Friday, December 08, 2006

Great party dish to share...

No, I am not ignoring you! It's term paper week at school, and besides being BURIED ALIVE under final papers, speeches and projects, I have also been baking like a mad fool into the wee hours at night. I will tell you all about those efforts in a subsequent post, but I just wanted to share one of my new favorite recipes that I think will help folks out during this hectic holiday season.

The last big project in my intro-level communication course is a short, persuasive speech where the speaker has to try to sell the audience a product that can't cost more than a nickel. It's obviously a lighthearted assignment meant to add a bit of fun at the end of a long semester, in addition to helping them getting a little more public speaking experience. In any case, over the years, I have acquired the BEST recipes from this class, as many times, the student will give us a sample of some tasty treat or another, and then sell us the recipe for five cents. In this manner, the other day, a student named Ashleigh introduced me to a great new appetizer that would be fabulous at your holiday gatherings. It's called Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip, and it tastes just like hot wings! Plus, it only has a few ingredients, and it doesn't take much time to prepare. I made some last night to munch on during a marathon baking session, and it was just delicious! The recipe is below....I hope you like it as much as I did.

Oh, before I post the recipe, I want to give a quick holla to my roommate, Cyd, on her birthday! Pictures of the cake and the associated recipes will follow soon, but in the meantime, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cyd!!! :-D

Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup ranch dressing (I think blue cheese would be good, too...and more authentic!)
3/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot (I cut this down to 1/2 cup, and it was still PLENTY spicy!)
2 teaspoons granulated garlic (optional, but delicious)
2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained (or leftover baked or deli rotisserie chicken, shredded/cut into very small pieces)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (I like a very sharp one for this)

You'll want to get your cream cheese really soft for this (might even want to micowave it a bit). Mix together the cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch dressing and granulated garlic. Try to get it as smooth as possible (although it will melt in the oven, so don't obsess). Then stir in the chicken and cheese. Spoon into a baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees until it's melted and bubbly and browned on the edges. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers and/or celery sticks. Easy and YUMMY!

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