Mini Apple Crumb Cheesecakes

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Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

Here I come again with another miniature food item. Soo surprising, isn’t it? What can I say? I’m small and I like small food. And I bet you’ll like this too.

Don’t let the photos fool you. I explain later why mine look the way they do, but trust me. They are delectable.

I broke the ingredient lists down into the different parts of the dessert. It’s easier than it looks. And let me tell you, the delicious aroma starts invading your kitchen from the very beginning.

This recipe yields 18 cheesecakes. Feel free to modify the quantity of ingredients if you need to make more or fewer. Let’s get started.

You’ll need:
fullsizerenderCrust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 sheets)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 7 tablespoons melted butter

fullsizerender_2Filling:

  • 16 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Apples

fullsizerender_1Topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Step 2:
Prepare the crust. Combine graham cracker crumbles, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until moistened. I can’t even begin to describe how good this part alone smells.
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Step 3:
Line your muffin pan and fill each cup with a heaping tablespoon of the mixture. Use the back of the spoon to pat it down. You’ll see the cup in the middle of the photo is the before and the surrounding cups are after (for your reference).
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Step 4:
Bake the crust for 5 minutes.

Step 5:
Make the topping. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. I think cutting your butter into small chunks will make this process easier. I cut mine into 1/2in cubes.
image2Step 6:
Fork the mixture until small crumbles form. You can also go in with your fingers if you are struggling with using a tool. Set this aside.

Step 7:
Filling time! Mix cream cheese and sugar on low-medium speed until just combined. Don’t do what I did and get distracted by HGTV; if you over mix the filling your cheesecakes will rise then fall when they cool. I mean, they’re just as delicious but not as adorable looking. Anyway, let’s continue.

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Step 8:
Combine the eggs (one at a time), vanilla, and sour cream. Set aside to rest while you cut the apples.image4

Step 9:
Apple time. Wash and peel your apples, then dice those babies up. I used two medium ones. However many you decide to use, make sure to cut them really small so they cook and get soft while in the oven.
image6Step 10:
Assemble!!!! Take a heaping tablespoon of filling and fill the cups. They should be about 3/4 full.
image5Step 11:
Add a layer of apple pieces.
image7Step 12:
Finally, spoon a tablespoon of topping on the top. This may get a little messy. Let it.image8

Step 13:
Bake for 23-25 minutes. Let them cool on a baking rack then refrigerate for a few hours. Serve chilled.
image11See? The middle parts fell, but maaaaaan, oh man are these so scrumptious.

And how wonderful to have such a great proportion of crust and cheesecake. That’s my favorite part.image13I hope all of my American followers have a wonderful holiday. I’m thankful for all of you! Gimme some oven lovin’.

Caramel Apple Bites

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It’s been a few days but here I am with another recipe. Took a little break to welcome my adorable baby nephew🙂 His name is Marco James and he was born on November 14th. He’s great, as is my sister, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Caramel apples remind me a lot of autumn, so this is the perfect time to make this easy and delicious snack. I will be sharing another recipe with caramel and apples in the near future, so come back soon. Wink, wink.

This recipe is incredibly easy. All you need is two ingredients for the base (plus water), but you can add as many toppings as you’d like. Chocolate chips, coconut flakes, sprinkles, nuts, etc, are wonderful choices.

You can also decide how much caramel you want to have. You’ll see in the photo that I submerged and drizzled bites. Both are easy to do and taste yummy. It’s all about your preference.

You’ll need:
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  • Caramels (I used Kraft – you’ll need about 1 cube for every 2 bites)
  • Apples

Step 1:
Wash and peel your apples. You can use whatever kind of apple you want.
fullsizerender_1Step 2:
Using a melon peeler, scoop out your bites. I was able to get about 8 pieces per apple, but that number depends entirely on how big your apples are.
fullsizerender_2Step 3:
Melt the caramel squares. Add about 1 teaspoon of water for every 5-6 squares you have in your saucepan. This will prevent the caramel from burning and make the texture easy to work with.
fullsizerender_3fullsizerender_4Step 4:
Use the point of a knife or 1-2 prongs of a fork to hold each bite. Dip and set on a piece of wax paper to cool. If you are adding toppings, do this immediately before the caramel hardens.
*Note – be sure to pat the bites totally dry before dipping them in the caramel so it doesn’t just slide off!
image1I guess you could bypass most of this process by just buying this guy, but where’s the fun in that? Try this out and, as always, gimme some oven lovin’.

