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September 26, 2011

Menu Planning - Week of 9/26/11

Happy Happy Monday to you all! How was everyone's weekend? Mine was pretty lazy... spent lounging around the house making space on the dvr for all of the new fall shows, doing a bit (just a bit) of cleaning, and watching the UFC fight on Saturday, and some football on Sunday. No Bengals game though, unfortunately. I'm really hating these blackouts! We lost anyways but it just doesn't feel the same not being able to watch their game, lose or not! Coming from the lips of a true Bengals fan :) And did any of you fellow UFC fans really think that Rampage had a chance at beating Bones Jones? I sure didn't! Jones is a beast.

Jones on the left, Jackson on the right

But enough about sports. Sorry if you have no idea what I'm talking about. We'll move on to food, something you're more familiar with, I'm sure! I've had a date night scheduled for I don't know how long, and no we don't take that many date nights! We haven't taken any of the ones I've scheduled for, and alas, we must go this week because my deal at Quaker Steak expires at the end of this month! Way to procrastinate :) Oh well, at least I have a reasonable excuse why we have to have date night this week! Anyhoo... on to the menu plan!

Monday 9/26/11:  Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas with rotini

Tuesday 9/27/11:  Stuffed Smoked Pork Chops with frozen veggies

Wednesday 9/28/11:  date night at Quaker Steak and Lube... need to use my *groupon!

Thursday 9/29/11:  30th anniversary Mexican-themed party at work... I can't wait for all of those Mexican goodies on the menu that day!

Friday 9/30/11:  Pork Fried Rice

Saturday 10/1/11:  out to eat for my Mama's birthday :)

Sunday 10/2/11:   Skillet Lasagna with ciabatta bread


*I get tons of deals from many different sites, like Groupon, Livingsocial, Cincysavers, etc etc. I tend to just refer to all of my restaurant deals as "Groupons" even though some came from different sites. Just a little FYI. If you see "Groupon", just think "coupon". K? K! Glad we cleared that up ;)

Here's to another great week, and to the end of September. My, how time flies! I must find time to put up my fall and Halloween decorations before it's too late! It'll be Christmas before we know it. I dunno whether to smile or cry a little.

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 24, 2011

Restaurant Review : Benihana Squared

I'm probably the last person in the world to have eaten at Benihana for the first time some months back. Like literally, the last person in the world probably... there are locations throughout the U.S. as well as Latin America and the Caribbean. That's alot of Benihanas! But that's not a bad thing at all.

My first time, I went to the downtown location on E. 6th Street with some coworkers for lunch. They had raved about the place so I was excited to try it. I ordered one of the lunch specialties: Spicy Hibachi Chicken, served with a salad, and veggies like green onions and mushrooms in a spicy sauce, and fried rice. First came the salad, and though I like my salads with the fatty goods like bacon and cheese and dressing and eggs, this salad was pretty good, mainly because of the dressing. The salad itself had only veggies, but that ginger dressing is what really made the salad. Without it, it would be nothing, though I've read some reviews that disagree with me and didn't like the dressing. I've seen some copycat recipes on the web... I'll need to try to make my own homemade version of that dressing cuz I dug it!

Here's my Spicy Hibachi Chicken, the lunch portion... 

As you guys know, I'm definitely a sauce kinda gurl. And Benihana's two dipping sauces don't disappoint. There is a brown sauce (not sure exactly what it is), and a pale sauce which is a shrimp sauce. I like them both, but I absolutely LOVE the shrimp sauce. I could drench a plate of anything with that sauce and be set. It seriously makes the dish for me.

My coworkers were a bit disappointed because they remembered getting some complimentary shrimp appetizers along with the meal. So we all assumed they stopped doing that. Come to find out later on my next trip, that they DO still offer the shrimp apps but it is with the dinner entrees, not the lunch selections, which makes sense because you are paying a heck of alot more for the dinner portions and should therefore receive more food. But my coworkers do believe they used to serve them with the lunch selections too, so that's a bit of a disappointment, as the prices are already high and if they are cutting back on food too that's no good!

