Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Back in January my cousin made this delicious buffalo chicken dip for a family get together. It was so tasty and very addicting. Once you start eating it you just can't stop. Everyone at the party loved it and I knew I needed the recipe.

This weekend was the perfect opportunity to make it. Joe was having the guys over for the NFL Draft on Saturday. Guys love food so I knew it would be a hit. It didn't last more than 30 minutes once I sat it out on the table. I didn't take any pictures because it isn't too exciting to see.

Buffalo Chicken Dip:

16oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup celery, chopped
8oz Frank's red hot sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In microwave safe bowl heat cream cheese, celery & red hot sauce on high power, stirring every two minutes until cream cheese is melted. Add chicken and one cup of cheddar cheese. Pour into 13x9 rectangular dish and top with remaining cheese.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

I put the celery into a food processor and chopped it until it was very fine. I personally don't like chucks of celery in things so I prefer to have it this way. Also you can use the packages of Tyson chicken that are precooked and found in the deli meat section of a grocery store. I have cooked my own chicken and used the prepackaged kind and both taste the same.

And there you have it. You just serve with tortilla chips! It is my favorite thing to take to parties and is always a big hit. But as a said above BEWARE it is addictive!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homemade "Hostess" Cupcakes

I have been seeing this recipe on several different blogs and every time I think how yummy they look. And who doesn't love a Hostess cupcake?? So this weekend I decided to try them out. We had my sister Beth and her fiance Matt over and another friend and they all really liked them. Joe told me it is definitely a make again recipe. I personally think they are wonderful!

Homemade "Hostess" Cupcakes

I won't lie to you. I was pressed for time and didn't know how long it would take to fill them and ice them so I used a box mix for chocolate cake. It was Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge. However if you have time making a chocolate cake from scratch would be great!

2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Combine all the ingredients into a medal bowl (don't use too small of a bowl because the filling will expand as it gets smooth and creamy) set over a saucepan of simmering water. Beat with a handheld mixer on high for 5-6 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat for several more minutes until it has cooled slightly. Reserve about half a cup of filling for piping swirls on the top.

This actually made WAY more filling than I used. I had 24 cupcakes and maybe used a third of the filling including piping the top. I don't know if I just didn't fill the cupcakes as much as others do or if it was just a large batch of filling. In any case you may want to half this.

Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 cup whipping cream
4 ounces (or heaping 1/2 cup) finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips
(the orginal recipe called for bittersweet chocolate but my grocery store was out so I went with the semi-sweet chips and it was fine)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Heat cream until steaming in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl for easier frosting of cupcakes.

Cut a hole in the top of each cupcake about the size of a quarter and remove that portion from the cupcake. I cut the middle section off the round piece that I removed from each cupcake so that I could replace the top once the filling was added.

Fill each cupcake with filling until full and place the top back on. Dip each cupcake into the chocolate ganache. Put into the refrigerator until ganache sets (about 5 to 10 minutes). Pipe swirls onto the top of each cupcake and returned them to the refrigerator to set icing.

Hint: I don't own the tools to pipe so I simply put the filling into a ziplock bag and cut the corner off. For the filling I cut a large piece of the corner off and for the piping I cut a very small piece. This worked great for me even though my skills at the swirls were lacking.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Starting the house process!

I have a new recipe to post that I made last week. So I will be posting that very soon.

But in other news Joe and I are going to be starting the home buying process. Our lease is up on September 30th and we want to take plenty of time to find exactly what we want. So last week I e-mailed our real estate agent, who happens to be my cousin! He said it wasn't too early to get thigns started and he set up a meeting with us for Wednesday. We are just going to go over the whole process and ask questions. I would imagine the next step would be to get pre-approved. I am trying to not get too excited because I know we still have a lot of time and we don't want to move to quickly and get stuck paying rent and a house payment. So in my free time I have been doing a lot of internet searches for houses! It's pretty fun to see what is out there and it's crazy how affordable a lot of them are. Some houses would be a smaller monthly payment than our rent! I will to be sure to keep by blog updated with the house stuff!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oreo Fudge Bars

Joe loves Oreos so anytime I see a recipe that involves them I usually want to try it out. So a while ago I found a recipe for Oreo Fudge Bars and I finally got the chance to make them this week. They are pretty tasty. Definitely not my favorite dessert but still quite yummy. And it was a pretty easy recipe.

Oreo Fudge Bars

1 16oz. package of Oreo cookies
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz.)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil (this helps to get the bars out of the pan later) and lightly spray with PAM.
Set aside 7 Oreos for the topping. In food processor grind the rest of the Oreos until they are a fine crumb mixture. Add salt to the crumb mixture and stir.
Completely melt the stick of butter and stir together with Oreo crumb mixture. Press it firmly into the bottom of the 9 x 13 pan.
Chop the remaining 7 cookies into small pieces and set aside for later.
Melt together the semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, condensed milk and vanilla until smooth. Spread it over top the cookie crust.
Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips and remaining the oreo pieces ontop of the filling. Press it dowm gently into the filling.
Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Allow to completely cool on the counter. Then chill in the fridge to completely set before cutting. These are very messy if you do not chill before cutting!!!