Game Day Buffalo Dip


I'm un-American.

I hate football season. Like, seriously, I hate it.

I hate the way my husband's mood is dictated by how well his teams do that week. I hate the fact that it's all anyone ever wants to do on the weekends, so there's no hope of doing anything else whatsoever. I hate that I have to sit there, surround by a room full of people, and I'm the only one who doesn't really care if the ref made a bad call or if they are 3rd and goal.

The only thing I can tolerate during this ridiculous time of year, is the food. The tailgating food (hot dogs, hamburgers, cold beer, nachos), the football party food (chips, dips, things rolled in pastry dough), and the excuse to eat as much of it as you like (because you're nervous your team may not make that field goal, and no one will judge you for stress eating).

On Saturday, we went to our friends house to watch their former collegiate education establishment play their big game. We dressed Alex in the appropriate colors so we were allowed in the door, and took our seats in front of the TV- but not before we ate tasty steaks, bacon-wrapped jalapenos, cookies, and my contribution: buffalo dip!

Yes, it looks a bit unappetizing, but I can promise you...
its the hit of any party!
I originally got this recipe from a spouse in our class back in Columbus, but I've adjusted it a bit to fit my husbands need for more 'kick' and my undying love for blue cheese :) Thanks, Meredith for the original!


* 8 oz cream cheese, softened
* 16 oz sour cream
* 1 cup blue cheese dressing
* 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (I use upwards of a cup to appease Chris' need for heat)
* 1 container blue cheese crumbles
* 2.5 cups cooked chicken. I bake mine in the oven (350 for 30 mins), then shred it.

To Do:

* Combine cream cheese, sour cream, blue cheese dressing (I add a few dabbles more because I love me some blue cheese), and buffalo sauce. Mix well. Stir in chicken and blue cheese crumbles. Pour into casserole dish and put into 350 degree oven (covered) until its hot and starts to bubble. This usually takes about half an hour.

* Serve while hot with chips, crackers, and veggies. And don't worry if you're not a huge blue cheese fan- I was told that no one even knew there was blue cheese in the dip- all they tasted was deliciousness :)

Now... make this dip next Saturday, Sunday, Monday, etc and go root for the home team/underdog/your team/ team with the best tushies in those tight pants/whatever!


Apologies & Exciting Things

First of all, Cooker would like to apologize to those who follow- I have been slacking mucho in the blogging department. Mostly, this comes from my lack of spending time in the kitchen! Husband has been earning his pay and has been working nights (5pm to 2am), so instead of making the grand, delicious dishes (ha) I usually make for dinner, Alex and I have been eating sandwiches, soups, and take-out. Shame. On. Me.

To make up for it, I have exciting news! There will be a few more features I'll be adding to blogger, in hopes of posting more and keeping you guys coming back!

* Military Spouse Wednesday!
I have asked my favorite military spouses to share their favorite dishes. As a military spouse, we have a different view of food and meal-time: most of the time, its just us and our kiddos. Sometimes, when we are lucky, our spouse can be there to enjoy dinner with us. And on occassion, we are asked to bake and cook for entire squadrons, flights, classes, events, etc. We are flexible and resourceful, and we have some interesting stories to share. Even something as simple as having your husband home for a meal can be the highlight in our days/weeks/etc.

* Slow Cooker Sundays!
I am starting to become obsessed with my slow cooker. Not because I have to work less (ok, so maybe) in the kitchen, or because it makes the whole house smell like heaven all day long (ok, so maybe that too), but because I just got the new Cuisine at Home Crockpot Edition and all the recipes look amazing! Prepare yourself for some easy, hearty, tasty meals heading your way!

* Fall/Winter Recipes!
My focus may now draw to cool-weather foods. Fall makes me miss home so very much. I miss the fact that there will be snow on the ground in a month up in Montana, I miss the changing colors of the leaves, and I miss the bite in the air that makes you put on mittens and a scarf. Here in Florida, that's not going to happen. Being stuck in denial, I plan to make as many comforty, autumny meals as I can, and I'll just pretend I'm back up North :) Also, I tend to get in the fall cooking mood in October, as I try to mentally pysch myself up for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is MY holiday. Last year, just 2 months after baby, I made the entire spread myself, while husband, son, and father watched football. The year before that, I made the entire spread myself while just husband watched football. This year, we will have a ready-to-pop Heather and Kyle joining us, I cannot disappoint a very pregnant lady (they get angry easy ya know, heehee)!

Hope you all continue to check back, and I promise I'll be on the ball a little better. I only posted three times in August and have only posted 5 times this month. It will get better.... just hang on!

Guest Blogger: Genia Castro

Hello Kelsey Cooker Readers!

