a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

I love Buffalo Chicken Wings (prefer boneless though.) I love Buffalo chicken pretty much anything. I hate when people call anything spicy “Buffalo” but whatever. Use Frank’s and you are pretty good :)

2 (10 ounce) cans chicken breast
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot original cayenne pepper sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (Fage)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Mix in Frank’s Red Hot, mozzarella cheese, ranch dressing, and yogurt. Stir in chicken until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture evenly into a deep 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. I serve with pita chips and sliced cucumbers (also carrots and celery but yuck.) :)

Mmmmmmm

Mmmmmmm

TOTAL last minute party. Decided on some favorites of mine that would also be kind of easy to make Sunday AM. #1 is a dip I had at a cooking class called Bubbles and Bites. It was actually already made when we arrived for the class (so I’ve never tried making it) and we got the recipe to try at home. I did change it a bit for me (noted). This is my first time not just using Lipton for my sour cream dip!

Caramelized Shallot and Bacon Dip aka A More Time Consuming Onion Dip So You Can Feel Better About Not Using A Processed Packet (that is still delicious, don’t get me wrong) :)

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (original recipe is for vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (original recipe called for 1.5 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt(I added this)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 5 strips thick sliced, cooked bacon, crumbled (make sure cooled before stirring in) (original recipe is for 4 but MOAR BACON)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (original recipe is for 3/4 cup)
  •  1 cup sour cream (original recipe called for 3/4 cup)

 

  • Heat a large skillet over low-medium heat. Add the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the shallots, cover and cook for 10 minutes and then add balsamic vinegar and salt. Continue to cook (covered) until the shallots are deep golden brown in color, stirring to make sure not burning, about 20 minutes or so. Let cool.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream in a medium bowl to blend. Add shallots and bacon. Season dip to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cover dip and refrigerate until flavors blend, about 2 hours, or even overnight (I did mine early in the AM of Superbowl Sunday.)
  • Serve with thick potato chips (YAY!) or veggies (for that 1 weird healthy-eating person at every SB party.)

    YUM!

    Dip

    First draft of fantasy football season is done! Seems decent to me even if several players I wanted were drafted right out from under me!!! I already have a Drew Brees jersey from a few years ago when he was my QB (I buy the jersey of my main fantasy QB each year) so I’m set! And obviously I have a Kap jersey.

    The STL D was a tough one. But the 4 highest rated defenses were all NFC West so there you go. And since SF and SEA were drafted before I took a D, I went with my division. At least I got 1 49er player – even if a kicker. Although he better be faking this pre-season BS or I’ll drop faster than SEA bandwagon fans jump on.

    Runnies Huskies Draft

    ….and may the odds be ever in my favor. :)

    I was hoping to write this after the NFC Championship Game but the Saints didn’t get that memo. Oh well.

    I’ve been to a lot of 49ers games at Candlestick. Actually my very first football game in my life was a 49ers game at the Stick. And I became a huge fan from there on. I took my little brother to a couple games when he visited form Florida and those are good memories for me to have of us. One of them was a game where Jerry Rice was breaking some big NFL record and the place was going nuts. It was also pouring rain and freezing cold. Ah Candlestick. That was the 1 good thing about the dry winter this year – not 1 rainy or even cloudy game this season. Frankly, it seemed really weird. Candlestick games = cold, cloudy/foggy and windy.

    And I went to a lot of SF Giants games there. Went to the all of the play-off games leading up to the World Series vs the As. And yes the ’89 World Series game when the earthquake hit. I was on the escalator and it felt like we were surfing. The ground didn’t shake as much as roll. After it stopped everyone yelled and cheered because it didn’t actually seem that bad at all. Only a bit later after being in our seats, and people had their little TVs or radios on (yes…before smart phones..), did we realize how bad it actually was.

    Once they called the game, it took forever to get to our cars. And then it took forever to get out. One of the joys of Candlestick is its location in the ghetto along with horrific routes in and out. So traffic is a nightmare on a good day. The police were sending us out through some side streets where all of the street lights were out and it was not a good place to be. There were bricks thrown in car windows, people standing around watching all the cars. But got home safely. All of my friends and family were freaked out because cell coverage was gone and all the news kept showing was the fire in the Marina but really saying how it was basically the city on fire. Nice.

