Apple Something

I didn’t quite make apple crisp as promised on my fall list. My apples were on their way out when I got to it so I went with apple sauce rather than crisp.
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It’s sweet, tangy, and everything I wanted. Plus, it meant I didn’t lose any apples I picked myself!

Ingredients:

6 apples mostly pealed (peel gives some color)
½ cup water
½ cup apple cider
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup brown sugar

Directions:

Roughly peel and chop apples.
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Drop them into a pot with water, cider, lemon juice and brown sugar.
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Cook low and slow, stirring occasionally until cooked down.
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I probably cooked mine for 30 minutes. You could definitely puree the apples if you don’t want any chunks. Apple sauce is just like peanut butter, the more chunks the better for me. I thought adding some vanilla would be good. If I’d had some vanilla ice cream I probably would have tried some warmed up as an ice cream topping. Seriously, the brown sugar makes it that good.

What a good jar gift! I keep seeing cookie kits on Pinterest (where else?) but a lot of my loved ones will be getting some sort of edible gift this year. (shhh!) The applesauce will be long gone by then. Since I’m no baker, I wouldn’t prep a jar filled with cookie ingredients no matter how cute it looks since that’s not really me. Maybe somebody in your life would like some homemade applesauce?! I have a few ideas for goodies but I won’t be sharing those until the gift-giving has commenced! Just 19 more days!!

Stop, drop (cheddar biscuits), and roll!

I got an itch I had to scratch. TMI? Well, I was itching to make biscuits. I figured they were do-able since bread & yeast seems scary. They were amazing! I loved them!
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They had so much flavor and were simple to assemble. I don’t bake a lot but these made me feel like a successful baker! Just wait till my kitchen is bigger than a shoe box!

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

(adapted from Epicurious)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal (preferably stone-ground; not coarse)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1 1/3 cups well-shaken buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Whisk four, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
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Blend in butter until the mixture is crumbly. A pastry blender will work best but fingers will do a good job too.
Stir in cheese and add buttermilk, stirring just until combined.
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Drop 12 lumps onto a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.
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Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
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I nixed the Parmigiano-Reggiano and scallions but I’m sure both are great additions. I also made my own buttermilk since buying buttermilk seems unnecessary for a small amount so rarely. Epicurious also thought there would be 8 large biscuits. I’m here to tell you I made mine pretty colossal and there were 12.

To make buttermilk: mix 1 ⅓ cups milk with 1 ½ white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand a few minutes before using.

I was feeling very southern so I served these with some honey barbecue wings. The wings had been chillin’ in my freezer forever and it was time to clear some room in there. I defrosted them and marinated them in barbecue sauce and honey. Honey Barbecue…duh! I also made slightly freezer burned green beans since it’s not dinner in my book without a veggie.
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I was so excited about the biscuits. It made a lot and I ate them for breakfast for days on end. Mr. J isn’t in love with drop biscuits to the extent that I am because of the cornmeal and the crumbly nature, rather than the flakiness of regular biscuits. I attemped some other biscuits for Thanksgiving and they weren’t good so I’ll stick with these guys.

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Here’s a variation on these biscuits as a Chicken Pot Pie Biscuit Topping.

Cheap & Easy Chicken Enchiladas

I have to do a price breakdown for these Chicken Enchiladas because they were so filling and actually used so few ingredients. Cheap? Easy? Quick? YES PLEASE!

I whipped these up for dinner in a hurry and was thrilled. They were really good and I’d never made enchiladas before. I don’t know what was stopping me.
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Ingredients:

1 chicken breast
1 tbs taco seasoning
½ yellow onion
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
½ cup tomato sauce
1 ½ cup enchilada sauce
4 wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar
½ cup salsa

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Dust chicken with taco seasoning before grilling it. Once cooked through, shred the chicken.
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Sautee the onions until almost translucent and add in the cooked chicken, corn, tomato sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.
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Fill four tortillas with half of the cheese, and the chicken mixture.
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Place the filled enchiladas, seam side down, into a baking dish on top of ¼ cup of enchilada sauce.
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Top them with the rest of the sauce and bake for 20 minutes.
After taking them out of the oven, top with remaining cheese.
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I served the enchiladas with the best tortilla chips I’ve ever had. They’re Tostitos artisan recipe chips with roasted garlic & black bean. Yum. These are seriously really good.
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That was it! I thought they were filling and easy enough to just serve the enchiladas with some chips and salsa. Mr. J LOVED it. I was afraid it might be a bit too spicy for him but he really liked it. I tell ya, he loves anything with a sauce!

The enchilada sauce was much spicier before it was cooked. I’m not sure why. I got a mild canned sauce but I hear they’re not hard to whip up.

Chicken enchiladas would be an easy one to prep in advance and just assemble and bake when ready.  I’ll totally make them again. I still need to make my own taco seasoning…I use it so much and hate that it seems to only come in packets.
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Here’s the estimated cost breakdown I could come up with (thanks to the local Peapod listings):

Chicken Enchiladas (serves 4)

chicken: $1.50 (1 breast)
onion: $1.25 (1/2 of a onion)
black beans: $0.50 (1/2 of a can)
tortillas: $1.32 (4, 8” tortillas)
enchilada sauce: $2.00 (1 can)
shredded cheddar: $1.94 (1/2 bag)

total: $8.51 for 4 enchiladas ~$2.12 per serving.

Do you see that? Crazy! I already had frozen corn and salsa but the rest is totally cheap. The pricing really surprised me. I knew this meal was cheap but it makes a single $4 frozen enchilada look pitiful!