Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pesto Chicken Pasta



6 oz. spaghetti
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 large skinless, boneless breasts, cut into bite size pieces 
1 pkg. basil pesto mix
½ cup finely shredded Italian cheese blend

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet cook carrots in butter over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add chicken; cook and stirring until no pink remains in chicken. Make pesto according to package directions.  Add 4 tablespoons pesto; toss to coat.  Drain pasta. Return to pan; toss with remaining pesto. Toss in chicken mix and cheese.  Makes 6 servings.

Martha:  This is, of course, a recipe I found and made changes to.  The original called for refrigerator pasta and jar pesto.  I used ½ a package of spaghetti and bought a dry package of pasta mix.  I’ve used the jar a well as the mix and like the mix better.  The original had the chicken served on top of the pasta but I just made it easy and mixed it in with the spaghetti.  I also changed the cheese from Parmesan to an Italian blend which had some Parmesan in it.  This turned out so good.  I shared with 4 of my food testers and they all loved it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ground Beef & Hashbrowns



1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef 
1 cup nacho cheese sauce (from 15-oz jar)
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, chopped, drained
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (4 oz)
6 frozen hashbrowns (4 x 2 ½”)


Heat oven to 425°F.  In 10-inch ovenproof skillet, cook beef over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in cheese sauce and mushrooms. Top with cheese.  Place hashbrowns on top of cheese.  Bake about 25 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and golden brown and mixture is bubbling. Serves 6

Comment:  This is part of a recipe that I found on the Kraft site.  I changed from peas to mushrooms and used the large hashbrowns.  After the cooking time I did turn on the broiler and let the tops of the hashbrowns crisp just a little. For my skillet I used a square cast iron frying pan.  It worked perfectly.  This dish is so good and if you have a meat and potato foodie, they will love it!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake



This is such an easy, yet delicious Strawberry Shortcake to make.  It's one that I actually forgot about and haven't made it in years.

1 round Angle Food cake
10-12 fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced thin
1 pkg. strawberry jello
1 carton cool whip

Evenly place the strawberries in a jello mold (or bunt pan sprayed with non-stick).  Place the cake on top breaking it and pressing it down so it will fit.  Mix the jello with 1 3/4 cups of hot water until dissolved.  Pour over the cake allowing it to soak down to the bottom as well as into the breaks in the cake.  Refrigerate 3-4 hrs.  Pop out onto a plate and fill center with cool whip.

Comments:  This is such a moist cake yet not soggy due to the jello.  It's so good and you can even do this with other flavors such as blackberries, peaches, etc.  You can also use frozen strawberries if fresh aren't in season but get those without the juice.  Plus, you can make this with sugar free jello helping to make it more diabetic friendly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Peanut Butter Brownie Pudding Cake



1 Family Size Package of Brownie Mix
1 pkg. Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 3/4 Cup Milk
2/3 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 cups Cool Whip

Cook brownies according to package directions using a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Cool brownie mix completely.  Scoop out 24 small holes in the brownies making sure not to go through the bottom.  Reserve for later.  Mix pudding and milk until blended and starts to thicken.  Whisk in peanut butter until blended.  Whisk in cool whip until blended.  Spread over brownies.  Sprinkle with brownies that were spooned out.  Refrigerate at least 2 hrs.  Makes 24 servings.

Comment:  This was a Kraft recipe that I made just some small changes to.  I used the family size instead of the regular size.  I only used 1 3/4 cups of milk instead of 2 and the milk I used was almond milk.  I didn't drizzle the top with melted peanut butter because there was enough flavor in the pudding mix and just didn't think it needed it.  These turned out so good!  Everyone that was lucky enough to try them raved and wanted more.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Southwestern Chicken Casserole



1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup chicken stock
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 can Rotel
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with cooking spray.  Sprinkle rice over the bottom.  Top evenly with black beans.  Mix chicken stock, chili powder and cumin.  Slowly pour over beans.  Sprinkle with chicken and evenly pour Rotel over the chicken.  Cover with foil.  Bake 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender.  Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for about 5 minutes allowing the cheese to melt.  Serves 6.  Top with sour cream (optional).

Martha:  As usual, I found the recipe and made a few changes to to make it a little easier.  The original called for long grain rice but I love a blend that I get at Harris Teeter which has barley, wild rice, long grain white rice and rye berries.  This is so good and gives a great texture to the rice.  I added the cumin, used Rotel and changed from a regular cheddar cheese to the Mexican blend.  I also added the sour cream when serving.  This dish was one that my testers requested I make often.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spinach 'Burgers'



1 bag (12 oz.) thawed, well drained chopped spinach
2 egg whites
1 whole egg
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Shape into patties and cook over medium high heat in a non-stick skillet with a small amount of cooking spray.  Patties are done when they are golden and firm. (about 4-6 minutes).

Comment:  I found this recipe on a site titled The Village Cook and boy is it great!  I made just a couple changes.  I used 2 whole eggs instead of the 2 whites and 1 whole.  I used Seasoned Panko bread crumbs, which don't bind as well as regular so I increased the amount to 3/4 cup allowing the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes.  Plus I browned the patties quickly on each side and the placed in the toaster oven to complete cooking (about 5 minutes).  This gave me 12 patties which were wonderful!  I gave some to 3 of my testers and the 1st words out of their mouths was OMGoodness!  I had 2 left over, which had gotten cold and decided to heat them up and eat later that day.  Before heating I took a bite and it did't need heating at all!  So good.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lime Bars



I found this recipe online and of course made my changes (watch for notations).

