the BEST buffalo chicken dip …seriously

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This is literally the best I’ve ever made/had…let me know what you think ;)

Recipe: I normally double or triple this recipe because one is never enough!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Serving Size: 4 Cups Dip

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 cups shredded/ground cooked chicken.
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese or your favorite shredded cheese

DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE all ingredients in a 1-quart baking dish.
BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Hot Cocoa Cookies

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I found this cookie recipe yesterday attempting to find something fun to bake on our first snow day of the season. This is by far the best cookie for a snowy day! Recipe to follow. Enjoy!

-In a medium saucepan, melt together:

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter 
  • 12 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate (bars)

Stir frequently over medium heat until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

-In a medium bowl, whisk together:

  • 1 1/2 cups flourRecipes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

-Using an electric mixer, beat together:

  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Beat on low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange about 16 balls 2 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut 7.5 ounces of semisweet chocolate (bars) into 1-inch squares. Snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.

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Cupcakes for Kids!

I used to babysit the little girls next door and their favorite thing to do was bake. Here are a couple of the different cupcakes we made! They’re super easy and fun for everyone :)

 

High Heel Cupcakes
( I used Milano Cookies and Pretzel sticks to make the heels!)

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Tie Dye Cupcakes

(Using a Vanilla Cake Mixture separate batter into Individual Mixing Bowels, add food coloring accordingly to make a purple, a blue, a green, an orange, a yellow, and a red. Once Mixed, using a table spoon, add small amount of each colored batter, layering one on top of the other. I started with purple, then blue, then green, then yellow then orange, then red. Only fill up each one to what you would normally fill the cupcake batter to.)

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Bacon Cheeseburger Stuffed Pretzels

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These are seriously a-mazing. You can easily revise the recipe to cheese and bacon, cheeseburger, or just cheese. I was just experimenting one day and did all 3.

Recipe:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 24 Minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Ingredients:

*Soft Beer Pretzel

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup beer
  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt/kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • canola oil, to great bowl
  • 3 quarts water for boiling pretzels
  • 2/3 cups baking soda (for boiling pretzels)
  • 1 whole egg, beaten (brushing pretzels before baking)
  • coarse sea salt

*Filling

  • 1 lb ground beef (cooked)
  • bacon (6 slices cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (your preference, I used pepper jack)
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese

Instructions:

1.) Pretzel Dough: combine water, brown sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined, let sit for 5 minutes.
2.) Add melted butter, beer, salt, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flower to mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tbsp at a time. Remove dough from bowl, place on flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
3.) Coat large bowl w/ canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until dough is double in size. This will take 1 hour.
4.) About 10 minutes before you’re ready to roll out the dough, make the filling. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and cook ground beef then bacon. Season ground beef to your liking.
5.) Once meat is cooled, combine filling ingredients into one large bowl for pretzel filling.
6.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, bring a large pot of water to boil.
7.) Divide dough into 8 equal balls, and roll each into a rectangle (about 11×3). Spread about 1 1/2 tbsp+ of filling  along length of each piece. Very lightly brush one of the long sides with a little egg wash, then starting with the opposite side, roll the dough up into a log, enclosing the toppings inside. Pinch seams together and then very gently roll dough w/ your hands to form an even cylinder and enclose filling fully.
8.) Take the 2 ends of each filled cylinder and form into a circle that is overlapped by a couple inches (aka a pretzel) and press ends to seal.
9.) Slowly add the baking soda to boiling water.
10.) Boil pretzels in water solution, 2 at a time for 30 seconds. Splashing tops w/ warmed water using a spoon. Remove w/ a large flat spotted spatula or spider spatula. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush tops with egg wash and season liberally w/ sea salt. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
11.) Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
12.) EAT!!!

** to eat later, may reheat at 350 degrees F for 15 min, if needed.

Bridal Shower Cocktails

Cocktails at a Bridal Shower are necessary, right? Here’s a great way to spice up your bride-to-be’s party.

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How To Make:

Find an old painting or frame (a thrift stores, a yard sale, your basement, ect.) Take apart your frame, so you just have the glass or plastic piece. Once separated, use Chalkboard spray paint ($5 at any craft/home improvement store) and lightly spray over. I used two coats for this just to be safe. Once dry, put together and decorate with white/colored chalk (I found mine at Wal-mart for 70 cents). You can also use left over ribbon to tie around the top to match the theme of your center pieces and other decorations.

Center Pieces

unnamed-13I was asked to make center pieces for my cousin’s bridal shower in November. Though I’ve never made center pieces before, I was excited to come up with something for this special day. Typically fresh floral arrangements of this size range from $75-$115 per arrangement. I was able to make these for $19 an arrangement.

What I Used:

  • 10″ Cylinder Vases (Wal-mart for $3 a piece)
  • Hot Pink Sheer Ribbon (Michael’s Craft Store for $3 per roll)
  • Black Matte Spray Paint ($4 per can, any Home Improvement store)
  • Premium Blue Masking Tape ($5 per roll, any Home Improvement store)

*For the flowers I used White Hydrangeas, White Roses, and White Orchids which I was able to get Whole Sale (this saved me the most money).

-Each vase had 3 of each flower.

To decorate the vase:

1) Cover all parts of the vase that you wish to remain clear with the Blue Masking Tape.

2.) Lightly spray the remainder sections of the vase with the spray paint, use second coat if needed.

3.) Once dried, cut equal ribbon strips to the size bow you want and tie around vase. (use hot glue under knot of bow to secure placement, if needed.)

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