Slow Cooker Dip Week: Buffalo Chicken Wing

Dips Week 31
Finally, the middle dip!

For our annual potluck, the Pie and I decided to make three hot dips and have them with crackers and vegetables for people to snack on while they waited for the rest of the food our guests to arrive.  As with all slow cooker meals, the prep pictures look prettier than the final shots, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that they’re well worth eating — so worth eating, I’m giving each dip its own post this week. Today we’re making BUFFALO CHICKEN WING DIP.  This recipe may seem a little odd as a dip, but it works — trust me!

Drain a 10oz can of chunk chicken and break it up with your fork.  I think next time I make this I will use real roasted chicken instead.  But this still works.  Chuck the chunks in your 1.4qt slow cooker.

Dips Week 14

Add in 1 8oz/250g package cream cheese. Pour in 1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing.  I went with blue cheese.  Buffalo wings aren’t right without blue cheese.

Dips Week 15

On top of that, pour in about 3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce.

Dips Week 17

And then grate over that 3/4 cups cheddar cheese.

Dips Week 18

Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally to melt everything together, and serve with everything you like to dip in dips!

Dips Week 21
This would have been easier to stir if I had cubed the cream cheese first. Oops.

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 5

I have another recipe for an artichoke dip here, but for Krystopf and Atlas’ baby shower this past weekend, I decided on a lighter version that I got from The Best of Clean Eating 2and it was such a hit that despite it making more dip than I ever thought possible, it was completely gone after just three hours.  Cait liked it so much that she insisted I push forward all other blog posts so that she could get this recipe as soon as possible.  So here you go.  I made this dip the day before the shower and chucked it in the fridge, saving the last step of baking and sprinkling of cheese for right before the party.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 7

Start by defrosting a 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 1

Drain it well (you can see my handprint from pressing on it) and set it aside.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 11

Chop up 4 or 5 green onions and set those aside for now as well.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 10

Chop up about 1 1/2 cups cauliflower (this is the low-calorie filler in this dip) and pop that in a pot.  You could use frozen cauliflower as well, if you’d prefer.  Cook it until it’s tender and drain it.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 2

Huck the cauliflower into the bowl of a food processor and add 1 250g/8oz package cream cheese, as well as 3 tablespoons milk.  Purée that sucker to a fine liquid, then transfer it to a bowl for now.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 12

Chop up a large white onion and several cloves of garlic.  Don’t worry about getting them too fine.  Whip those into a large frying pan with a few drops of olive oil.  Sauté those for about 8-10 minutes, until the onion is all soft and see-through.  Chuck those in the food processor you were using before.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 9

Crack open and drain a 14oz can artichoke hearts.  Chop those suckers up smallish and throw them in the processor.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 3

Take your spinach and chuck that in as well, together with about 1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs, a few pinches salt, and a half teaspoon ground cayenne pepper.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 13

Give that a go in the processor until it’s a texture you like.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 14

Dump it out into the bowl with the cauliflower/cream cheese mixture and add in the chopped green onions.  Give it a good stirring and add more salt or cayenne as required.

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To bake the dip, preheat your oven to 350°F and smooth the dip into a largish-sized casserole dish.

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Bake this, covered, for 20 minutes.

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Uncover it and sprinkle it with grated cheese (this is a mix of mozzarella and cheddar).

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Bake again for 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and dip is hot all the way through.  Serve it hot with pita and chips!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip 21

Artichoke and Asiago Dip

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

This quick dip is easy and has only a few ingredients.  All you need is a food processor and a cheese grater and you’re ready to go.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Start with some artichoke hearts.  These usually come in a jar or a can, preserved in brine or oil.  Grab yourself 12 ounces of these.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Plop them in the food processor with 1 package (250g) plain cream cheese that has been brought to room temperature.

If your artichokes were in brine, add in a dollop of olive oil.  If they were packed in oil you probably won’t find this necessary.  Sprinkle in some dry mustard and a few spoonfuls of sour cream. Pulse that sucker silly.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Grate up some asiago cheese and stir that in afterwards.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Top with some fresh basil if you’ve got it and serve (or wrap up and store in the fridge for a few days). We had ours alongside some baba ghanouj and the five minute flat bread I showed you on Monday.  Tasty!

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Easter (Eater) Dinner

On Sunday the Pie and I had KK, Il Principe, and D, J, and S over for an Easter feast.

I have a lot on my plate this week (and I’m not talking about food here) so I’m going to draw the recounting of this tale out as long as I possibly can.  I’ll try to give you a post a day about all the fun and fantastic things we ate.

I love to have dinner parties.  I think it’s my parents’ influence again.  I’m not really happy unless I can stuff someone else with food until he or she feels the need to lie down.  It really makes my day.

That said, entertaining, on a small or large scale, takes a lot of work and a lot of planning.  Timing is pretty much everything, and it takes practice to get it all to happen at the same time.  The Pie and I have it down to an exact science at this point.  We take a gander at what time things are supposed to be done, chuck them in the oven or on the stove at the various points in time we think they need to go in, then we shut our eyes tight and cross our fingers that everything will turn out properly.  Most of the time we’re right but it took years to get us to this stage.

I have also learned the art of making things ahead of time.  This saves a lot of panic in the kitchen when you’re trying to get everything finished at the same time.  If there are some dishes on your menu that can be popped in the microwave or in the oven for reheating at the last minute then all the better.  Another important thing to remember, and something that I only recently learned, is that you don’t have to make absolutely everything from scratch.  There is nothing wrong with adding store-bought chips to your dips, or purchasing bread as a side.  The more stuff you make the more complications you are going to have.  Besides, sometimes the store versions of things are actually better.  You don’t have to have absolute control over everything that goes on your menu, and so that is why, finally, it is also important to let other people give you a hand if they want to.  Kª wanted to bring a salad, and you know what?  I thought that was a great idea.  And it was a great salad.

Items to be posted this week:

Menu

Appetizers

White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Dip (made the day before)

Pita Chips (store-bought — really, you don’t have to be a domestic maven all the time – I get the In Snax sea salt versions from In Foods Inc.  They are totally tasty.)

Mains

Ham with Cloves (pre-cooked for simplicity)

Red Curry Quinoa (made the day before)

Sides

Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Feta Cheese, and Balsamic Vinaigrette (made by Kª – I don’t have a link because I didn’t make it)

Carrot and Parsnip Butter Mash (made the day before)

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon, Tarragon, and Toasted Almonds

Roasted Red Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary and Sea Salt

Quick Drop Biscuits

Dessert

Strawberry Glazed Angel Food Cake (strawberry component prepared the day before)

Waiting for the feast.