    I started going to more 49er games once we signed Jim Harbaugh. Was a fan of his at Stanford and was excited to have him! Then I finally got season tickets 2 seasons ago and it’s been a blast. Tailgated at almost every game with friends and had a super fun time each and every game. Our seatmates in our row and behind us were all super fun.

    The send-off at the MNF game a couple weeks ago was great. We won – most importantly! And they had Boys II Men do their goodbye songs, many 49er greats to say hello/goodbye – Dwight Clark, Steve Young, TO, Jerry Rice, EDDIE D! It was AWESOME that the entire stadium chanted for Eddie. But no Joe. Don’t get me started. He lost some awesome points in my opinion but oh well. It’s a business.

    A fantastic fireworks display set to Hello, Goodbye by the Beatles which was fitting both in song and also that they played their last concert at Candlestick (the Let it Be rooftop show was more of a jam session of a few songs.) As a huge Beatles fan, I liked that. No one left. Everyone stayed for the entire send-off and people were all singing with Boys II Men and the Beatles. You did actually want to shed a tear or 2. :)

    I say Farewell Candlestick. It’s been a lot of fun. You gave me a lot of nice memories. But I would be huge liar if I said I’m not extremely excited about the new, way-more-cushier stadium :)

    GO NINERS!!!!

    Me and gnome at the Stick (with bubbly!)

    Me and gnome at the Stick (with bubbly!)

    Cut up 4 Smoked Andouille chicken sausages. Browned in 2 tbsps of vegetable oil for about 20 mins over medium-low heat.

    Made a package of Zatarain’s Dirty Rice and tossed in the sausage about 15 minutes into simmering.

    Voila – delicious and SUPER easy Sunday night dinner on a cold night while watching Peyton’s team dismantle Tom’s team (so far at least..17 – 0 in 2nd quarter! Gisele is not pleased….)

    photo-8

    And since Peyton is a Louisiana boy, this dinner works :)

    I’m always looking for yummy recipes that will work for tailgating. Has to be easily transportable, eaten easily while hanging out and preferably little mess (at least once in the Candlestick parking lot!) Oh! And also very yummy :)

    Have never done chicken before. Honestly my go-to is cheeseburgers because cheeseburgers are delicious. Two weeks ago I decided to use the advice from some food guy on Yahoo about cheeseburgers and use 80/20 meat, American cheese and squishy white bread buns (no pretzel bun, ciabatta, etc etc.) Frankly, I’ve never done that. I always buy 93/7 meat and use cheddar, blue cheese, or some such other yummy cheese. BUT, this guy’s point was make the cheeseburger the way it is meant to be made. You don’t eat them every day so when you do, make them right. He was right – DELICIOUS!!! I will make them that way for tailgating from now on.

    But I digress….I wanted to try chicken this time so went on a search for a tasty chicken recipe. Found this one on the Food Network – Dirty P’s Garlic-Ginger Chicken Thighs:

    Ingredients

    2 pounds skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
    1 cup thinly sliced red onion
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice
    Freshly ground pepper
    Vegetable oil, for the grill

    NOW…I changed the recipe to this (for my tastes):

    2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger (used Gourmet Garden ginger paste found in the produce section)
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup fresh orange juice (used Odwalla)
    Freshly ground pepper
    Vegetable oil, for the grill (I used spray on grilling spray stuff…highly technical)

    I hate onions (unless deep-fried into rings in which case they are OK especially when dipped in ranch!) so they had to go. And I just can’t eat chicken skin unless way deep fried KFC style. So skinless as well as boneless chicken for me…

    Directions

    Combine the chicken, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, juice and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. (I marinated for about 5 hours before cooking.)

