melting in the snow

It’s snowing here in Jersey. The last snow was the first major storm of the season (8-10 inches?), and I learned a valuable lesson: Your new car may not drive as well in the snow as your last car. Or even close to as well. Your new car may be less useful and/or safe on winter roads than the 10-speed Huffy you rocked in sixth grade.

With the snow still falling and no plans until at least the early evening, I’ve resigned myself to staying indoors until I absolutely must dust off my car and brave the unsteady — and undoubtedly congested — Jersey roads. Fortunate for my car, but unfortunate for my kitchen (and related appliances)…

Today’s lesson of the day: American cheese is really good at melting. Everywhere. Behold, the result of my homemade cheesesteak quesadilla (an “American, without” for all you Philly folk).

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make a dang apple quesadilla

It’s been a few days since my last post, but fear not: I had another rantable (yeah, I made up that word — so?) kitchen experience last week in prepping for my friends’ potluck dinner, so I’ve got something good cooking in my drafts. In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick-and-easy recipe that helps usher in the fall — the best season of them all: apple-bacon quesadillas.

(By the way, I hate the way ‘quesadilla’ is spelled; there should be an ‘e’ where that first ‘a’ is. And now I’m about to write this word approximately 7,000 more times. Sigh.)

At Christmastime, my friends organize a Thieving Elves/White Elephant party, and I was fortunate enough to come away with the El Paso Quesadilla Maker this past year. When I first moved into my new place, we had a few taco nights where I whipped up some spicy chicken quesadillas, but since then, my little El Paso has been taking up real estate upon the barren shelf in our least-used cabinet.

When I saw Red Delicious apples on sale at the supermarket, I grabbed two and vowed to use them in some sort of savory-and-sweet dish — my favorite kind. The easiest way I could think of? Dust off the El Paso and fire up some nontraditional quesadillas.

This was a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants experiment (dangerous, I know), so I have no recipe or measurements, but it seriously couldn’t be easier:

♦apple (variety of your choosing)
♦bacon
♦cream cheese (non-fat works)
♦flour tortillas

Fry up some bacon. Chop up your apple into tiny cubes. Take two flour tortillas congruent to the size of your quesedilla maker, and spread a thin layer of cream cheese across one side of each. Top one cheesed side with bacon and apple, then add the other tortilla cheese-side down. Place on preheated quesadilla maker, and cook until golden brown.

apple-bacon quesadilla with honey

These tasted awesome and were incredibly easy — especially the cleanup. In true me-fashion, I drizzled honey across the inside before adding the second tortilla. (Seriously, I put that stuff in and on everything — tea, chicken fingers, grilled cheese…)

As far as quantities go, I was able to get two full quesadillas (12 slices) out of about six pieces of bacon and less than one apple. For a healthier take, I used low-fat cream cheese and turkey bacon.

Total time? 20-ish minutes (includes bacon frying).
Cost? Really cheap: $1.49 for tortillas, 45¢ for one apple, 99¢ for cream cheese.
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out of 10. The next time around, I’ll cut my apple cubes a little smaller so they’ll be a little more consistent throughout. I might also throw in some shredded chicken to make them more of a meal and less of a snack.