Sunday, April 6, 2014

Creamy Cheesy Corn Dip

Yummmm.  I am always looking for different dips to make for get togethers.  My go to favorite is my own tried and true Crack Dip that has feta, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, and dill.  It is magical and I am sure you are tired of hearing me rave about how awesome it is.  My other favorite--that is now a favorite post on the blog--is The Jalapeno Popper Dip.  I wanted to expand the list of easy-but-crowd-pleaser dips and came upon this Inspired By Charm Corn Dip on Pinterest.  Winner!

It's creamy, cheesy, crunchy, and flavor-packed!  I love that it is versatile with spices, add-ins, and more.  My favorite part of the whole dish was the corn because of the subtle hint of sweetness it added.  Also, we all determined that the dip got better with age as the spices all married together.  We served it cold, but the resounding consensus was that it would be great hot too.

Overall, this is definitely a dip that will be making many an appearance at many BBQs, sports get togethers, and more.  Super tasty.

Creamy Cheesy Corn Dip:
Adapted from this recipe.
  • 3 (11 ounce) cans of sweet corn and diced peppers, drained
  • 1 (7 ounce can) of chopped green chilis, drained
  • 2 (4 ounce cans) of chopped jalapeno peppers, drained
  • 5 or 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 heaping cup of light sour cream
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • a dash of cayenne
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican blend
  • (a dollop or two of softened cream cheese would be great too)
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Cool and let sit for two hours or more (over night is best!)
  3. Serve with tortilla chips or cut up sourdough bread.  Also cut up veggies are great!
  4. ENJOY!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Holy moley guacamole, Batman!  Ok, not guacamole, but holy moley buffalo chicken just doesn't have the same ring to it.  Seriously though, if you want to impress your friends with a jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, Super Bowl winning appetizer, these bites are for you.  Since the Seahawks were headed to The Big Game with a great chance of winning (hooray they did!), I knew that I had to make an appetizer that would live up to the occasion.  I also wanted to make something to complement the ever amazing pretzel bites and the world's most incredible jalapeno popper dip.  The combination of the three is of epic proportions.  Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Pete Carroll, Marshawn Lynch, Earl Thomas and the rest of the winning team would be proud.  

These bites combine the best of all game day (and frankly taste bud pleasing) requirements--crunchy, cheesy, creamy, spicy, flavor packed, and bite-sized.  What more can you ask for?  Nothing, you're right.

Fast forward two months...I have been trying to publish this post since Superbowl Sunday.  It is now April 5th and I am watching the Final Four, not the Super Bowl.  I have been waiting for the words to come to me convey just how incredibly mind-blowing these little bites are.  Clearly the words are not coming to me, so you are just going to have to take my word for it and make them.  They are that good.

Buffalo Chicken Bites:
Closely adapted from this recipe.
  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cooked then shredded (let cool)
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot
  • a tablespoonish of Tapatio (next time I think I'll use a green sauce or jalapeno something or other)
  • a generous 4 ounces of 1/3 the fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green onions
  • a solid dash of garlic powder
  • about a tablespoon of chili powder
  • a dash of cayenne
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • between 2 and 4 cups of crushed corn flakes
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked shredded chicken with the cream cheese, hot sauces, cheese, green onions, and spices.  
  3. Taste and adjust spices if you'd like.
  4. Roll the mixture into tablespoon sized balls (about an inch or inch an a quarter in diameter) and set on a plate.
  5. Put the flour, beaten eggs, and crushed corn flakes in three separate bowls.
  6. Dip each ball in the following order:  flour, eggs, corn flakes.
  7. Place the balls as you prepare them on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. ENJOY!  And may the best team win.

Monday, February 17, 2014

White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Dream Bars

Who doesn't love those chocolate coconut seven layer bars?  Well, if you like those, then you will love these dream bars--white chocolate, dried cranberries, coconut, a oat-y and crunchy crust all bound together with sweet gooeyness.   Although they are sweet, they aren't over-the-top-so-you-make-a-dentist-appointment-after-eating-one sweet.  The dried cranberries provide some tartness in just the perfect amount.  I also love the crunchy crust on the both the top and bottom.  

I have been making these for years and they are always a crowd favorite.  I also love them because they are quick and easy to make--they would be the perfect dish for kids to help!  They are wonderfully versatile too--I have taken them to summer BBQs (they are really good straight out of the fridge) and have also taken them to festive holiday parties in the winter.

These little bars certainly are a dream.  I hope you think so too!! 

White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Dream Bars:

For the Crust...
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling...
  • 1 1/2 heaping cups dried cranberries 
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1ish heaping cups of pecan halves
  • 1ish cups of flaked coconut  
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick tinfoil.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt and baking soda. 
  3. Add in the granulated sugar and the brown sugar.  Mix until no clumps remain. 
  4. Add in the melted butter and vanilla.  Stir until evenly moistened.  
  5. Gently press a little more than half of the mixture into lined baking pan.
  6. In another mixing bowl, combine the cranberries, white chocolate chips, and pecans.  Stir well, then pour over the crust in the baking pan.
  7. Sprinkle the flaked coconut evenly on top.
  8. Next sprinkle the rest of the oat crust on top.
  9. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk all over the top of the bars.  Try to pour evenly, but it will spread when baking, so it isn't a major concern.  (It is too sticky to try to spread with a spatula.)
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or so, or until your crust on top is lightly golden brown.  (You'll want to check it starting at about 20 minutes.)
  11. Let cool completely before cutting. 
  12. ENJOY!