I'm so glad I can share a recipe with you all. Kelsey and I met a few years back while we were both students at Montana State and serving at the local Famous Dave's. There are plenty more memories I could share but for both our sakes I'm going to just leave it at that. Like Kelsey, I recently started a cooking blog (quick shameless plug here) called Sharon Moore Recipes, when you have a few extra minutes take a look! Thanks! (Editor's Sidenote: Genia's blog in INCREDIBLE- I'm a die-hard follower- she has amazing recipes- please go check it out and show her some love !)

Okay now back to the reason I'm here... Banana Bread Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze. While the recipe name may sound complicated, it really couldn't be easier. In fact you most likely have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your kitchen already. I made these last Sunday so my fiance and I could have quick ready made breakfasts during the week. Refrain from pouring the glaze over all the scones, as the glaze will soak into the scones. So each morning, all I did was microwave each scone for 15 seconds, the glaze for 5 seconds, and then drizzle the glaze over the scone and enjoy!

Banana Bread Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze
(Original Recipe from The Kitchn)

2 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
2-4 Tbsp. milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. butter

For the glaze:
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2-1/4 cups confectioner's sugar

Directions for the scones:
Mash bananas. If your mashed bananas don't make 1 cup, add enough milk to make one cup total (if your bananas do make a cup the milk won't be necessary). Stir in the yogurt and set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut butter into a few pieces; using your finger tips (or pastry cutter), work the butter into the dry ingredients until there are no pieces of butter larger than a pea.

Pour the banana-yogurt mixture into the bowl and stir just until incorporate and moistened.

Line a dinner plate with a piece of wax or parchment paper and turn dough out of bowl on top. Put dough down to form a disk about 1 inch thick. Cover with another piece of paper. Freeze dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel of paper and invert dough dish onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Peel off second layer of paper. Slice dough into 8 wedges and pull apart slightly to allow for expanding while baking. Bake until the scones are firm to the tough and golden-brown, or 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.

Directions for glaze:
Melt butter and milk in microwave for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and vanilla, and stir until sugar has melted (heat for another 30 seconds, if necessary). Whisk in confectioner's sugar, starting with 1/4 cup. Add more if you want a thicker glaze.

Just before serving, drizzle glaze over scones.

Pumpkin Cookies

Summer is officially over. If you live in Montana, you are preparing for crisp breezes, that 'fall-is-here' chill in the air, leaves falling off the trees, and you're already planning on how to stuff eight layers underneath your child's Halloween costume. If I were still in Montana, I'd be watching all the back-to-schoolers buy their textbooks, be sipping a hot chai latte, and maybe even watching the snow start to cover the mountain peaks.

The other day, the air here felt cool, there were clouds in the sky, and you almost (almost) needed to wear jeans or a light jacket. I felt like I was back home, I felt like it should be fall. Much to my dismay, I was not back at home, nor is fall anywhere close to appearing here in Florida (maybe around January?) My overly-anxious anticipation for fall drove me to run to the store, get all the ingredients for a Thanksgivingy snack, and to bake and indulge in them immediately: Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Some of you may remember these cookies. They have already made two appearances at CAFB! The recipe can be found in the CAFB Spouses Thanksgiving cookbook that was presented at the fall cookout we did! While this was a show-stopper to say the least, their debut came in the form of a challenge with Mama Sue: who can make the better pumpkin cookies. She was the 'seasoned pro' and I was the 'newb', and although we had many offers from those who wanted to judge the competition, we both just claimed to be the winners. For the record- mine won, sorry mom.

Pumpkin Cookies

* 1 cup shortening
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 15 oz can pumpkin
* 2 eggs
* 4 cups flour
* 2 teasp. baking soda
* 2 teasp. baking powder
* 2 teasp. vanilla
* 1 teasp. salt
* 2 teasp. cinnamon
* 1/2 teasp. cloves
* 1 teasp. nutmeg


* Combine wet ingredients first (shortening, pumpkin, eggs) in mixer. Add sugars (white and brown). Add spices. Add flour last.
* Drop cookies (I use a tblspn to keep them consistent in size), Bake them for 12 minutes at 350.
* Let cookies cool on baking racks

Cream Cheese Frosting

* 4 oz cream cheese
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 2 teasp. vanilla
* 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
* 1/2 teasp. lemon juice (and yes, you need this- it MAKES the frosting!)

Frost cooled cookies. Throw them in the fridge- they are just as amazing (if not more) chilled :) Mmm!


Guest Blogger: Kristin Basiaga

Kristin (Polska) Basiaga (Kielbasa)
I have grown up eating Polish Sausage, however I wanted to make something different than the usual standard of just frying it up and eating it with Mac and Cheese. Nothing wrong with that… I just like to try new things.
Away to Google I went! There I came across a yummy looking recipe here. I decided to try the Italian Kielbasa Casserole.  I will be trying the other recipe soon…
It turned out really well and Scott even said he was craving it a few days after I had made it! Thankfully it made quite a bit and the leftovers were still delicious.

