Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Dip

How is it only Thursday?! Don’t get me wrong; my week has been going really well, but I am DRAINED. And really hungry. And want nothing more than to curl up in bed with all six seasons of LOST, the biggest coffee in the world, and a box of cupcakes. (Doesn’t that sound amazing?!) I’m going to blame the weather. It’s been really gray here, aka nap weather, so even though my week has been great, I’m ready for a relaxing weekend. So. Close.

I think, by now, you’ve become very aware of my love of all things buffalo chicken. The chili, the cupcakes, the dip. My favorite dip of all time. Or, at least it was, until I made this Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Dip for the first time. This is by far the most delicious hot dip I’ve ever had. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Dip

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What I’m Listening to: “Ghost” by Ella Henderson

Ingredients

-2 large chicken breasts

-12 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)

-1 cup of ranch dressing

-3/4 cup of barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Brown Sugar and Hickory)

-1 cup of cheddar cheese

-1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese

-1 tbsp garlic powder

-4 green onions, chopped

-Bread or chips for dipping

Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Cover with water and cook on high for 2 hours. Drain the water, then shred the chicken with either an electric mixer or two forks. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 30-60 minutes, until the dip has melted together and is heated through. Turn the slow cooker to warm. Serve with warm bread or chips.

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Note: Adapted from The Cookie Rookie

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Quick and Easy New Year’s Eve Recipes

New Year’s Eve is nearly here! Have you figured out your plans yet? If you’re hosting or going to a party, and need some recipe ideas, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve compiled some of my favorite, easy recipes that are perfect for sharing. I’m making a few of these myself! Serve one or two of these to all your friends and you’ll ring in New Year’s Eve with some serious flair! (Remember when Facebook had “flair”?)

Quick and Easy New Year’s Eve Recipes

BBQ Chicken and Feta Flatbread

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Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

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Creamy Veggie Ranch Dip

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Holy Guacamole

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Pine Nut and Veggie Flatbread

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Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

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Mini Nutella S’Mores Cheesecakes

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Hope you all have a fantastic New Year’s Eve! Here’s to 2015!

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Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Happy Monday, foodie friends! How was your Christmas? Mine was wonderful! I got to spend lots of time with my family, eat great food, got some awesome new gadgets for my kitchen, and even won 25 cents in my first official game of Sheephead. What a great holiday! Now that I’m back home and getting myself settled, I’m already planning New Year’s. I’ve never been a crazy NYE celebrator. In fact, two years ago, I split a bottle of wine with my sister, and we fell asleep watching “The Dark Knight Rises.” This year, I’m having 5 close friends over for the night. We’re making food, hanging out…and I’m not sure what else. But it’s sure to be a good time. 🙂 I’m already working on my appetizer menu for the night, but had to share one of my favorites from last year with you. (Disclaimer: this does make more than my traditional “4 servings or less” recipes, but if you’re going to a party for New Year’s or having friends over, this is perfect!)

I know EVERYONE makes buffalo chicken dip, but I make mine in the crockpot. Why? It’s easy and incredibly low maintenance. You throw everything in, wait 90 minutes, give it a stir, and BAM. That’s it! Have I caught your attention yet?

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How about now?

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip

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What I’m Listening to: “Jealous” by Nick Jonas

Ingredients (makes enough to share with 6-8 people)

-1 8 oz block of Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese)

-1/2 cup of Frank’s Buffalo sauce (NOT the hot sauce!)

-1/2 cup of ranch dressing

-1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

-1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

-1 large can of white chicken, or 1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded

Place all the ingredients in a crockpot. Heat on low for 60-90 minutes, or until the ingredients are melted and cooked through. Switch to the “warm” setting and serve with beer bread, pita, or chips!

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Cooking for Beginners: Pepperoni Pizza Pouches

My cats are in absolute heaven today. Aside from a Starbucks run this morning and a pit stop at Target to get cheese for dinner, I’ve been home all day, curled up under a blanket and watching “How I Met Your Mother.” It’s rare that I am home for the whole day, even on the weekend. Any hopes of productivity went out the window when I woke up to overcast skies and light drizzling rain this morning, so, a Lazy Sunday it was. Charlee has been sleeping on my bed and Stella has spent the better part of the day laying on my lap, which is where she is currently. She loves my blogging time. I generally blog while sitting on the couch, so she’ll wait until I’m a few sentences in before squeezing into the space between me and my laptop, and making herself at home. It’s cute, but seriously. I think I could cut my blogging time in half if she wasn’t looking to have her belly rubbed every 2 minutes.