    Preheat a grill to medium high and oil the grate. Grill the chicken skin-side down until marked, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and continue to grill until cooked through, about 5 more minutes. (here is where I changed it – since I have skinless chicken cook for 2 minutes on 1 side, flip and 2 more minutes, and then repeat. So cooking for 8 minutes total. BUT, the key was making sure the grill was HOT. In making this at home for a 2nd time my grill was heated to 500 degrees.)

    When I went to Safeway to buy chicken for the tailgate, the checkout guy was probably 20 yrs old at most. There was a HUGE notice at checkout about the chicken as there was a recent Foster Farms salmonella scare. When I asked half-jokingly “what do I need to know about this chicken?” he responded “cook your chicken. simple. people don’t cook their chicken and then go around blaming other people for their own stupidity. it’s not filet mignon people. it’s chicken. not supposed to be pink.” I left that in all lower case because he said it so fast, and in such a thick country accent, that I had no response other than a heartfelt smile and a “You are completely right.” Nice to know there are some people out there that I agree with.

    Anyway….I digress…..again….

    Let the chicken rest 3-5 minutes before serving.

    This was SO good. So, so good. Also – FULLY cooked but not dry. Pay attention people. Yummy. Both at the 49ers tailgate and tonight. Very glad I found the recipe and will use it often! And not just for tailgating :)

    chicken

    Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets today. I say good riddance. But I don’t mean to Tim being let go. I mean to the NY Jets being out of Tim’s life. That team and its fans deserve each other. Scrolling through some of the headlines and stories on it this morning had me shaking my head at the vitriol and immaturity of the sports media (who I had liked more than standard media but that is waning fast.)

    So let’s see…Tim Tebow has NOT:

    . Raped anyone or been accused of rape…multiple times
    . Run a vicious dog fighting business, murdered (yes, murdered) many dogs and lied straight-faced to the Feds when asked.
    . Help a friend cover up a murder (at BEST just helped cover up but probably just a weeeeee bit more)
    . Take drugs and get arrested…multiple times
    . Drive drunk and get arrested…multiple times
    . Hangout with known gang members and get involved in their shoot outs.
    . Carry a non-licensed gun (What?! Criminals can get those?!?!) and shoot someone or better yet, yourself
    . Killed someone while driving under the influence

    Those are just a few little indiscretions made by current (or recently retired) NFL players.

    But he DOES/HAS:

    . Spends his off time helping sick children in the Philippines
    . Started a foundation that helps children with cancer – and actually spends time on it, not just his face or cash like MANY other celebs.
    . Doesn’t seem to drink, or smoke, or do drugs, or end up at the police station or in his lawyer’s office. Or even on TMZ.
    . Broke *numerous* college football records (including QB records) while still maintaining a 3.77 GPA
    . Won the Heisman Trophy
    . Oh yeah…took the Denver Broncos from a 1 and 4 start (when he was brought in to replace Kyle Orton) to the AFC Play Offs in his first year in the NFL. You can argue it wasn’t just him and it was a team effort. Of course. But where was that team in the first 5 games? Napping in Loserville. Takes something special to rally a team. And Tim did that. Also…beat the NYJ…

    I am 100% convinced the media that hates Tim hates him because he is very outspoken in his Christianness (is that a word?) They can’t stand that someone who is so religious could also be a nice guy, not a pedophile. And be a successful, happy guy. *Obviously* something has to be wrong with him.

    The New York Jets are an awful team. Maybe not always, but they are now. Mark Sanchez is pathetic. And NO team leader. That’s a laughable thought actually. But the coaching and frankly, the fans, are way worse. Watching the “fans” react to the NYJ draft picks was telling. I’d hate to be drafted to that team. They are tied with OAK for my least favorite sports teams ever. I think it’s blessing (and I’m not religious at all) for Tim to be let go from that hell hole of a team.

    But I think it’s far more telling of people that rail so much on the kid. Sure you can argue you are some football purist and he has no business playing. But…well…he did far more for the Gators and for the Broncos than most. And I love (love) Peyton Manning, but not once person can say with a straight face that he would have even considered joining that team if they had continued down the 1-4 road they were on in 2011. Not. One. Chance. The last time they were in the play-offs was in 2005. And he really did only take them 1 game further than Tim did.