The ingredients are listed below.
1 package of Polska Kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 package (16 oz) rotini pasta
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
8-12 oz of shredded mozzaralla

To begin this delicious meal, cook the pasta according to package directions. Don’t accidentally NOT cook the pasta. It is a pain to sort through everything once you’re mixed it all together. Anyway, drain the pasta after it is cooked. Place the pasta in a 9x13 pan or two 8x8 pans. If using two pans, you may freeze one before baking to serve later. Add in the kielbasa, spaghetti sauce, and undrained tomatoes. Top the casserole with mozzarella cheese. I also added some cheddar cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake the casserole in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts. Enjoy!! So easy, so delicious!

Editor's Sidenote: Dear Kristin Lynn- what kind of idiot doesn't know to cook the pasta for a casserole. Oh wait, that's me. Nevermind! Love you! -Kelsey Cooker


Spaghetti and Meatballs

When I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner tonight, his answer was the usual: I don't care. We had some burger thawing in the fridge, so I asked him if he wanted me to make meatballs.

His response was: Yes, but make them the normal way ok? Not the way you make them all the time.


In my house, meatballs were made with brown gravy and mashed potatoes- and thats how I like 'em.

Apparently, everyone else eats them with spaghetti sauce and noodles (?)  how about that! Please note the sarcasm in that, I'm not an idiot who doesn't know what spaghetti and meatballs is... 

I sighed, never having made them in this fashion, and turned my attention to make some italian style meatballs to appease the husbandly Gods. (I mean, I do still need him to mow the backyard after its done raining.)


I didn't use a set recipe- I just shuffled through a bunch on foodnetwork.com until I found elements of some that I liked and threw them all together, which turned out pretty darn tasty. My husband even said 'they turned out good, babe'. Not that I need his praise to know a good job, but if he's happy, he may just mow the front yard as well!

* 1 lb hamburger
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
* 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
* Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

To Make
* Combine all ingredients in a bowl (feel free to use your hands)
* Roll them into size of your choice- I made smaller ones to ensure they would cook through quickly
* Place them on a cookie sheet (grease with olive oil if you need to)
* Bake for 10 minutes (or more if they are larger)
* Once cooked through, add them to sauce of your choice, or make a homemade sauce like the sauce for Mama Sue's Lasagna

Place on top of al dente spaghetti noodles- serve with green salad and homemade garlic toast!

Cooker Goes to Greece



Ok, so it wasn't even close. Sigh.

Either way, being married to a Greek man who loves Greek food, it was pretty much decided that we would be attending the Fort Walton Beach Greek Festival over Labor Day weekend. Now, a trip isn't something I would normally share on Cookerblog, but since it was centered around (and the only reason we really went was) the food, I thought I'd share our findings :) Maybe someday I'll demand that Greek husband make these all for me (especially the desserts) but until then, I will share with you about our wonderful adventure!

Packed convention center
The menu, in its entirety, consisted of: plate platter (chicken sampler), chicken oreganato, mezedakia plate (sampler platter), moussaka (eggplant dish), pastitso (greek lasagna), dolmanthes (rolled grape leaves), souvlaki pork platter, souvlaki wrap, gyro, kalamari, spanakopita (spinach and feta dish), tiropita (feta cheese dish), greek salata, greek fries, greek green beans, and manestra (orzo pasta) for main courses.


Delicious lamb gyro with lots of tzatziki sauce

I believe between the four of us that went we either tried every dessert or got some to go. We each tried one, and our friends got a cookie sampler platter to go. I wish I could have tried all of the Greek wines, beers, and coffees they had available- next year I vow to go sans-preggoness so I may really indulge myself!

Baklava Cheesecake

Kok - chocolate filled spongecake with custard filling

Hellas- fresh chocolate torte with cream filling

Another Kok- this time with vanilla custard filling and vanilla cake

Cookie sampler containing
Baklava- chopped walnuts and almonds layered with fillo dough and covered in honey syrup
Katafi - chopped walnuts and almonds rolled in shredded fillo dough and covered in sweet honey rosewater syrup
Diples- rolled egg pastry, honey dipped, and sprinkles with walnuts and cinnamon
Kourabiedes- shortbread cookie made with roasted almonds, covered in powdered sugar
Melomakarona- walnut cookie dipped in honey-orange syrup
Tsoureki- Greek bread
The only dessert we didn't get a picture of were the Almond Crescent cookies- they were HUGE!

Alex's treat: Koulourakia, twisted butter cookies

Mmmmm Mmmmm

Overall, the food was pretty tasty. We also watched some Greek dancers and looked at some lovely posters of Greece and watched a few elderly folks get drunk off the wine and scream OPA (hooray)! Overall, I'd say it was a great day to be Greek... ask them...