Slutty Game Food, Episode 4: Cara’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

My best friend Cara makes theeeeee best buffalo chicken dip.

I’m sure there are a million ways to make buffalo chicken dip and I, myself, have only ever had two in my life, but I can assure you this one is amaaaaze.

I remember the first time I had it – if my memory serves me correctly – she made it for my going away party at our old job.  She brought it in and had been hyping it up so much and then I tried it and I was like ohhh.  OHHHH.  Yah totally lives up to the hype.

I think I even told her she should make it into a lasagna or stuffed shells or something.

See?  It looks like good stuffed shell filling.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I didn’t have to beg her very hard to get her recipe.  And truthfully, I don’t know how different this recipe is than all the other recipes out there, but I do think this one is more about the method and layering, than it is about the ingredients.

Of course when I made it, I was so excited that I was going to get to eat it that I actually screwed up the top layer.  I stuck it in the oven without a layer of blue cheese dressing where it was supposed to be.  So I pulled it out of the oven real quick and poured the dressing on top of the cheese, thinking eh, it’s all gonna melt together anyway.

Haha.  It didn’t.  When it was almost done I had to take it out and try to stir it up a little bit so that it looked prettier, but I think my mess up actually made for a yummier-looking picture.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

What’s more game-foody than buffalo chicken ANYTHING?  Put this dip out and watch it disappear.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serves: 8-10 people
Time: 3 1/2 hours (if you poach chicken like I do – see notes); be sure to put your cream cheese out several hours beforehand

Ingredients
1 brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 pound chicken breasts, poached and then shredded
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese, or 2 to 2 1/2 cups freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, divided
1 bottle Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce
1 small bottle (8oz) Kraft Roka Blue Cheese dressing

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Layer this bad boy: In the bottom of a pie plate or square casserole dish, spread the softened cream cheese. Then lay on some of the shredded chicken. Then pour on some of the buffalo wing sauce. Then pour on some of the blue cheese dressing. Then sprinkle on some of the blue cheese crumbles. And finally, sprinkle on some of the shredded cheese. (There is no science or measurement to this, just do what you think looks good to you.) Repeat all layers until done.

3. Bake this bad boy: Put the dip into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly.

**NOTES**
1. You may not use all of the Frank’s or all of the blue cheese dressing. Whether or not you use all of your ingredients could very well depend on the size of your dish and how much heat you like.
2. I am lazy so I take the lazy route when poaching chicken: Put chicken breasts into a single layer in a crockpot. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Cover with water or chicken stock, and cook on low for 1 hour 30 minutes. I poach chicken in large quantities this way and shred it, then freeze it till I need it.

Slutty Game Food, Episode 3: Guacamole

I have a confession to make.

Until about 5 years ago, I totally hated guacamole.

I know.  Can you forgive me?

Interestingly enough, what changed my mind was going to Mexico.  We went to Cozumel for Aaron’s 30th birthday, to a beautiful all-inclusive resort, where I felt like hey, if I don’t like it, at least I didn’t pay for it.  So I tried a few new things there, one of them being guacamole.  And I felt like my mind was changed with just one bite – if this is what guacamole tasted like back in Philly, I’d order it all the time!

But we were too scared to try any guacs back in Philly.  Let’s be honest.  Philly is not known for its Mexican food, let alone guacamole.  We both thought it was gross.

Fast forward a few years to when we tried Distrito for the first time.  We were feeling adventurous.  So we ordered the guac.  And again.  My mind was changed about guacamole! Jose Garces can do no wrong.  Seriously.

On a side note, I love Distrito.  If you ever get to Philly, it should be restaurant numero uno on your list of places to eat at.

So back to the guac.  Distrito puts a lovely little snowfall of shredded Cotija cheese on top – it’s like icing on cake.  So nomzy.  And the guac is so creamy, a little bit chunky, lots of fresh citrusy lime flavor – ugh my mouth is watering now just thinking about it.

