Best Buffalo Chicken Dip

Best Buffalo Chicken Dip with Scallions


     I’ve had lots of Buffalo Chicken Dip at parties and most were just meh. I’ve added some additional ingredients to kick up the flavors, and although it isn’t burn your tongue off, it is nice and spicy (I’d say Medium).  This is perfect not just for parties, but as an Appetizer, Game Day Snack, Back Yard BBQ, Movie Night or Game Night at home, etc.  If you’re serving a crowd, better at least double it.  Try a plate of French Fries with this dip poured in the center.  VERY GOOD!

INGREDIENTS:    YIELDS ABOUT 3 CUPS

2 ½ cups leftover shredded Chicken (Rotisserie works great)

1 TBSP Butter

1/3 cup Celery, diced fine

3 cloves Garlic, minced

¼ cup sweet Onion, diced

¾ cup Frank’s Hot Sauce

¼ cup Water *

Black Pepper (A few dashes)

5 TBSP Cream Cheese, cut in chunks

5 TBSP Sour Cream or Prepared Ranch Dressing

1 tsp Parsley

¾ cup Shredded Cheddar or Colby Monterey Jack Cheese

1/3 +/- cup Blue Cheese, crumbled

Extra Parsley to garnish.  Thinly sliced Green Onions are very nice also.

* The water keeps the dip from becoming too thick as it cools.  Most of the water simmers out while you’re cooking.  I find that it will become thick enough to break your crackers without the water.

PREPARATION: 

     In an oven-proof skillet, melt the Butter.  Add Celery, Garlic, and Onion.  Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. 

     Add the Hot Sauce, Water, Pepper, and Chicken.  Cook until it begins to simmer.  Stir, and add the Cream Cheese, and 1 tsp Parsley.  Keep stirring, because the Cream Cheese is going to melt.  Once it is melted, remove from heat and add Sour Cream.  Stir until blended.

     Sprinkle the Shredded Cheddar on top.  Pop pan under a preheated broiler for just enough time for the cheese to melt.  It will only take a few minutes.  (Is your mouth watering yet?)

     Sprinkle about 1/3 cup Crumbly Blue Cheese on top.  You can add extra Parsley now if you wish, but not necessary and it has plenty of color.  The Blue Cheese is going to become soft and blend with the top layer of Dip.  It might be a little tacky, but I like to serve it right in my little cast iron pan (As long as children aren’t eating it.  Cast iron stays hot for a long time.  That’s why I like to serve the Dip this way.  It helps retain the heat of the Dip).

Serve with Vegetable Sticks, Assorted Crackers, Toasted Pita Chips, Melba Toast or serve over French Fries!

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

After broiling, add Blue Cheese crumbles and serve!
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Scalloped Oysters

     Scalloped Oysters, a dish fit for a king.  IF you can find Scalloped Oysters in a restaurant, it will cost you a fortune for a very small portion.  In our opinion, homemade tastes much better and costs a fraction of what you can buy.  You can serve as an appetizer or side dish.  It’s quite rich, so it isn’t often eaten as a main course.  I always make this for Bob for Christmas because he just loves it.  To make this man truly happy, a dish of Scalloped Oysters works every time!

INGREDIENTS:  4 Servings

1 pint (16 oz) oysters

½ cup Butter, divided

¼ cup Celery, finely chopped

1/8 tsp ground Pepper

¾ – 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

¼ cup Oyster Liquor

½ cup Half and Half or Milk

Parsley

PREPARATION:

     Drain Oysters over a bowl using a strainer.  Reserve liquor. 

     While Oysters are draining, crush enough Buttery Crackers or Saltines (or a mixture) to equal 2 cups of crumbs.  Set aside. 

     Cook Celery in 1 TBSP of the butter for 2 minutes or until soft.  Remove from heat.  Add Worcestershire, Pepper, ¼ cup Oyster Liquor, and Milk. Stir to blend.  Pour over Crushed Crackers and Stir until combined. 

