Saturday, September 20, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip Recipe

This Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip Recipe has been my go-to for parties for years. I actually had it posted somewhere else until recently and just realized I have never shared my signature dip on the Search for Yum. Shame on me!

Ok, here it is! The one and the ONLY – famous Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip Recipe! If you haven’t come across this little gem yet – ITS ABOUT TIME! The HIT of any party -guaranteed.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip:


What You'll Need: (for 1 party platter serving)


  • 1 8oz package Cream Cheese – Don’t scrimp, get Philadelphia 2 cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (normally 1 bag) 
  • about 4 cans of Canned Chicken (4 cans or 2/ 3 double cans -use your judgement as you mix) 
  • 1 bottle of Frank’s Buffalo Sauce (you will use about 3/4 or to taste) 
  • 1 bag of tostitos – scoooops (just do it-they’ll thank you)!!! 
  • optional: crumbled blue cheese OR ranch dressing AND/OR celery – to taste Honestly, 



Mix the ingredients above, and cook at about 350 degrees until everything is warmed up and bubbling ever so slightly (15 – 20 mins). buffalo chicken wing dip Perfect to take to a party – just bring all mixed in casserole dish and have host/hostess warm for about 15 minutes!


***I would have a photo of people thoroughly enjoying this buffalo chicken wing party dip, except it always gets gobbled up too quickly!!! #tastyfoodproblems

Now I hope that even more people can enjoy this simple recipe., Everyone I know raves about it!

For a really cool spin on this yummy dip, check out my recipe: Buffalo Chicken Wontons!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Zucchini Pasta Recipe + Vegetable Spiral Slicer Review

All summer I have been wanting to try a zucchini pasta recipe..the only problem was, I didn't have a vegetable spiral slicer. So when bluelife asked me if I would review their vegetable slicer I jumped at the chance!

I absolutely love this little gadget! I have to admit, that I wasn't so sure at first...but it turns out I was trying to use an old zucchini that was all mushy. Fresh makes a difference! As soon as I tried using it with a fresh, and actually edible zucchini, it worked like a charm! I was so happy! I will definitely be using this A LOT from now on!

It was perfect timing because a friend had just told me about her amazing recipe and here was my chance to try it! This type of recipe is exactly what I love. It's easy and add your own ingredients as you please. Pretty hard to mess up! I especially love that there is no additional cooking for this one. For dinner, my husband grilled up some steaks and I spiralized the zucchini and we didn't have to worry at all about syncing up our timing so everything was done (and at the correct temperature) at the same time!

Bonus: I just found out some people call these ZOODLES. How fun is that?!

Zucchini Pasta Recipe

What you'll need:
zucchini, peeled
oil
lemon juice
tomatoes
fresh herbs
scallots (optional, but highly recommended!)
tuna or chicken (optional)

Directions:
1. Use a spiral slicer to create the "pasta" or zoodles with the zucchini.
2. Mix the spiraled zucchini in a bowl with desired amounts of oil, lemon juice, tomatoes and any fresh herbs you would like! Also add scallots if you want.
3. (optional) If you are trying to make a heartier dish, add chicken or tuna!
4. Enjoy. It's that simple :)



More cool things about this veggie spiral slicer: (I'm a little bit of a geek when it comes to cool gadgets like this!)
1. There are two ends with different size blades. One end is 2mm x 3mm and the other is 3.5mm x 5mm so you get to choose how thick you want your spirals to be!
2. It comes with an end piece that helps you get to the very ends of whatever you are spiraling, which cuts down on waste and helps you get more!
3. It is dishwasher safe and also comes with a cleaning brush. I didn't fully appreciate the cleaning brush until I tried washing this by hand afterwards. It is hard to get stuck pieces out of the blades without it!





**A huge thank you to Bluelife vegetable spiral slicer for letting me review your product. Disclaimer to my readers: Don't worry, my opinions on this product are fully my own and I will never tell you I like something when I don't! I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How to Soak Nuts And Why It's Beneficial

After a step in the last recipe I shared, Strawberry Almond Milk, called for soaking almonds I started getting a lot of questions....how exactly do I soak the almonds? Whey do you have to soak nuts? So I figured this would be a great topic for the next How-to Tuesday!


Why You Should Soak Raw Nuts

The short answer is, soaked nuts are easier to digest.

But here is why:

Phytic acid is naturally found in all types of nuts. When digested, phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract making it hard for your body's digestive system to break the nut down properly and absorb the nutrients.

Soaking nuts breaks down the phytic acid, making it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients properly in digestion.

Bonus! Soaking nuts also enhances the flavor!