    No..I am not comparing Tim to Peyton on a football level. Peyton IS a football genius. But also another example of a team leader that leads his team through more than just his playing. Are there better QBs in the NFL. Yes. But are there QBs (or any position) who have been maligned as much as Tim? Not that I can recall. Certainly not recently. You can point to the fact that he has more of a celebrity factor than a lot of other players. True. But that’s the media, not him. The media likes to build up so they can tear down.

    But for all the hate spewed forth and pointing and laughing by the media or people about Tim, you are simply showing what a pathetic human being you really are. So go back to worshiping the scumbags of the NFL.

    I have been hosting a Superbowl party for about 10+ years? I used to go to parties but then noticed that I had less and less football loving friends. What. The. Heck?

    I love being a hostess even though I fly around like a crazed bird the day of getting ready. And this morning is no different…

    So…what is the deal with a helium shortage?? I LOVE balloons!! Someone better get on that. Hello Mr. President? You have to chime in on a host of things you really have no business being involved in (plus pretty sure there are things you SHOULD be focusing on…but I digress…) so get on THIS!!

    Anyway, I scored the LAST of the red and gold balloons at my local store. And the last of their helium. The lady said she would add Hi-Float to them to get them to stay up longer but if I didn’t take them yesterday, the helium and probably the balloons would be gone. OK. Well…this morning they are pretty much all dead :( My 49ers balloons are fine but about 20 of the red and all 24 of the gold are floating…on the floor. :( :(

    Called around to all the other stores on the coast first thing this AM – no helium. At all. What the F^($@(#$&(@#$. Oh well. I’ll get creative with the red and gold that I have.

    Was hoping I’d get some love from all-powerful Balloon God but no such luck. Well..he (or she) better be giving all of their God-like karma and energy to the 49ers to win today. Then it’s OK :)

    Then..apparently my washing machine is leaking a little. I think it’s just a little anyway. Small puddle in laundry room after I did a load of towels last night. So I’m trying another small load this AM to see. Fingers crossed. I need the washing machine to wash Storm’s beds and towels. He is having a little incontinence issue while he sleeps. Just a little but enough to where you need to wash everything. It started yesterday. So I am very stressed although supposedly it’s not uncommon in older dogs. But this makes a husky mom very stressed. At least we have hard wood and stone floors everywhere so it’s just towels and doggie beds to wash. Storm just said “thanks for sharing that with people mom..”

    Pre-heating the oven now to start the mac and cheese which I will then move to the slow cooker to keep warm for the game.

    Then I need to make the sour cream and onion dip because ALL football parties requires sour cream and onion dip with Ruffles. Also, need to go buy more Ruffles as a 1/2 bag went mysteriously missing last night….damn gnomes.

    Need to get ice so I can chill the bottles of bubbly and sodas. Water is in the fridge. And milk. I’ll put on coffee for you and I think I even have some tea laying around. But if people want beer then it’s BYOB. I don’t drink beer so there is no sense is trying to have me pick any out.

    Then I have to prepare the shrimp and sausage for the jambalaya. I’ll make close to game time and let simmer on super low for half time enjoyment. I’ve never made jambalaya so let’s see how this goes. But it seemed right since the game is in NO :)

    A friend is picking up my boneless Buffalo wings because you can’t make those at home. And I don’t like bones. And frankly, Chili’s has some of the best boneless wings EVER. And I haven’t had them in 3 years or longer. So I ordered 2 party trays of those!!! YUMYUMYUM. Apparently boneless wings are made from leftover breast meat (and not the butt meat that Bud(?) commercial told us they were years ago!)

    And then right before kick-off I will add some browned pine nuts, sesame seeds and red pepper to my poke which has been marinating in the fridge all night. I was trying to think of a San Francisco food and all I could come up with was Rice A Roni (which I LOVE) but seemed silly since I had jambalaya already! So I thought fresh fish (even though a Hawaiian dish) would have to work.