Guacamole

I set out on a mission to find a guac recipe that most closely resembles that of Distrito, and I think I found it.  I have modified this recipe from Truly Mexican – a fantastic cookbook if you are looking for a good Mexican cookbook – to make it more like Distrito’s guacamole.  It gets rave reviews every time I make it.

And what is better game food than chips and guac‼  Enjoy!

Guacamole
Servings: 4-6
Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup diced white onion, diced fine
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 big handful of cilantro, minced
Juice from 1-3 limes
2-3 tablespoons finely shredded Cotija cheese
Kosher salt

Directions
1. Make onion-pepper-cilantro mash: If you have a molcajete, add the onion, serrano pepper, a few pinches of cilantro, and a few pinches of kosher salt to the bowl. (If you don’t have one, pile everything up onto your cutting board and use a fork to mash it all together.) Mash everything together until it’s combined well. The salt will help to break down the vegetables and soften them, so add more salt as needed to get everything mashed together nicely.

2. Prepare the avocados: First, slice a lime in half, and squeeze the juice of one half into the bowl you will be mixing your guacamole in. Using the flesh of the squished lime, rub the juice around the sides of the bowl as well. Next, slice an avocado in half lengthwise, cutting around the pit, and twist the halves apart. Pop the pit out (there are many ways to do this, but I am a fan of sticking the point of my knife between the pit and the flesh and popping it out), and slice cross hatches into the avocado. Using a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into your lime-juiced bowl. Toss the cubes around to get a light coating of lime juice. Repeat with the other avocado.

3. Make the guac: Using a fork, pastry cutter (I find this works best), or hand-held potato masher, beat up the avocado cubes until they turn into a dip-like consistency. Add the mashed onion-pepper-cilantro mix, and the juice from the other half of the lime in step 2. Add another pinch of salt and mix well until combined. Add more cilantro as desired, and more lime juice as desired. I typically end up using a lot of lime juice (from 2 limes total) and a lot of cilantro (probably about half of a bunch, minced).

4. Finish the guac: Scoop the guac into a serving bowl and top with shredded Cotija cheese. Serve with tortilla chips of course!

5. Storing the guac: If you are not serving it right away, leave the cheese off until ready to serve. For storing: If you can’t store it in the same bowl you mixed it in, then slice another lime in half, squeeze the juice into the storage bowl, and use the flesh of the squeezed half to rub the lime juice around the bowl. Scoop the guacamole into the storage bowl and press down with a spatula or back of a spoon to squeeze out any air bubbles. Squeeze a little more lime juice on top of the guac. Take a piece of plastic wrap and press it directly on top of the guacamole, sealing out all the air. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

**NOTES**
1. If you have never cut/peeled/pitted an avocado before, please do some Googling and YouTubing to see the process beforehand. Avocados can be slippery, and slippery + sharp knives isn’t always a safe combination. Also you don’t want to get an avocado pit stuck on your chef’s knife (like I once did).
2. One serrano pepper will make a pretty mild guacamole, depending on how big it is. I usually look for big serranos, and use two, for a medium-heat guacamole.

Slutty Game Food, Episode 2: Bread Dip

You guys, this is the greatest dip ever known to man.  I’d put my life on it.

When I was a kid, my dad was into politics, and my mom was forever hosting campaign-or-something-related events at our house.  All us kids had to hide upstairs while they had all these important people over till all hours of the night.  This is one of the things my mom would make for every event.

I don’t even know where this recipe came from – whose it is, is it my mom’s? – or how I even came to try it and like it.  (I have a very clear memory of this dip sitting on a side table in our family room and me sneaking a few bites before people arrived and having to hide upstairs for the rest of the evening.)  It’s totally something I would have stuck my nose up at as a kid.  But at some point, bread dip entered my life, and ever since, it has been a part of so many events, parties, and gatherings, that now all my friends and family know what it is and get excited if I say I’m making it for something.

