More For Me!

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on November 1, 2010

in chicken/turkey, simple recipe

There’s this small restaurant near the town where I grew up that holds a very special place in my heart. I know, you’ve heard this before, but go with this.

I grew up a stone’s throw from Evanston, IL, home of Northwestern University, and also home to many many high school memories. Our town had little or nothing to do on weekends, so we’d venture to Evanston to hang out on the lakefront, gouge ourselves on Kentucky sundaes (a.k.a. the Kinky Sundae, but that’s a story for when I recreate it), and sit on the outdoor patio of our favorite cafe well into the winter months.

This story of Evanston goes back farther than high school though. I was about 9 years old, and my mom came home with quite possibly, the most amazing cheese fries I’d ever tasted. Real melted cheddar atop crispy waffle-cut fries… I drool just thinking about them. But there was something else. There was a white paper bag with a spicy smell I’d never smelled before… the scent was none other than Buffalo sauce. The restaurant? Buffalo Joe’s.



This began a long and rather sordid affair with all things Buffalo flavored. Every time I came back into town from college, I’d go to Buffalo Joe’s. I’d venture from the mild sauce, to the hot, eventually to the “suicide” sauce, and always got a side of the cheddar fries. (Any guesses as to how I gained 40 pounds my freshman year of college?)

You want to know where I’m going with this? My obsession with all things Buffalo sauce moved into my favorite dip, and when I saw that Spiceaholic over at Spice’s Bites made a Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese, I had to do it. I varied from her recipe a bit, but the general idea is the same.


Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 8-10
* 1 lb. cooked whole wheat pasta, kept hot
* 2 large chicken breasts, diced
* 8 oz. fat free cream cheese
* 1/4 c. fat free sour cream
* 2 c. reduced-fat cheddar cheese
* 1 packed fat free ranch mix (Hidden Valley or the like)
* 2 c. steamed broccoli
* 1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
* Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to taste (I used about 1/4 c.)

Pre-heat your oven to 375*. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken until cooked through, then sprinkle the ranch mix over the chicken. Cook a few minutes, then add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Add the sour cream, cheese, Frank’s Red Hot, and then stir in the noodles and broccoli. (You could easily stop here and just eat.) Pour the entire macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking pan. Sprinkle with panko and bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Then enjoy.

Enjoy I did. I had a nice bowl of this spicy concoction and gladly offered it to Adam. Who tasted it and promptly declared it “weird” and left it all for me.


Don’t forget to enter the Chavrie and Alouette Giveaway by tomorrow night!

Do you have a food obsession like mine with Buffalo?


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren November 1, 2010 at 8:01 PM

I love those special little places. We have a few around here that will never get old.

The Mac and Cheese is one I’ve been wanting to make for Toly for so long. He would die if I made it but I keep forgetting about this.
Lauren´s last blog post ..Keeping Traditions Alive


Liz @ Blog is the New Black November 1, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Nothing weird about this to me! ;) Looks divine.


Jenn (eating bender) November 1, 2010 at 9:54 PM


My heart skipped a beat when I saw that picture of dear ol’ downtown Evanston! Love Buff Joe’s! A lot of my friends lived right above it!

This recipe looks amazing!!!
Jenn (eating bender)´s last blog post ..What Happens in Vegas…


Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) November 1, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Tell Adam he’s crazy lol. I would have dug into this immediately. It sounds delicious! I love buffalo sauce.
Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)´s last blog post ..Beer Monday and a give away


Nicole, RD November 2, 2010 at 5:17 AM

I’ve made a similar recipe and LOVED it! I love anything buffalo chicken, too…and my husband, it’s his favorite.!
Nicole, RD´s last blog post ..breakfast is the most important meal of the day to enjoy…


Biz November 2, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Um, yes . . . anything buffalo and I am in! :D

We need to do a road trip to Buffalo Joe’s! :D
Biz´s last blog post ..Happy Halloween!


Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' November 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Ha, I’m obsessed with Plochman’s dijon mustard. I have been known to eat it on just about ANYTHING! My husband thinks it’s gross– which puts me in the same situation: MORE FOR ME! :D

I’m not a huge buffalo sauce fan, but I do love me some Mac n’ Cheese! (and the Ranch Mix in there sounds like a fun twist!)


Amanda (Eating Up) November 2, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Hey Mara! Have you been to Edzo’s? It’s a great addition to Evanston dining!


Mara @ What's For Dinner? November 3, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I haven’t yet, but I’ve been told by a few people that i HAVE to try it!


Amanda (Eating Up) November 4, 2010 at 10:02 AM

When you do go, I encourage you to go big with the Char Burger. A Nutella milkshake is also highly recommended!


Angie November 3, 2010 at 2:25 PM

OMG that looks amazing! Yummy!
Angie´s last blog post ..Watch My Weight Wednesday! Giveaway Post!


Quix November 5, 2010 at 1:51 PM

OMG I love buffalo sauce of all varieties. That sounds so so so good.


Lizz November 5, 2010 at 4:34 PM

I was TOTALLY thinking about Kinky Sundaes just the other day. I hope you weren’t planning to do Kinkyies without me!!! And I think there is a little 5-year-old addition that should be made to our group.


Mara @ What's For Dinner? November 6, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Um. Yes. Let’s make kinky sundaes soon :)


dhb April 6, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Living within 15 minutes from the “Anchor Bar” I am suprised Frank & Theresa didn’t come up with this. Fabulous!


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