Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball

I have to take a moment to brag about my kids. I've been in contact with our local food bank for a month now, trying to set up a time for the girls and I to go volunteer. I wasn't sure if our youngest, who's three would be allowed to join or how she even would handle participating in something like this. Especially for two whole hours, that's a long time for kids at any age to engage in a physical activity.

I am so proud of them! Not only did they willingly help complete each task we were assigned, but they did it with good attitudes. We had many other helpers joining us last night, even some kids. Our first task was to fill plastic sacks with items for the backpack program. Each Friday afternoon many children at our area elementary schools are sent home with a backpack full of food for the weekend. It's heart breaking to think that some of these children may not have access to any other food besides what's included in that backpack for the entire weekend. What's even sadder is, there's really not that much included, but it's a start.

We then went into another area of the warehouse building to help stock the shelves with non perishables. It was like a game to them. We had grocery carts fulls of boxes of cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, soups, peanut butter, you name it. They grabbed a couple items at a time and had to figure out which shelves they belonged on.

By that point things were starting to slow down. They had so many great volunteers last night. My girls were definitely tired and we needed to get going home so they could get ready for bed. I'm so impressed they lasted that long because I honestly did not know what to expect. I think we're all in agreement we'd like to go back and help out again, especially our oldest. She'd like to bring a good friend along with. My heart is filled with joy right now, I love seeing them wanting to partake in activities such as volunteering. It's such a great experience for them and a good lesson in giving back to others. Because you never really know, some day we might be the ones needing help.

Okay, so back on track here. This was one of the appetizers I created for my cookie exchange last Saturday. I've always been a huge fan of buffalo chicken wing dip, it's always on our menu when we make appetizers. I love that it's warm, creamy and spicy!

I had seen a version that was served cold, a cheese ball to be exact. What a great idea. I don't have to worry about keeping it warm in a crock pot and it's something different.  I also think for whatever reason, a cheese ball just looks fancier. More elegant if you will. The taste is still the same, you've got that great cheesy buffalo flavor going on. It's still creamy. I served mine with celery, crackers and tortilla chips. All were great for dipping and spreading.

So tell me, are you adding this to your holiday menu?

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball

2- 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 oz. pkg. ranch seasoning
3/4-1 cup buffalo sauce  (I really love the Cookie's brand)
8 oz. monterey jack and cheddar cheese block, grated
1 cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded

Celery, crackers, tortilla chips or baguette slices to serve with

In a bowl combine cream cheese and ranch seasoning. Add in buffalo sauce and mix well until creamy. Mix in shredded chicken and cheese.

Place mixture onto a large piece of saran wrap. Gather all sides and shape the cheese ball. Refrigerate for at least a few hours. When ready to serve, remove from fridge, reshape cheese ball if needed. Remove plastic wrap, place onto serving platter. Serve with crackers,etc.

Adapted from: Buns in my Oven

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