Thursday, July 31, 2014

No Bake Berry Cream Cheese Pie with Chocolate Crust

This Cream Cheese Pie should have been a Peach Cream Pie.  Maybe you heard about a stone fruit recall. Some of  Peaches, Nectarines, and Plums from certain growers  may have had Listeria, nasty stuff.  Because I was taking this pie to friends for dinner over the weekend, I didn't want to take a chance with peaches from other stores, either.  So close your eyes and pretend this is that Yummy Peach Cream Pie or open them and see this gorgeous No Bake Berry Cream Cheese Pie. The peach Pie will just have to wait.

 No Bake Berry Cream Cheese Pie is a good alternative to making a whole cheesecake, even though it was National Cheesecake Day yesterday. This pie has all the cheese cake flavor with fewer calories, less time to prepare, plus you don't have tun on the oven, a winner in my book.  The pie also has a Chocolate Crust. I didn't use Chocolate graham crackers or Chocolate wafers to make the crust.  I added melted chocolate chips to the graham cracker crumbs, easy peasy, spread them in a 9" pie plate and baked them for about 8 minutes. The chocolate pairs well with the strawberries and blueberries.

Once the crust has cooled you can make the filling,  softened light cream cheese,  powdered sugar, and the juice of a lemon, which is whipped together.  Then fold in light Cool Whip or whipped cream.  Spread filling in in the crust, and refrigerate for about one hour.   You can then decorate  the top of of the pie with the fruit of your choice.  Since peaches were a problem, I thought I should stick to fruits that were ripe, when you buy them, like berries.  Actually my artist in residence, Scott, decorated the top of the pie.  He has an artistic eye, not me.  I debated about glazing the fruit with heated jam, but I didn't want to mess up Scott's artwork.  Unfortunately, I can't show you a slice of this yummy pie, because it all gone.  You will just have to trust me that it tastes soo good, especially with the chocolate crust.  Enjoy!

No Bake Berry Cream Cheese Pie with Chocolate Crust
 Inspired by No Bake Peach Cream Pie, Cooking Light

  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 cookie sheets)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 oz ounces chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray
  • 5 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 cups frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed or 1cup whipping cream whipped
  • 8 oz of strawberries, sliced in half depending on the size of the berries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
1. Combine crumbs in a food processor; process until combined. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 30 seconds, stirring until chocolate is smooth. Add to processor; pulse until combined. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake in 375 oven for 6-9 min.or freeze until firm.

2. Place cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping or whipping cream. Carefully spread filling over bottom of crust. Chill pie for one hour, until set.  Decorate top of pie with mixed berries or fruit of your choice; kiwi, peaches, nectarines, raspberries, etc.  Chill at least 3 hours before serving.
I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #129  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad with Chicken

When our temps soar, if only for one day, I only want foods are that cold.  I don't want heavy sauces and pasta or meats, I want light, cold salads.  This salad, Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad with Chicken, fits the bill. Of course, it has fruit, and  veggies, pasta, grilled chicken, and even fresh Basil from our patio. The dressing is a combination of Mayo with Olive oil and Greek yogurt, which is light with a tang from the yogurt, very refreshing.

The thing I like about salads is that you can add almost anything that you have in your fridge and pantry to make the salad.  I love Spinach and Kale, in salads, even pasta salads, and other veggies too, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers.  Nuts are good, too, especially walnuts, event though I didn't have any to put in this salad.I digress.  I don't know why I love walnuts so much, because they wreak so much havoc on our lawn with all of our walnut trees.  I can't believe that that the leaves and the walnuts are falling already. Boo!  Getting back to the salad, you can also vary the fruits, as well as the ingredients in the dressing. Oh, how could I forget the different pastas and quinoa you could choose. Your options are endless, when it comes to salad.  Serve salad on chilled plates to increase the chill factor.  Stay cool, and enjoy!

Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken
2 cups of Broccoli florets, washed
3/4 cup grapes, halved, if they are large
2 cups of cooked pasta of your choice, drained, and chilled
1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil
2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced in chunks
Walnuts, chopped (optional)

1/2cup mayo with olive oil
1/2cup plain Greek yogurt

Combine  Salad ingredients in large bowl.  Then mix dressing ingredients in small bowl.  Pour over salad and chill.  Serve salad on chilled plates.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #129  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips and Only Three Ingredients

We just got our first 90 degree temp for July yesterday.  Now I really want ice cream!  You know the ditty,  I scream, You scream, We all scream for ice cream.  Not any ice cream mind you, but for the the amazing Chocolate Banana Ice Cream with only a few ingredients and no ice cream maker required, that is going around the blogosphere.

