Holidays and special events are work days for me. While everyone else gets to spend Valentine’s Day out to dinner with their significant others or the Super Bowl at a party with all their friends, I undoubtedly, am working. Since I knew that not only would I be bartending last night during the game, but that it would be at a cozy restaurant in Old Town La Quinta (and not a sportsbar), I was well aware of the fact that not much would be happening. In fact I personally ended up taking care of less than 15 people ALL NIGHT. But at least I got to watch the commercials, half-time show, and my favorite part of the SuperBowl last night – The Voice (the show that came on after it ended, haha). I had also decided to bring a snack for all the employees since I knew some of them would be bummed that they were missing all the fun with their buddies, and it was very easy being as slow as it was to run back and forth grabbing bites without neglecting the guests.
Jeremiah wanted hot wings. I feel like I could go anywhere and buy hot wings that would be 125% better than any I could make, plus they would have been incredibly messy (and that’s too risky in work clothes). But I did want to stick with his general idea. Naturally, I went to the main Pampered Chef website to look up a good game day recipe that included chicken and found the Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip (that’s a link there if you want to see the recipe…), so I figured I’d try it out on my unsuspecting peers at work. I cut up some celery, bought some cherry tomatoes and a cracker medley, and sliced a fresh baguette from the L’Artisan Valley Baking Co. booth at the morning’s Farmers Market. It was all so quick and simple, and since I rarely get to brag I’ll point out that nearly every single person who ate it asked how I made it. Yay, success!
the super-est bowl of them all!
I actually doubled the recipe to make sure there was enough for everyone, and it was no problem buying 2 cans of cheese soup, 2 blocks of cream cheese, etc. There is a bit of a spicy finish because of the Buffalo Rub ($4.50), but not too much since there are so many different cheeses, so it really just had a great overall cheesy hot wing feel. Although the recipe called for a drained can of chopped chicken, I had to start with a real breast. It’s against my religion to use canned chicken (ok, it’s not, but that just sounds wrong!), so I pulled out the good ole’ George Foreman and grilled one of the huge breasts from Fresh and Easy, then chopped it myself. I also grated my own cheese with the Rotary Grater ($19.50, and reversible for lefties) because you usually pay more to buy things already cut up for you. It also said to finish with bleu cheese on top, so I did it to half the dip. I love bleu cheese crumbles, but it’s a pretty intense flavor that not everyone can appreciate, so be warned that the crumbles change the entire dynamic of the dip. I liked it, but it tried to take over the dish and I really hate it when food gets such a power trip, so I’d probably even skip the bleu cheese next time. That’ll show the cheese who’s boss, “you’re not even invited to my next super bowl for the Super Bowl, so there!” Also, since I had twice as much, I put it into my Square Baker ($37) instead of the Mini Baker ($26) and the doubled recipe fit perfectly (plus it can go straight from the oven to the party with the stylish cranberry colored glaze on the outside).
So, even though we were all stuck at the restaurant, the Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip made a little Super Bowl party in our mouths! I may not have been able to lounge around on the couch cracking beers open and screaming at the TV all night, but we had fun. I even made cute lil’ smokies wrapped in pieces of crescent roll for Ryley to have at home, so she could have something fun for her first ever Super Bowl snack. I will have to try to find a way to keep the cheese from gushing out all over my stone when the dogs are that small, but more on that another time…
piglets in blankies