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’.

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

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If I could pick one thing to eat every single week, it would definitely be buffalo chicken. I’m not sure why, especially since I only got into spicy-ish food in the last couple of years. Yet, for some reason, it’s my go-to in most restaurant outings, and one of my favorite things to make at home.

Today’s recipe involves a slow cooker. I bought a cheap little thing a long time ago, and while it gets the job done, I can’t wait until we get the gem we added to our wedding registry. I’m not sure when my surprise bridal shower is, but I sure do hope it’s soon so we can get all of our new goodies!

As always, this recipe is very customizable. I only put chicken and cheese, but you can easily add more ingredients. You can also make them with any kind of tortilla you wish: flour, corn, wheat, multigrain, gluten free, etc.

You’ll need:
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  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce (my favorite is Frank’s)
  • Shredded taco or Mexican blend cheese
  • Tortillas
  • Slow cooker

Step 1:
Slow cook your chicken with the sauce! Since my cheap little guy doesn’t have settings, I just put the chicken in and wait a while. If you have a regular cooker, set it for low and cook the chicken for about 3-4 hours (until it’s soft enough to shred with a fork).
Note – if you don’t have a slow cooker, you can just buy rotisserie chicken and shred that instead. Then put it in a bowl or bag and add the sauce to coat.
img_6614Step 2:
Shred the chicken and cook it for another 30 minutes in the sauce. This is where the chicken really soaks in the juice.
fullsizerender_1fullsizerender_3Step 3:
Here comes the assembly. Start with toasting one side of your tortilla for about 10-15 seconds on low-medium (mostly low) heat.
fullsizerender_2Step 4:
Flip the tortilla to toast the other side. At this time, add your cheese. The amount is purely based on preference. I like an even proportion of cheese and chicken, whereas my fiancé likes less cheese. You decide. I usually put about 1/4 cup for mine.
image1Step 5:
Add the chicken on one half of the tortilla. Again, as much or as little as you want. Flip the other half over to make a semi-circle.
image2Step 6:
Toast both sides. I like the tortillas to be a tad bit crispy, so I make sure I press down and flip it around a couple of times until it starts browning. If you decide to do this, make sure to put your spatula on the open side and flip upward so the chicken doesn’t go flying out. Doing this may still cause some stragglers, but that’s okay.
image3image4Serve with your choice of dipping. I eat mine with a mixture of ranch and Frank’s red hot sauce. Bleu cheese, sour cream, and alone are also popular choices.
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I love making a big batch of chicken and eating it for several meals. Though I mostly make quesadillas, it also tastes good with mashed potatoes or rice. Try it! And gimme some oven lovin’.

Layered Dip

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One of my favorite recipes of all time is this layered dip. I make it the most in the fall during football season, since it’s a great addition to every tailgate. It’s very customizable; you can put on as many layers as you want. I usually make mine 7, though today’s recipe is only 5. I’ll share some additional suggestions as we go.

You’ll need:
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  • 1-1.5 lbs ground meat (you can use turkey, beef, chicken, etc).
  • 1 large bag of shredded taco or Mexican blend cheese (4 cups)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (about 2-3 tablespoons if you have a container like me)
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 jar of salsa

Step 1:
Cook your meat. Of course I chose ground turkey.
fullsizerender_1When the meat is mostly browned and just a bit pink, add in your taco seasoning and stir well.fullsizerender_4When the meat is just about ready, I like to top it off with some Frank’s hot sauce to add in some zing. This is completely optional.
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Step 2:
The rest of the steps are just assembling the layers. Start with spreading the beans in your bowl/tray/whatever you’re using to serve it.fullsizerender
Step 3:

Put a little less than half of the bag of cheese next (about 1.5 cups).fullsizerender-4
Step 4:

Layer the meat on top. Add some more hot sauce if you’re feeling wild.image2
Step 5:

Here’s where you can go crazy. Normally I add a thin layer of sour cream on top of the ground turkey, then a layer of guacamole before topping it with salsa. This time I left those two out and went straight in with the red sauce. I don’t like too much of it so I only used about half the jar. Feel free to add more if you’re a fan.
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Step 6:

No matter what you decide to layer on, finish the entire tray off with the remaining cheese.
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Step 7:
Broil until the cheese melts and serve warm. Feel free to add sliced jalapeños or black olives when it comes out of the oven. In all, it tastes really good with the traditional Tostitos chips, but you can eat it with anything (regular chips, bagel chips, etc). This time I tried it with Fritos scoops and liked it even more! During one of our tailgating experiences, we even topped burgers with this and created one yummy smorgasbord. The options are endless.image6
Enjoy! And gimme some oven lovin’.