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I am really excited about my second “Cooking for Beginners” post!  I promise that I’ll branch out from pizza-themed recipes, but hey, it IS National Pizza Month. This is basically a glorified Hot Pocket…except I didn’t burn my mouth on mine, so I like them much better than the store-bought kind. I was able to pull this recipe together with ingredients I already had in my kitchen, and the prep was minimal. I made these for lunch today, but I think they’d also make a great appetizer, especially if you cut them in halves or quarters. Serve with some marinara for dipping and fruit on the side.

Pepperoni Pizza Pouches

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What I’m Listening to: “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith

Ingredients (makes 4 pouches)

-1 package of refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits (8 ct)

-1/2 cup of leftover spaghetti sauce, plus extra for dipping

-1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella

-12 pepperonis

-2 tbsp butter, melted

-1/4 tsp garlic powder

-1/8 tsp oregano

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a second piece on a flat surface, as a work space. Place two biscuits on the work surface at a time, a few inches apart. Flatten the biscuits with your hands, while maintaining the round shape. Spoon 1 tbsp of sauce onto each biscuit and spread with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle a 1/2 tbsp of cheese on one of the biscuits. Cover the cheese with 3 pepperonis, then sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese. Take the second biscuit and lay it over the first, sauce side down. Press together with your fingers. If the sauce leaks out, that’s ok! Use the tines of a fork (the part you eat from) to seal the pouch, all the way around. Move the pouch to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining biscuits until you have four pizza pouches.

Bake in the oven for 13 minutes. In the mean time, melt the butter, and mix in the garlic powder and oregano. If you want a bolder flavor, feel free to double the amount of spices you use. When the pouches are done, spoon the garlic butter mixture over each. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

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Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

Remember when I said that last weekend was big for “Table for One?” Well, this week has been even bigger! I’ve got two exciting things to share!

*In addition to being on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, Table for One is now on Twitter! Check it out here!

*After hearing from several of my followers, I’ve decided to do a (hopefully) weekly series of “Cooking for Beginners” posts. We’ll be covering all the basics, from cooking terms to spices you should have on hand. I’m really excited to get started! If there is something you’d like me to do a post on, comment below!

Alright, on to the food! You may remember my Caribbean Jerk Cupcakes from a few months ago. These are the original recipe, and a regular request from my friends. You can serve them as an appetizer or a main course, and they make delicious leftovers! The best part? They are very easy to make! (Beginners, you’ll like these.)

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

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What I’m Listening to: “Riptide” by Vance Joy

Ingredients (makes 12)

-24 wonton wrappers (The package I get usually has 48…an excuse to make them twice!)

-1 large can of chicken breast

-8 oz cream cheese, softened

-1/2 cup of ranch dressing

-1/2 cup of Frank’s buffalo sauce

-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, chicken, ranch, buffalo sauce, and cheese. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer or something similar, just throw everything in and mix on low. If not, a spoon works just fine. Make sure you don’t leave any big chunks of cream cheese; try to mix evenly.

Place a wonton wrap in each of the holes of a greased muffin pan by pushing the wrap in the center. The edges should curl up the sides to form a cup. Scoop about a tablespoon of the chicken mixture onto each wonton. Press another wonton wrap over the filling, and spoon another tablespoon of mixture on top. Lightly top each cupcake with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cupcake are browned. Serve as an appetizer or a main dish, with a fruit or vegetable side.

Note: The mixture keeps really well in the fridge! I will make 3-4 cupcakes at a time, over the course of a few days. You can also reheat the cupcakes in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, although they do lose some of their crispiness.

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Creamy Veggie Ranch Dip

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all having a great weekend! I just got back from spending time with my sisters. Mallory graduated on Friday with her Master’s Degree, so the three of us got together to celebrate. My parents and grandparents came last night for the graduation and we all got dinner together afterwards, before they drove home. Saturday, Mal, Kaylee and I went downtown to walk around in the beautiful weather. We had lunch at  La Cava, a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Iowa City, then headed to the mall. I did a little damage at Ann Taylor Loft, and had my first Teavana experience…it was glorious. But now I’m home…hello cleaning and lawn mowing.

I discovered this dip recipe last year on my friend Danielle’s Pinterest board. I’ve done some minor tweaks since then, and it’s become one of my favorite things to make for cookouts and potlucks. I took this to work last week and it was a big hit! The best part? You can make it in ten minutes or less! Yes, it’s going to make a lot, but you can file this recipe under “food you CAN share.” Or, you can eat it all by yourself…I won’t tell.

Creamy Veggie Ranch Dip

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What I’m Listening to: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” soundtrack

Ingredients

-16 ounces of cream cheese, softened

-1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix

-1/2 a red pepper, diced

-1 can of corn, drained

-1 jalapeno, diced

-Chips to serve (I like Tostito’s multigrain scoops!)

In a medium sized bowl, mix the blocks of cream cheese together with a metal spoon. Add the ranch mix and stir well. Mix in all the veggies and refrigerate until ready to serve!

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