Bread Dip

My bachelorette party was really just a big sleepover with my sisters and my best friend.  And bread dip.
Like every New Year’s Eve in my adult life – we eat bread dip.
My sister who is the pickiest eater ever even likes it, and makes it for HER gatherings.
When I was pregnant I went through a period where I craved it and ate it for dinner four nights in one week.

Trust me when I say that this will be the fastest disappearing dip at any party or event you host!

Bread Dip

(Check the steam coming off of that dip!  That’s because when it comes out of then oven you will legit risk burning your mouth to get that first bite.)

The kicker is that it’s so simple – there is absolutely nothing complicated about it.  The only thing that sucks about it is that it takes like forever to bake, so plan ahead.  But I promise you it’s worth it.  Every second is worth it.

Here's a lovely picture my daughter took. For the record, after shooting my pictures, I dove in and ate almost all of the dip. Myself.
Here’s a lovely picture my daughter took. For the record, after shooting my pictures, I dove in and ate almost all of the dip. Myself.
Bread Dip
Serves: However many people you feel like sharing it with. There is no shame in this entire recipe being a single serving size. Well, I won’t judge you anyway.
Time: 2 hours tops; make sure you set your cream cheese out to come to room temperature a few hours beforehand

Ingredients
1 round, unsliced loaf of sourdough, rye, or pumpernickel bread
1 small baguette
1 brick full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1/2 cup thick and chunky hot salsa
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Do the bread: Cut the top off the round loaf of bread and set aside, and then dig out the insides to make a bowl. Rip the insides of the bread into bite-sized pieces. Slice the baguette into rounds, and slice the rounds into halves. Lay all of the bread onto a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and dump into a bowl for later consumption.

3. Do the dip: Change your oven temp to 450 degrees F. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and salsa with a hand mixer until well-combined. Mix in shredded cheddar cheese until well-combined. Pour into the bread bowl, and put the bread lid back on the bowl. Wrap the bread bowl well in aluminum foil. I usually wrap once from under the bread bowl, and once from the top of the bread bowl. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. (I know, sorry! That’s a long time. You’ll be ok. Go run around the block until it’s done and then you won’t feel so bad about eating the whole thing.)

4. Eat the dip: When it’s done, remove it from the oven and unwrap the foil. Take the lid off and stir it together. It will be piping hot but you will probably want to take a bite anyway. Serve on a platter with the toasted bread and take a selfie of your face the first time you take a bite. Tag me on Instagram @sluttyfoodblog and tell me it’s the best dip ever.

NOTES
1. Please do yourself a favor and use full-fat dairy when making this dip. This is not the time to cut fat and calories. I typically use Philadelphia cream cheese (IS THERE ANY OTHER KIND?!) and Daisy sour cream because it’s extra thick and delicious.
2. Hot salsa is a necessity. I love spice and can’t handle hot salsa myself, but hot salsa is what makes this dip not so bland. It’s also important to use a thick and chunky brand. I typically use Chi Chi’s.

Slutty Game Food, Episode 1: Bagel Chip Dip

Are you guys ready for the big game?  I get excited for football season in the fall because it means I can make game food on Sundays.  I care much more about the food than about the game.  Usually.  Our Eagles aren’t the best.  But in recent years I have become more interested in football.  It’s to the point now where I am in the same room as the TV the game is on, semi-paying attention, catching the important plays, startling when my husband freaks out and screams at the TV.  Before I would hide in another room till it was all over.  His yelling can be scary!  Half the time I can’t tell if he’s happy with what just happened or not, with all the curse words and force that boom from his lungs.  But hey.  He’s passionate, and the game is where the food is.  So that’s where I am!

That’s kind of how I am with sports.  I love going to basketball games – for stadium food.  Same thing with baseball games.  We have really good stadium food here in Philly.  But it’s more about the food than the game.  I have gone to Phillies games before and spent more time out of my seat eating or in search of food, than I have in my seat watching the game.  It’s like I bought a ticket to go eat.

