Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas

Thanksgiving was only a few days ago, and already I am so burnt out on turkey sandwiches, turkey dinners, turkey salad and just the mention of turkey. But there is still so much left over, so why not make something delicious with those leftovers that is so out of the ordinary for the holiday season that you won't even realize you are eating turkey yet again (or at least until the tryptophan kicks in). I got this recipe from Publix and altered it a bit...it is so yummy!

1 cup fresh salsa
2 cups chopped turkey (or once you are done with turkey, chicken works well too, and it's a great recipe to use a leftover Publix Mojo rotisserie chicken)
3/4 cup refried beans (La Preferida is my absolute favorite and comes in organic which is even better!)
2 10oz cans enchilada sauce (again, La Preferida...comes in mild and hot too)
6 10" tortillas (I prefer the corn/flour mix ones or just plain corn...adds a better flavor than just the plain flour, and is more hearty)
1 2.25oz can sliced black olives with jalapeno (drained)
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350*
Grease a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray
Stir chicken, beans, and 1 can of sauce together.
Spoon mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla and roll the tortilla up around the filling. Place the rolled tortilla/enchilada into the baking pan seam side down. Repeat with each tortilla.
Pour remaining can of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle salsa, olives, and then cheese over the enchiladas.
Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Baked Apples

So Thanksgiving is here and you still haven't made a dessert? No fear, this no fail recipe is quick and easy to make, and will make your home smell so good when company arrives. It serves 4 people, so multiply the recipe as needed.

4 Honeycrisp apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
4 Tbl butter
pumpkin pie spice
Warm Caramel Sauce (see the pumpkin bread pudding recipe for this)

Preheat oven to 400*
Slice off the top of the apples and scoop out the cores, leaving a well in the center.
Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries and nuts until well blended.
Stuff each apple with 1/4 of the mixture.
Place apples in a deep baking dish, topping each with a 1 Tbl pat of butter and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Fill the bottom of pan with water 1/8 way up and bake for 50-60 minutes until apples are tender.
Drizzle warm caramel sauce on top and serve.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Cake

My mother always made this cake for us growing up, and it has now become a staple in my home as well. It is very simple to make and is a great alternative to the classic pumpkin pie.

1 lg can pumpkin
Yellow cake mix (I usually buy the deluxe, with pudding in it...makes it even more moist)
3 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup softened butter
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix 1 egg, melted butter, and cake mix minus 1 cup (save for topping). Press into a greased and floured 13x9 cake pan.
Beat 2 eggs well and mix with pumpkin, milk, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Pour into pan on top of cake.
Mix remaining 1 cup of cake mix, softened butter, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, cutting together until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of pumpkin.
Bake at 350* for 1 hour 10 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
Cool and serve with whipped cream topping.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

I have been making this recipe for years, and it is always a hit at every get together. I have coveted it for all this time, but decided after numerous requests, that I will finally share it with you guys. The recipe calls for it being made in cheesecake pans, but I have also made this as mini cheesecakes in the baby baking cups/mini muffin pans (see photo) and they turn out fantastic (which is great for a party).

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup + 1/8 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 lb softened cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 lb caramel cubes
1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla bean paste
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
4 cups apples peeled, cored, and medium diced (Granny Smith or Honeycrisp are my favorites to use)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Caramel Sauce

Preheat the oven to 325*
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 cup sugar, cutting together until the crumbs are soft and hold their shape.
Press into the bottom of 2 8" springform cheesecake pans
Combine the cream cheese and 1 1/4 cups sugar in a bowl and beat at medium speed until the sugar is dissolved and the cheese is fluffy.
Mix the heavy cream and caramel pieces together over a warm water bath. Stir frequently until the caramel has melted completely. Remove from the heat and cool.
Mix the sour cream, eggs and vanilla with a whisk until the are completely combined.
Slowly add to the cream cheese and mix until it is smooth and combined.
Add the melted caramel, mixing until it is completely absorbed by the cheese mixture.
Mix together the apples, cinnamon, and 1/8 cup sugar, coating the apples completely.
Pour the apples into the cheese mixture, stirring until mixed in thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into the two cake pans with the crust until the pans are 2/3 full.
Place the cakes on a sheet pan, and pour some water on the pan so that it is 1/8 of the way full.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the cheesecake puffs in the center and the top is a light golden brown.
Cool completely and then remove from the pans, placing on a serving platter.
Chill in the fridge until ready to serve (I usually chill overnight)
Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce on top.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

The first time I made this recipe I thought I was in heaven. I love this time of year because of all the yummy pumpkin infused goodness that comes with it, and this recipe is definitely one of those your family will look forward to each year.

1 1 to 1 1/4 lb pumpkin
3 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups eggnog
5 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup golden raisins
8 cups french bread cut up into 1" cubes
Warm Caramel Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350*.
Cut pumpkin into quarters, cleaning out seeds and strings.
Place pumpkin, cut-side down, on a lightly greased baking pan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until almost tender.
Remove peel, cut baked pumpkin into 3/4" cubes.
In a large bowl, stir together milk, eggnog, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spice. Sprinkle raisins on the bottom of an ungreased 3 quart rectangular baking dish.
Spread bread over raisins.
Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread. Let it sit for 5 minutes, letting the bread saturate slightly.
Carefully stir in the cubed pumpkin.
Bake for 50 minutes or until the pudding is puffy and a toothpick comes out of the center cleanly.
Cool pudding slightly (it will fall in the center, that's okay!) and then drizzle with warm caramel sauce.

Warm Caramel Sauce:
In a saucepan, melt 10 caramel squares with 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
Stir in 1/4 tsp crushed anise seed and 1/4 tsp rum flavoring.
Cool slightly before pouring over pudding.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I decided the next couple week's recipes will be dedicated to some delicious and unique desserts you can make for you family get togethers. And since pumpkins and apples are fall traditions, they will be the basis of these recipes. Today is a wonderfully rich knock off of Cheesecake Factory's Pumpkin Cheesecake. It is decadent and creamy...everything you could want from a cheesecake.

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbl melted unsalted butter
1 cup + 1 Tbl granulated sugar
3 8oz packages softened cream cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350*
Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 Tbl sugar in a bowl. Cut together using a fork to coat the crumbs but keep it crumbly.
Press crumbs into bottom and 2/3 up the sides of a 8" springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes and then set aside.
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, and spices and beat until creamy.
Pour into the pan and bake 60-70 minutes until the top becomes a little golden
Cool to room temperature
Place in fridge and chill (preferably overnight)
Top with whipped cream and serve!