Fried macaroni and cheese 

Fried macaroni and cheese 

When you have an entire pyrex dish of untouched macaroni and cheese, what should you do? Chill it overnight, and then fry it. Not whole of course.  Heres my step by step process in photos. Along with the recipe.  (Linda, just for you I went ahead and added It ASAP hehehe xoxo)

Ok, so here is the recipe. Its very basic, and the photos give you a really clear step by step of it all. 

1) make your mac and cheese the day before, put in a rectangular baking dish, you want it to be about 1″ thick. As an alternative you can put it in a round or square dish and then slice in half (like a cake layer) 

2) set up your breading area. Flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. Season each with salt and pepper. That is *crucial * 

3) using a biscuit cutter cut into 1″ circles. You could also slice into 1″ squares if you want. 

4) Dip each piece, one at a time. First in flour,  then egg, then crumbs. 

5) Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  I like to go the extra step and spray the parchment. 

6) Freeze OR fry immediately.  

7) Fry on the stove top in a medium sauce pan with about 3 inches of oil in it. The oil should be 350 for optimal frying. And fry till golden brown, then remove from oil and place on a papet towel to drain excess oil. 

8) Serve with marinara or ketchup,  or what ever sauce you prefer.  

A great way to keep from wasting oil if you only fry a few at a time, strain it through a coffee filter! It keeps the debris out and from burning and lets you use the oil again!

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My shame spiral of snacking.

Food is wonderful, and I love it.  This is something you already know about me full well.  I like it far too much according to most US Standards. I am hungry ALL day long, seriously, I’m always hungry.  Maybe it is because I wake up at 4am each day, or maybe it is just because I like food. Either way, I always want to eat.  When I was in Highschool, if I was hungry I would chew on a stick of gum, Winter-fresh to be exact; now when I’m hungry, I eat. Talk about a change in priorities!

My favorite night time snack.

My favorite night time snack.

Here is my dilemma. I snake on things like triscuits and hummus, triscuits and peanut butter, triscuits and cheddar, pretzels, pretzels and cream cheese, or peanut butter.  Heavens help me if it’s night time, then I am a Haagen Dazs girl all the way! You see where this is heading. If I snack on an apple, I get half way through and I am bored.  I tried plain, roasted, unsalted almonds for a while, but my satisfaction level was “eh.” Maybe I should have dipped them in Hummus, or wrapped them in cheddar?

Please tell me I’m not alone in this shame spiral?!   Do you snack throughout the day, or stick strictly to eating during meal times? If you snack, what do you snack on?  I would like to alter my snacking habits, but it is just so hard, I am in dire need of some inspiration! 🙂

Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip Bites, Just In Time For Superbowl!

Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip Bites, Just In Time For Superbowl!

In our house, “Buffalo Chicken Dip” is a football favorite, but for only two people one batch makes much more than we could should ever eat in one sitting. I would make a batch and there would be so much left over, I hated seeing it go to waste.  Finally, I started making one regular sized recipe and then, before baking it, breaking it down into smaller portions that could be stored in the freezer to have another day.

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With Superbowl Sunday just around the corner, the timing for these is kismet.  Everyone knows, aside from the commercials, the best thing about Superbowl Sunday is the snacks! (hence the entire pinterest board I devoted to the subject.)  This past weekend I was nose deep in a new book I am absolutely loving,   “The Faux Pastry Chef”, by Mimi Fix; I highly recommend it!  I wanted to make something that would be a perfect football sunday snack, but with minimal effort.  There was Buffalo Chicken Dip in the freezer, and Wonton Wrappers in the fridge, hmmmm what could I make?  In the interest of full disclosure, I actually always have Wonton Wrappers on hand, you never know when you will need to wrap, deep fry, or bake little pockets or rolls of tasty deliciousness.