    In 8” or 9” casserole, grease with butter. I like to cut the drained Oysters in half to ensure a good flavorful bite every time.  Spread one third of Cracker Mixture in the bottom.  Add half the Oysters on top.  Add another third of Cracker mixture on top of Oysters.  Add the last half of Oysters next.  Add the last third of Cracker mixture as the final layer. Melt the remaining Butter and pour over the top.  Sprinkle with Parsley.

     Bake covered anywhere between 325° F – 350° F for 35 – 45 min.  If it needs it, remove the cover for the last ten minutes to brown the top.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Sloppy Joes (BBQ Beef)

     Whether you’re feeding a hungry family, need a quick lunch for company, or feeding a group of always hungry teenagers. . . my Sloppy Joes are the answer!  They are so fast and easy, on the table in 25 minutes or less!  Sloppy Joes from a mix or a can never enter my house.  These are just as easy and so much better.  I’ve been making them forever.

      I love homemade not just because I know what’s in them, but because I can customize it to suit different needs.  If I’m making them for little kids, I will omit the crushed red pepper.  If I want them a bit sweeter?  I’ll add a smidge more sugar.  If I want a bit more tang?  I’ll add another teaspoon or two of vinegar.  Spicier?  More crushed pepper.  You get the idea. You can add some cheese after you’ve scooped it on a roll if anyone would like that.  How about a slice of raw onion or lettuce?  Why not?

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey

¼ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 TBSP prepared mustard

1.5 cups ketchup

½ cup water

3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp crushed red pepper (Optional)

2 TBSP brown sugar

2 TBSP white vinegar

PREPARATION:

     Brown ground meat and drain most of the grease.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve on buns, ciabatta rolls or your favorite bread.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Walnut Roca, Toffee topped with Chocolate and Nuts

Walnut Roca, by Chew Wanna Eat?

     Of all the Christmas candy I make, I have to say that this was the favorite and makes a wonderful, impressive gift. It’s my version of the famous Almond Roca.  I made it with walnuts, and it was outstanding.  After all, what’s not to like about sweat buttery toffee topped with rich chocolate and walnuts?  Don’t worry, it’s very easy.  You MUST have a candy thermometer because the temperature of the toffee is extremely important. Best of all?  It makes over 2 lbs of candy. 

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups coarsely-chopped almonds, divided (Or pecans or walnuts)

16 oz. (2 ½ cups) Domino’s light brown sugar

1 lb. butter (4 sticks)

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ¾ cups milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

PREPARATION: 

Line an 18” x 13” half sheet with Parchment paper. Sprinkle ¾ cup chopped nuts. Set aside.

In a 2 qt. sauce pan, combine sugar and butter over medium/low heat while stirring frequently for several minutes unit bubbly and thick. As it cooks, you will begin to see the mixture foaming on the top.  Just like when you clarify butter, the milk solids are rising.  Use a candy thermometer, and do not let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan or you will get a false high reading.  (Once it reaches about 245° F, you will begin to notice the aroma.  Heavenly).  The color will begin to change to a rich amber and by the time it is finished, will be a golden brown). At 290° F remove from heat. Watch carefully toward the end to prevent it from burning. 

Add the vanilla, stirring to combine.  Pour candy evenly on top of the nuts on the cookie sheet. Let stand for a few minutes.

Melt good quality chocolate chips in microwave with a scant tsp of canola oil.  If you microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment, you will end up with perfectly smooth melted chocolate.

Spoon the melted chocolate over the toffee layer, add the remaining nuts, and press lightly into the warm chocolate.

Allow to set up for a few hours.  Break into random-sized pieces using the tip of a sharp knife.  Eat a piece and prepare to say, “Oh my goodness!”

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Roast Beef & All the Fixin’s (Instant Pot or slow cooker)

    There is almost nothing better than a thick, tender beef roast with all the fixings.  I’m talking tender Beef, Carrots, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Onions, and a delicious deep brown Gravy.  Talk about comfort food!  This recipe is designed for a Pressure Cooker, but feel free to use your Slow Cooker. 