Crust:

5 ounces animal crackers (about 2 1/2 cups animal crackers)
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

(I didn't have animal crackers but spotted a box of Honey Nut Cherrios and used 2 1/2 cups that I put in a food processor and ground until they were flour like, added the melted butter and had my crust.)

Filling:
2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tbsp grated fresh lime zest (from about 2 limes)
1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
Pinch salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3-4 regular limes or 20 Key limes)

(The only change I made here was to use 4 ounces of cream cheese instead of the 2.)

Garnish
3/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted (optional)

(I used organic, non-sweetened coconut that I added when I started my baking which allowed it to toast in the oven as the bars cooked.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, adjusting an oven rack to the middle position. Line an 8-inch (I used an 8 x 12 clear casserole dish) square baking pan with aluminum foil, letting two opposing edges hang over at least an inch or so. Grease the foil with cooking spray.  (I didn't use the foil but did spray my baking dish with non-stick spray.)

For the crust, process the animal crackers, sugar and salt together to fine crumbs in a blender or food processor. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate (or stir together in a bowl with a fork). Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press the crumbs into an even layer. Bake the crust until fragrant and golden, about 15-18 minutes.

For the filling, while crust bakes, in a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese, lime zest and salt together until combined. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk until smooth (you can use a handheld electric mixer, if you want). Whisk in the egg yolk and lime juice until combined.  (Note, when the lime juice is added the mixture will thicken, I'm assuming from the acid in the lime.)  Pour the filling evenly over the crust. Bake the bars until the filling is set and the edges just slightly begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, 15-17 minutes.  (Mine took about 30 minutes to reach this point.)


Let the bars cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Then cover the pan with foil and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil overhang and cut into squares. Sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired.

Comment:  One of my food testers bought too many limes so she gave 4 to me.  I promised her I would come up with something good using the limes.  After looking at several recipes for lime bars this is the one I liked the best and the one that was actually the easiest.  The cereal crust was great!  Not too sweet and probably a bit healthier than the animal crackers would have been.  You can make this with graham cracker crust too.  The flavor of this was simply delicious.  The 3 lucky food testers that were given this dish to try all put in a request for me to make it again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Better Than Sex Cake



Sorry I don't have a picture of this cake.  Working with a new program and somehow lost the picture.  It was a pretty picture and tasty looking picture.  This is a picture I found that looks the closest to my cake.

1 Butter Yellow Cake Mix
Mix and bake according to directions using a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Poke holes in the cake (I used a wooden spoon handle).  Allow to cool.

1 cup sugar
1 large can crushed pineapple with juice
While the cake is cooking combine the sugar and pineapple with juice in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over med. high heat allowing the sugar to melt.  Pour evenly over the cooled cake.

1 large box vanilla instant pudding mix
Make pudding mix according to box directions.  Spread evenly over pineapple.

Sprinkle with nuts and coconut.

Top with whipped topping and sprinkle with pecans.

Refrigerate.

Comment:  Shirley McLain, Author of Princess Adele's Dragon, sent this recipe to me to go with my review for her book.  As soon as I read it I knew I had to add this to my must make list.  I made it over the weekend and OMGoodness!  This cake is a gotta make many times again recipe.  I used unsweetened coconut and almond slivers which gave it a nice texture and taste.  So good.  I want to give this a try using a carton of frozen, thawed strawberries next.  This cake has many possibilities.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Chicken Bake



1 2/3 cups hot water
1 pkg Stove Top stuffing mix
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken cooked
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup sour cream
6-8 slices Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place in the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Mix soup and sour cream.  Spread over chicken.  Add a layer of Mozzarella cheese slices over soup mix.  Mix hot water and stuffing mix.  Spread over cheese.   Bake 30-35 minutes or until bubbly in the center.  Serves 6

Martha:  The original recipe came from Kraft and I did make my usual changes.  I used packaged stuffing instead of the stove top.  I did this for 2 reasons.  I'm not crazy about the seasoning packet in the stove top and I also had 3 cups of the packaged stuffing in the pantry (I use Pepperidge Farm blue package).  The sour cream was increased to 1/2 cup and the Mozzarella cheese addition was not in the original recipe.  Out of the 5 food testers that were lucky enough to get this dish, they all raved about the different flavors that blended so well.  This is a good one to make quickly after a long day at work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Humming Bird Cake



1 package Yellow Cake Mix (without pudding)
1 package (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained; reserve pineapple juice
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 medium-size banana, mashed
¼ cup chopped Maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 cake pans.  Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, pineapple, juice from the pineapple and enough water to make 1 cup, oil and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add pecans, banana and cherries.  Mix well.  Pour into cake pans.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese frosting
8 ounces cream cheese softened at room temp
12 cup butter softened at room temp
3 1/2 cups powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 pineapple slices, well drained and cut into small pieces

In a bowl whip cream cheese and butter until well blended.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time blending well after each addition.  Mix in vanilla. 

