Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip was not something that Tuck’s mom was familiar with until she met Tuck’s dad. He is obsessed with buffalo chicken and will eat it in wrap form, fried chicken form, but most beloved, in dip form. There are countless ways to make this dip, and we consider this the indulgent but mostly healthy version. What we like about this recipe is that for all of its creaminess, Greek yogurt is the base of the dip, which means you can snack away guilt free while plopped in front of the TV watching the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Makes: 8+ appetizer servings

Active Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large chicken breasts (about 1.25 lbs)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for Bread Crumbs:

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the water to a simmer and add the chicken breasts to the pot. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through. If the chicken is slightly under cooked, no worries, you will be cooking it again in the oven later. Remove the chicken from the pot and set on a cutting board. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, shred it with two forks or finely chop into small pieces.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. When it has melted, add the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and Frank’s Hot Sauce to the pan. Stir gradually and cook until the the cream cheese has completely melted. Add the chicken, stir everything well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low.
  5. Make the breadcrumbs by combining all of the bread crumb ingredients in a bowl (bread crumbs – scallions). Use your hands to gently mix everything together- it should have the consistency of wet sand. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  6. Spread the chicken dip with a spatula so that everything is in an even layer. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over top and put in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the dip is bubbling underneath the bread crumbs. Serve immediately with tortilla chips and celery.

His and Hers Air Fried Chicken Wings

Making dinner with our spouses is pretty seamless 95% of the time. By that, we mean that we cook whatever we want and our husbands typically don’t have complaints. Every so often though, we have a disagreement on which flavors we should incorporate into our meal. When it comes to watching football, the husbands are pretty specific on what types of foods they want to eat in the man cave. Instead of choosing just one flavor for game day wings, we decided to try out his-and-hers seasonings. “His” ingredients produce what we consider to be a classic flavored chicken wing. “Her” ingredients are based on Indian flavors and combine turmeric and tandoori powder. Despite the difference in ingredients, both versions of chicken wings are cooked the same way using a dry rub and the air fryer. The result is a juicy, flavorful and crispy chicken wing with no oil and no game day guilt!

His-and-Hers Air Fried Chicken Wings

Makes: 6 – 8 appetizer servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

His Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bone-in chicken wings
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder

Her Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bone-in chicken wings
  • 2 tbs tumeric
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs tandoori powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder

Directions:

  1. Combine the seasoning of “his” ingredients in a bowl. Coat the chicken wings with the seasoning mixture. Repeat the same steps using “her” ingredients.
  2. Place the chicken wings on the air fryer rack. We used the Cuisinart Air Fryer. Set the oven to “Air Fry” mode and 425 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or as-is. Repeat cooking as necessary if all of the wings can not fit into the first batch.

Homemade Guacamole

We named this classic appetizer Guacine Phoenix in honor of Joaquin’s role in The Joker, but all puns for the Golden Globes aside, we LOVE this guacamole recipe. It is the recipe that Tate’s mom has used for years, and as a result is the go-to guacamole recipe for everyone that tastes it. There is nothing sneaky about this recipe- it is just the perfect blend of all of the essential ingredients. 

Homemade Guacamole 
Makes: 6 appetizer servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes      Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 3 large, ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (ideally from fresh limes)
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 serrano chili, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Place the garlic, red onion, jalapeno, serrano, and cilantro in a small food processor. Pulse until all of the components are minced. Add to a medium-sized bowl. If you do not have a food processor available, finely chop these ingredients and be careful not to touch your eyes after chopping! 
  2. Cut the avocados around the middle with a good knife. Split in half and stab the pit with your knife to remove it. Use a spoon to scrape out the avocado from the skin and into the bowl. Immediately add the lime juice to the avocados to prevent browning.
  3. Use a potato masher to break down the avocados. We like our guacamole on the chunky side, but mash until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the texture you desire. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Keep covered and chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and mixed vegetables for dipping.

Air Fryer Corn Dogs

This appetizer, “Tom Franks”, is named after this year’s Cecil B. deMille Award winner and all around legend, Tom Hanks. Like Tom Hanks, corn dogs are a classic. To ensure that we are honoring our New Year’s Resolution setting friends, we have chosen to air fry instead of deep frying. We were really happy with how the air fryer crisped up the corn dogs and the best part? No oil. None at all! 

