#52NewEats :: Week 41 :: Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta

Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta

It is pretty much a given, that if a recipe has the word “creamy” in the title, I will be all about it.  I looooove creamy sauces and dishes.  Can’t get enough.  Creamy sauces for drowning, dousing, blanketing, dipping, smothering… are all my favoritest sauces ever.  I would eat piles of vegetables if I could drown them all in creamy sauces.

Which… maybe isn’t such a bad idea… but I digress.

So when I happened upon //this pasta dish for Creamy Tomato Mascarpone Pasta//, I couldn’t wait to make it.  This kind of pasta is the best – you get some vegetable matter with the tomatoes and the spinach, but you also get the velvety lusciousness of a creamy sauce.  This was a DELICIOUS pasta dish, and it was so easy, since you make everything in one pot!!

The original recipe makes A LOT, so I cut it in half and it was more than enough for us, and I gave the rest to my brother and his wife, who just had a baby!  Also, instead of tomato puree, I used tomato paste.  I always chop the spinach a little bit so it wilts faster.

This recipe really is a keeper, head on over to //the original recipe// and try it out!

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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