CHA! Sriracha Sauce Buffalo Chicken Empanadas Recipe

CHA! by Texas Pete sriracha sauce sponsored me to create a tailgating recipe using their sriracha sauce as an ingredient – not as a condiment.  Typically when you think of sauces, you think of dipping… I mean I love their hot sauce on a good chicken tender!!  But the challenge was to use it IN a recipe.  So I got to thinking…..

What’s an unusual finger food that you can make easily that would be nice and spicy?!?!

The answer: Buffalo Chicken Empanadas!

Using pie crust sheets from your grocery deli section, I used a ravioli maker to form the circles, bought a rotisserie chicken and mixed it with a good mexican blend shredded cheese (or you can  use any cheese really), and of course the star of the show…. CHA! by Texas Pete sriracha sauce!!!! (I also want to try to make this someday using their ¡Sabor! Mexican-Style Hot Sauce too!!! Truth be told, I haven’t found a Texas Pete Hot Sauce that I haven’t absolutely LOVED!)

Taking the CHA!, cheese, and chicken combination (The 3C’s!) and putting it into the ravioli pressed crust, fold it over to seal it and use your fork (and hands) to close them up.  Don’t overfill or the filling will just come out when you pan fry it.  Drop it in hot oil and in a couple minutes, you have one delicious tailgate appetizer!!  Just drain them on oil after you take them out of the hot oil, and you can serve with blue cheese and/or ranch on the side.  It’s optional, but a good host should.

With these Buffalo Chicken Empanadas, you’ll be ready to:


Happy Father’s Day – My Kidd Kraddick / Caroline Cradick Story

On and off throughout my professional career I have found myself working in Dallas. In fact, at one point for over two and a half years, I was pretty much commuting to and from my home in Syracuse, NY to my office in Dallas, TX.  Talk about your lengthy commutes!!  It was rough at first (as you can probably imagine) but the more I did it, the more I found things in Texas felt like my second home. I had favorite restaurants on certain nights of the week. I had a dry cleaners, hair salon, and even a tanning membership. And I had a favorite radio station, 106.1 KISS-FM.

I loved my time in “Big D”.  I pretty much tried to make the most out of my time there.  I saw many concerts, sporting events, sights and attractions … And yes, I saw the grassy knoll. I grew to love Dallas. I also made a ton of new friends. I even made some connections in the radio industry as at the time I was also an on-air radio personality for 93Q WNTQ-FM back in Syracuse.  I tried to soak up as much DALLAS as I possibly could!

Every morning on my way to work I listened to the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show religiously. He was a staple to my commute. I loved his witty banter, razor sharp wit, and the way he conducted himself as a human being. His love for his staff was unprecedented and as obvious as the sky is blue. His selflessness came screaming straight through the radio as demonstrated by all his charitable work. As a fellow broadcaster (although a complete nobody compared to who he was) I had complete respect and admiration for this man — a man that I never met but wish I had. 

I still remember having a conversation with one of the contacts I had made about getting an invite to the acoustic Rob Thomas performance in the KISS Studios. (Or whatever they called it!). I had an IN and all I had to do was show up for the show. I was “too busy” with work and decided to listen to it on my way into downtown Dallas. It was fantastic. The performance was amazing and I kicked myself then for not going to it. Little did I know that the reason why I would kick myself later for not going had nothing to do with Rob Thomas. 

I was shocked and devastated (as I’m sure the rest of the world that knew him was as well) when I learned of Kidd Kraddick’s untimely and abrupt passing at 53 years old. It was an immense blow to the radio world, to his fans, and of course to his family and friends. He was young, at the top of his game, and these things just aren’t supposed to happen to people like this. They’re just not. I was stunned and without words. I felt like I knew the man, but in reality I didn’t know him at all. And the one opportunity I had to maybe meet him … I was “too busy”. I regret not living life that day and allowing an opportunity to pass me by. I did so much while I was there… True. But that day I fell back into my routine, which is easy to do. We all do it. It’s natural. 

Flash forward to present. I hadn’t listened to the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show since I left Dallas. Two days ago, I had to fly back to Dallas on a very short notice business trip. Finally this morning, on my way to the airport to fly back home, I decided to see what was going on with the morning show. Low and behold, the cast was still there… With a special guest. Kidd’s daughter Caroline Cradick was there, too. She started to read a  from her blog (read it here) she wrote to her father and her words immediately brought tears to my eyes. 

Her touching words, the way she remembered her father, her thanks and praise for the things he did for her and to help her be the amazing person she is today … All of that rang true with me as that’s exactly how I feel about my own father. I lost him a few years back, but it feels like yesterday. 

