Buffalo Chicken Dip…the big reveal!

Nom Nom Nom

Nom Nom Nom

 

I might be a little obsessed with appetizers.  If we go out to a restaurant, I rarely order an actual entree — sharing 10 appetizers is always so much more fun!  Give me a dip and chips, and I’m happy as a clam.

Whenever we’re invited to a party or bbq, I try to bring stuff I’ll eat; you know, just in case the hostess chose poorly or invited salad lovers.  I mean, really, who wants to be known as the “salad bringer”?

Ingredients shot, and um, go Gators!

Ingredients shot, and um, go Gators!

But this dip?  Oh em gee.  This buffalo chicken dip is hands down my most requested dish to bring to a party, and oh btw, it’s so freakin’ easy to make too.  I’ve held the recipe close to my heart for the last few years, but as I’m feeling generous today, here you go.  You’re welcome.

an artistic and edible drizzle

an artistic and edible drizzle

Ta Dah!!

Ta Dah!!

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip…the big reveal!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Hands down, the absolute BEST buffalo chicken dip around.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (or all the white meat from one rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • 2 handfuls shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread softened cream cheese on the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish (sprayed w/ PAM). Free free to use your (washed) hands for this, as cream cheese rarely likes to cooperate. Light cream cheese is perfectly fine for this, but don’t use fat free – people will notice.
  3. Chop the chicken into small pieces (or shred finely), and combine it with the melted butter and wing sauce. Feel free to add more wing sauce to taste – you want it saucy.
  4. Dump the chicken mixture on top of the cream cheese and spread into an even layer.
  5. Blob ranch dressing all over this and smoosh it around as well, getting it into all the crevices of the chicken/wing mixture.
  6. Drizzle a little more wing sauce on the top of the ranch in fun designs, because…why not?
  7. Top with 2 handfuls of shredded cheese, but don’t get too heavy-handed. You don’t want your guests breaking chips left and right from a thick layer of cheese. Use any kind of shredded cheese you’d like – my favorite is the Mexican blend, but mozzarella and cheddar are both good. Again, light or 2% cheese is fine, but don’t use fat free. It won’t melt correctly, and people will notice.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly.
  9. Let stand at least 10 minutes to avoid giving your guests blistered mouths, and serve with sturdy chips and sliced veggies. My favorites are the Tostitos Multigrain Scoops, sliced cucumbers, and celery slices.
Notes
I don’t measure the ranch dressing. I just drizzle it on in fun designs and then smooth it out. Aim for saucy but not overpowering. You can also fancy this dish up with blue cheese dressing and then top it with blue cheese crumbles, but since I think blue cheese tastes like a dusty closet, I prefer ranch dressing.

 

I dreamed a little dream.

Welp, it appears I underestimated how much the new job would wear me out.  Massive apologies for no posts in almost 3 weeks.  My bad, ya’ll.

I do have some news though!  Nope, not pregnant, and nope, we aren’t moving to Florida yet either, sorry to disappoint.  This is horsie news, ala Gigi.  Did I buy her? Nope.  Will I?  Not in this lifetime.

Turns out, she’s already sold!  Too bad I didn’t know that when I started sending Santa letters asking for her.  But at least now I can stop being angry at Old St Nick and stop wasting my time looking at sparkly browbands that would look omg so gorgeous on her.

The ironic part?  I think I forsaw this in a dream.  Wait, stay with me here, just hear me out on this.  If you’ve ever met me in person, you know I have extremely vivid dreams, and I dream a lot.  Like, a lot a lot.  After I had surgery a few years ago and was on massive amounts of Oxycodone, I had the most amazing/terrifying dreams.  I think I actually freaked my mom out in several cases.  Anywho, I had a dream (hmph, some might say a nightmare) about Gigi and how a good friend of mine (you know who you are!) STOLE HER right out from under me.  Yes, I’ll say it – it was a total nightmare.

Basically, a friend of mine rode Gigi UP the stairs into my apartment (it’s a dream, things can get wierd) and casually dropped the announcement that she’d bought Gigi since I clearly wasn’t going to…and get this, my HUSBAND was in on it too!  No one seemed to care that I was ripsh*t not ok with all this going down, except my friend’s husband, who just sat on the couch and wept because he was the only one who understood that our friendship was over.  I stomped over to my husband and was pleading with him, trying to understand why he would do this to me (I legit felt like my world was ending here….a little dramatic, yes, but again, it was a dream and I have zero control once in the dream).  His response?  He coolly lit up a cigarette (he doesn’t smoke in “real life”), and I promptly slapped him as hard as I possibly could, already planning out the divorce.