Empty Wonton

There were a lot of “Buffalo Chicken Cups” on pinterest, but the ratio of filling to wonton surface was lacking; there was too much empty wonton.  Plus, once the wontons are baked they can be very hard, so to have jagged corners sticking up in can be a pain.  Seriously, have you ever accidentally stuck one directly into the roof of your mouth?  It hurts!   I thought I would give something a try.  Use the Muffin tins as a support system, but fold the wrapper down onto the dip, thus creating a little pocket!  Low and behold, it worked!  Of course,  this is provided you already have the buffalo chicken dip on hand, but you could very easily  make a batch, use what you like and freeze the rest to use another time!

How it looks folded down.

How it looks folded down.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites:

Yield 24 pieces/bites

You will need:

  • Half  a recipe of “Buffalo Chicken Dip, recipe can be found here
  • One package small wontons
  • 2 Muffin tins
  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • Ranch, Blue Cheese or Sour Cream for dipping

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Spray the  muffin pans with olive oil or cooking spray
  • Push a wonton wrapper down into each muffin tin
  • Place a generous tablespoon of buffalo chicken dip into the wonton in each tin
  • Fold the edges of the wontons down onto the dip and push down just a bit to make sure they stick. If they pop up just push them down again.
  • Bake for 20minutes or till golden brown
  • Let sit in the pans for a few minutes just to cool off, then pop out onto a plate and enjoy!
All they need is some dip!

All they need is some dip!

Buffalo Chicken Dip….the food that dreams are made of

Buffalo Chicken Dip….the food that dreams are made of

Years ago my friend Denise made something called Buffalo Chicken Dip, I had never had it before and it was love at first bite.  BUT there was something about it, it had blue cheese in it, something I do NOT like. It didn’t overpower it, but you could tell it was there. So I recreated the dip, but without the blue grossness. And life hasn’t been the same since……

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Seriously, snacking just hasn’t been the same. The freezer section just can’t compare with this! It is a standard at the yearly Halloween party, Football Sundays, Superbowl, 4th of July, you get the idea. Its easy, and a guaranteed hit with everyone who has tastebuds, and a double hit with anyone who drinks beer.

I use a Rotisserie Chicken for mine BUT if you don’t feel like de-meating a chicken, or you are in a pinch and don’t have the time…..you can use canned chicken. I DO NOT recommend this, I do not do it; but to each his own.  Use 3 of the large cans, the ones that are either 12 or 10 ounces.  

Ingredients

  • One whole Rotisserie Chicken (from the hot foods section of the grocery store)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (let it sit out at room temp for an hour or so)
  • 1 Cup Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 Cup Frank’s Buffalo Sauce
  • 3 Cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Take all the skin off the chicken. Eat it, throw it out, feed it to your dog or spouse; whatever you like, but it’s not going in the dip.
  2. Pull all the meat off of the chicken.  If you don’t know how, check out this video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0eeWoLwvBo The only thing I would suggest, which she doesn’t do is I don’t use a knife for the breast, I just use my hands. Also, I take the meat off the wings and drummies as well. ALSO turn the chicken over, there is meat on the bottom of it, pull it off with your hands. (Guess that’s more than one thing)
  3. Once you have all the meat off, either tear it apart with your hands or chop it up into small pieces using a knife.
  4. With the heat on medium, put the chicken, buffalo sauce, ranch and cream cheese in a dutch oven sized pan. Stir continually (I use a wooden spoon) until everything is melted together and bubbly.  If you don’t think your chicken is broken up/small enough just a potato masher and smush it up some more. Add in 2 cups of the cheese, mix well and till just melted.
  5. At this point you have two options. You can either transfer the dip to a slow cooker, and sprinkle the remaining 1cup of cheese on top and keep on warm or low and serve it like that. OR you can put in a baking dish and bake it at 425F until the cheese is melted to your liking.  Then just set it out with some tortilla chips and enjoy!
And yes….I will be posting about the Halloween Party soon……and writing a post on how to make the most delicious snacky little rolls from this dip….and trust me, they are GOOD!