Barbecue Chicken Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Barbecue Chicken Dip

Barbecue Chicken Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Guys, there’s something to be said for a little external validation. While I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone relying on it, I’m not gonna lie; when someone tells me they like what I’m doing, I eat it up.

Real talk. I’ve been struggling with a desire to let this blog die for well over a year now. Since settling in Glasgow, I’ve struggled with finding the time and energy to create quality posts. I’ve watched my page views plummet as Pinterest became pay to play and stopped showing my followers my pins unless I gave them my money. And we all know I don’t have a lot of that. I mean, that’s kind of the whole concept of this blog. It’s been so disheartening to see a project I love really floundering and knowing it was at least partly my fault. 

My default mode is to assume that I suck. Normally when people try to compliment me, my urge is to punch them in the face and then crawl under the table and die. Last night, I got to hear some really kind words about this blog, and they are giving me life. 

Barbecue Chicken Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

What does all of that have to do with Barbecue Chicken Dip? You guessed it. Absolutely nothing. Except that this is a totally awesome recipe, and so are all of you. We’ve got creamy, cheesy, sweet, and smoky all playing together in this delicious hot dip. You could serve this in a party spread, but if you want to have it for dinner, I won’t tell.

I use some Transformer Chicken chopped up super small for this. Basically, you just dump everything into a bowl, smoosh it all together, spread it into a baking dish, heat it up, and then scoop it into your face with some tortilla chips. I held back a little bit of the barbecue sauce for some artistic drizzling. That’s totally optional, but it’s as close as I get to being artsy.

Barbecue Chicken Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Thanks for making me feel awesome, friends. I’m going to try harder to deliver cool posts for you guys because I love you.

Barbecue Chicken Dip
Serves 6
Barbecue Chicken Dip definitely deserves a sweet and smoky place on your next party table.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces cooked chicken, chopped small
  2. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened\
  3. 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  4. 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  5. 1/4 cup sour cream
  6. 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  7. 1 green onion, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, sour cream, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.
  3. Transfer your mixture to your baking pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the last half cup of cheese over the top, along with your chopped green onion. I just cut it with scissors it right over the baking pan.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before scooping it up with your favorite chips.
Adapted from Plain Chicken
Adapted from Plain Chicken
http://awesomeon20.com/
Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brie En Croute

Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do versus what I should do. There are a lot of work stresses that can’t be avoided. I need the paycheck, so there’s nothing I can do about it. But in the rest of my life, I want to stop putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I want to feel relaxed and happy. I wonder if I can set aside my need to be perfect and productive and just let myself do what feels good. 

I mean, eventually I’ll have to clean the bathroom and do the laundry, but there are things I tell myself that I need to do that can probably just be set aside until I’m in the mood and it feels right. But there’s also a part of me that feels ridiculous just typing these words. Relaxed and happy? That’s for lazy people. What’s the right way to go? I’m asking for a friend. 

Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I can tell you that what I almost always want to eat is cheese wrapped in carbs. Brie En Croute is where it’s at. Butter, flaky puff pastry wrapped around gooey brie filled with something slightly sweet and something crunchy. It’s pretty much pure heaven.

A recipe is not necessary here. Get yourself a wheel of brie and some store-bought puff pastry. Check your puff pastry package for the recommended oven setting. Place your brie in the middle of your pastry, dig around in your fridge for some fancy jam, or not so fancy but not super sweet, then go to  your pantry and grab some nuts. Pile these up on top of your cheese. 

Next, fold the pastry over your cheese and make sure it’s sealed up completely, not like mine in the photo. Brush it with a beaten egg and bake for about 20 minutes or until your pastry is puffed and golden. Serve it warm and gooey with some crackers.

Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I know what I need, and I know what I want. Here’s to finding balance and eating more cheese.

Awesome in January
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Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve become a bit of a meatloaf evangelist here in the UK. I don’t know how this happened. It’s not as if I grew up eating meatloaf. I probably wouldn’t have liked it as a kid and truth be told, I still try to pick out bits of onion whenever possible. As I learned to cook, though, meatloaf became something I embraced. 

It has a bit of a bad reputation. If you overcook it or don’t add enough moisture to the mix, it can be a disappointment. But if it’s done right, it’s not only tasty the first time around with cheesy mashed potatoes, it’s equally as awesome the next day on soft sandwich bread with a healthy dose of mayo. It’s time to get on board all around the world. 

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf has a bit of an Italian flare. Nothing authentic or elevated. I mean, it’s just meatloaf, people. There’s mozzarella cheese layered throughout, and it’s topped off with your favorite tomato basil sauce. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law loved it. I’m starting a British meatloaf revolution.

I served this with mashed potatoes punched up with some parmesan cheese. You could probably also throw in a nice green salad if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Is retro still a thing? I have no idea, but I’m definitely still into meatloaf. Make it happen.

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf
Serves 6
Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf is perfect for a nostalgic weeknight dinner.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  2. 15 ounces of your favorite tomato sauce
  3. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 1 cup bread crumbs
  5. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  6. 1-1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  9. 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, one cup tomato sauce, and all remaining ingredients except for mozzarella cheese. Gently mix all ingredients. I find it's easiest to do this with my hands.
  3. Add a third of the meat mixture to a loaf pan. Evenly sprinkle over half the cheese. Add another third of the meat, then the rest of the cheese, and finally the last of the meat.
  4. Cook your meatloaf in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the meatloaf and spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top. Cook in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Mealoaf Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Mascarpone Meringue Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Risotto Bolognese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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