Ice the bottom layer and side.  Sprinkle half of the pecans and half of the pineapple over the top.  Add 2nd layer.  Finish icing and sprinkle top with remaining pecans and pineapple.  You can add chopped cherries for more color if wanted.


Comment:  This is a combination of 2 recipes that I found for Humming Bird Cakes.  The 1st one used made a tube cake but I wanted layers.  It also didn't have the added nuts and pecans on top.  Plus its frosting was a drizzle so I found a recipe for a cream cheese frosting I liked and decided to use it.  Another change was the pineapple.  I didn't have a can of crushed but did have a can of slices.  I simply drained it well, crushed and drained again.  I ended up using 4 circle slices for inside the cake and then the 3 slices that I drained and cut into small pieces for my topping.  By using the larger can (20 oz.) of slices I ended up with 1 cup of juice and didn't have to add water.  This sure is a delicious cake!  Moist and full of flavors.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Shepard Pie



1 lb. lean ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped
1 med. bell pepper, chopped
1 box (4.2 oz.) Hungry Jack Hashbrowns
2 cans (10.75 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup French-fried onion rings, crushed
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare hashbrowns according to package directions to puff them up.  Spread evenly into a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.  Brown ground beef.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.  Spread over hashbrowns.  Saute onions and bell peppers until tender.  Add both cans of cream of mushroom soup.  Mix well.  Spread over ground beef.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and dish is bubbly.  Add onion rings and bake another 5 minutes.  Serves 6-8

Comment:  I was going through some old cookbooks and found a printed page that had the name Tater Tot Hot Dish! and the list of ingredients but no directions, so I made it up as I went and renamed it Shepard Pie because it seemed to fit it best, especially after I changed the tater tots to hashbrowns.  The Hungry Jack hashbrowns simply call for water that allows them to puff back out.  The original didn't call for the bell peppers but I decided they would taste good.  It also called for 1 can of mushroom soup and 1 can of celery soup.  I used 2 cans of mushroom.  I also added the cheese and layered the dish.  Sure did turn out good!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Coconut Pecan Bars



Crust:
1 cake mix
1 stick melted butter, cooled
1 egg, slightly beaten

Top:
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Pour cake mix, butter and egg into a bowl.  Mix well.  Press into baking dish.  In a medium size sauce pan on medium high heat combine coconut, nuts, sugar and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until mixture starts to thicken.  Remove from heat.  Cut cream cheese into chunks and add to mixture.  Stir until melted and blended.  Stir in vanilla.  Spread evenly over cake mix.  Bake 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Makes about 24 bars.


Comments:  I found this recipe online and since it had some of my favorite ingredients - coconut, nuts, cream cheese - I had to make it.  For my cake mix I used Butter Pecan.  Also, I had a couple bags of walnuts and only 1 bag of pecans so I used walnuts instead of pecans.  And believe me, I couldn't tell the difference I have a feeling due to using the Butter Pecan mix.  I also used rum extract instead of the vanilla, only because I had about 1/2 tsp. left and needed to use it up too before buying more.  I don't think the rum made that much difference, if any, in taste.  The recipe said to reduce heat and simmer until it starts to thicken.  Mine never did thicken so I added the cream cheese after most of the water had cooked out.  No matter what, this dish came out delicious!  My lucky food testers all had nothing but praises for it and one question.  When will you make this one again?!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Shrimp & Rice for One



8 med. shrimp, cooked
1/4 cup wild rice blend, uncooked
4 mushrooms, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. butter
1 tsp. flour
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/4 tsp. paprika


Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt/ Set aside and keep warm. Combine mushrooms, green onions, broth and garlic in a non-stick skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until liquid evaporates. Add butter, stirring to melt. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Stir in sour cream and shrimp. Spoon over rice; sprinkle with paprika.  Serves 1


Nutrition Facts
Values Per 525g % Daily Value*
Calories 624
Calories from Fat 80
Total Fat 8.9g 14%
Saturated Fat 2.7g 14%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.1g
Cholesterol 1106mg 1106%
Sodium 1281mg 53%
Potassium 889.41mg 25%
Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Protein 119.6g
Vitamin A 32% · Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 48% · Iron 9%

Friday, February 19, 2016

Spinach Quiche



1 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup half and half
3 eggs
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pie crust


Preheat oven to 425°. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in half and half and eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Comments:  This is a recipe that I found online.  I love Spinach Quiche and out of all that I found listed this one looked perfect for me.  You can substitute milk for the half and half, gruyere for the cheddar and 1/2 cup finely diced red and white onions or shallots work well too.  This turned out delicious!