But anyway.  I usually like the Super Bowl, because a) game food (duh), and b) FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER which means WARM WEATHER and my birthday ARE ALMOST HERE‼

Bagel Chip Dip would be a great addition to your Super Bowl spread.  For one thing, it’s highly addicting.  Also, you can make it the day before because the longer it sits in the fridge, the more amazingly delicious it gets.  Creamy, garlicky, tangy.  And paired with a salty, crispy little bagel chip?  Uh, divinity.

Bagel Chip Dip

Bagel Chip Dip

Bagel Chip Dip
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
Takes about an hour and a half total to make; be sure to set your cream cheese out several hours ahead of time

Ingredients
1 head garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brick of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup milk
4-6 scallions sliced, white parts included
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Bagel chips for dipping

Directions
1. Set cream cheese out several hours before making this dip. I usually let mine sit out overnight.

2. Roast garlic: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Take a large sheet of aluminum foil (about a foot long) and place the garlic halves cut-side up on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Fold the edges of the foil up to make a pouch. Be sure to fold corners and seams upwards so the oil doesn’t drip out into your oven. Roast in the oven until tender, for 45 minutes. Let cool so you can handle it.

3. Make the dip: With a regular knife (as in, not a sharp steak knife, but a blunt normal knife), dig the cloves out of their skins and drop them into a food processor. Be sure to use all of the garlic, even the cloves that are darker than others. And use the garlic from both halves of the head! Add the cream cheese and the milk to the food processor, along with some salt and black pepper to your taste. Puree until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary and continue pureeing.

4. Finish the dip: Transfer the dip to a small mixing bowl, and fold in the sliced scallions. Reserve some scallions to garnish the top of the dip. Eat immediately, or cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it. Personally I prefer this dip cold. A bagel chip can hold up to this dip while cold.

Pinch of Yum Nachos

Pinch of Yum Nachos

As my first blog post, I think it’s only right that I post a recipe that was inspired by the blog that inspired me to start this blog!  (Did you catch that?)

Pinch of Yum is one of my favorite food blogs.  Without even knowing it, I had a bunch of her recipes already pinned on Pinterest.  You know the good ol’ Pinterest motto, PIN NOW READ LATER! except I hardly ever really READ LATER, mostly I’m just constantly looking for new slutty food pics to add to my collection.  Anyway, one day, I was combing through my food board looking for something new to make and I came across her recipe for Healthy Mexican Casserole with Roasted Corn and Peppers.  I read the blog post and it made me laugh.  Like, a lot.  Because part of her blog post was about memes and I have a similar, weird obsession with memes (especially the ERMAHGERD girl and the ermahgerd pet memes that followed) and as I was reading, I was thinking YES I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE!  Also, she said she was inspired to create this recipe by my favorite frozen bowl by Amy’s.  So it was kind of a no-brainer.  I had to try this recipe.

The night I made it, I was so inspired by the technique of dry-roasting the veggies.  I had never heard of this technique before.  I love fajitas – but one of my complaints is that often, the veggies get too oily or never really seem to get charred.  They just kind of get limp and eh.  So as I was roasting away, I was all turned on at the idea of truly charred veggies without having to hold them over an open flame and peel the skin off and blah.  I was already in love.  Then I finished up the recipe and served it to my husband who said – literally – “This is good.  THIS is GOOD.  THIS IS GOOD.”  I totes agreed with him and was soooo excited to eat the leftovers at work the next day.