I'll admit my first experience wasn't as great as the next, because it was in a work setting and not as comfortable and lively, and we didn't get our little shrimp. And our chef wasn't animated and didn't do any cool tricks. The second time I went with family for my brother's birthday to the Springdale/Tri-County location, so it was during their dinner time rather than lunch. We had to wait for a bit as it was a weekend night, but we were content in going to the bar/waiting area which actually had tables to sit and wait at, as well as a bar to order drinks - both alcoholic and non. Though it's never fun to wait for a table, I love that they have an actual seated area, and not just a couple of seats in the lobby, or no seats at all! The quoted us a wait time of 45 minutes or so (Yikes!) but we only had to wait like half that time which was great. I have to admit that the decor looked alot better at the Springdale location also. It just felt more like a restaurant than the crowded downtown location, which is expected. 

I ordered the Hibachi Lemon Chicken entree from the dinner menu, but I don't think he ever added the lemon. Oh well, I just drenched it in shrimp sauce anyhoo. I really wanted to try the scallop or filet mignon entree but I had to pay for half of my brother's meal so I had to keep it reasonable. Next time if PJ and I go for a date night, we may each try one, but it'll be a pricy meal! Like I said earlier, we did each have some shrimp appetizers, which were delicious, in that shrimp sauce of course. My entree also came with a bowl of soup, which wasn't anything special to me. It lacked flavor and just tasted like a bland broth with thinly sliced mushrooms. A little too simple for me. But no worries, because the shrimp apps, my entree, and the experience made up for it. Oh, and they do serve a hot green tea along with the dinner entree, which I didn't care for but then again I'm not a tea kinda person.

The Teppanyaki Chef played around with me and acted like he was going to chop my head off with his knife, fed me some shrimp and sauce, made smoke volcanoes out of the onion rings, and just made it fun for everyone. We even got a pic together with my brother wearing the birthday boy hat. Fun times, fun times. You can even download your pic from their website and keep it for yourself to cherish the memories.

I'll admit, the prices are a bit high. The food is probably overpriced, but it is still a fun experience, a change from the usual, and the food is pretty good. Definitely not a place we will go to often, but maybe once in a while or for a birthday. For the price, we would probably go someplace fancier though for a romantic or intimate occasion and spend just as much. But overrall, we had a nice time!

Peace, and bacon grease!

Benihana on Urbanspoon

Benihana on Urbanspoon

September 19, 2011

Menu Planning - Week of 9/19/11

Hi guys! Guess who didn't follow her menu plan last week?! That would be me. The only thing we made was Martha's Chicken Fried Rice, which I had to make by today for a deadline. Everything else was pretty much thrown out the door. Don't really know what happened, I've got no excuses for ya.

But it's another week, so let's try this again....

Monday 9/19/11:  Chipotle

Wednesday 9/21/11:  date night

Thursday 9/22/11:  Pork Ribs my Daddy gave me

Friday 9/23/11:  Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups with ciabatta bread

Sunday 9/25/11:   Stuffed Portobellos with Mashed Potatoes with California Caprese Salad

This menu plan came late today.... we've already eaten Chipotle :)

Peace, and bacon grease!

September's Secret Recipe Club Reveal - Molten Lava Cakes

I'm back with another round of The Secret Recipe Club! For the month of September, I was assigned the blog, Cook with Sara. There were some enticing recipes to choose from, such as her Caramel Chocolate Bars, Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake (OMG!), and Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. There were an endless number of possibilities. I want to make them all, and one day I will! But for now, the perfect recipe that was calling me was her Molten Chocolate Cakes. How ironic, because PJ and I were just talking a little while back how we loved the Molten Cakes from Domino's Pizza, and wanted to find out how to make them at home. So as soon as I saw that recipe, I knew it was the one. 