Strawberry Pineapple Cobbler



25-30 whole strawberries
1 can (20 oz.) chunk pineapple
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Slice strawberries in half and place on bottom of dish.  Evenly pour pineapple with juice over strawberries.  Top evenly with coconut and walnuts.   Sprinkle dry cake mix over everything.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and pour on melted butter.  Bake 45 minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Vichyssoise (Leek & Potato Soup)




6 medium potatoes
6 leeks
4 Tbsp. butter
8 cups chicken stock
heavy cream or sour cream
nutmeg
salt, pepper
chopped chives (optional)

Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces.  Cook in enough boiling water to cover until tender, then drain.  Meanwhile, wash the leeks thoroughly.  Split and saute in butter.  When the leeks are limp, add 2 cups of the chicken stock and simmer gently until leeks are tender.  Puree the potatoes and leeks and combine.  Add the stock in which the leeks were cooked, the remaining chicken stock and heavy cream or sour cream.  Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and blend thoroughly.  Chill 24 hrs..  Garnish with chopped chives before serving.  Serves 8

Comments:  I ran across this recipe in an OLD cookbook I bought.  The paper has yellowed and from the ad on the back it looks like it may be from the 50's, possibly before.  I talked to a friend of mine who is from Canada and said she had eaten this many times in the past and couldn't wait to try it again so she was going to be my 1st tester.  The only changes I made was to decrease the chicken stock to 6 cups and since there were no measurements for the heavy cream or sour cream I used 1 cup of half and half and 1 cup of sour cream.  PERFECT!  The did salt my potatoes while cooking and when I added the nutmeg I sprinkled just a little, tasted; added a little more, tasted; and continued until I got the perfect taste which for me was just a slight flavor.  Judging by the instructions to chill 24 hours I believe this is a soup that is supposed to be eaten cold.  I don't like very many cold soups so I ate it hot.  It was delicious!  This is a soup that any soup lover can't help but love.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Spaghetti with Garlic-Shrimp & Broccoli



1/2 lb. Spaghetti, uncooked (I used Quinoa)
4 cups small broccoli florets
1/2 cup Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing
1 lb. uncooked deveined, peeled large shrimp
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan as directed on the package, omitting the salt.  Add broccoli to the boiling water for the last 2 minutes of cooking.  While spaghetti is cooking heat dressing in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Add shrimp and garlic;  Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.  Drain spaghetti mixture (rinse with hot water if using Quinoa).  Return to the pan and add shrimp mixture and cheese.  Mix lightly.

Comment:  I found this on the KraftRecipes.com.  It not only sounded good but I actually had all of the ingredients on hand.  I do gluten free so I used the Quinoa spaghetti which I've found needs rinsing in hot water after cooking due to the starches that cook out.  Other than that I followed the recipe completely.  This dish is not only good but it's only 330 calories for a serving.  The picture above is 1 1/4 cups and that is the per serving amount.  A lot of food!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pork Chop Potato Soup



4-5 boneless pork chops
2 Tbsp. oil
4 cups water
3-4 med. potatoes
4 more cups water
1 pkg. (4 oz.) instant potatoes with the works
salt & pepper to taste
cheese

Cut pork chops into 1/2" (approx.) pieces.  Put in a large pot with oil.  Saute on high until all has started to brown.  Add 4 cups water, cover and simmer until meat starts to fall apart (1-1 1/2 hrs. depending on meat).  Cut potatoes into cubes.  Add the other 4 cups of water and simmer until potatoes are done.  Add package of instant potatoes, salt & pepper.  Stir to mix.  Add more water if you want a thinner soup.  Sprinkle with cheese when serving.

Comment:  This soup came to me out of the blue.  I had a package of boneless pork chops that I had found on sale.  I spotted a package of instant potatoes with the works in the pantry and decided since it's cold outside soup would be good.  This worked perfectly!  I'll not change a thing when I make it again.  Well... I might add some chopped green onions.  Maybe a little bacon bits.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tex-Mex Lasagna



16 tortilla shells
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. Taco seasoning
1 can Garbanzo beans, with juice
1 carton (16 oz.) sour cream
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 jar (15.5 oz.) salsa
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese


Crumble and brown ground beef.  Add Taco seasoning and Garbanzo beans with juice.  Heat until beans are hot.  Mash with a potato masher to partially crush beans.  In a bowl combine sour cream, flour and garlic powder.  In a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray place 8 shells evenly.  Top with 1/2 of the ground beef mixture.  Top with 1/2 of the sour cream mixture.  Top with 1/2 of the salsa.  Repeat with remaining shells, ground beef, sour cream and salsa.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, over night is even better.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.


Comment:  The original recipe called for 1/2 lb. ground beef, onions, chili powder and cumin.  I increased the ground beef and used a package of taco seasoning instead of the spices and left out the onion.  It also called for an 8 oz. carton of sour cream which I increased to 16 oz.  I changed the enchilada sauce to salsa and added the cheese.  Came out simply delicious!  I really don't think I would have enjoyed it as much with less meat, sour cream and no cheese.  This worked perfectly.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hot Chocolate Pie



3/4 cup crushed butter cookies
1/2 cup marshmallow cream
1 pkg. pudding/pie filling - vanilla
1 pkg. Land o Lakes Cocoa Classics Hot Cocoa Mix
1 1/2 cups milk

Mix the crushed butter cookies with the marshmallow cream until crumbly.  Press into the bottom of a pie pan.  In a bowl combine pudding mix, dry package of cocoa mix and milk.  Whisk to blend and stir until it starts to thicken.  Pour into cookie crust.  Refrigerate.