The things she said in the letter envoked a flow of tears and warmth in my heart as I remembered the amazing things my father did for me when he was alive. My father was a great man – a man that I’m proud to say I am his son. He made me what I am today. I am truly blessed to have had so many years with him as some people don’t. Caroline is one of those people who didn’t. Kidd’s life was taken far too early. It makes me thankful for the time I had. Often times I forget this. I had a great many years with my father and for that I am very thankful. 

I guess looking back, if I had the chance to do it all over, I don’t really have any regrets. He knew I loved him. He knew I was so very proud to be his son. He was proud of me and my accomplishments as well. Maybe I would have taken some more time out of my “busy” schedule to spend a little more time doing things he wanted to do … Like golf, for instance. Which I hate. Or even go fishing. Which I also hate.  

But that’s just it …. we all are “busy” with our lives – I know that all too well. Sure, it’s important that things get done that need to be. Work, home, commitments … all of that takes time and adds up. But we also should take TIME OUT to enjoy the little things with family and friends because there’s always constant reminders out there of how finite and fragile life can be. One minute you’re here. The next you’re gone. It’s just reality. 

So, stop and smell the roses. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Put down your work and go see a mini concert at a radio station. Maybe even go fishing with your dad. 

In closing, I want to thank Caroline for writing and sharing her letter to her dad. It brought back so many emotions of my own father. If you didn’t click on the link above, do it. Read her letter. 

Every Father’s Day I miss him dearly, but maybe this year I’ll spend less time just “missing him” and more time reflecting on the fun, loving, encouraging side of him that I remember so well. 

I want to also thank you — yes YOU, the person looking at this — for reading this lengthy blog … Lately my blog has become a repository for reviews and while that’s great – people say all the time how they love reading about the products I’m testing … I haven’t posted something like this in a very long time. So thanks for taking the time to read it – I really truly appreciate it. 

If you feel like sharing your own story, or comment on mine … feel free to comment! Would love to hear from you. 
And stay tuned…. Perhaps I’ll do this personal sharing experience again so check back on my blog from time to time. 🙂

Bottom line: we all know it but I’ll say it again. 

Don’t take life for granted. 

Live, love, and laugh daily. 

Stop and smell the roses.

And maybe even go fishing once in a while. 

Donald Crawford
Donald Crawford

¡Sabor! Tal-Mex Hot Sauce Spicy Chicken Recipe

I was asked by ¡Sabor! by Texas Pete ® Mexican-Style Hot Sauce to participate in a sponsored promotion where I would get to try out their sauce and ultimately use it to come up with a new recipe.  Of course I eagerly agreed as I love hot sauces, especially ones that are made with flavorful ingredients, not just HOT ingredients.

So let me tell you a little about this sauce before we start.  It’s made with secret Mexican Spices (which they won’t tell me what they are!), sea salt, sauteed garlic, and aged peppers.  On paper it sounded amazing… but the real test was when I went in for a sample.  I first tried it by itself and while it had some heat for sure, it wasn’t a plain “rip your mouth off” heat.  It was actually full of delicious flavor and not just pure heat.  So then I was challenged to come up with a dish using ¡Sabor! Hot Sauce as an ingredient.

I decided to combine my love of Italian Food with this delicious heat and I call it ¡Sabor! Tal-Mex Chicken.  Tal for Italian and Mex for Mexican.  Most of the time when you hear a Mexican-Influenced cuisine, you think Tex-Mex.  Rarely Italian Food.  Italians aren’t any stranger to spice though… Arribiata, Fra Diavolo, even their sausages can be spicy.  But I’ve never heard of a Mexican-Influenced Italian Dish…….

….until now.   I present to you my:

¡Sabor! Tal-Mex Chicken

Yield: 2 portions
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes



4 garlic cloves

12 basil leaves

¼ c. fontina cheese

¼ c. provolone cheese

1 TBSP. Sabor! Hot Sauce (+/- to taste)

2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts

½ c. water

½ c. balsamic vinegar

Wondra pan-searing flour



Process (or manually chop by hand) Garlic, Basil, Italian Fontina Cheese, Provolone Cheese, and Sabor! Hot Sauce together and turn into a spread.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Trim fat off chicken breasts

Butterfly chicken breasts but don’t cut all the way through

Spread mixture into the chicken, roll up and secure with toothpicks

Sear rolled-up chicken in olive oil on both sides in a cast-iron skillet

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

Take out to rest

Add ½ c. water, ½. c. balsamic vinegar, and Sabor! Hot Sauce to pan and reduce on high heat

Add Wondra pan-searing flour (optional) to thicken sauce

Cut chicken and spoon sauce on top – Serve and Eat!

See my recipe video on !!