7.02.2017

crockpot buffalo chicken dip


this is the perfect recipe to make for any upcoming july 4th parties (or really any party for that matter)!  this dip is easy, only contains a few ingredients, and it's ADDICTIVE (there's your warning).  a friend introduced the basic recipe to me several years ago (i jazzed it up a bit), and since i started making it... friends, family, and coworkers request this dish for every single get together!  it never fails, the crockpot is scraped clean when it is all said and done., and you will leave people begging for more.  recipe is as follows:

ingredients.

cook the chicken breasts in the buffalo sauce on high until cooked through (about two hours).

remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred (if you have a stand mixer, use that.  shredding chicken by hand is the bane of my existence, and this hack has been life changing).

return the shredded chicken back into the crockpot with the sauce.  mix in the shredded cheese, ranch and 2 tbsp chives (save the rest for garnish).  add the cream cheese and cover.  continue cooking (on high, because you will want to eat this asap) until all ingredients are melted.  stir to combine.  decrease heat to keep warm.  when you're ready to serve, garnish the final product with some of the remaining chives and serve with tortilla chips and celery (you know, to make it healthy).

    my mouth is watering just looking at this.

crockpot buffalo chicken dip
serves ~ 10 people

ingredients: 

1 cup frank's red hot buffalo sauce (hot or mild)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese  
(*i prefer hand-shredded cheese.  also, you can use any type of cheddar here)
4 tbsp chives, chopped
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese

instructions:
  • cook the chicken breasts in the buffalo sauce in your crockpot on high, until cooked through (about two hours).
  • remove the chicken breasts from the crockpot and shred (us a stand mixer for this if you have one).
  • return the chicken back to the sauce in the crockpot.  mix in the shredded cheese, ranch, and 2 tbsp chives.  add in the cream cheese.  cover and continue to cook on high until all ingredients are melted.  stir to combine.  
  • reduce heat to keep warm.  top with the remaining chives when you're ready to dig in.  serve with tortilla chips and celery. 
 

6.29.2017

key west: part two (exploring + a video)


this post features the rest of our vacation... which basically consists of eating and drinking our way through key west!  haha.  just kidding... there were many sights to be seen, including the waterfront and mallory square, the southermost point, and many of hemmingway's hangouts, but one of my favorite activities was walking around the quieter streets (away from duval) and admiring all of the beautiful pastel-colored homes with adorable white picket fences in the front.  i have a few picked out to purchase for that one day when i become wealthy!  don't worry, you guys can all come for a visit  :)  there were several things on the itinerary we didn't get a chance to check out (all the reason to go back), but we checked almost everything off the list.

one fun fact i learned about myself while in the keys, i have gephyrophobia (a fear of driving over bridges)!  who knew?  has anyone else ever experienced this?  i can tell you firsthand, having a panic attack while driving on a 7-mile long bridge is no fun.

anyhow, below is a video (because i truly enjoy looking back on those, better than pictures), along with a few photos of some of our favorite spots:




mile marker 0!!!

garbo's grill food truck (see the fish tacos, below)

these were the best fish tacos i've ever had! fresh grilled mahi, cilantro, cabbage, sliced jalapenos and mango topped with a creamy caribbean sauce.  my mouth is watering at just the sight of them.




bo's fish wagon... the best conch fritters (see below) ↓


my birthday dinner at the thirsty mermaid

no better way to celebrate, than with a glass of rosé!

bougainvillea plants give me all the feels

these beautifully colored roosters roam all over the island!



the steamed clams at half shell raw bar were super yummy!

i'll take this adorable little bungalow!


i had to keep holding onto my hats, because it was so windy ;)



actually, i'll take this pink one too!!

sunburns are the new black, i hear...

the best bloody mary bar i've encountered yet, at blue macaw! (who knew pickled pineapple could be so delicious)?  they have a very yummy brunch, too!


alright... throw this one into the real estate shopping cart as well.  if you look closely at the fence, there's tiny carved octopus, with conch shells at the top of the picket!  is that not adorable?!?!

had to get the key lime pie at kermit's

it was delicious!  (husband needs a little work with my camera's focal settings)





other favorites, not pictured:

we wound up each evening at cork and stogie (great beer/cigar selections)
we loved our hotel, la concha (reasonably priced off-season and right on duval st.)
delicious mojitos can be found at the southernmost beach cafe and willie t's

until next time key west (and please let it be sooner, rather than later).

6.27.2017

key west: part one (dry tortugas)


key west vacay pictures have arrived!!!  this post features all of the photos from our day trip to dry tortugas national park.  if you ever find yourself in key west,  you MUST visit here (be sure to book in advance, because spots fill up quickly)!  it's a two hour boat ride to the park, and once you arrive you can tour fort jefferson (built in 1846), snorkel in the reefs just offshore, enjoy some birding as one of the islands is home to a large seabird colony, or just relax and unwind on the beautiful white sand beaches (which is exactly what we did, mostly).  the overcast weather didn't seem too promising early in the morning as the boat departed from key west, but early in the afternoon blue skies began to shine through the clouds... and it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day!  yay!  i've never seen such beautiful blue water.  this was definitely the highlight of our vacation, and i'm so glad we had the opportunity to go!  check out our pics below!

au revoir, key west!



approaching fort jefferson






gimme dat cactus!










yup, beware saltwater crocodiles...


this is how i feel about spending a few days in the florida keys (why are jumping pics so fun?)... stay tuned for part two and a little video!

(clothing:  lace cover up from zara, bikini top and bottom from albion fit, hat from madewell)