Comment:  Every year I end up with my favorite butter cookies and this year I had 3 tins.  I can eat them, which I love doing or I can come up with something else to do with them.  I decided to give them a try as a pie crust.  These cookies are full of butter so I didn't want to add more, but I needed a way to make them stick together to form a crust.  Then I spotted the marshmallow cream!  Mixing the 2 together isn't as easy as you would think.  I used a fork to blend and eventually used my hands mixing until the crumbs were crumbly and allowing me to press into the pie pan.  You can go up the edges if you have enough or you can just cover the bottom like I did.  After doing this I had to come up with a filling.  I could use the box of vanilla pudding/pie mix but wanted some flavor.  That is when I spotted the Land O Lakes Coco Mix.  I'm not a chocolate lover but I do like a hot cup of flavored chocolate on a cold night so when I spotted a package of Amaretto I decided to give it a try.  Bingo!  It worked so well that I decided to make a 2nd pie using plain hot cocoa mix making it a chocolate pie.  To know which was which I sprinkled the top of the chocolate one with a little coco and the amaretto with almond slivers.  The pies were all approved and seconds were asked for by my Food Testers.  And the crust - it was different but in a delicious way.  You can bet I'll be making these pies often and will be 'playing' with the flavors, both through the crust as well as the filling.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

PP&J Cookies



This recipe is so simple that kids can even do it.  The ingredients are simple - peanut butter cookies and jelly, preserves or jam.  Yep that's it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Simply make up your favorite recipe for peanut butter cookies (you can even use refrigerated rolls or store mix).  Form your cookie dough into 1" balls.  Spray the tins of a mini muffin pan.  Place the cookie dough balls into the bottom of the tins.  Press down to cover the bottom of the tins and a little up the side.  Press a dent in the center (this can be done with your finger if you don't have long nails but it needs to be round.  Just be careful and don't go all the way through.  Next, add about 1/2 tsp. of your favorite jam, preserves or jelly to each dent.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes.  Using a large spoon, carefully run around around the edge of your cookie to loosen and lift out.  Place on a rack to cool completely.

These turned out so delicious!  You can actually do this with just about any cookie - chocolate (not with chips), sugar, etc.  You can use any flavor jelly/jam/preserves - whatever happens to be your favorite or your child's favorite or do some of both.  You can also do as I did and fill some of them with chocolate chips.  My food testers all loved these.  One said she simply couldn't quit eating them and ended up eating all 7 that I brought her.  This is a fun recipe to do with the kids, especially for the holidays.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pork Tetrazzini



1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 can condensed mushroom soup
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped, cooked pork (or chicken/turkey)
1 jar (2 oz.) chopped pimentos
1 can (8 oz.) mushroom pieces, drained
1/2 cup almond slivers
1/2 lb. spaghetti, cook and drain
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large pot saute onions, pepper and celery in butter.  Keep over heat and add soup, cheese and flour.  Whisk in broth and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add pork, pimentos, mushrooms, almonds, spaghetti, salt & pepper.  Pour into a 3 qt. baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.

Comments:  This is one of those 'Think With Your Taste Buds' recipes.  I found the recipe using turkey instead of pork in an 1989 cookbook.  I had 4 nice boneless pork chops that needed to be cooked so I decided to use that instead of the turkey.  To me, turkey, chicken and pork really don't have much flavor so this substitute worked perfectly.  The sauce ends up about the thickness of spaghetti sauce and stuck to the pasta very well.  But the flavor is what really stands out.  You can taste each flavor  onion, peppers, celery, cheese, and mushrooms.  The almonds added a wonderful texture to the dish.  The food testers that were lucky enough to be served this dish all raved about it and wanted more.  I did make one other small change.  Just before coming out of the oven I sprinkled it with just a little more cheese and allowed it to melt.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sausage and Grits Casserole



1 lb. lean sausage
3/4 cup uncooked quick cook grits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook sausage until done and crumbled.  Cook grits according to package directions.  Stir in sausage, cheese, milk & eggs.  Pour into a 2 qt. baking dish sprayed with non-stick.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Comments:  I found a version of this in the Holiday edition of Southern Living.  It called for smoked sausage, garlic & thyme.  I used Jimmy Dean's extra sage sausage, which is very lean and flavorful.  I also omitted the garlic and thyme.  Plus, I cut the recipe in half.  This dish turned out wonderful!  Even my Food Tester who is from NY loved it.  I'll be making it again but I'm going to add sauted onions and possibly some bell peppers.  This is also an attractive dish that has everything in one dish.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Coconut Pudding Cake



1 cake mix (yellow or white)

2 pkg. (4 serving size each) coconut pudding
2 1/2 cups milk

Mix the cake according to package directions and bake in 2 round cake pans.  Cool COMPLETELY.  Mix pudding and milk.  Allow to thicken.  Slice the cakes in down the middle making 4 round layers.  Carefully lay a layer onto your cake plate, cover with pudding.  Carefully add the next layer and repeat with pudding.  Continue ending with pudding being your topping.  Sprinkle with coconut (optional).

Comment:  This is so easy.  I originally thought about putting the pudding between the layers only and icing the cake but changed my mind using the pudding on top.  When I sliced my layers I carefully placed each on a paper plate.  When putting together use the thickest one 1st (there will always be one thicker than the other when you slice).  Add pudding, top with a thinner layer, add pudding and top with other thin layer using the other thick one for the top.  This cake came out so moist!  And think of all the other flavors you might want to use.  Pistachio would be delicious!!  You could do chocolate with chocolate cake, or yellow.  Lemon maybe.  Whatever pudding flavor you might like you can make a delicious cake with.