FAVOR-EATS: Chocolate Wooden Spoons

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I mentioned a few posts ago how I wanted to start a series that was all about goodies that could be used as favors for parties, events, etc. I asked some family and friends for help for a clever name and finally settled on this one: favor-eats. I liked it for three reasons: 1. It’s adorable. Duh. 2. It describes exactly what the products are; favors that you can eat. 3. It sounds like “favorites” with a little accent thrown in, and how can you not love that?

To start this series, I thought I’d lay out one of the newest additions to my etsy shop. Yes,  I also have an etsy shop! I’ve never talked about it on here because this is food and that is… well, not. But since I put something edible on there, it’s time my two worlds come together. I make everything myself and have been doing so for a few years now. Check it out! If you want to buy something you like, use the code “ovenlovin” at checkout to receive 15% off. It’s the least I can do for having such wonderful followers on here.

Anyway, back to the spoons. Since we’re heading into the colder months, I will start transitioning from my iced lattes to hot ones. These are perfect for adding that something extra to your hot chocolate, coffee, or tea. If you choose to give them as favors or holiday gifts, you can customize them with sprinkles that match your event, chocolate flavor/color that goes with your theme, or ribbons that tie in to your special occasion (Ha… Tie. Ribbon. Get it?). For the holidays, use crushed peppermints! For Christmas, use red and green sprinkles! For a winter wedding, use sparkling white sugar crystals! The options are endless!

You’ll also notice that some of my spoons are stamped. This is another easy way to customize them for your event. You can use different sayings, designs, and ink colors. You can also use individual letter stamps to create your own words or just press your initials.

Don’t forget: you don’t have to do anything extra! You can just have the chocolate on the unstamped spoon and it’ll get the job done. Let’s get started.

You’ll need:
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  • Wooden spoons
  • Meltable chocolate

Step 1:
You guessed it. Melt that chocolate. I usually put a block in a small glass bowl and microwave it for 30 second intervals, mixing it with a spoon until it’s soft and melted. You can also use a double boiler.

Step 2:
Fill the spoon with the melted chocolate. Set it aside to cool.
image4Step 3:
Once the chocolate has hardened, dip the entire spoon head into the melted chocolate. This produces another layer in the front while also coating the back. Smooth the edges if you fee you need to.
If you are using a topping like sprinkles, put a few on now while the chocolate is still melted. Then lay the spoon on some wax paper (if you don’t mind having a flattened back) or on something elevated so nothing is touching the chocolate. I had them lined up around my sink with the heads of the spoons hanging over the edge. Get creative! Allow them to cool and harden completely.
image5If you are using a topping like a different flavor of chocolate or caramel, do so after the spoon has cooled. This will make sure the flavors don’t get mixed together and smeared. fullsizerender_1Note, if you choose to stamp your spoons, I recommend you do this before putting any chocolate on them. You can still do it afterward, but it makes your life easier if you don’t.image1

Gimme some oven lovin’.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

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The first time I made these guys was only a couple of months ago. We had just moved and we were hosting our new neighbors for dinner. I didn’t have much time before they were scheduled to come over, so I was glad I found this recipe that only needed 15 minutes for both prep and cook time.

Feel free to use your own cornbread recipe if you have one. I like the box for its convenience and speed. If you do have your own, please share in the comment section! I’d love to try it out.

You’ll need:
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  • Cornbread/muffin mix (and its needed ingredients)
  • 4 hot dogs

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2:
Prepare the cornbread mix as instructed. I first whisked the egg then added the milk to form the batter.fullsizerender_1fullsizerender_3fullsizerender_4

Step 3:
While the mixture is setting, cut each hot dog into 5 equal pieces. You should have 20 pieces in all.image1image2Step 4:
Spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray, then fill each cup with batter about 2/3 of the way.
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Step 5:
Insert one hot dog piece into the middle of each cup, pressing it down until the mixture surrounds it.image4

Step 6:
Bake for 10 minutes.
image5Remove them from the pan to cool. I suggest you eat them warm, but let’s be serious. These little guys are delicious at any temperature. You can serve them with ketchup, mustard, or nothing at all.
image6Eat up, buttercup, and gimme some oven lovin’.