If you're still not sure if it's entirely worthwhile (trust me, I'm usually the first person to take shortcuts) take a look at these before and after pictures I took when I soaked my almonds:
Before: Almonds that have just been put in clean water.

After: Almonds that have been soaking in water for 10 hours.

How to Soak Nuts:

1. Rinse desired amount of nuts thoroghly with water.
2. Place in a bowl or jar.
3. Add filtered water (2x more than the amount of nuts)
4. Cover the bowl...place a clean cloth over the opening of the bowl or jar. this type of lid allows the contents of the bowl to breathe.

5. Soak nuts. The harder a nut is, the longer it will need to soak. Here are some guidelines to follow.

How long to soak nuts:

Almonds - 8 to 12 hours
Cashews - 2 to 6 hours
Walnuts - 4 to 8 hours
Pecans - 8 hours
Pine nuts - 8 hours
Macadamia nuts - 4 hours
Hazlenuts - 8 hours
Brazil nuts - 12 hours

6. Drain and rinse.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe + Vita Nut Milk Bag Giveaway!

I am really excited about the new recipe I just tried...Strawberry Almond Milk! I was recently asked if I wanted to review a Vita Nut Milk Bag...not quite sure what I was going to do with it yet, I said of course! I'm always up for a fun, new things! Plus, they are giving my readers the chance to win their own Vita Milk Bag too...hoooray! (giveaway below).

I have never been a huge almond milk fan. Not because I didn't like it or anything, just because I could drink regular milk so I didn't really see the point. Well it is now evident to me that I have been completely in the dark about something so awesome for so long!

With my new Vita Nut Milk Bag came a free e-book download. Which is awesome because I didn't even know where to begin. My eye immediately caught the Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe for a few reasons. 1. It sounded delightful and 2. I only needed 4 ingredients for it and one of them was water and I had honey. So I would only need to buy two things. I LOVE when I only have to buy two things to create something awesome!

Here is the recipe from the Vita Nut Milk Bag that I used and LOVE! And I am happy to say so does everyone who has tried it. I love spreading the YUM :)

Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe

What You'll Need - Only 4 Ingredients!
• 1 cup of raw almonds
• 3 3/4 cups of filtered water
• 3 tbsp honey, or sweetener of your choice
• ½ cup of strawberries

Makes about 4.5 cups!



Directions:

1.  Soak almonds for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

2. Drain the water from your nuts and rinse well.
3. In your blender, add your water and almonds and blend until the nuts are
adequately pulverized.
4. Place your Vita Nut Milk Bag (or other means of separating out mini chunks) over a large bowl and slowly pour the mixture into the bag. Hold the top of the bag closed and gently squeeze the bottom of
the bag to release the milk.
5. Rinse blender and return liquid to it.
6. Add honey (or other sweetener, if desired) and strawberries.
7. Blend until desired consistency is reached.
8. Enjoy! Or save for later...pour into a glass, airtight jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting.


This really was a fun and easy recipe to make. And the Vita Nut Milk Bag really came in handy. I've never tried to make almond milk before, so I'm not even sure how I would have done this without it! I hate feeling like I sound like an infomercial, but this was a really nice product. Bonus: it was super easy to clean! Here is a link where you can buy a Vita Nut Milk Bag or find out more if you are interested. It comes with a free e-recipe book which is really helpful and has some great ideas. I think I might try a pulp-free juice recipe with mine next!



Now for the giveaway! Win your own Vita Nut Milk Bag so you can make your own Strawberry Almond Milk (or other things!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be selected an random and announced here on the blog and via email!
Winner will just need to pay for shipping from Amazon (so if you have an Amazon Prime account it will be free anyways!)

**A huge thank you to Vita Nut Milk Bag for letting me review your product. Don't worry readers, my opinions on this product are fully my own and I will never tell you I like something when I don't!I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Boil Eggs - Easy Hard Boiled Eggs


Welcome to the first ever, How-To Tuesday!

First up...How to boil eggs. I know, it sounds so simple. But it's just one of those things that I have to look up each and every time I do it.

How to Boil Eggs

Believe it or not, I just started boiling my own eggs. I avoided it for years because every time I tried I either cracked every single egg (what a waste!) or I overcooked them, or undercooked them. Anything that could go wrong boiling an egg...I've done.

But I am happy to say I finally have it down to a science and you can too!

How To Boil Eggs - Easy Hard Boiled Eggs

1. Place desired amount of eggs in pot.
2. Fill with water so the water completely covers all eggs.
3. Place on stove top and bring to boil.
4. As soon as the water starts boiling, remove from burner and cover with lid for....

