefer more char on yours you can leave them in a little longer. Just keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. Take them out and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack until they’re easier to handle. Take the paper of your garlic cloves in preparation for blending.
Using a food processor or blender, carefully place all the contents – including the juices into the work bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over all, sprinkle your cumin and salt, then add your cleaned cilantro leaves. Place the lid on and pulse until your desired consistency is achieved.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos – adapted from Our Best Bites

  • 1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/4 C green salsa
  • 1T fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 2 T sliced green onions
  • 2 C shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 C grated pepper jack cheese
  • small flour or corn tortillas
  • cooking spray or vegetable oil
  • kosher salt (optional)
Directions –
Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.
Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges, and roll them up as tight as you can. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.