PJ and I were both wondering, how the heck is it gonna be a cake-like substance on the outside, while being liquidy on the inside? I knew it had the flour and eggs to make it a cake-like consistency. But we both were just concerned if the inside would still be all "molten". And wondering what the heck would make it distinguish the two... how would it be able to be both cake-like on the outside while liquidy on the inside?! And as promised, it was :)

We didn't have any ramekins to bake the cakes in, so I had to run out to Kroger to buy some. They had some large-sized ones, but they looked too big for individual cakes, yet the 4 oz. ramekins seemed ultra tiny. I opted for the 4 oz. minis though and figured it's better to have a smaller cake and call it a mini molten chocolate cake rather than have a giant cake that one can't finish off! So this recipe ended up filling three 4 oz. ramekins, but that was with me filling them up almost to the top. I think next time I would fill them less so they wouldn't rise as much and poof up so high, which made them look more like a rounded souffle rather than flat-topped molten cake. I'll definitely be experimenting with different recipes to see which tastes the best as well as yields the best texture and shape. But these were great for a start, and I was pretty impressed since it was my first time. It really is a lot simpler than it seems. Don't let them scare you! You just whisk everything together basically in one large pot, then bake them in ramekins. Nothing hard about it at all. It seems so much more difficult and fancier than it really is. Which I'm all about!!!

We also used semisweet chocolate chips specifically, but you could use semisweet chocolate squares if you have those. We also topped them with some more powdered sugar at the end, for prettiness.

I'm having issues with the names of these thingies, though. So are they called Molten Chocolate Cakes? Or Chocolate Lava Cakes? Or Molten Lava Cakes? I like the word "lava"... so I would love to change the name of these to Molten Lava Cakes. Can I do that? I think I'm gonna....    :)

So here's some delicious Molten Lava Cakes, courtesy of Sara, and I hope you likey.

Molten Lava Cakes
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolates
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp flour
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once butter is melted, add in the chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Whisk in the powdered sugar, mix together. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks, mixing together. Whisk in the flour and mix well until incorporated.

Pour into three greased 4 0z ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet, for easy handling. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 1 minute, then carefully run a knife around the cake edges and invert the ramekins onto individual plates. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Printable Recipe


I'm also linking up to:
On the Menu Monday
Joy of Desserts
2 Maids a Baking
Just Another Meatless Monday
My Meatless Mondays
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green
Hearth and Soul Hop
Tasty Tuesday @ Beauty and Bedlam
What's on Your Plate?
Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday
Tuesday's Tantalising Taste
Show Me What Ya Got

We really liked these molten cakes. I don't think they were as good as the ones from Domino's (I never thought I'd say that!!!), which cook up to more of a dark brown and crispier texture. Maybe next time we'd cook them for a bit longer. But we still devoured them all!

Check out everyone's contributions to this month's Secret Recipe Club in the blog hop below. And don't forget to check out the Secret Recipe Club and join, if interested. I strongly recommend that you do!

Secret Recipe Club

Peace, and bacon grease!

Martha Mondays - Chicken Fried Rice


As always, I hope you all shared a great weekend with your friends and families doing the things you love! I sure was fortunate enough to... spending Saturday evening celebrating my boss and future-aunt-in-law's birthday at my future-mom-in-law's house with delicious Taco Casa and the final episode of The Wire.

And some good cookin' and cornhole at my Mama and Daddy's house on Sunday. I was so glad Pj was able to come, as well as my brother. We laughed, we played, we goofed, we capped, we argued, we loved. I sincerely love being around my family, and having PJ be a part of it. He fits in so well... My brother and dad both like him. I love that he's a part of the family. And of course we indulged on some delish ribs, mac and cheese, greens, green beans, corn, beer chicken, bbq chicken, and rolls. Gotta love that good Southern cookin :)

Anyhoo, I'm here sharing a basic yet delicious Chinese recipe with you, for Martha Mondays! A special thanks to Brette for hosting :O)  PJ and I both had kinda ruled this recipe out, thinking it would be nothing special at all. But boy were we wrong.

Like last time I tried to look for scallions, we couldn't find them at our local grocer. Still no luck this time around either. But we did find green onions, which are pretty much the same thing. 

We decided to cook the frozen snow peas first (since they weren't fresh) and cooked them in the microwave according to the directions on the package.

