Tuesday, July 5, 2022

NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

With mid to upper 90s forecasted for the next two weeks, I would think this No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake would definitely be on your To Serve list. If you don't want to be tempted to eat the whole thing, I would suggest you invite your friends over for afternoon tea. They will be your friends forever, trust me.

I got to enjoy this delicious pie when the Tasty Bunch met last month and Friend Patricia served it to us. It is so funny when the room gets quite and you realize it's because everyone is "stuffing" their mouths. I really tried to eat mine slowly or at least slower than I normally eat so I could savor every bite. It definitely won't be forgotten for a long time.

Thank you Patricia for sharing the recipe with me so I could share it here with you.

PRINT RECIPE



NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE CHEEESECAKE

1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

12     ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2    cup sugar

1/4    cup butter, softened

2       cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

1       graham cracker pie crust

More whipped topping for topping

Mini-chocolate chips for garnish

Melt the chocolate chips over low heat in a saucepan or microwave, stirring frequently until smooth. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and butter until smooth.

On low speed, blend in the melted chocolate.

Fold in the whipped topping until blended.

Spoon blended mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust.

Cover and chill until firm, about 2 to 4 hours.

Garnish with whipped topping and mini chocolate chips, if desired when serving.

Patricia was to quick for me so I had to take a picture of the whole pie when it was just half of a pie.



Monday, June 27, 2022

BANANA SPLIT QUICK BREAD

 One outcome of Covid-19 for me and many of my friends is slowing down. I have heard more than once, "I've gotten used to staying at home and I like it." I know personally, I felt like I had to be doing something. I don't read as much as I would like because if I spent much of the day reading, I felt like I had wasted my day even if I was really enjoying the book. I think it was because I didn't have a "product" to show. 

I like a clean house, but I've never enjoyed the "work" I had to do to get it clean. Kinda like I have heard people say why they don't make their bed in the morning is because then a few hours later you messed it up, it didn't seem to take too long before the house was messed up again. (Both sons married girls who demand a clean house, but I've just given up on hubby.)

Back in February I was invited to join a 30 - Block Exchange Group that kept me busy thru April. I have one more block to receive and then I will be ready to make my Friendship Quilt from the blocks I have received from these new friends over the US and Canada. It will be my first ever of such a quilt. I'm anxious to start to work on it. 

BUT first I have to finish our remodeling job we started in May downstairs in the den or as we call it "Wayne's Domain".  We are ready for the baseboards to be sanded and painted since we are using the baseboards we had. Then I can do the outside and inside corners and we will be finished. I will share a picture at the end of what we have done so far. Our MO grandkids Madison and Tyler visited on Saturday evening and Tyler told me he thought it was pretty.

Even though I have found myself getting comfortable with being less active, I haven't found myself back in the kitchen like I was Pre-Covid. Seems like I make one good new recipe a week. I do know one thing that has made a difference is my decision I made a year ago when I had my wellness check up. My cholesterol was higher than it had ever been and high enough that my doctor wanted me to start taking a statin. She also told me to maintain a good diet and so I made the decision to only eat one serving of red meat (beef and pork) a week. I was used to making a casserole that would serve us meals for three or four days, but that ended. (I did have blood work done four months after I started the statin to see how I was doing and to make sure my body was accepting the statin and my cholesterol had dropped 100 points. WOW).

I do continue to look for recipes that I can make with less sugar. Sometimes I can make them sugar-free and sometimes almost sugar-free like the recipe I am sharing today. I didn't add any sugar and only the Maraschino cherries had added sugar to them (1 g/cherry). I used some no-sugar-added chocolate chips. They are sweetened with erythritol. The pineapple was in its own juice - so no-added-sugar. The fabulous thing is - - - you would never know it to taste the bread.  The only problem I see is it was hard to just eat one slice.

a printable copy of the recipe




BANANA SPLIT QUICK BREAD

1       yellow cake mix* (I used a Sugar-Free yellow cake mix)

1/3    cup oil

3       large eggs

1       cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)

1/2    cup crushed pineapple (in its own juice), drained

1       jar of Maraschino cherries cut in half or quarters (I used a 10 oz jar that chopped up measured 2/3 cup)

1        cup (no-added-sugar) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Lightly spray two 8 x 4 - inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray and

then lightly dust with flour.