  • 4 minutes: soft boiled eggs (still slightly runny)
  • 6 minutes: medium boiled eggs **(shown in the image above. This is my favorite!)
  • 10 minutes: hard boiled eggs
5. Rinse under cold water.
    Then you can either peel and eat, or save in the fridge for up to 5 to 7 days.

That's it! Simple, right?! ;)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Best Ever Chicken Salad Recipe

Chicken salad sandwiches have become a staple of summertime beach lunch for me. That's why I was determined this summer to create the best chicken salad recipe, ever!

*Pregnancy side note: Plus, for any pregnant women out there, it is recommended that you don't eat store made chicken salad because it may contain listeria but it's perfectly fine to make your own...which could put a hamper on summer chicken salad sandwiches cravings if it wasn't for this recipe!

I did A LOT of research for this recipe, but when it came down to it I had three requirements:
1. It had to be fairly easy to make (can't waste that precious beach time!)
2. It had to include grapes AND apples.
3. It had to be delicious!

Here is what I came up with:

The Best Ever Chicken Salad Recipe

What You'll Need
2 lbs chicken breasts - cooked and cubed
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 cup green seedless grapes, halved
1 cup chopped apples
pinch of salt & pepper
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

As usual, I recommend using these measurements as guidelines and taste and adjust to your own preferences as you go.

For Sandwiches Add: Rolls, Lettuce, Tomatoes

Directions: Literally just mix all of the ingredients together.  (so simple it doesn't seem right!)

If you still want my play by play:
1. Cube chicken and put in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes
2. While chicken is in oven, cut up the grapes and apples.
3. Mix everything together in a large bowl so when the chicken comes out, the only thing left is to add it into the mix.
4. Generously heap onto rolls/wraps, top with lettuce and tomato....




...Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

8 Must Try Mocktails + Big News!

I'll take a Bloody Mary, extra olives, a slice of bacon, celery, throw in some shrimp - oh, and hold the liquor.
For wherever reason, if you find yourself not drinking in a situation where everyone else is...do not fear. These amazing mocktails have you covered. One sweet (or spicy!) sip and you'll forget you are about to be the only sober one in the room! The best part, no one will ever know the difference so you get to avoid the most annoying question ever: "why aren't you drinking?!"


These have been a life-saver for me for the past 20 weeks....if you haven't guessed yet from the title of this post Mocktails + Big News....I'm Pregnant!!!!!!!

8 Must Try Mocktails

Going sober? You don't have to be stuck just drinking shirley temples with the 5-year-olds. Don't get me wrong, I love a good shirley temple, but it's nice to have options! These are some of the best non-alcoholic beverages I could find around the web! Click on any pic for their source!

#1. Virgin Blood Mary. I'm not going to put these in any specific order, but I just have to call special attention to my favorite mocktail these past few months. The bloody mary has kept me happy on many social occasions recently! Just create your favorite bloody mary recipe and leave out the vodka or just ask the bartender for their most delicious bloody mary...virgin! So easy!

or depending on how hungry you are (which I always am even when I'm not pregnant), 
I just found this little gem....


#2. "Safe" Sex on the Beach Mocktail!  Another standard during the hot summer months - Refreshingly good. simple (only 4 ingredients) and it looks pretty!
http://momstestkitchen.com/2014/01/safe-sex-beach-mocktail-cocktailday.html

#3. Cranberry Sparkler Mocktail - Heading into the holiday's could be tough...but with these scrumptious cocktails, you won't be left out of any toasts!
http://cupcakesandkalechips.com/2012/12/16/cranberry-sparkler-mocktail-for-sundaysupper/

#4. Cocoa Mock-Tini. Everyone knows how much of a sucker I am for martinis. I still haven't figured out a way to create a virgin dirty martini (if you have any suggestions PLEASE let me know). But this decadent chocolate martini should hold me over for now...

#5. Hibiscus Iced Tea Sparkler. Pretty, delicious and healthy. Check, check and check.
http://diethood.com/hibiscus-iced-tea-sparkler/

 #6. Banana PiƱa Colada. All I can say is YUMMMMMMMM..
http://blog.freepeople.com/2012/08/summer-mocktails-banana-pia-colada-genius-twist/

#7. Pomegranate Sangria Mocktail. For all you sangria lovers!
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/sparkling-pomegranate-sangria-mocktail/?crlt.pid=camp.08FjX8AxsfQP

#8. Baby Bellini. Last but definitely not least! No drink menu would be complete without a bellini, and this one so happens to have the word "baby" in the title making me love it even more right now!
http://spoonful.com/recipes/baby-bellini



For even more delicious non-alcoholic beverage options, check out my Mocktails board on pinterest where I'm always adding new deliciousness!