Lemon Almond Pudding Cake - the only changes was to use a lemon cake mix and lemon pudding along with almond slivers sprinkled over each layer.  So good!


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Strawberry Jello Pie



1 1/4 cup apple juice (I used water)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 pkg (4 serving size) Strawberry Gelatin
2 cups fresh strawberries (I used whole frozen)
1 graham cracker pie crust
Coolwhip

In a saucepan mix apple juice (or water), sugar and cornstarch.  Cook on medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add dry gelatin mix and stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved.  Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on the bottom of the crust.  Cover with the gelatin mix.  Refrigerate until firm.  Serve with topping.

Comment:  This is another old favorite that I found in an old Jello cookbook.  Every time I see a picture of this pie I think about the old Shoney's where they served a pie like this but in a regular crust, not the graham cracker type.  One tip that I must give when making this is to make sure your cornstarch mixture gets to the point of a thick gravy.  You want to be able to pour it over the berries but thick enough that it will become firm when cooled.  I didn't find fresh strawberries that looked very good so I did buy the whole frozen and sliced them down the middle.  I also filled my shell with 2 layers instead of just one to give it even more flavor.  This is a dish I will be making often but I think I'll try it with the regular pie shell that I bake instead of the graham just to see how much difference it will make.  I feel sure it will be delicious!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coconut Pie



1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick Mix
1/ cup butter, softened
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a pie plate 9 x 1 1/4 (I use a deep dish pie plate) with cooking spray.  Stir all ingredients in a medium bowl with a wire whisk or fork until blended.  Pour into pie plate.  Bake 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before slicing.

Comments:  Yes this is another one of those 'Impossibly Easy' Bisquick dishes.  And yes it is easy and oh so good.  I made this and served it to some of my food testers that I'll be feeding this Thanksgiving to see if they would like it to be on the menu.  All agreed that it was a must have.  The only change I'll be making when I make this again is to allow the coconut to brown just a little more and maybe drizzle it with a little melted butter.  This pie comes out like an egg custard type pie and well worth making.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Farro Salad

 

1 Brussels sprout stalk (I used 1 lb. frozen)
1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon or Spicy Brown Mustard
1 small shallot, minced
1/3 cup Sherry vinegar (I didn't use)
1/3 cup and 1 tsp Extra virgin Olive Oil (I used 1/4 cup and 1 tsp.)
1/4 cup Shaved Parmesan, or to taste
1/2 a Lemon (I didn't use)
3/4 cup farro
1 teaspoon Butter
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Use a paring knife to trim the sprouts from the stalk. Separate and reserve the big leafy tops, and any leaves that fall while you’re trimming the sprouts. Wash the sprouts and the leaves separately. Set the leaves aside for now. You can shave the brussels sprouts in a food processor, with a mandoline, or with a knife.  (For the frozen sprouts I allowed them to thaw just slightly and then cut them into 1/4s).  Once your sprouts are shaved, lightly toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 425ºF until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir them at least once while they’re roasting. (When using frozen sprouts you may want to turn the heat up to 450.  They don't brown as well or quickly as fresh).

In a saucepan, cover 3/4 cup farro with plenty of water, and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the farro and discard the cooking water. In a saute pan, melt 1 teaspoon butter with 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat, then toast the farro until it’s golden.  (For some reason I couldn't get my farro toasted but that turned out ok for my dish.  This is also when I added 1/4 cup of olive oil and the shallots, letting them cook slightly.)

While the sprouts and farro are cooking, make the dressing. In a jar or tupperware, combine the shallot, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Shake or whisk thoroughly.
Toss the roasted sprouts with the toasted farro and the dressing, and serve on a platter with shaved parmesan scattered over.  (For my dish I eliminated this step completely.  I mixed the sprouts, farro and cheese, tossing it while everything was still warm allowing some of the cheese to melt.)

Comment:  This recipe came from John Spottiswood at CookEatShare.com and it caught my eye immediately.  I did make a few changes because I'm not a lemon nor vinegar fan when it comes to my farro nor Brussel Sprouts.  I ended up tasting as I went along determining what I wanted to add.  There was one other ingredient that I haven't listed and that was a few sprinkles of Greek Seasoning (can be found at Walmart).  The 4 food testers that ate this dish all loved it!  And so did I.  I'll make it again.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Tamale Pie



1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers (I added)
1 envelope (1 1/4 oz.) taco seasoning mix
1 can (8 oz.) stewed tomatoes drained & chopped (I omitted)
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed & drained (I omitted)
1 jar (16 oz.) Your Favorite Salsa (I added)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I added)
1/2 cup Bisquick Mix
1/4 cup Yellow cornmeal (I used white)
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a pie plate (I use cake pan) with cooking spray.  Cook beef until brown.  Drain.  Stir in onions, (bell peppers) and taco mix.  Spread in pie plate.  Sprinkle with tomatoes and corn.  (I spread the salsa over mine instead of the tomatoes & corn and sprinkled with the cheese.)  In a medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients until blended (this works best with a whisk or fork).  Pour evenly over the ingredients in the pie plate.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Comment:  This is another one of those simple, yet delicious, Bisquick Impossible Pie recipes.  As you can see I did make a few changes but have given you the original recipe as well.  I must say that mine turned out so delicious.  I topped it with a little sour cream.  Serve it with a salad and you have a meal that's ready in no time with very little preparation.  These forgotten recipes from my earlier years are worth bringing back.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cheeseburger Pie