Tom Franks – Air Fryer Jalapeno Corn Dogs with Cholula Ketchup
Makes: 18 mini corn dogs 
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 23 minutes   

Ingredients For the Franks:

  • 1 package-6- hotdogs (we used Hebrew National)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 package of corn bread mix (we used Trader Joes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup of flour

Ingredients For the Condiments:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbs cholula 

Directions: 

  1. Prepare the cornbread by placing the full packet of mix in a bowl. Add one egg, oil, milk and jalapeno; stir to combine. Note that we have doubled the recommended amount of milk than the instructions on the packet.
  2. Chop the hot dogs into thirds.
  3. Scramble the remaining egg and keep in a separate bowl. Pour the flour into a separate bowl. You should have three bowls out at this point, one flour, one scrambled egg and one corn bread mixture.
  4. Assemble the corn dogs by dipping the hot dogs in the flour, scrambled egg and corn bread is that order. Do this for each hot dog and place the hot dogs on your air fryer pan.
  5. Cook the corn dogs on the air fryer setting at 425 degrees for 8 minutes. You should start seeing the corn bread mix turning brown on all sides. 
  6. Prepare the sauce by combining the ketchup and cholula
  7. Serve the corn dogs immediately with the ketchup.

Peach & Pecan Brie Bites

We are coming at you today with a quick and easy, crazy delicious appetizer for your last minute New Year’s Eve prep. We love to spend time in the kitchen, but every once in a while we need a quick, throw-in-the-oven recipe to help our entertaining plans take shape. This is where this Brie Bites recipe comes into play. Just a few ingredients and you’ll have a crowd pleasing appetizer in just about 30 minutes.

Peach & Pecan Brie Bites 
Makes: 24 small bites 
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbs flour 
  • 1/2 lb pie dough
  • 1/3 – 1/2 lb wedge of Brie 
  • peach jam 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans 
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary 
  • 1 tbs butter 
  • 1 tbs brown sugar 
  • salt 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and brown sugar to the skillet, stirring until the sugar is melted into the butter. Add the pecans, rosemary, and a pinch of salt to the butter. Stir and cook the pecans until they are toasted and coated with the butter mix. Remove from the heat and pour onto a flat surface to let cool. You want to make sure they spread into an even layer so that the pecans don’t stick together.
  3. Sprinkle the flour on a flat kitchen surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough so that it is approximately 1/4 inch thick and a square or rectangle in shape. Take a small knife and cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares, re-rolling the dough as necessary until you have 24 pieces. 
  4. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Lay each piece of pie dough into each muffin insert- being careful not to tear the dough or push it too firmly into the tin insert. 
  5. Chop the brie into 24 small squares. Layer the brie, a teaspoon of peach jam, and a sprinkle of pecans into each of muffin tin squares. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pie crust is light brown and the peach jam is melted. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the pan. Use  a small pairing knife to gently release each bite from the pan and place onto a serving platter. 

Cheese Board: Winter Edition

It’s no doubt that we love ourselves a good cheese board at Tuck & Tate. When thinking about winter cheese boards, the first thing that came to mind was creating a board that was versatile enough to go to any holiday celebration, including New Year’s Eve. We wanted items that were tasty but felt light so as to not overshadow the decadence that typically comes with holiday menus. For detailed steps on constructing these appetizer dream boards, read through our Cheese Board: Fall Edition post found here.  

Cheese Board: Winter Edition
Serving Size: 8-10 servings 
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients On This Board (all from Trader Joe’s):

  • 1 wedge of Brie cheese
  • 1 wedge of Creamy Toscana Cheese soaked in Syrah
  • 1 round of Camembert cheese 
  • 1 package assorted charcuterie meats
  • 1 package of asparagus
  • 1 package green beans
  • 1 tub of Everything Bagel Yogurt Dip
  • 1 container raspberries
  • 1 container blueberries
  • 2 cups of 3 seed beet crackers 
  • 2 cups of pistachio & pomegranate crackers 

Directions:  

  1. Start to assemble by placing the cheese on the board. Keep it spread to various corners. Add the dip to a serving dish and place in the center of the board.
  2. Add the ingredients on the board and try to mix types of foods and colors throughout. You can keep the board at room temperature for 2 hours before serving or assemble and serve immediately. 