No Bake Cookie Dough Bombs

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We all love bite size desserts, don’t we? Especially when they’re coated in chocolate. Give. Me. All. Of. Them. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of eating raw dough by the spoonfuls. Cookie dough, brownie batter; you name it, I lick it. The good thing about this recipe is the lack of egg, making it safe to eat! You’re welcome!

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Meltable chocolate coating

Step 1:
In a mixer, blend the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until creamy.
fullsizerender_1Step 2:
Add the vanilla and milk and continue beating.
fullsizerender_3Step 3:
Mix the salt and flour and pour into the mixer, one cup at a time. Be sure to scrape the edges in between to really get everything blended.
fullsizerender_4Step 4:
Fold in the chocolate chips.
image1Step 5:
Freeze the mixture for about 20-30 minutes. I put mine in a separate container to keep the remaining dough frozen until I’m ready to use it again.
image3Step 6:
After the mixture has stiffened a bit in the freezer, use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out dough, and roll between your palms to create balls. I make them about 1in but you can make them bigger if your bites aren’t as small as mine.
image4Step 7:
Freeze again! This step will really help make the balls stay in their shape when dipped into the chocolate, so put them back in for another 10-15 minutes.
image5Step 8:
Melt your chocolate. Then roll each ball to coat completely. Let it harden on a piece of wax paper.image8
While the chocolate is still melted, you can top each “bomb” with sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed nuts, shredded coconut, etc. Or you can just leave them as they are.

Take a bite! And gimme some oven lovin’.

Slow Cooked Beef and Potatoes

image6Happy November, my friends. This year has definitely flown, as it seems all do as you get older. Though the weather in NJ hasn’t been incredibly cold yet, it is slowly getting to be the time we start eating more soups, stews, and other warm dishes. Today’s recipe is a great “keep me warm” meal.

I got to use my new slow cooker for this. Remember when I mentioned how I was looking forward to my surprise bridal shower so I could get all of my new kitchen goodies? Well, it happened! As a matter of fact, it was just a few days after I made that post! It was beautiful and I’m so excited for all of our gifts. Let’s get started.

You’ll need:
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  • 1-1.5lbs beef cubes
  • 1 bag yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Step 1:
Begin by slicing your onion into rings. I only used 1 but you can of course use more if you like them. If you don’t have baby carrots, slice them into 1-1.5in pieces now too.fullsizerender_1Step 2:
Cut your potatoes in half. These should also be around 1-1.5in each, so slice them up more if your potatoes are bigger than mine. fullsizerender_2Step 3:
It’s slow cooker time. Put about half of your onions on the bottom of the crockpot.
fullsizerender-copyStep 4:
Layer your beef cubes on top. I always wash the meat before I cook it, so if you do too then just make sure you pat them dry before putting them in the pot. Sprinkle your salt and pepper on top.
fullsizerender_3Step 5:
Add the potatoes, carrots, and remaining onions. Top with the other spices and any other ones you enjoy. I added a sprinkle of Old Bay🙂image1Step 6:
Pour the wine over the top. It will settle onto the bottom but this at least coats the exposed pieces.
image2Step 7:
Cook on high for about 4 hours. If you have the time, you can cook it on low for about 7 hours. Everything should become soft and break apart with a fork.
image4image5This is a very filling and delicious meal. I hope you enjoy it! Gimme some oven lovin’.

 

Goldfish Pumpkin Treats

image3Here’s another Halloween inspired treat you can make for your house party or classroom fiesta. It’s just as easy as the mandarin and Frankenstein goodies I posted this week, so grab the supplies and let’s get started!