Let me tell you, we both were super surprised at how much we each liked it!!! Like, for reals. If you like Chinese food, and if you like chicken fried rice, I don't see how you couldn't like this! 

Chicken Fried Rice
adapted from Martha Stewart
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (12 oz total)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 green onions, rinsed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tsp grated and peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper (I had a large pepper and used 3/4 of it)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen snow peas, cooked according to package directions
Cook rice according to package instructions. Set aside. Pound breasts with a mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into strips, each 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide). Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Cook chicken until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to low and add remaining tablespoon oil. Add the eggs; Just as whites begin to set, stir to scramble. Add scallions and ginger; cook 1 minute. Add reserved rice and bell pepper; cook 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sugar, and stock; add it to the skillet. Add the cooked snow peas and reserved, cooked chicken; cook until heated through.

This Chicken Fried Rice packed so much flavor, and just because I love the saltiness of soy sauce, I added a couple of squirts of soy sauce to my rice and chicken at the end. It really was surprisingly flavorful and delicious! I was very glad that I chose this recipe, in fact. 

I'm not sure if homemade Chinese food tastes better than the original.... that would probably be a sin!! But man is it so delicious and less expensive and not very difficult to make. So please make this traditional Chicken Fried Rice recipe soon, and very soon.

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 18, 2011

My 3 Fave Dishes

My blogger friend, Lizzy, over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!! was kind enough to tag me in this fun game. I love playing these things, so of course I accepted :)

The rules are:
1. If nominated, pick your 3 favorite dishes from your blog
2. Link to those recipes on your blog
3. Nominate 5 bloggers to play along

Easy enough, right? I think so!

My 3 favorite dishes from my blog would have to be..... {drum roll please....}

The very recent Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese. It really is one of the best mac and cheeses I've ever had. I love the spiciness from the buffalo sauce, as well as the blue cheese and panko crunchy topping. If you like things spicy, add more hot sauce. And if you're more of a wuss, cut back. I won't love you any less.

I also instantly fell in love with this creamy soup. It has so many delicious ingredients and therefore an array of flavors. It is a perfect autumn recipe. You know you wanna make this Chicken Corn Chowder

Cassie strikes again! Her modernized and spruced-up shepherd's pie is one of my go-to meals whenever I don't know what to make. It's packed full of flavor. Everything about this BBQ Beef Shepherd's Pie is amazing. I'm sure it will become one of your favorites too :)

So there you have it. My faves {so far} from my blog. 

Another rule was that I had to nominate 5 bloggers to play along. And the nominations go to.... {another drum roll please...}

Mary at Barefeet in the Kitchen

Gerry at Foodness Gracious

Laxsupermom at Sugar & Spice in the Land of Balls & Sticks

Kyleen at Sixteenbeans

Hope you'll play along :) Looking forward to seeing all of your top recipes. Thanks for tagging me, Lizzy!!

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 16, 2011

Amanda's Hot Fiesta Dip

Are you guys as happy about the football season as I am?! I mean, yes, I have the Bengals to root for. But at least football is happening! That lockout had me worried I wouldn't get to see any football at all. So thank God they settled that mess.

Of course you need some snacks to munch on while watching the game! And this Hot Fiesta Dip is a perfect snack or appetizer. Perfect for a party, or even for two like we did. And it's so easy to throw together.... everything happens in the microwave. Finger foods are great because you don't need a fancy plate and fork and knife, and you can just dip some tortilla chips or crackers into this easy appetizer, all while on the couch and watching your fave team.

Hey, even if your team is losing, like mine often is... you'll be *WINNING with this dip.

Hot Fiesta Dip
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 and 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1/2 can (about 7 oz) refried beans
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
Microwave frozen corn according to package directions. Drain. 

On a plate, combine salsa and refried beans, stirring until well combined. Stir in the corn. Cover with plastic wrap and vent, then microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap and immediately sprinkle with shredded cheese; let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with green onions and serve with tortilla chips and/or crackers.

