Friday, January 24, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is famous at work so I made it for Guy's Night at our house.   It was really addictive and went well with Tostitos Scoops or carrot and celery sticks.

Thanks, Claire Robinson and LT, the nurse who brings it in for the nurses.  Perfect Game Day food!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank's)
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Crackers, bread or carrot sticks, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, melt the cream cheese until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, hot sauce and chicken and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese on top. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Serve with crackers, bread or carrot sticks.

What Makes This Recipe Really Sing: This has all the great flavors of Buffalo chicken wings without all the fat of the chicken skin and oil. Want to make it lighter? Feel free to use light cream cheese.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


V loves breakfast foods. When I'm home in the morning with her I'll try and make breakfast more interesting than cereal and milk.  Today she wanted pancakes, and this recipe is my go-to for easy pancakes that don't require ingredients not normally in my pantry.

Dakota Kelly, thanks for posting this on Allrecipes!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tbsp butter, melted

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
I used coconut oil in my frying pan and it worked pretty well. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oven-Fried Pork Chops

I was going to make pork chops with bread crumbs and then found out that my bread crumbs were way past their prime.  Challenge accepted!  I found this recipe to replace it, which uses stuffing mix to bread the pork chops instead of bread crumbs.

This works better with thicker pork chops (probably 3/4 to 1 inch).  My daughter devoured this, which was a huge victory for me.

Thanks to Rachel Hacker for posting this on Allrecipes!

Oven Fried Pork Chops


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yellow Cake and Dairy-Free Frosting

My daughter turned 2 in November.   She demands cake every other day so why should her birthday be any different?  I was happy to make her a cake but I didn't want to make the same mistake as last time: giving my dairy-allergic baby frosting with milk in it.  Let's just say we stopped taking pictures after cake time.

I was going to do myself a favor and make it from a boxed mix again. (Last year I did this with white cake mix but I made it more complicated by making a rainbow cake.  To my credit I baked it a week or two before and froze it.  I highly recommend this!) Unfortunately I ran out of cake mix!  Fortunately I had the internet to the rescue.

The Kitchn had a yellow cake recipe that tasted great AND was just as easy as a box mix.  Thank you, Faith Durand and the Kitchn!

The frosting was super-easy and also delicious.  Not great if you're not a coconut fan though.  My friend was surprised at how good the cake was cuz it looked so pedestrian.  I was not surprised that none of the cake was left after I went to put my daughter to sleep.  V ate two pieces by herself.

Basic Butter Yellow Cake
makes one 9x13 or two 9-inch cakes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Take the butter out of the fridge to soften and preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare one 9x13-inch pan or two 9-inch round pans by greasing them thoroughly with butter or baking spray. You can also flour them, if you want, although this isn't strictly necessary. Sprinkle a little flour over them, tilt and shake to distribute evenly, then tap out the excess over the sink.

Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy and light, then add the eggs and beat until fully incorporated and light. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, and finally the milk and vanilla. Beat everything together on low for 30 seconds, then high for 3 minutes.
Immediately pour into the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back slightly when pressed.
Let cool on wire racks for at least 15 minutes, then flip each pan over onto the rack and tap gently all over. Lift the pan slightly. If the cake doesn't feel like it's falling out smoothly, lay a slightly damp kitchen towel over the pan and tap again. If necessary, let the cakes cool more. If they have been baked thoroughly, however, they should fall right out of the pans once they've cooled a little and the sides of the cake have shrunk back from the pan.
Cool completely then frost and eat!

1/4 cup unrefined (virgin) coconut oil
16 oz powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons coconut or soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
This is much easier with a hand blender, but you can definitely do it with a whisk - and build some muscles! It's also best if you can measure out the powdered sugar with a scale. If you don't have one, feel free to just use two cups of powdered sugar and a little less soy milk. :)
"cream" the coconut oil until it breaks up and gets nice and smooth
add in 1/4 of the powdered sugar, the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of soy milk
mix together until nice and smooth
keep adding powdered sugar along with tablespoons of soy milk as needed until everything is combined - you don't want any clumps of powdered sugar or coconut oil.
frost everything in the vicinity
This frosting melts pretty easily, so make sure whatever you put it on is nice and cool. It should be enough to cover one 9x13 sheet cake. :D