You’ll need:
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  • Goldfish crackers
  • Party baggies (4″x6″)
  • Black permanent marker

Step 1:
Decorate your bags. Again, you can decide what faces you want to make. They can be scary, funny, cute, ugly, whatever. My suggestion: draw the face toward the bottom of the bag so it becomes centered when you fill it. If you draw it in the middle or toward the top, the eyes will get hidden when it is tied.

image2Step 2:
Fill them! Leave about 1.5 inches from the top so you can tie it off. If you don’t have twisty ties, you can use string, ribbon, tape, etc.
image4How easy is that?! You can find the bags from Party City, Michaels, Amazon, or any other place that sells Wilton baking products. There are also other sizes you can use instead if you want to make them bigger/smaller.

I’d love to know if you create any of these Halloween treats! Send me pictures and be sure to gimme some oven lovin’.

 

 

Healthy Halloween: Frankenstein Fruit Face

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Here’s another easy, last minute Halloween snack. I saw this idea on pinterest (of course), but decided to substitute the marshmallows for stickers to make this a truly healthy treat. You can make either version and munch away!

This works with any size cup. I got 12oz cups and matching lids from Party City, but they do also sell 9oz, 10oz, 16oz, etc. Of course, the bigger the cup, the more grapes you’ll need. For reference, I made 15 cups and needed 2 bags of grapes, and if I had more I would have used them to really fill the cups to the top.

You’ll need:
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  • Green grapes
  • Black permanent marker
  • Plastic cups with lids
  • White circle stickers

Step 1:
Insert your stickers on the inside of the cup, about a third of the way from the top. If you can’t find circular stickers, you can do what I did and make them. I traced a quarter on label paper and cut it out. It took a while to make 30 eyeballs, but I think they came out perfectly.
fullsizerender_2Step 2:
On the outside of the cup, draw eyes and a smile with the marker.

Step 3:
Fill the cup with grapes!

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Aren’t these cuties? Gimme some oven lovin’.

Healthy Halloween: Jack-o-lantern Mandarins

My nephew is having a Halloween party at school and I wanted to contribute a healthy snack for his friends. This is quite possibly the easiest thing I’ve put on my site. So much so that I didn’t want to take pictures because it’s almost silly to have them.

This is the first of a few last minute Halloween-themed treats coming up. I also have some more food-related goodies I will be sharing in the near future. Perhaps I will make a new holiday inspired treats segment that you can follow for all sorts of events. We’ll see!

You’ll need:
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  • Mandarines/tangerines/clementines/oranges
  • Sharpie/permanent marker

Step 1:
Decorate. The end.img_6819Just kidding. But seriously. That’s it! Draw little faces on each piece of fruit to resemble mini jack-o-lanterns. You can make them as happy/sad/angry/scary as you wish.

Easy enough, right? Good. Now gimme some oven lovin’.

Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Biscuits

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It’s a long title, but boy, OH BOY, is it worth it. If you have a Facebook account and do not follow “Tasty” then you are doing yourself a big disservice. They post some of the most delicious looking foods and recipes I’ve ever seen. I saw this post a few weeks ago and knew I had to try it. Though it’s not the same exact recipe (they added fresh parsley – yuck), it’s still scrumptious.

I’m also excited to share that I recently partnered with The Recipe Hunter. If you’re looking to see some of my featured recipes along with other chefs’ posts in one convenient location, just click on the link! Maybe you’ll see this recipe on there some day. Let’s get started.

You’ll need:
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  • 1 can of biscuits
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • About 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2:
Cut each biscuit into 4 equal pieces.
fullsizerender_1Step 3:
Melt the butter (about 15-20 seconds in the microwave), then add the garlic powder and cheese.fullsizerender_2Step 4:
Fold the biscuit pieces in the butter mixture.
fullsizerender_4Step 5:
Spray a muffin tin and put 3 coated biscuit pieces in each cup. Note – your last cup will only have 2 pieces!
image1Step 6:
Bake for 11-15 minutes. The amount of time will depend on the kind of biscuits you bought. Follow the directions they provide on the tube, or just watch and wait until the tops become fluffy and golden.
image3Try it out, visit the link above, and most importantly, gimme some oven lovin’.