Then I woke up.

Barely two weeks later, I learned that Gigi was sold.  How’s THAT for a premonition??!!

 

I’m pooped…

This is what I'll be doing the moment I publish this post.

This is what I’ll be doing the moment I publish this post.  Puppy naps rule!

First day of new job — done!  I made it, yay!  Now I just need the longest nap ever (oh, and see above for requisite “cutest puppy ever” pic)…

I almost didn’t think I’d even make it to the new job, to be honest.  I woke up early, ready to tackle the day, and then promptly tripped on the hem of my new work pants as I was carrying them out of the closet — perfectly ripping the bottom hem out.  Good thing I conveniently pocketed that mini mending kit from the honeymoon hotel, huh? (I knew that and the shower cap would come in handy someday).

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to sew, so it took me a good 10 minutes to figure out how to thread the needle (I feel like the eye of the needle is bizarrely tiny – they aren’t all that small, are they?  Or am I going blind already?).  Plus, I didn’t have enough thread to actually hem the entire pant leg, soooo, I threw a few stiches in the front and back and then safety pinned the sides.  Sexy.  Maybe the new coworkers will think I’m crafty? (sidenote: just using the phrase “threw a few stitches” makes me feel like a total sewing badass.  Oh yeah.)

Anywho, once I finally made it to my car, I realized that only one windshield wiper was working…the passenger side one, of course.  I *could* have pulled over to scrape the ice patches off my driver’s side windshield, but I was already late, so I did the weird sideways driving where you try to peer above or to the left of whatever is directly in front of you.  Totally safe (think Jim Carrey’s driver’s side window driving ala Ace Venture, Pet Detective except I was leaning in the other direction).

Once on the highway, I discovered one aspect of my very long commute that I hadn’t thought of yet.  The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and my commute is dead east.  That means sun, in my face, the entire drive.  Sun, in my face, glittering off all the stupid shiny snow.  I could literally feel my face getting a snowburn in the front seat of my car.  Super fun.

Oh, and did I mention that my heater wasn’t working either?  After 20 minutes of telling myself “Just another minute or two, the car has to heat up first, and honestly, shivering burns calories, right?”, I finally lost my temper and beat the crap out of the dash.  By the grace of God, that worked, and the heat kicked on…just around the time I pulled off the highway, not far from my new building.

Luckily, I made it to the new job on time, in one piece, and ready to tackle the day (take 2).  I even got a snazzy new badge.  How exciting!

Ah yes, the snow. It’s officially winter.

In Massachusetts, it snows.  Shocker, I know.  The cold is annoying, but I’m a sweater, so I’d rather be a little chilly than sweating my buns off.  But the snow is just plain miserable.  The first snow I experienced up here as an official resident was magical.  I remember Christmas shopping in the mall, with holiday music playing in the background, standing in the food court watching the flakes float down.  I was mesmerized…

Until I walked outside and got hit in the face with a blob of snow snot.  In my four winters up here, I’ve learned that snow is rarely the beautiful little delicate flakes that melt upon impact.  Oh no.  It’s more like a freezing cold loogie that stings/freezes your face instantly, and it’s HEAVY when you have to shovel your way out of your own driveway, after you’ve already showered and gotten ready for work, so you commute to the office sweating like a snowbeast with sopping wet hair.  Ick.

Plus I still haven’t figured out the logistics of actually riding in the snow.  If there isn’t an indoor arena on the property, I have no idea where to ride, and since I haven’t owned or leased a horse up here during the winter, I haven’t been forced to learn the ins and outs of winter shoeing, blanketing, de-icing buckets, and how to ride without my fingers and toes freezing off (and yes, I know, the answer is to wear gloves and thick socks.  But how do you wear gloves for warmth but still keep the dexterity to ride/text? Plus, once the temperature dips down into the 20′s, plain old paddock boots + chaps won’t cut it…and I can’t justify buying winter riding boots until I actually ride more than once a month).

However, as much as I hate the snow – I think the dog hates it more.

Kinley's "Are you kidding me??!!" look.

Kinley is not amused.