It was a -- perfect -- Midwestern summer day. The kind that make all those brutal winter days worth it. It was toasty, but not so hot you broke a sweat. The sun was shining and had warmed the lake water up, but it was still refreshing when you jumped in. There were literally tables and tables of food and the most welcoming and friendly group of people I've ever met. And the day wrapped up with some fireworks over the lake that easily rivaled (and to be honest, beat) the city of Chicago's firework show. It was one of the best "4th's" I've ever had.
My contribution to the feast was Buffalo Chicken Dip. It's spicy, filling and can be made ahead of time, making it one of my favorite dishes to bring to a party or tailgate.
I also decorated a batch of pretzels with red, white and blue sprinkles after seeing some inspiration online. The ones with M&M's are just Hershey Hugs melted on top of pretzels with an M&M in the middle. The other set were just dipped in some white chocolate and rolled in sprinkles and candy sugar.
Anyway, back to the good stuff... for the 4th I made Hungry Girl's version of the buffalo chicken dip which features a handful of substitutions to eliminate some of the fat and calories. My fellow "foodie" friend Rachel introduced me to this recipe and having had both the full fat version and this skinnied down version... I can promise you - you will not know the difference.
I serve the dip with tortilla chips, celery and carrots. Hungry Girl also suggested red bell peppers. Whatever you do, don't be afraid to hang on to any leftovers and turn them into lunch!
Hungry Girl's "Buff Chick Hot Wing Dip"
Two 10-oz. cans 98% fat-free chunk white chicken breast in water, drained
One 8-oz. tub fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing
1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (Fage 0% is the best)
Place softened cream cheese in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Mix in Frank's RedHot sauce, 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 at 350 degrees, or until mixture is heated through. Stir well and enjoy!
PER SERVING (1/15th of recipe, about 1/4 cup): 68 calories, 1.5g fat, 616mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 10g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2