1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a pie pan, 9 x 1 1/4", with cooking spray.  Cook beef, onion, peppers, salt and pepper in a skillet until beef is done.  Drain.  Spread in pie plate.  Sprinkle with cheese.  In a bowl mix Bisquick, milk and eggs using a fork or whisk until blended.  Pour over the meat.  Bake 25 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Comment:  Sometimes the best recipes are those that we've simply forgotten.  I remember making this dish years ago for my kids and we all loved it.  It's simple, quick, and delicious. You can top it with anything you like... pickles, mustard, etc. or do as I did and top it with sour cream.   I did, as usual, make a change.  I added the bell peppers.  I also used a cake pan instead of a pie plate but only because it has a device that runs around the bottom which separates the pie from the pan.  Give this one a try, again.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Butter Pecan Pan Cake



1 box Butter Pecan Cake Mix
chopped pecans
cinnamon
Butter Pecan Syrup
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a spring form pan with non-stick spray.  Mix the Butter Pecan Cake Mix according to package.  In the bottom of the spring form pan sprinkle pecans (about 1/4 cup).  Sprinkle with cinnamon (about 1 Tbsp.).  Pour half the batter over the nuts.  Sprinkle more pecans over the batter (about 1/4 cup).  Sprinkle with cinnamon (about 1 Tbsp.).  Drizzle with Butter Pecan Syrup (about 1/4 cup).  Add remaining batter.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until done in the center.  Let cook for 10-15 minutes before moving to a plate, nut side down.

Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with enough Butter Pecan Syrup to make a drizzle.  Add the syrup just a little at a time, mix, add more as needed.  Drizzle over warm cake.  Sprinkle with more chopped pecans.

Comments:  I spotted a butter pecan cake mix in my cabinet and decided to play with it.  I thought I would see if I could come up with a coffee cake using the pecans and cinnamon on the bottom and in the center.  Just before I added the 2nd half of the batter I decided to give it a little drizzle with the syrup.  That, my friend, is what gave this cake it's special Pan Cake taste.  It came out moist yet a little gooey in the center from the syrup.  The glaze of sugar & syrup ended up being the perfect touch to make it even better.  I've had everyone that had the pleasure of trying this cake tell me it was the best yet!  And I do have to agree.  Perfect for the upcoming holidays.  The spring form pan is a must due to this being sticky.  It would fall apart if you tried to make it in a regular bundt or cake pan.  So, why did I name it Butter Pecan Pan Cake?  When I go to IHOP I always have butter pecan syrup over my pancakes and this cake turned out tasting just like them, with a few nuts added.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ground Beef & Rice Casserole



(Original Recipe from  Cooks.com

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup rice (I used Wild & Brown Rice Blend)
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup (I used cream of mushroom)
1/4 cup celery
1/4 cup green peppers
1/4 cup onion (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper and salt (optional if using soup mix)
1/2 cup mild Cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup)
(I added 1/2 pkg. onion soup mix, 1 tsp. minced garlic & topped the dish with French fried onions)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown ground beef with salt & pepper.  Cook rice.  Saute celery, green pepper, onion (& garlic).  In a medium baking dish combine all ingredients and mix well.  Bake 30-35 minutes.


Comments:  I did this a little different.  I cooked my rice in a sauce pan.  When done I moved it to a large bowl.  I then brown my ground beef and added it to the bowl.  In the same pan I sauted my celery, peppers, onion, and garlic.  I added that along with the mushroom soup and onion soup mix to the bowl.  Blended well.  Poured into my baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray and baked for 30 minutes.  I then added the French Fried Onions and baked another 5 minutes to let them brown just slightly.  This is a super delicious dish no matter which way you make it. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Snicker Pie



5 Snickers cut in pieces or 18 small bars
2 regular size pastry shell baked
12 oz cream cheese
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place Snickers in bottom of the cooked pie shell.  In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, sour cream and peanut butter; beat on low speed just until combined.  Pour into pie shell over Snickers.  Bake  for 25-30 minutes or until set.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips as soon as they come out of the oven.   Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

Comments:  This recipe came from a friend of mine and I finally decided to give it a try.  She used the 5 regular size snickers but to cut cost I bought a bag of the individual size and ended up using 9 bars in each shell.  She also used just 1 shell which apparently was a deep dish.  I had the regular shells so I used 2.  The only other difference between mine and her pie was the chocolate.  She melted the chips were I cut down the prep time by sprinkling the chips over the top of the hot pie.  Baking time may varies by the shell.  With me using the 2 shells I found 30 minutes to be perfect.  I determined the pie was done when a toothpick in the center didn't come out wet.  If you use the 1 deep dish shell you might want to add 10 minutes to your baking time.  But don't overcook or your pie will become hard.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Apple Dumplins