Tap off excess flour. Set aside.










Mash bananas, drain the pineapple and cherries. Cut cherries in half and quarters if cherries are big. Pat with paper towel to remove any excess juice.


Place ingredients in mixing bowl and

stir until well mixed.

(
I added the chocolate chips last.)


Divide batter between the two loaf pans and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


Cool in pans for 15 minutes on a wire rack.

Run a dinner knife around the inside edges of the loaves to loosen before

removing them from the pans to finish cooling on racks. 


Wait for at least hours before slicing the bread. Use a serrated knife and slice in a sawing motion to receive best slices.


Wrap in foil or store in an airtight container for best results in the refrigerator. I froze the other loaf. You could always give it to someone to brighten their day.(That's what I did.)









Here are two pictures of two walls downstairs that shows what we are doing. I also have to fill the cracks at seams.  So far we are pleased. I have to get over my being a perfectionist and say it's okay when Wayne says it is close enough. 



Monday, June 20, 2022

FRUITY CINNAMON ROLL CASSEROLE

"That recipe is definitely a keeper!" exclaimed my husband as he came into the room. That is not something I can remember his ever saying before. "Keeper" is a word I use, but Wayne? I don't think so. But it is just the word for this recipe.

I have had the ingredients for it for probably a month but always had a reason not to make it when I saw the refrigerated cinnamon rolls in the fridge. I used cherry pie filling, but apple would be great; even blueberry pie filling. I think I have even seen strawberry pie filling. That's why I called it "Fruity".

If you wanted to make this for breakfast, you could prepare it the evening before and just store it in the fridge til the next morning and then bake it. Your family probably will love you forever!



FRUITY CINNAMON ROLL CASSEROLE

2     refrigerated cinnamon roll packages with frosting 

1     can fruit pie filling - I used cherry pie filling* 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put aside.


Open the cinnamon rolls and cut each roll into fourths or sixths.

Place in a large mixing bowl.


Add the cherry pie filling by small spoonfuls to the cut-up rolls. Carefully combine.

Then add several more spoonfuls, combine, and

repeat until all have been added.

Spoon into prepared baking dish.


Bake for about 30 minutes.

Drizzle the packaged frosting over the top. (I only used one package because I didn't want any more sugar than what it already contained.)

Serve while still warm or cold. (I sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar on top before eating.)


I added a scoop of ice cream to my serving.









*You can use apple pie filling (cut apple slices into smaller pieces), blueberry pie filling, peach pie filling, (cut the peach slices up also), and strawberry pie filling.



And to think I made it with just two ingredients - 


Monday, June 13, 2022

CHOCOLATE CAKE with PUDDING MIX

 Chocolate Cake with Pudding Mix is an unusual name for a cake but since the recipe dates back to the mid-century (aka 50s). Were cake mix companies producing cake mixes that included puddings that far back? I don't know, but I do know that you have to be careful making cake recipes that use a cake mix and then add a pudding mix and buy a cake mix that does not include pudding. 

I found this recipe in a cookbook I bought at an estate sale called Mary Meade's Magic Recipes, A cookbook for the electric blender by Ruth Ellen Church. I actually bought the cookbook not realizing the recipes used a blender. (OK. I admit I didn't read the cover completely...seeing Mary Meade was enough for me. The estate sale had so many books for sale - many of which were cookbooks. I didn't want to hold Friend Janice up too long before we moved to another room - yes we walk together through a sale. It is much more interesting to be with someone who shares your interests, but has some different ones also as you go room by room. 

I thought I would share what I discovered when I researched Mary Meade just in case you were not familiar with the name. Mary Meade was the pen name used by five different food editors for the Chicago Tribune from 1930 to 1974. Ellen Church was the longest tenured food editor from 1936 to 1974. She published recipes, books, and booklets under her own name as well as the Mary Meade pen name. When Ellen retired, so did Mary Meade. My book was copyrighted 1952, 1956, and 1965.

