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.
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Add a layer of apple pieces.
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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’.

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’.

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’.

Reese’s Cookie Dough Dip

photo 3It’s a rainy, gloomy day here in NJ and all I want to do is eat and watch movies. There’s no better treat than this dip to satisfy that desire and really make me feel productive in life.

As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I am obsessed with Pinterest. I feel like I have gained so much knowledge and insight by browsing through the different categories. Not to mention, my creative juices have been on super mode. Today’s recipe is a rendition of a post that I saw that I am soo happy I found. It’s absolutely delicious and can be eaten with a variety of sides.

You’ll need:

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  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Reese’s PB Cups, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Steps:

1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, whisk in brown sugar until completely dissolved. Remove from heat right away and add the vanilla. Set it aside and let it cool completely.

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2. In an electric mixer (or big bowl with hand mixer), beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and powdered sugar until creamy. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

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3. While you’re waiting for the butter/sugar mixture to cool, you can chop your Reese’s. You can also choose to buy the mini cups and save yourself from this step. You still have to wait until the newly formed caramel cools, though!

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4. Once it’s ready, add the caramel mixture to the bowl and mix on low speed until combined.

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5. Fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s cups.

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You can eat it immediately if you want it as a dip, or chill if you want to eat it alone.

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photo 2Dip pretzels, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, teddy grahams, animal crackers, etc, or just use a spoon like I did.

photo 4I can’t guarantee that yours will come out as good as mine since I had help from my wonderful little cousins, but you can try. While you’re at it, gimme some oven lovin’.

Trip Recap

Hello friends. I am back from the cruise and have some pictures to share with you. I love exploring new places so I had a great trip. I ate more this time than I did last year, but I won’t lie; I forgot to take pictures of soo many meals. It’s okay! I did photograph food that we never had before (alligator fritters and frog legs, AHH!), so you’ll be able to get a small glimpse of what our week was like.

Warning: the quality of these pictures isn’t the best because of all of the crazy lighting. Womp womp.

Breakfast:

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A croissant and bacon every morning with a beautiful view. Doesn’t get better.

Appetizers:

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Delicious bread with every meal.

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Shrimp, seared ahi tuna, and salmon tartare. YUM.

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Steak quesadilla with black beans, cheese, corn, sour cream and guacamole.

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ALLIGATOR FRITTERS!!!

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French onion soup.

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Frogs’ legs. UGHHH not a fan.

Entrees:

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Panko fried jumbo shrimp with curly fries.

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Pasta carbonara with chicken.

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Jerk chicken and fried rice.

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My favorite meal of the whole trip: bacon mac and cheese with chicken.

Desserts:

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Chocolate lava melting cake with vanilla ice cream.

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Baked apples and cream on puff pastry with caramel sauce.

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Cheesecake with strawberry topping.

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Fruit plate.

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Creme brulee; the best!

And now some pictures of me being silly during one of our days.

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I told you I had fun. Gimme some oven lovin’.

Breakfast Parfait

I have to give my mom credit for this new breakfast obsession of mine. It is super delicious and SO easy to make. It reminds me very much of a parfait without the fanciness and technicality. It’s also healthy!! You can substitute with your favorite flavors and stay super full until lunch.

To be honest, you don’t even need pictures and steps. But since I like to think that I spoil you, I have provided them.

You’ll need:

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  • 3 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup cereal
  • 1 handful blueberries

Steps:

1. Combine.

Ha ha. It really is that simple! Mix the yogurt, cereal, and walnuts until blended, then sprinkle with blueberries and gently fold them in.

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TA DAAAAAAAAAAA!

As I said, you can use whichever cereal you like. My recommendation is something with honey so you have that extra hint of sweetness without adding any extra calories. I use Honey Nut Cheerios and it’s delicious.

You can also use a different fruit. Strawberries, blackberries, or really any kind of berry would work. Mmm.

Happy eatings! Gimme some oven lovin’.

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

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If you have an Auntie Anne’s near you and you haven’t tried their cinnamon sugar pretzels, you are MISSING OUT. They are my favorite kind of pretzels and today’s inspiration for these muffins.