2 Granny Smith apples 
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon
1 small can (7 1/2 oz.) coke
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour coke around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Comment:  While in the mountains I bought a bag of apples.  I probably should have inquired what kind of apples they were but didn't.  Turns out that they are VERY tart apples that weren't good for eating raw but only good for cooking.  I had found an Apple Dumplin recipe some time ago but just hadn't tried it yet but knew these apples would be great to use instead of the Granny Smith.  (These apples had more tartness than the Granny Smiths!).  The recipe called for 2 Granny Smith but since my apples were a little smaller I used 4 and cut them into 4 slices each.  This may have been even better since I ended up with larger pieces of apples in each dumplin.  The recipe also called for regular sugar and Mountain Dew.  I decreased the sugar to 1 cup of  UNPACKED brown sugar and a small can of coke.  I also added the walnuts.  This turned out to be an OMGoodness dish!  Easy, quick and so delicious.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin




1 med. pork tenderloin
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
3 Tbsp. Chili Sauce
1 small onion, chopped

In a large non-stick frying pan heat the oil and sear the pork on all sides.  Set your slow cooker on medium, add the pork and allow to slow cook for 2-3 hrs. with the lid on.  Add 1/4 cup of water if needed.  Mix all remaining ingredients together.  Pour over pork and cook another 2 hrs. allowing the sauce to cook down to a glaze.

Comment:  I love port tenderloin.  It's tender, moist, and usually very lean.  I love it enough that I keep 2 - 3 in the freezer at all times.  Another reason I love tenderloin is because it's so versatile.  With this dish the mixture of soy sauce, mustard, and garlic gave it a delicious blend.  The chili sauce and honey gave it sweetness yet a slight heat and the onion added yet another flavor making the whole combination perfect.  If you like tenderloin, you must try this one.



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars



2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
(1/2 cup almond slivers & 1/2 cup coconut - my additions)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Unroll 1 can of dough.  Place it in the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2 glass baking dish.  Stretch it to cover the bottom and firmly press perforations together to seal.  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in vanilla.  Spread over dough in baking dish.  Unroll second can of dough and carefully place it on top of the cream cheese layer.  Pinch seams together.  Pour melted butter evenly over top.  Mix remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the butter.  (I mixed the butter, sugar and cinnamon together allowing the sugar to melt in the hot butter and then poured it evenly over the dough.)  Bake 30 minutes or until center is set.  Cool slightly, about 20 minutes.  Refrigerate for easy cutting.  Cover and refrigerate any remaining bars.

Comments:  As you can see I did what I always do - add ingredients and in this case I changed one of the steps.  After I spread my cream cheese over the 1st layer of dough I sprinkled it with almond slivers and unsweetened coconut.  When it was time to add the 2nd roll of dough I unrolled it onto a chopping board, pressed my seams together and then loosely rolled it up.  That made it easy to unroll over the top of the almonds and coconut.  Mixing the butter, sugar and cinnamon together gave me a very even mix and with it being liquid I was able to use the back of a spoon to spread it better.  Now was this dish good?  It has gluten so I wasn't able to eat it but my food testers all begged for more.  I thought about doing this same recipe with a pie filling on top of the cream cheese.  That should be great!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Cherry Pie Cake



1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 stick butter, melted
1 can (21 oz.) pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  To make the crust - In a medium bowl combine cake mix, eggs and butter.  Press into baking dish.  Spread pie filling over the crust.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until cake is done.  A toothpick will not come out clean in this so watch for a spring in the center when pressed down.

Comments:  I had a can of cherry pie filling, that had been forgotten, in my pantry.  The use by date was still about a year away but I didn't want to forget it again so I started thinking about ways to us it other than as a pie or cobbler.  I remembered some cookies that I make using a cake mix so decided to see how that would work out as a crust.  Boy did I hit it right!  I used the cookie recipe which uses the ingredients above but instead of making them into cookies I just pressed the mix into the baking dish to form a crust, adding the pie filling as a topping.  The flavor from the butter along with the cherry filling gives this dish such a rich flavor.  It's good hot, warm or cold and you can change the filling to your own favorite.  I can't wait to try this with strawberries or black berries or mixed berries or blue berries or, or, or----

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Easy Key Lime Pie



1 box (11 oz.) vanilla wafers
1 stick melted butter
2 cans (14 oz. each) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
3/4 cup lime juice
1 container (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
2 containers (6 oz. each) Key Lime Pie Yogurt
1 grated lime peel

Place wafers in a food processor and pulse until crumbled.  This can also be done in a plastic bag crushing with a rolling pin.  Add butter to crumbs.  Press into a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish.  In a large bowl mix condensed milk and lime juice.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until thick and smooth.  Fold in whipped topping and yogurt.  Spoon onto wafer crust.  Top with grated lime peel.  Cover and refrigerate about 8 hrs or until completely set.  Cut into 5 rows by 4 rows.  Cover and refrigerate leftovers.


Comments:  This recipe came from Pillsbury and I did make some changes.  The original called for using a tube of Pillsbury sugar cookies, baking them and then crumbling them after cooling, then adding 1 cup of whipped topping before pressing into dish.  To quicken this recipe I bought a box of vanilla wafers and used the butter in the crumbs instead of the topping.  The recipe also called for 2 containers of 8 oz. each whipped topping.  I used 1 since I didn't use any in the crust.  I also sprinkled with almond slivers instead of the lime peel.  My method still gave me a delicious Key Lime Pie but in a quicker preparation time.  This dish will serve a crowd and they will love every bite.  My food testers did!