Mini Apple Crumb Cheesecakes

image10

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.
fullsizerender_3fullsizerender_4

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).
image1

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.

image3

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

image1

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:
fullsizerender

  • 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’.

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:
fullsizerender

  • 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’.