It’s no surprise I like cinnamon, but the combination of it with sugar is just so heavenly that it’s hard to not enjoy. These treats are light yet filling and are great at any time of the day.

You’ll need:

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  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tray with liners.

2. In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Give it little mixing and set aside.

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3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, milk, and oil.

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4. Combine into the large bowl of dry ingredients until everything is blended.

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5. Evenly divide batter into the muffin liners. It should be about 3/4 full.

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6. Bake for about 21-24 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and moist.

7. While they are baking, you can get started on the topping. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl that is big enough to dip the muffins into.

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When they are done baking, allow a couple of minutes to cool, but not too long because you want them warm for the next step!

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8. Spread some margarine onto the top of the muffins untl it melts, then immediately roll the muffin into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat until all of the muffins are coated.

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9. You should still have some topping left over. Spoon a little onto the top of each muffin and spread with the back of the spoon so it sticks to the rest. Repeat again until you no longer have any of the mixture left.

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You can eat them like this or insert a filling. I totally recommend Nutella, but they are also good with jelly or marmelade. Depending on how you serve them, they are great breakfast or dessert goodiess.

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Gimme some oven lovin’.

Buttery Lemon Shrimp

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I have to start off this post with wishing my favorite brother in law a very happy birthday. I hope your 29th year is anything and everything you could possibly want. Here’s to many more birthday celebrations, you silly fadidi. 🙂

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Moving on, today’s recipe is a juicy cuisine that can be eaten alone or paired with some of your favorite dishes. This buttery lemon shrimp does not require many ingredients and will have your belly full in just minutes.

You’ll need:

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  • 1.5 lbs of cooked, frozen shrimp
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • seasoning of your choice (lemon zest, italian, etc)

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie tray with aluminum foil.

2. Cut your butter into pieces and spread on tray. Place in the oven for about 2-3 minutes, or until butter is melted.

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3. Slice your lemon into two. Peel one half, then slice both halves into 1/4in slices. I think peeling half ensures that your shrimp doesn’t become too bitter. It’s a good mix. Spread your slices over the butter that is on the tray.

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4. Place shrimp over the lemon slices in one layer.

5. Top with your seasoning. I used about 1tbsp of lemon zest seasoning. Use whatever and however much you like.

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6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

7. Using a spoon, mix the shrimp around in the tray to get them completely covered in the butter/lemon/seasoning mixture, then serve!

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As I said, you can eat alone or use as an add on. It’s great on top of pasta, rice, or salad. Get creative and gimme some oven lovin’.

Mushroom Onion Tart Shells

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If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I like small, bite size foods. Desserts, appetizers, meals, whatever. My family and friends make fun of me constantly for cutting my food into tiny pieces. Even mini options like grapes and m&ms get at least 3 bites each from me. I don’t know why I do this. I guess it makes me think I have more food. My brain is special.

Anyway, I’ve used these fillo shells a few times in past recipes. They’re just so cute and delicious and make appetizers super easy to create. Today’s filling is similar to this mushroom cream sauce, though there are a couple of differences. I think either mixture can be put into the shells to make something quick and easy for your next gathering.

You’ll need:

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  • 1 package of mini fillo shells, thawed
  • 1 can of mushroom pieces
  • 1 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • salt/pepper/spices for seasoning

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and space out your fillo shells.

2. Cut your onion into thin slices, about 1/4in. Then cut the rounds vertically so they create little pieces, again about 1/4in.

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3. In a skillet, combine olive oil and onions over medium-low heat (4 out of 10 setting on mine).

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4. Once the onions start browning, drain your mushroom can and add the pieces to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, or any other spices you enjoy. Cinnamon. MMMM.

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5. When the combination is soft and golden, remove from heat and transfer the filing into a bowl. Take a heaping tbsp of ricotta cheese and mix it in the bowl so everything is coated evenly.

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6. Fill the fillo shells with the filling. Bake for 6-8 minutes.

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Remove when the shells are golden and flaky.

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Feel free to sprinkle with additional cheese. I had feta crumbles that really created a great taste when combined with the other flavors. Other yummy options are grated Parmesan or Asiago.

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Gimme some oven lovin’.