The recipe is made in an 8 x 8 x 2 - inch pan. The recipe for the icing was also included. It makes enough icing to frost one square cake removed from the pan or a two-layer cake. 

The cake is very rich and dense and the canasta group really enjoyed it. You could always add a scoop of ice cream if you like. I always enjoy a scoop of ice cream with chocolate cake.

PRINTABLE COPY OF THE RECIPE


CHOCOLATE CAKE with PUDDING MIX

1     cup cake flour

1     teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4  teaspoon salt

1/2  cup shortening

1     cup milk (I used skim milk)

1     teaspoon vanilla

2     eggs

2     packages chocolate pudding mix (4 - serving size - cook and serve NOT instant)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a well-greased 8 - inch square pan lined with wax paper. Set aside.


Sift together the cake flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.


Place in a blender container the shortening, milk, vanilla, eggs and pudding mix.

Blend until smooth

scraping the sides of the container as needed.

Pour over the dry ingredients and

stir well.

Pour batter into prepared pan and

bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

I know it might not look like the best chocolate cake, but looks can be deceiving.

Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Peel off wax paper.

Frost with chocolate icing when cool.



CHOCOLATE ICING

2     tablespoons soft butter

1     teaspoon vanilla

2     ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted according to directions on package for melting.(I did use semi-sweet chocolate)

3       tablespoons hot milk

1/2    teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

3 - 4  ounces of cream cheese



Place in blender container the soft butter, vanilla, melted chocolate, milk, and salt. Blend until smooth. Add the powdered sugar gradually with the motor running and cream cheese.


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

GRANDMA'S BROWNIES

 The weekend went so quickly. I had good intentions of writing this post up to publish Monday, but ... Saturday chores are or at least one of them is what started this recipe. Wayne was trying to prepare the Sunday school lesson so I offered to mow the front yard. I enjoy mowing but haven't done much in quite a while. It makes me feel close to my daddy. I guess because I have good memories of my daddy mowing and even helping him some. 

Mowing is a good way to showing if you are in good shape or not. I must admit if I haven't before, I am not in good shape as I used to be. After stopping twice for a drink and allowing my body to cool off, a neighbor across the street came over and said it looked like we needed some help. He later said after seeing me stop to rest twice, he felt guilty being so able bodied and not come over and offer to do it. Well, I don't usually turn down an offer of help so I told him "Sure".

And that is how I had the opportunity to try this recipe for brownies. When I took him the pan of brownies, Ryan said, "Oh you didn't have to do that." I just said, "This is how I pay people for their kindness." (I hope they enjoyed them.)

I made two pans since I had never made the recipe before and I couldn't cut one out his pan to taste it. They weren't super sweet like brownies sometimes are, but just right for our taste buds. The recipe called for a cup of sugar and I used a half of cup of sugar and a half of cup of stevia. They also tasted better Sunday than they did right after I took them out of the oven.

Sunday the gkids, Madison and Tyler, came over at 1:00 and we had them for the rest of the day. It had been at least three weeks. I got such big hugs from both of them. We went out to lunch, Wayne took Tyler to the driving range, and Madison and I went shopping. Wayne had found Tyler some nice kid's golf clubs at Hillcrest Thrift Shop and this was the first time they had been together to go to the driving range. After dinner, we watched a video on Discovery + called So Cute (Animals) and played a game of Bingo before taking them back home. It was such an awesome afternoon. Looking forward to having many more this summer.

This recipe came from my late friend Linda's family cookbook.



GRANDMA'S BROWNIES

3/4    cup flour

1       cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of stevia)

5       tablespoons cocoa

1/2    teaspoon salt

1/2    cup shortening

2       unbeaten eggs

1       teaspoon vanilla

1/2    cup pecans, chopped



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray an 8" square pan. Set aside.


Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

(I sifted through the dry ingredients first and then added the rest.)

Beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir the mixture if necessary.

Spread in pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.


Cool on wire rack. 

Great served with fresh fruit and sprinkled with some powdered sugar.








Better eaten the second day. 

If you want to make a bigger batch (9" x 13" pan), just double the ingredients.