Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Potato Casserole

I was watching the news last week and they were reporting that the price of chicken wings has increased 25%.  Say whaaaa? And why just the wings? Why not the breast, or the thighs? Then it dawned on me...football season.  This is my theory on whey they also reported that the price of tortilla chips has gone up 20%.  The die hard men and women that love football LOVE their football! And most totally dig buffalo wings.  I tend to be more of a fan of the breaded and baked spicy wings myself, but every once in awhile I'll get down with some messy, greasy, finger lickin' good wings.  And don't forget the beer on the side...and the ranch, can't forget the ranch.  Although some people like blue cheese dressing (I'm not a hater, I just don't enjoy something that smells like stinky feet...but I totally love me some feta, go figure.) 

So when I told my husband I was going to transform our typical party potato casserole recipe into a buffalo chicken casserole, he was skeptical to say the least.  I believe his exact words were, "well I mean it sounds ok, but I guess I'm just not as excited about it as you are..." Can you tell we support each other 100%? But I soldered on. I knew that if he gave it a chance he would like it..at least that was the vision I had in mind.  At that point the recipe could still be a total bust.  But I wasn't going down without a fight.  So with Thursday night football playing, and a beer in hand, he uttered those magical words I'd been waiting to hear..."Wow this is a lot better than I thought it was going to be...It's good!"  He always knows exactly what to say I tell ya!  So I hope when you try this recipe it exceeds your expectations, no matter how low they are. 

Buffalo Chicken Potato Casserole
makes 12-16 servings

Potato Casserole
1 (2 lb) pkg frozen hashbrowns, shredded or cubed
16 oz (2 cups) sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg ranch dip mix
1/2 cup onion (half a medium onion) finely chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot
1-1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup melted butter

1.  Preheat oven to 375°.  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. 

2.  In a large bowl, mix together sour cream, soup, ranch mix, onion, and pepper.  Stir in frozen hashbrowns, and cheese until mixed together.  Spread into the baking dish.

3.  Melt 1/2 cup butter and stir in the hot sauce.  Toss the chicken pieces in the hot sauce mixture until well coated.  Spread out over the potato layer.  Cover with foil and bake @ 375° for 45-50 min or until hot and bubbly.

4.  Melt 1/4 cup butter and stir with crushed cornflakes.  Sprinkle topping over chicken layer and return casserole to oven.  Cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes. 

{Freeze It!} - Put together the casserole except for the topping, cover and freeze.  Make sure to defrost before cooking, or expect to add at least 30 minutes cooking time before putting the topping on. 

**Make sure your chicken isn't straight out of the fridge before you slice it.  It helps if it is closer to room temp.  I made this mistake when I mixed the warm butter/hot sauce mixture with my chicken and it kind of glopped up, resembling canned pumpkin.  Not cute.  Hence why there aren't any pictures of that step! It will all end up find because the butter melts again after it has congealed, but it ain't pretty, I'm just telling you!

**There is no need to add any salt to this recipe like a traditional potato casserole.  The ranch dressing mix has plenty of salt to go around. Don't do it...your arteries will thank you.

**This casserole is a one pot dish, so while my husband and I could normally demolish 1/2 a pan of normal potato casserole, we barely got past 1/4 of this.  It is really hearty...so you may want to cut it in half if you are cooking for a smaller audience, or freeze half of it!
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Banana Muffins

I’m sorry, I can’t help but brag a little bit.  My grandma’s banana bread recipe is the shiz.  Seriously.  I know your grandma’s recipe may be your favorite, but please humor me and try this.  I was working on creating some nutella swirled banana muffins (recipe to follow later) and needed a good base.  So I went back to the old standby.  Grandma’s recipe can’t be messed with.  To be honest I almost liked it better in muffin form.  It was quick, and easy, and on the go.  Perfect for a busy mama.  I can’t wait to introduce these to baby boy.  I hope he likes bananas!
Ahhhhhh batter.  Why is it so hard for me to stay away from it?!?  It’s like it calls out to me!  Eaaaattttt meeeeee!
Yeah I went a little overboard on the cooking spray…but you didn’t notice at all right?
Try your hardest not to eat it straight out of the oven.  But if you can’t resist…slather some butter on it (you can see all the glorious butter in those nooks and crannies) and call it a day.  A really really good day.

Banana Muffins
makes approx. 18-24 muffins Ingredients: 1 stick of butter, softened 1 cup of sugar 2 eggs ½ tsp vanilla 1 tsp baking soda salt (leave out if you used salted butter) 2 cups flour 3-4 very ripe bananas, enough to make a generous cup 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Directions: 1. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Add vanilla. Add flour, sift if possible with baking soda and salt. Add mashed bananas and nuts. 2. Pour into greased muffin tin.  Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean in the center.  Let cool slightly and remove from pan.

Linked to: Naptime Creations
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Deli Style Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Cookies 1

When I go to Subway, I totally dig their sandwiches.  But when I was pregnant, I would also indulge in some of their oatmeal raisin cookies.  I’m a sucka for a big, soft, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie.  It’s not necessarily my favorite cookie…come to think of it I don’t really have a favorite cookie at all.  I love all cookies.  Weakness.


I really could have eaten this batter with a spoon.  Straight outta the fridge I tell ya!


I definitely snuck a few bites since during pregnancy I avoided raw cookie dough in an effort to protect the unborn.  I said no to raw cookie dough, but said yes to french fries, fast food, and desserts.  And I wonder why I gained 50 lbs. Ugh.


I had a feeling just by tasting the dough that these cookies would be tha bomb.  And I was right.  For sure.  So right that I had to send them with my husband to work because I couldn’t be alone with them and a gallon of milk. 


Hey the doctor did tell me oatmeal increases milk production…this counts right?


Deli Style Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes 2-3 dozen cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. 
2.  Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture or slowly add to stand mixer. 
3.  Stir in the oats and raisins.  Drop by large spoonfuls onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.  I use a large ice cream scoop so my cookies come out extra big.  Press down on each cookie to flatten slightly.
4.  Bake 12-14 minutes or until light and golden.  If making smaller cookies bake 8-10 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Let cool for 2 minutes before removing from the pan.

*You can freeze any extra dough for later use.  You can roll in a log and freeze so that you can cut slices later for a quick cookie.  These are great to keep for a last minute dish to take to a friend.
*Package all the dry ingredients, minus the raisins in a jar and tie the recipe to it as a great jar gift!
*Take the cookies out of the oven on the lower end of the time suggestion.  They will continue cooking on the sheet while they cool, so even if they look too raw, chances are they will be perfect when they cool.  And if not, just pop those suckers back in the oven!  They are supposed to be chewy.

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