This amazing version of the no maker ice cream is only 6 bananas sliced, and frozen, cocoa, and I added the chocolate chips to amp up the chocolate flavor and texture.  This yummy dessert is naturally sweet , healthy, and fat free if you don't add the chocolate chips,  freezer ready in five minutes.  There are no preservatives and you can spell all of the ingredients used.  I was just blown away by the rich, creamy, chocolate flavor  of this confection.  I had already made the Strawberry Banana Ice Cream, and I couldn't wait to try the chocolate version.  Wow! I was not disappointed in the least, and you won't be disappointed either.  If you didn't know differently,  you would think that the ice cream was magic. Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips  Adapted from the Slow Roasted Italian

6 ripe bananas (3 fresh sliced and 3 sliced and frozen) 
3 tablespoons cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/2 cup mini or regular size chocolate chips.

Place bananas in a blender or food processor. Blend until mixture starts to get creamy, scraping down sides as necessary, which may take several minutes.  Add cocoa powder and regular chocolate chips and pulse until completely combined. (If using mini chips, stir in to combine)

Transfer mixture to a freezer container and place in freezer for 3-4 hours, or longer if you like your ice cream on the hard side.

Scoop and serve or scoop and place scoops into a container for later use.  If you decide to leave it in the freezer, just allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, to soften before serving.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #128  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Butter Glaze and Berry Butter Cream Frosting

Our summer weather keeps rollin' along, and I I'm loving the weather, as well as the all of the fruit in season at this time. Between all of the ripe berries and all the ripe veggies, I don't know what to make first, savory or sweet dishes.   My huge sweet tooth wins out almost every time.  All I know is that Scott isn't complaining.

I had a handful of Raspberries, and a handful of Blackberries, so I knew that I could make Berry Butter  Cream Frosting.  I decided to make light, fluffy, Lemon cupcakes, which went perfect the Berry Butter Cream Frosting.  The tart lemon cake complements the sweet berries very well, and the Lemon Butter Glaze just intensifies the lemon flavor.  I just love baking with fruit, and baking these cupcakes to showcase the Raspberries and Blackberries. Yum. I am eating some type of fruit at every meal, and even adding berries and grapes to my ice tea.  This has to be the best time of year for fruits and vegetables, and I'm eating it up, literally.

Since we have decided not to move, and took our house off of the market, I have moved my big Kitchen Aid mixer to it's rightful spot on the kitchen counter, instead of packed away in a box in the basement.  Now, I can make cupcakes like these Lemon cupcakes, and Berry Butter Cream Frosting,  and bake to my hearts content.  I feel so much better.

I only made half a recipe of the cupcakes and frosting.  I wouldn't have room for a whole batch in my freezer.  I always like to have "extra inventory" in my freezer, in case I needed a quick dessert or pick me up for a friend. I made the berry puree by mashing the fruit with a fork, and pushing the fruit through a strainer.  The amount needed was too small, to use the blender.  I frosted a few of the cupcakes with an offset spatula, and the rest of the cupcakes went in the freezer, unfrosted. Make these for your Lemon Lover.  Enjoy!

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze and Berry Butter Cream Frosting

 Adapted from Crazy About Cupcakes, by Krystina Castella   Makes 24 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon or ( zest Juice and zest of two lemons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or lemon concentrate

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating 1 minute after each addition.
3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix until completely integrated. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice.  Mix the batter for 30 seconds.
5. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Glaze 
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

1/4 C sugar, or add to taste

1 Tbsp melted butter 

Bring ingredients to boil over med. heat.  Spoon over warm cupcakes.  Frost cupcakes when completely cooled.

Berry Butter Cream Frosting

 2 sticks butter

4C powdered sugar

1/4 cup Raspberry Puree

 1/4  cup Blackberry Puree
1tsp vanilla
 Cream butter in large mixing bowl of electric mixer with the paddle attachment.  Gradually add powdered sugar and purees until desired consistency.  Add Vanilla and frost cupcakes

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #128  



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