Whipped Feta & Vegetable Platter

We know that this point in the holiday season can feel like a revolving door of guests and family coming over. There is a constant struggle of wanting to be the hostess with the mostest and also relaxing during the holidays. To help our cause we stock up on lots of  snacks so that we can throw together an appetizer board in just a few minutes. We love this whipped feta platter because it turns something ordinary into something much more extraordinary that really impresses your guests. Instead of a quick trip to the grocery to purchase the standard box of veggies and ranch, a trip through the produce section will give you the ingredients for this Martha Stewart-on-steroids Whipped Feta & Vegetable Platter. 

Making a Martha-esque veggie platter means expanding your horizons in the produce section of your grocery store. Instead of celery, opt for endive and asparagus. Instead of baby carrots, choose the longer rainbow variety to give your veggie platter some color. When making any type of appetizer board or platter, we always try to choose a variety of colors, textures, and tastes. This way there is something on the board for everyone. To compliment this array of veggies, we have made a Whipped Feta Dip with lots of fresh herbs. The feta gives the dip a nice punch of salt, Greek yogurt adds a nice tang, and the fresh herbs make it feel like summer even in the coolest of winter days. 

Whipped Feta Dip and Vegetable Platter                                                                                                                        
Serving Size: 8-10 appetizer servings                                                                                                       
Prep Time: 30 minutes      Total Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients for the Feta Dip :

  • 8 oz feta cheese 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herbs, finely chopped (we used dill, rosemary & chives)
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients for the Vegetable Platter :

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed 
  • 1 bunch of radishes, rinsed and quartered 
  •  1 zucchini, cut into spears 
  • 1 package rainbow carrots, stems trimmed and peeled 
  • 2 bunches endive, leaves removed 
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced on the diagonal to make spears 
  • 1 small bunch of cauliflower 
  • 1 package green onions, ends trimmed and outer layer removed 

Directions:  

  1. To make the dip, put the feta in a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the feta until it starts to become fluffy- three to four minutes. Add the Greek yogurt and continue to mix. If the mixture is still dry (this will depend on the type of feta you buy) add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth and has a thick, dip-like consistency. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Be aware the feta is very salty, so add the salt sparingly until you get the taste you want to achieve. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.   
  2. The reason this recipe has a 30 minute prep time, even though the dip takes 5 minutes or less to make, is so that you take the time to prep the vegetables. Wash everything thoroughly and pat dry before assembling on a platter. You can mix and match the veggies we have used in this platter or use up whatever you have in your refrigerator! Just be sure to choose a variety of colors and textures. 


Cheese Board: Autumn Edition

When hosting events, there is nothing we love more than putting together a cheese board. It can be assembled ahead of time and is a great distraction for your guests if you are still doing some preparation in the kitchen. It is the perfect vessel for putting many different foods together and looks spectacular when people walk in the door. We made the Autumn edition of our cheese board for Thanksgiving using ingredients that were seasonally fall – apples, Autumn Cheese, Pumpkin and Ginger Crackers. The options are endless when it comes to make these boards and the best part is that you don’t have to do much with combining flavors. With other dishes we would tell you that less is more, but when it comes to a cheese board, more is more. We love to dig through the aisles of Trader Joe’s to find items to mix and match. 

Our Cheese Board Tips:

  1. Use small ramekins and bowls to help separate foods that might run together, like marinated olives. This allows you to prepare the board a little more in advance and keeps all of the items on the board fresh for longer. 
  2. Stick to the rule of 3: three types of cheese, three types of charcuterie, and three types of crackers. This is a great base for a board for a party of 10-12 people. There will be enough variety that everyone will find something they like.
  3. Buy cheeses with a variety in taste, texture and type of milk they are made from. If a cheese is really hard (like a Parmesan) cut it into bite sized pieces for the board. The same goes for brie in a large wheel. Cutting the cheese up helps your guests have an easier time digging into the good stuff. 

