September 20, 2011

Treats for my Peeps

I know it's only Tuesday but my mind keeps traveling to Friday. I'm sure you're thinking "duh, whose isn't?" However, this Friday is special: my friend Brittny and I are celebrating our 26th birthdays! Her birthday is actually on Friday and mine is the next day, but since I have to work all day on my birthday (yaaay...) we decided to throw a party on Friday at my place. Brittny and I lived together our junior year at Ohio University (also known as the #1 party school in the Nation...although I probably shouldn't be so proud of that), along with our other friend Katie (I'm the Maid of Honor in her wedding next year!) and we all celebrated our 21st birthdays together five loooong years ago as Katie's birthday is one day after mine, September 25th. Katie has to attend a wedding this weekend so she can't join in the festivities. I'm sure we'll make her proud though! :)

Brittny, me, and Katie celebrating our 21st
 I always get a little bit of anxiety knowing I'll have to "entertain" guests. It's no big deal, and none of our guests really expect anything fancy or out of control, but I still like to make my guests feel warm and comfortable. I also like to have tasty treats because no party is complete without food! I've been thinking about what I can make that will be able to sit out for long periods of time so people can eat whenever they feel like it. I've decided on a few options that are easy, inexpensive, and should taste delicious.

I'm definitely going to make the corn and black bean salsa I made a few weeks ago. I usually make a fan favorite buffalo chicken dip (it's my specialty) for events such as these but I feel like I make it alllll the time and I want to add some variety. However, I'll probably end up making it just because it is SO GOOD. And easy. AND GOOD.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 2 10oz cans chicken, shredded
  • 3/4 c hot sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot Buffalo)
  • 2 blocks cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 c ranch (I use reduced fat. I've tried using fat free but it makes the dip taste weird in my opinion.)
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese (I use finely shredded because it melts easier)
  • Tortilla chips for dipping
  • Combine chicken and hot sauce in saucepan over medium heat. Once heated through, add cream cheese and ranch dressing. Mix until smooth. Mix in shredded cheese until dip is melted and smooth. I usually add about 1/2 cup at a time to make sure it's melted all the way through.
At this point, you can transfer the dip to a 9x13 baking pan and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. I used to do it this way and I would sprinkle shredded cheese on top so it would come out of the oven with a crispy top. However, I now transfer the dip to the crockpot and put it on the "keep warm" setting so it doesn't burn. I like using the crockpot because it keeps the dip hot for a long period of time and it makes the chicken tender the longer it sits. Either way it's fabulous.

If I were pulling a Fat Mac, Buffalo Chicken Dip (aka BCD) would def be on my list of foods to eat to gain weight. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is one of the things that made me gain so much weight my senior year of college. I'm embarrassed to admit that I would literally make it at least once a week and eat it as two or three meals for the day. It used to be a trigger food for me but I've gotten control of that big time. I think I ate it so much that now, when I eat too much of it, it makes me sick. It also gives me crazy heartburn and I think knowing how sick I will feel after eating too much has helped me control my cravings for it. Nevertheless, this dip is hella good! Just typing the recipe makes my mouth water (but not too much)!

Of course no party is complete without some sort of sweet treat, especially a joint birthday party, so I'm going to make peanut butter rice krispy treats with m&m's. I stumbled upon Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and I absolutely love her blog. She is hilarious; I only hope for my blog to make other people laugh as much as this woman's blog makes me laugh. And she has some kick butt recipes on here! I'm def going to make other things from her website for future parties!

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats with m&m's

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1 10oz package of marshmallows
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 5 cups rice krispies
  • 1 1/2 cups m&m's
  • Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside
  • Heat the butter in a large nonstick saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir in the peanut butter. Add the marshmallows and continue cooking, stirring until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove pan from the heat and add the cereal and m&m's. Stir until well mixed.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Cool completely until set, about 20 minutes.

Last but not least, my good friend puppy chow will be making an appearance! Let the games begin!

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