    Oh well..I’ll drink NorCal sparkling from Chandon or Ferrar :) (but a bottle of Dom is chilling in case we win!)

    I’ve put out my Niners blanket. Moved my Montana signed football down to the living room. Bought all 49ers, red and gold tableware. Have my Niners gnome out and ready to cheer since he always went to all of the games with me :)

    This is a big deal. I’ve read a lot of whining (in comments sections for news stories made by fans of LOSING teams) how this SuperBowl is soooo boring. Whatever. The 49ers are one of the premiere teams in the league who lost their mojo but came back strong last year and again this year. Get over it. I still have parties and enjoy the game when my team isn’t in it. If you are whining, then you are not really a football fan are you? Plus the Harbowl adds some fun story to it. And Ray Lewis…well…I don’t necessarily like or dislike the guy but come on dude….you do play on a TEAM. Oh well…

    GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (turning on NFL Channel for ALL DAY coverage right now!)

    I am rooting for the NFC in the ProBowl as usual (49ers!!) and yet rooting for the Patriots (AFC) in the Super Bowl because I just can’t root for NY Giants (NFC) after they beat my Niners last week.

    Plus Tom Brady said his idol growing up was Joe Montana today at the press conference.I will cut him a teeny-tiny bit of slack for that statement. (have read that before but I understood the words comin’ from his mouth today.)

    Sports loyalties are tough work. (And this doesn’t even include the fantasy football loyalties through the season. Sheesh.)

    But my Super Bowl party theme next week is still “The Superbowl the 49ers should have been in!” :)

    YAY!!!!

    I have been a 49er fan since I moved to California. That was back in the Joe Montana days! My old boss would give me tickets for the games. He was a HUGE 49er and Montana fan as well. As a hedge fund manager, a lot of brokers, traders, etc would float tickets his way. So when he got extra or he couldn’t go, he would give them to me. So I was spoiled :)  I remember back then trying to get him season tickets and it was impossible.  Understand, this was back before the Internet (yes, I am that ancient) so no online ticket scalpers err…brokers. There were ticket broker offices where I would go sometimes (the one in Palo Alto by Hobee’s) but no one was selling their seat rights. And there was a looooong waiting list for season tickets with the 49ers in those days.

    The one good thing an ex-boyfriend ever did for me was give me a signed Montana football for Christmas. He was a douche – trust me. But it was a great gift. I have it on display in a special case in my office.

    After Joe left and Steve Young came in as our starter, I was bummed about Joe but was still a 49er fan. And we still played well! But with Eddie D forced out and Steve Young retired, we started to lose and then lose more than win. I admit I did lose my fervor. I still loved the old 49ers but the current 49ers were meh.

    I did always root for them to win and followed their drafts and win/loss record but hadn’t been to a game in years. And I remember thinking as we got worse that we should buy season tickets now as I bet people released some between the 49ers being so bad and the economy tanking but never did. But I was so into Fantasy football that it was more fun to stay home and watch the RedZone Channel and the NFL season ticket! Plus we traveled back and forth to Tahoe pretty much every weekend. Then throw in trying to convince a Charger fan husband (who still hasn’t gotten over the beat down the 49ers gave the Chargers in the 1995 Superbowl) that we should have 49ers season tickets  – not an easy sell.

    We got tickets to the MNF game against the Steelers. And we had a GREAT time! It helps to go early and tailgate. You get to relax and have fun with friends and then watch the game. So that reignited my bug.

    BUT, now that our schedules are more flexible I did it! I bought season tickets!!! Husband said if I really wanted them, we should. YAY!!! Paid for them today! We are going to see how many times we actually go and make sure we love it. If so, we will look into buying rights to better seats. I think our seats now are actually pretty good but I would like to be in the Lower Box (spoiled by the tickets we have bought for games this season.) Plus I *think* that might help us for the new stadium!

    But I SO EXCITED!!!!! Squeeeee!

    Now let’s hope the 49ers beat the Saints!!!! Have my tickets and parking pass in hand for necessary tailgating for Saturday! GO NINERS!