Game Day! (Chicken Wing Dip Recipe)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Football_signed_by_Gerald_R._Ford.jpg

Football

If you are a football fan (or a commercials fan), you might be watching a certain game today.  If you are having/going to a party, it’s not too late to make a tasty snack!  While this one likely won’t win any health awards, we’ve made it several times.  (We received the recipe from a friend.)  It’s quick too: Chicken Wing Dip!  While no actual chicken wings were used in the recipe, it has the flavor.

Chicken Wing Dip

1 cup ranch dressing (or blue cheese dressing)

1 cup Red Buffalo Wing sauce (any wing sauce of your choice will do)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 bricks softened cream cheese

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (chicken breasts work well)

Bag of sturdy chips/crackers for dip (we use pita chips)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Set a pot of water to a roiling boil and boil chicken breasts for 20 minutes.  Break apart so chicken is shredded.

Mix all ingredients and put in a 13×9 pan.  Sprinkle extra cheddar cheese on top.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Use chips/crackers for dipping.  Enjoy!

A Polar Vortex… of Flavor!

As the latest instance of the polar vortex moves away, I am left to re-ponder my understanding of the concept of ‘cold’, as the temperatures now seem almost spring-like in comparison!  But more seriously, the seeming antithesis of everything warm and green has left me increasingly anxious for spring. (I do enjoy living in the Midwest… I do enjoy living in the Midwest…)

We are just leaving soup month, but winter is still staring intently at us for the near future.  So- perhaps we need a de facto extension to soup season!  As I have written before, I love soup.  What a better way to fight off a vortex than with a bowl of hunger-sating warmth?  Chef Fabio has some options for soup, as well.  I just defrosted some eggplant chili and some mixed vegetable soup from this summer.  What’s your favorite soup to beat the cold?

Guerilla Gardening, or “Plant some sh!t”! -Ron Finley

I enjoy this video clip for a number of reasons- first, because I love gardening, of course…  Ron Finley makes some wonderful statistics-backed points about what can be done with vacant and underutilized land to help fight the food desert phenomenon.   I won’t spoil the video for you, but he speaks about the prevalence of vacant lots and even how yards can be utilized for greater benefit.  Ron, however, had a similar problem as others have had when attempting to garden outside of the (planter) box.  Now, I semi-understand why there is the push to keep grassy, standardized lawns so that properties look pleasant, but I find it much easier to sympathize with the gardeners when the clearly conspicuous gardens are 1) more useful for food purposes and 2) well-kept.  All of the examples I have ever seen in the news for similar reasons have been gardens that were well cared for.  Just imagine how much food we could produce if lawns in the cities were converted.  Regardless of climate, quite a bit more food could be locally (and cheaply!) produced via fruit trees and plants and other vegetable plants.  I try to garden with a little extra space and in a few extra pots, but ideally, I would like a larger garden.  This is not to say that urban gardening is not without a few concerns, such as the quality of the soil.  However, the larger point in this whole narrative is that if each of us was able to plant even a bit more food locally, it could have quite a few positive ripple effects.  “Plant some sh!t!”

Smoking mad

Candy cigarettes display

Candy cigarettes display

A soda shop in Minnesota got into possible trouble for selling candy cigarettes.  I remember our local family-owned grocery store in our small town used to carry boxes of candy cigarettes in the late 80s/early 90s for 10 cents a box (and I recall buying some).  I don’t smoke myself, but I can certainly understand how this is part of a larger concern over smoking.  On one hand, they’re just candy, but it’s possible that it could be perceived to be imitable (though I wouldn’t be the best example for this proposed chain of causality).

I wasn’t really aware that they were still being made or sold, though admittedly I wasn’t looking.  The grocery store back home stopped carrying them at some point in the 90s.  (The store was eventually sold, and they were open, closed, open, and now closed again.  Such are the realities of rural small town grocery stores.)

They have been banned in some places, but the U.S. is not one of them.  A misinterpreted article is still available online.  The FDA was actually referring to putting certain flavorings in real cigarettes.