INGREDIENTS:

3 – 4 lb Beef Roast

Drizzle of Olive Oil

½ can of Beef Broth

¾ cup Red Wine

1 TBSP Tomato Paste

4 large Potatoes, cut in half, then quartered

Fresh Carrots, Peeled, but left whole

1 TBSP Garlic, chopped

2 Large Onions, peeled and cut in half

2 cups Mushrooms, sliced

Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, ½ tsp dried Thyme, ½ tsp dried Rosemary leaves

PREPARATION:

     Set your Instant Pot on Sauté. Drizzle a little Olive Oil in the bottom.  When hot, sear your Roast on all sides.  I add a little Pepper every time I turn it.  When all sides are seared, remove the Roast to a paper plate.  Deglaze the Instant Pot with a little bit of Beef Broth and Red Wine.  Just a few TBSP of each will do the trick.  Scrape up all the bits.

    Add the Tomato Paste.  Return the Roast to the pot.  Pour the Beef Broth and Red Wine over the Roast, and then lay the Garlic on top.  Add the Seasonings. Close and lock the lid.  Press Off.  Press Manual.  Using the + button, set the timer for 50 minutes on Pressure Cook.  The pot will say On.  Once it reheats to Pressure Cook temp it will show 50 minutes.  When time is up, use Quick Release method by turning the pressure valve to the left.  Be careful not to let the steam burn your hand.  When steam has stopped, and it is no longer hissing remove the cover.

     On top of the Roast, add Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, and Mushrooms.  While the cover is off the pot will begin to cool, so don’t be dilly dallying.  Throw them in there and replace the lid.  Press Off.  Press Manual.  Using the + button, set it to 10 minutes on Pressure Cook setting.  You won’t believe it, but in 10 minutes, that big pile of vegetables will be perfectly cooked.

     Prepare your gravy thickener.  Approximately 1 cup of water, a few TBSP of Corn Starch and roughly 1/3 cup of AP flour.  I also added a few shakes of Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Pepper, Stir until smooth.  Set aside.

     Again, use the Quick Release method to remove the cover.  Place the Roast on a cutting board and cover with Aluminum Foil.  With a slotted spoon remove all the Vegetables to a serving platter.  Cover with Aluminum Foil.

     Press Off.  Press Sauté. Add your gravy thickener mixture to the juices, stirring with a whisk.  This pot makes the fastest gravy!  I used to stand there and stir for a longtime.  Now in 5 minutes, the gravy is thickened! 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Blueberry Banana Bread

     The flavors of Banana, Blueberries, and Cinnamon come shining through in this quick and super easy banana bread recipe.  Replacing white flour with half wheat flour, adding healthy blueberries gives you extra flavor and nutrients.  A quick sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar on top before baking gives a wonderful crunchy top crust .

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS Two 4 ½” X 9” PANS.  (One to eat and one to freeze or Share)

1 ½ cups mashed over-ripe bananas (about 3 large)

1/3 cup + 1 TBSP sugar

½ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup shortening

3 eggs

¼ cup buttermilk (or 3 ½ tsp Milk and ½ tsp White Vinegar)

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 – ½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup AP flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup Blueberries

Cinnamon/sugar mix to coat baking pan and extra for sprinkling on top of loaf.

 1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:  This is a quick bread and only takes a few minutes to prepare batter.  Preheat oven to 350* soon after beginning the recipe.  Mix the Cinnamon/Sugar mixture and set aside.  Make the Buttermilk, and set aside.  Coat the Blueberries in a few TBSP flour to keep them from sinking.  Set aside.

Beat bananas in mixer bowl.  A few lumps are ok.  Put into a 1 cup measure and set aside. 

In the same mixer bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat well.  Add buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat well.  Add bananas and mix until incorporated.

Add flours last and mix until just blended.  Over mixing will not give the best results.  Remember this is a quick bread.  Add Blueberries.  Fold in quickly.  I like to grease the loaf pan with butter.  Something new I’ve been doing is to sprinkle some cinnamon sugar in the loaf pan after greasing it.  The results are a slightly crunchy exterior.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 45-60 minutes.  Use toothpick test for doneness

Cool 10 minutes and turn out on rack to finish cooling.

NOTE:  Using this recipe, you can make mini-muffins, regular muffins, mini bundt breads, etc.

Bananas are freezable right in their skins.  If I don’t eat all mine, I throw them in a bag and pop them in the freezer and they are so handy to have when I want to make banana bread.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018