I'm linking up to Tailgating Time! over at Seaside Simplicity.

Dig in!  But no double dipping!  :)

*Speaking of winning, anyone gonna watch the Roast of Charlie Sheen this coming Monday? I hate that guy, but I think I may watch :) 

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 12, 2011

Seven Links Game

I saw this fun game over at Jenn's blog, and some others, and usually it is an invite kinda challenge, but Jenn left it open to anyone to participate, so I jumped on it! I've been wanting to play this game! I love games... I'm a kid at heart.

1. The most beautiful post - While I don't find any of my posts particularly beautiful, or as beautiful as I would like I guess, it would definitely have to be one of my more recent posts, when my photography improved. I'd probably have to say this Chocolate Chip Blondies post because I like my photos. I took the photos in natural light, which makes a big difference of course, and though they're not as in focus as I'd like and not taken with a dslr, I'd say I like these pics the best. A close second would be these colorful Cereal Treat Easter Eggs, they are adorable, and oh-so-tasty too!

2. The most popular post -  Blogger "Stats" says it's this delicious Loaded Baked Potato Dip, which I had no idea was so popular. Thanks for letting me know, and making it easy for me, Blogger :)

3. The most controversial post  - I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to write here? I don't really talk about controversial topics on my blog.... um... um... I'm stalling... Look, over there! {points far off in the distance}

Hopefully you've lost your focus and forgotten about that question...

4. The most helpful post - Hmm... I'll say this post for Baked Creamy Chicken Flautas because I taught you guys a little Mexican terminology lesson, with the help of my good friend Wikipedia.

5. Post that's surprisingly successful - Garlic and Lemon Roasted Asparagus, because it's a super simple recipe that I'm surprised has been so successful with pageviews. But sometimes the basics are the best recipes :)  I'm not really sure if that's what the question was asking, but that's how I interpreted it.

6. Post that did not get attention it deserved - Creamy Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing... since it didn't get any comments at all  :(  I loved loved loved this recipe the first time I made it. The second time, I'll admit, it tasted a little too mayo-y. Not really sure why. So please make this recipe but keep my comment in mind and maybe cut back on the mayo.

7. Post you are most proud of - My First Award because I was so proud to win an award. I used to wonder if I'd ever earn a blog award, so when I did I cherished that like it was my baby. I've got the badge proudly displayed on my sidebar :)

Hope you've had fun getting to know me! You didn't really have a choice, now did you? 


Peace, and bacon grease!

Menu Planning - Week of 9/12/11

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was sick with  a cold so I was resting up a bit and just lounging around the house, cleaning at times, and watching football. Go Bengals!!! Who Dey!!! :)

I'm excited for this week's menu plan. Food always excites me, actually. Trying new recipes excites me, as well as remaking meals that I know we already love! While I was perusing over at Cassie's blog, I saw her recipe for biscuits over creamed chicken on her menu plan, and knew we'd be making it. Got some refrigerated biscuits to use up. And we are also having homemade cornmeal biscuits as a side this week, to use up some leftover cornmeal in the pantry. To go with the cornmeal biscuits, we'll be having alfredo lasagna roll-ups to use up some lasagna noodles we have leftover. I love finding recipes that use up ingredients I already have on hand. I'm usually not great at selecting recipes based on what we need to use up, and we end up wasting things sometimes... I hate that! So I love when I can find some delicious-sounding recipes that also don't require me to spend more money that I don't need to, and also save me a trip to the grocery store to pick up more ingredients.

I'm also adding Martha Stewart's Chicken Fried Rice to the menu plan, as it was my pick for Martha Mondays, and I've got some rice to use up.

Oh, and we're just having that chili because I can't pass up beer, bacon, and chocolate all in one dish. Just sayin.

Monday 9/12/11:  PJ works late, pick something up

Tuesday 9/13/11:  Chicken Fried Rice

Wednesday 9/14/11:  Biscuits over Creamed Chicken

Thursday 9/15/11:  date night out

Saturday 9/17/11:  Beer Bacon Chocolate Chili

Sunday 9/18/11:  grill out with family?