So the next day I had a particularly rough day at work.  Work sucked.  Balls.  But I got to lunch time and I was giddy at the thought of nomzing on this casserole.  As I sat at my desk to eat, I decided to peruse the rest of Pinch of Yum.  Not only did I find a bunch of recipes that looked familiar from my Pinterest board, but her blog posts are really funny.  And Lindsay is really likeable and I’m sure we’d be friends in real life.  I think I spent the rest of the afternoon reading her blog and getting inspired to start my own food blog.  (I even emailed her with tons of fangirl praise and she totally emailed me back and I was fangirling all over the place at work.)  The wheels started turning in my head, about all the food I make and all the food I love.  And I started thinking about how if I was going to be a food blogger, then I’d have to be creative and start coming up with some recipes on my own, like all the time.  And I started thinking about all the recipes I love and how could I change them up to make them mine and how could I get creative with ingredients and the very first answer was staring me right in the face.

I loved this roasted veggie casserole so so much.  Therefore, I must find a way to make it into nachos, naturally.  Because nachos are like the perfectest food ever and I am kind of a nacho queen and wouldn’t it be great to have more nacho recipes in my back pocket???

Guess what I made shortly thereafter?

Pinch of Yum Nachos

Pinch of Yum Nachos

These nachos.  Theeeeese nachos are like oh my gosh.  They might even be healthy.  Maybe?  Right?  Well they say to eat your colors and they also say to eat your veggies and I think when you eat these nachos you will feel like you met the FDA requirements of color and veggie intake for the day.  Seriously it’s like a whole food pyramid right there on the tray.  So feel good when you eat these.  Everything is homemade and therefore healthy.  In my book anyway.

By the way, can I just get a high five for resisting these nachos long enough to take pictures of them?  Kthx.


Pinch of Yum Nachos
Servings: 4-6 (depends on how much you feel like sharing)

Nacho Base
Tortilla chips
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1/4 of a red onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 can refried black beans
Chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder), to taste
Cumin, to taste

Nacho Toppings
2 scallions, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
Pickled jalapenos (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Nacho Cheese Sauce
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 tablespoons chipotle Tabasco (or regular Tabasco, or any hot sauce you prefer), or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Start by making your Cheese Sauce: Warm milk in the microwave for 2 minutes. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in the flour. Let the flour bubble and cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk, and whisk continuously until you feel it thicken. Once it starts to thicken, turn your heat down to low. Whisk in the cheddar cheese. When all the cheese has melted, whisk in the hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Taste as you go. This cheese sauce can take a lot of hot sauce, it will depend on your preference. Keep on low heat until you are ready to assemble your nachos.

3. Roast your Nacho Base veggies: You will have to do this in batches. Heat a good non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. (I do not use oil for this; however, if you are scared of ruining your nonstick pan, use a little bit of oil to barely coat the skillet.) Add enough of the veggies to form a single layer in the skillet, and sprinkle them with chipotle chili powder and cumin. Let them sit and sizzle for a couple of minutes to develop a nice char, then stir them around. Let them rest again to develop more delicious char. Repeat stirring and resting until you are satisfied with the char on your veggies. When done, pour into a bowl and season with a little salt. Repeat the whole process until you are out of veggies. Keep the bowl in a warm place (I like to keep it on my stovetop towards the back).

4. Warm your refried beans: Scoop refried beans into a pan and heat over medium-low heat until warm. They should be easy to stir and not too stiff.

5. Warm your tortilla chips: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour tortilla chips onto the baking sheet and arrange into a single layer. Pop into the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, until warm and crisp.

6. Assemble the best nachos ever: Build your nachos to your preference, or, build them as I do. Start by dropping dollops of refried black beans all around the chips until satisfied. Then pour your nomzy cheese sauce all over the place. Then goes the roasted veggies. Then all your toppings – tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and sour cream. (Don’t skimp on the sour cream. It’s heaven.)

**NOTE**  Nachos are totally customizable.  If there is anything in this recipe that you aren’t jazzed about, take it out, swap it with something else, or add whatever strikes your fancy.  This is the combination of flavors I have come to salivate for, but feel free to use your own creative juices and really make these nachos your own.