Game Day Buffalo Chicken Dip

Game Day Buffalo Chicken Dip
I admit that I am a huge fan of dining on what I like to call “picky food.” And by that I don’t mean food for picky eaters, but that range of food you just pick up and eat with your fingers. Appetizers in general appeal to me. Nachos, wings, dips, olive trays, deep fried pickles – these are the things I would eat daily if it weren’t for the fact that these options aren’t always the healthiest, and I’m trying to encourage a healthier diet for me and my family. But everything in moderation, right?

Perhaps my favourite date night or girls’ night out includes heading to a pub and ordering a bunch of appetizers to share, along with a pitcher of beer. Yum. Which is why Sundays at our place during football season present the perfect opportunity to indulge. Appetizers, beer, and football. It’s a given combination.

We’ll be watching Super Bowl 50 this evening, naturally, and along with wings, and cold cuts, and assorted munchies, we’ll have a big bowl of this Buffalo Chicken Dip, served with tortilla chips and chunks of warm bread. It is so delicious, rich, and filling it’s almost a meal in itself. Might want to add a veggie though. Actually, you could dip some carrot or celery sticks in this too. I’ll be sure to add those to the spread.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 chicken breasts (to give about 2 cups)
1/2 cup wing sauce
1/8 cup Frank’s Red Hot
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
2 cups grated cheddar
8 oz cream cheese

Poach the chicken breasts until cooked through. Let cool, then chop roughly. You will need about 2 cups.
Combine chopped chicken with the other ingredients in a medium casserole dish. Mix well.
Cook 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven, until top is bubbly and dip is lightly brown around the edges.
Serve warm with tortilla chips, slices of baguette, carrot sticks, celery sticks.
/Raising My Boys: Easy & Organic Rice and Grains for Your Busy Mealtimes #SeedsofChangeCA/

I often think about the “lazy days of summer,” but in reality I don’t think I really have very many truly lazy days. During the school year there’s school and work and lessons and early bed times. During the summer there’s work and outings and camps and generally a lot of running around and being more active and social. Basically, my family is always busy. And as we all know, that can be a problem when it comes to getting healthy, home-cooked meals on the table.

How many evenings do you find yourself resorting to pizza delivery or grabbing a prepared convenience food from the pantry or freezer? I prefer to keep things fresh and homemade, although sometimes I have to admit that’s not going to happen. But I worry about extra fat and sodium, and question some of the ingredients I can’t pronounce on many packaged foods. So I appreciate when I find a new product that provides the convenience I need with the healthy profile I desire.

Seeds of Change began as a small organic seed company in 1989 and has grown to produce a line of organic rice and grain blends. Their ingredients are ethically sourced and kept as simple as possible. New to our country, Seeds of Change is the only Certified Organic, ready-to-heat rice and grain brand available in Canada. It is available in 6 premium varieties, including Spanish, Caribbean, and Indian flavours, all of which are suitable for vegetarian diets. As well, Seeds of Change products contain no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives, and still have a shelf-life of 12 months. Good, right? Each package makes a great side dish for your next family meal, and can be heated in the microwave or on the stove top. Zero prep on your end, meaning a speedier delivery to your table, without sacrificing health benefits.

I took some chicken breasts out last night, with no idea how I wanted to prepare them. So I was pretty happy when my husband offered to grill them with a peanut sauce marinade. Yay for me not cooking! I did look after sides though, and to keep things easy, and the oven off, I grabbed a Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice packet. He had already started grilling at this point and worried about how long this would take. Ha! 90 seconds in the microwave, baby! No worries at all.

And here’s our meal. Along with the Quinoa & Brown Rice & grilled chicken breasts, we just heated a can of corn (microwave as well), and tossed in a few cherry tomatoes from the planter on the deck. The tomatoes were calling to me during the grilling 🙂 This was an easy, quick, and delicious dinner.

Yummy & quick weeknight dinner with #SeedsofChangeCA Organic Quinoa & Brown Rice

A photo posted by Deb Coombs (@raisingmyboys) on Aug 1, 2016 at 3:40pm PDT

What did we think of the Quinoa & Brown Rice? We both liked it, which is pretty huge as my guy won’t normally eat these types of packaged convenience foods. I got him to taste this, grudgingly, and then I caught him putting a big spoonful on his plate. Win! What we really liked was the lack of that chemical/MSG/artificial taste that comes with many microwave sides. The flavour and consistency were both pleasing, and of course we appreciated the speedy preparation and healthy ingredients. I’m looking forward to trying the Spanish Style next.

Contest Time!

Would you like to meet celebrity Chef Jamie Kennedy? Would you like him to cook for you? Silly questions, I know! Seeds of Change has partnered with him to bring you this amazing contest – you can enter for your chance to win one of 5 trips for two to attend an exclusive dinner with Jamie, at his farm in Prince Edward County, ON. For real! He will be whipping up a delicious meal featuring local, seasonal produce along with Seeds of Change rice and grains. To enter you will need to enter the 12 digit UPC code from any participating Seeds of Change product at SeedsofChange.ca. Contest runs through August 14. The dinner event will take place on September 15, 2016. You can find all the details, plus official rules & regulations at the contest site. There are instant secondary prizes as well – you could win one of 2000 available free product coupons.

Best of luck!
/Raising My Boys: Tell Me I’m Not the Only One/

Tell Me I’m Not the Only One

There are a ton of changes that come with being a woman of a certain age. Fun things like hot flashes and grey hair in “interesting” places. Peeing just a little when you laugh. Not having any idea why you just walked into that room. It’s a gas, really!

Last night, for instance, I wrote a “brilliant” blog post in my head, while I was doing something inane like washing the dishes. It had humour and interest and I am sure it had some genius tips for you all. Or something like that. Because, you see, all I remember is that I wrote something in my head. And, in spite of thinking to myself, “Self, you should really jot down some notes in a draft post,” I didn’t do that. So it’s gone now. Completely. If I ever remember what I wanted to tell you, I promise I will. Though it likely wasn’t anywhere as “brilliant” as I’d like to think it was. Whatever. Can’t remember. Move on.

Totally related – on Sunday morning I had to run out for a couple errands. I hit up Dollarama, got everything I meant to (yay! for small miracles), then was on my way to M&M Food Market for their Oriental Party Pak (my fave!) And I decided I really needed another coffee. Thankfully I live in Scarborough, and so there were at least 3 Tim Horton’s options along my route. Stopped at the first one, got my coffee, popped it in my cup holder to wait for it to cool down.

When I pulled up in front of the plaza with M&M? It was closed. Like, closed up, space for lease. Crap. Loving my smart phone, I went online and found the nearest option. Which was almost precisely the same distance from my house, but in the opposite direction. Sigh. Hit the road again, pass my house, keep on going.

And then I decided that I really needed another coffee. OK, there’s a Timmie’s on the next corner (seriously – Scarborough). But wait. Wasn’t I going to stop at Timmie’s half an hour ago on my way to the first M&M’s? Why didn’t I do that??

I am serious. Absolutely serious. I had a beautiful, medium-black-2-sugar sitting next to me for over half an hour and completely and utterly forgot I had ever purchased it. Dufus. It was a great temperature for drinking at least.

I told my mom that story and I think she may have peed herself a little, laughing at me.

Help me out here. You can relate, right?

This Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe is an easy classic that features three different layers of flavors including chicken mixed with your favorite hot sauce (I always go for Frank’s RedHot!), cream cheese, ranch dressing and, of course, lots of cheese! One of my oldest, best friends, Beth, definitely qualifies as a genius.