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Archive for December 10th, 2012

If you’re looking for an easy, tasty, gluten free dish to bring to a party or set out for guests with allergies, here is a favorite that doesn’t require “special” ingredients or expensive gluten free substitutes.  The hot wassail punch is always a hit at parties, and is easy to throw together in the crock pot earlier in the day to make the house smell wonderful when guests arrive (and cover up the smell of cleaning products from last minute cleaning – not that I wait until the last minute to clean…).  

We love bringing homemade kettle corn with holiday M&Ms to parties because it’s cheap and serves a lot of people.  For more dessert ideas, check out my previous post with 10 ideas for easy gluten free desserts.  

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Not-Too-Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 12.5-oz. cans of chicken or 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese (I use light cream cheese, also called Neufchatel)
1/2 c. buffalo wing hot sauce (I use cheap dollar store brands)
1/2 c. ranch or blue cheese dressing (my family prefers ranch)
1-2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Celery sticks for dipping
Gluten free tortilla chips for dipping (read labels, since not all chips are GF)

Place the unwrapped cream cheese in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl.  Heat for 30 sec. in the microwave.  Flip cream cheese bricks over and heat for another 30 sec.  Drain and flake cans of chicken.  Add chicken, buffalo sauce, and dressing to the bowl.  Stir together until you no longer see streaks of cream cheese.

Spread mixture evenly into a greased, 9″x13″ baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 20 min. at 350 degrees until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown a little around the edges.  Serve warm with tortilla chips and celery sticks.  (We like to cut the recipe in half and make it in a 7″x11″ pan for an easy football game snack.)

Wassail
(Double this recipe for groups larger than 8 people or for tasty oatmeal*)

4 c. apple cider
2 c. cranberry juice (either cranberry juice cocktail or 100% juice blends work)
1 c. orange juice
1 11.5-oz. can apricot nectar (found in non-frozen juice aisle or Mexican food section)
1 c. sugar (can be reduced to 3/4 c. if using cranberry juice cocktail which has added sugar)
2 cinnamon sticks

Stove Top Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot on the stove and heat over medium until warm, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 20 minutes.  (The longer it simmers, the stronger the cinnamon flavor will be.)

Crock Pot Directions:
If you’re using a crock pot, mix everything together and heat on high for 3 hrs., then turn to low for the party so guests don’t burn their tongue.  I usually heat it on the stove about an hour before the party, then transfer it to the crock pot to keep warm.

*We love to use leftover wassail to make homemade oatmeal.  Just substitute it for half the water in your oatmeal and stir in some dried cranberries, if desired.  So easy and yummy!

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