Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip


Have you ever heard of Engagement Chicken? Supposedly, it's a magical recipe that results in boyfriends wanting to marry their girlfriends. I'm not making this up- it was published in Glamour magazine. It has it's own Wikipedia page. Granted I've never made Engagement Chicken, I don't believe it. I think the real way to a man's heart is through Buffalo Chicken Dip. 

There are two ways to make this- I'm a fan of the crockpot method because the dip can stay warm and its the easiest to transport, but both are equally delicious!

[photo courtesy of eatliverun.com, because I forgot to take pictures. oops.]
Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • 1 1/2  lb. cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
  • 3/4 - 1 cup pepper sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot 
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-mixer, beat together the cream cheese and ranch dressing. Stir in the pepper sauce, 1/2  cup of cheddar, and the shredded chicken. 
  3. Spread the mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheddar, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.
  4. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes so you don't burn your mouth. I speak from experience. I like to stir everything together once it comes out of the oven.
  5. Serve with celery sticks, chips, crackers, etc.
or...
  1. Melt the cream cheese with the dressing in a pot over medium-low heat until smooth.
  2. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  3. Fold in the buffalo sauce and shredded chicken; pour everything into a crock pot on low.
  4. Serve with celery sticks, chips, crackers, etc.

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

My dog ate my couch today. Where there used to be a corner, there is now a gnawed out gaping hole from where her stupid little teeth chewed through the fabric. She's lucky All Dogs Go to Heaven, because she is seriously toeing the line between good and evil. It's a trying day for me as a pup-mom.

Anyway, I made Pumpkin Bread. But Franc doesn't get any, because she's a bad dog.


Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl


Cream Cheese Swirl
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
Pumpkin Bread
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk*
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9" x 5" loaf pans with non-stick spray.
  2. Swirl: Mix together the cream cheese, egg, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla until just combined. Do not over-beat. Stir in the flour. Set aside.  
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. Stir together the milk and apple cider vinegar, allow to sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and melted butter. Stir in the milk and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Add all the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until just combined- a few streaks of flour is okay, but you don't want to over-mix.
  7. This is where your measuring skills get put to the test. Using half the batter, divide the batter between the two pans (aka: 1/4 of the batter in each pan). Divide the cream cheese mixture between the pans; spread it evenly the best you can. Now top with the remaining pumpkin batter and smooth the tops. Sprinkle the bread with pepitas, if you choose.
  8. Bake for 50-65 minutes. It is done if a thin knife (or toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean. Mine took 60, but I set my timer for 50 then checked it every 5 minutes until it was done.
*You can use 1/2 cup buttermilk and omit the vinegar, if you have it on hand.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

The last time I made chocolate zucchini bread I was on WeightWatchers. Which means.. my 'healthy' recipe didn't live up to it's full fatty, sugar-filled, delicious potential!

I had two especially pathetic looking squash (one zucchini, one yellow crookneck) in my vegetable drawer and decided to give them a make-over. I wasn't sure if I could use yellow crook-neck squash in a zucchini bread recipe, but it worked out just fine.

This recipe is moist, delish, and chocolate-y. I ate it for breakfast. I ate it for lunch. I need to go grocery shopping because if this continues.. I'm gonna have to get back on Weight Watchers.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (or use all a.p. flour)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips*
Topping
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour two 8" loaf pans.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients together.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. 
  4. In the bowl of a stand-mixer (or with a hand-mixer), beat together the oil and sugars for 1-2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and eggs until well-combined. Gently stir in the zucchini, then add the flour mixture until just combined. Gently stir in the mini chocolate chips (*if you don't have mini chocolate chips, use regular chocolate chips- just give them a good chop first). 
  5. Spread the batter evenly between the two pans, then sprinkle with the sugar topping. 
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes. The loaves will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, except for maybe some melted chocolate stuck to it.
  7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the loaves from the pan. Then eat really oversized warm slices and justify it with the fact that you're eating vegetables.. kind of.