Cheese Board: Autumn Edition
Serving Size: 8-10 servings 

Prep Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients On This Board (all from Trader Joe’s unless homemade):

  • 1 wedge of Brie cheese
  • 1 wedge of Rosemary Asiago 
  • 1 wedge of Chimay Autumn Cheese 
  • 1 package assorted charcuterie meats
  • 2 apples, thinly sliced 
  • 1 lemon 
  • 2 bell peppers, medium chop 
  • 1 cup+ marinated olives 
  • 1 cup+ honey roasted sesame cashews 
  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash dip 
  • 2 cups Pumpkin Cranberry Crisp crackers 
  • 2 cups Trisket crackers 

Directions:  

  1. Start to assemble by placing the cheese on the board. Keep it spread to various corners. Next add the items that will go in bowls on the board. These should be for dips and more liquid items like the olives so that they don’t spread into the other ingredients. 
  2. Now add the charcuterie, folding it into different sizes to create different textures on your board. We like to fold the circular cuts into quarters and roll other larger pieces to give each item a different look. 
  3. Follow Step 2 with the vegetables and fruits, making sure to give the apples a squeeze of lemon juice before placing them on the board so that they do not brown before serving. If you are making the board in advance, stop at this point and refrigerate. 
  4. Complete the board by filling the the various holes with crackers, nuts, and other dry items. You may need to shuffle items on the board around, but the more the merrier! Serve at room temperature. 

Homemade Pretzel Bites

Tate’s dad loves a good football Sunday, and as a result, a number of amazing game day appetizers have been created over the years in the spirit of feeding the inhabitants of the man cave. He is famous for his homemade pretzels, but the epitome of the Tuck & Tate dream team came when we mixed his homemade pretzels with our kale and artichoke dip. This, people, is what appetizer dreams are made of. 

This pretzel recipe originally came from Pinch of Yum– a food blog that we have obsessed over for a few years now. We tweaked her recipe to fit our football needs and present you with this crossover version below. 

Homemade Pretzels
Makes: 24 pretzel bites 
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Inactive Time: 60 Minutes   Total Time: 95 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package quick rising yeast
  • 3 tbs brown sugar 
  • 1 cup whole milk (warmed)
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups warm water 
  • 1 egg, whisked in a small bowl 
  • Everything Bagel seasoning 
  • Kale and Artichoke Dip (or your favorite dip to bake in the center) 

Directions:  

  1. Put the warm milk, sugar, and yeast in a standing mixer bowl. Let the mixture set for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble. 
  2. Add the melted butter, salt, and flour to the yeast mixture. Use a dough hook to blend the mix until a dough forms. Most of the dough should be balled together- this will take approximately 3 minutes on low speed.  
  3. Sprinkle extra flour onto a flat countertop. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead with your hands a few times- until it is a ball. Clean the original mixing bowl, grease it with cooking spray, and put the dough into the clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 60 minutes. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
  5. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 24 balls (we divide the dough in half, divide each half into 3, and each 3 into 4 to get this without our brains exploding). 
  6. Combine the baking soda and 4 cups warm water. Dunk each of the pretzel balls into the baking soda/water mixture and place in a ring in a cast iron skillet. You will have too many pretzels for the skillet; any extra can be placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  7. Brush the pretzels with the whisked egg and top with everything bagel seasoning. (Carefully) pour your dip of choice into the center of the pretzel ring and bake for 12-13 minutes. Let the pan sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking before serving. 


Kale & Artichoke Dip

This recipe goes way back to when Tuck’s mom was first starting out in the food blog game. We love this Kale & Artichoke Dip because it has all the fun of its spinach counterpart, but with half the calories. You can eat the entire bowl of dip with a spoon (we have) and not feel bad about it because of the incorporation of healthy ingredients. We like using kale because unlike spinach, it holds up really well during the cooking process and keeps its texture. We know the feeling of cooking an entire bag of spinach and being left with about two tablespoons when we are finished. If we are spending the day in Tate’s man cave, we need this dip to last for a few hours, not a few minutes! The result with our version is cheesy, hearty, and mostly healthy. It will be your favorite companion all football season long. 

Kale & Artichoke Dip                                                                                                   

Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Baking Time: 20 minutes     Total Time: 35 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups jarred artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 12 oz reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a small pot of hot water to a boil (about 6 cups – you can estimate this). Add the baking soda and the kale, simmer for a minute, and drain the kale into a colander. Rinse the kale with cold water to stop the kale from cooking – the baking soda keeps the kale green and prevents it from turning brown.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and yogurt until combined. Mix in the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes. Use a spatula to fold in the kale and artichoke hearts until all of the ingredients are mixed evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish or a small 6 inch round dish with cooking spray. Add the dip to the pan using the spatula to make an even layer. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm with chips and mixed vegetables. Or just a spoon if you’re Tate’s mom.