I didn't get to go over my family's last week for Labor Day to grill out and play cornhole, so if the weather is right (and I think it's supposed to be!) we may go over this weekend.

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 8, 2011

Vote for My Mac & Cheese Recipe.... please, and thank you :)

I've got a favor to ask.

I don't ask for those often, do I?

So could ya help me out? I knew you would!

Alls it takes is a tiny bit of work. And I'll even walk you through it.

I'll need you to go on over to my Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese post, read it fully, of course. Then scroll to the bottom where you'll see a blog hop. My recipe is #16 - Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.

Then click on the "Like" button to vote for my recipe.

We're trying to see who has the best mac and cheese recipe in this Crazy Cooking Challenge we are doing. So everyone must vote for their fave recipe. Sorry, I don't think I made that very clear in my original post. So I thought I'd plug it again and get yalls' votes!

Vote for me or we're not friends anymore.

I'm just kidding! Nothing could break up our friendship!!!!  : )

Peace, and bacon grease!

September 7, 2011

The Crazy Cooking Challenge - and Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

I'm very happy to be participating in a fun monthly linky party hosted by Tina from Mom's Crazy Cooking, called Crazy Cooking Challenge, where each month there is a different food item featured and we each make a recipe using that featured food item and blog about it on the same day. But it's gotta come from a fellow blogger, which is totally fine by me because I have tons of mac and cheese recipes bookmarked from blogs that I stalk visit. Kinda like the Secret Recipe Club that I'm in, except that it's not a secret, and it's a personal challenge instead of being tied to someone else's blog. Either way, I'm game!


The first month, we are all making macaroni and cheese recipes. I couldn't pass that up, as I'm definitely a mac and cheese kinda gurl. Like, I'll try pretty much any kind of mac and cheese. And I'll expect it to be good, because it's mac and cheese for crying out loud! :) I chose a wonderful mac and cheese recipe from Christy's blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything. Have you guys checked out her blog? If you have, I'm sure you've fallen in love with all of her creations like I have. I love her food, I love her photography, I just love her site! So it was no surprise when I found this delectable mac and cheese dish on her site.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
  • 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 lb (8 oz) elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 of a small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/8 cup hot sauce, divided
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 and 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 lb sharp cheddar, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch dish with cooking spray.

In a large pot, cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain. Return pasta to the large pot.

Melt 1.5 tbsp butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked chicken and garlic and cook for 2 minuets. Add 1/4 cup hot sauce and simmer until thickened for about a minute.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium pot on medium heat. Add flour and mustard, stir. Add half and half, and remaining 1/8 cup hot sauce and stir for 2 minutes. Add cheddar and pepper jack cheese, then sour cream and whisk.

In the large pasta pot, add the the chicken mixture and cheese sauce in with the pasta and toss to combine well. Pour into the 9x13 greased baking dish.

Melt remaining 1 tbsp butter in a bowl and microwave until melted. Add panko bread crumbs, blue cheese, and parsley and stir. Pour over the mac and cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes.

The only change we made was to half the original recipe, as well as up the chicken amount by a bit. We halved it, and we still got a casserole dish-worth out of it! So it was plenty for the both of us. We loved this macaroni and cheese so much. I love the addition of the blue cheese and panko topping - I always enjoy blue cheese to my buffalo anything, and the panko added a nice texture. I was surprised how much I loved the crunch from the celery, because usually I'm not too keen on celery. But it worked great in this dish. I've tried a different buffalo macaroni and cheese recipe also which I still need to blog about, and this one is my favorite so far. Definitely a keeper!

Won't you come join me at the Crazy Cooking Challenge? October is Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes!  

I'm linking up to a new linky that I was just told about - Simply Delish Saturday. Thanks for inviting me over, KB and Whitesnake! I'm also adding this to Miranda's Mac and Cheese Quest.

Oh, and don't forget to visit these other awesome blogs and click "Like" to vote for the Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese Recipe! I'd appreciate a vote.... I'm #16 on the blog hop below :)

Peace, and bacon grease!