Sunday, July 24, 2016

Delightful Sunday Funday Dessert! Bananas, Strawberries and more

Sunday's Funday Dessert!

This was really tasty.  Beware!! One piece and you'll want more.  Not too sweet not too heavy, just right.  Graham cracker crust, vanilla pudding, bananas, pineapple tidbits, drained. Fresh strawberries, cool whip or real whipped cream, toasted coconut and garnished with milk chocolate chips. Ooh la la delish.

Here's what you need:

13x9 inch glass pan
2 cups graham cracker crumbs or a large graham cracker pie shell
5 T melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

1 regular size vanilla instant pudding 
2 cups milk
1/4 container cool whip
Whisk together and then place on refrigerated crust

2 sliced bananas
1 can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple drained
1 cup fresh strawberries or if using frozen drain well before placing on pudding making sure pudding is set.
1/2 cup toasted coconut
milk chocolate morsels or chocolate syrup (optional)

Melt butter, add to graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix with fork until butter and sugar start to crumble.  Press on bottom and sides of glass pan. Refrigerate until you make your pudding.

In a large bowl place vanilla instant pudding and 2 cups milk whisk until it starts to thicken.  Add 1/4 container cool whip or already whipped whipped cream)about 1/2 cup).  Pudding should have thickened by now so remove crust from refrigerator and top the crust with the pudding then top with 2 sliced bananas on top of pudding, pineapple tidbits and strawberries.  Top with toasted coconut and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels.  Refrigerate for about two hours and serve cold.

Happy Baking!

from my kitchen to yours,

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

One crust Chicken Pot Pie

Hi everyone:

This was a spare of the moment dish since I wanted to be able to use the chicken and carrots I used in my chicken soup from yesterday.  I had planned on making chicken salad but I'm unpredictable when it comes to a lot of my recipes.  If I get a thought I go with it when I have some things to use up.  As in the crust.  I had bought it to make an Apple pie but never did do it so I didn't want the crust date to expire so this is how this particular recipe came into fruition. It looks pretty good I think and I know the boys(grandson's) will enjoy it.

Note:  You don't have to make homemade soup FYI.  Canned Chicken Broth will be fine and you can use any cooked chicken.  Store bought Rotisserie chicken would work or if no other choice canned and drained chicken.  All these suggestions are for in a pinch or no other option. LOL  

4 cups chicken broth (I measured mine)
1 large potato diced and cooked until tender* you can cook the potatoes and carrots together.
2 carrots diced and cooked until tender
1/2 cup frozen peas added to thickened broth along with cooked veggies
1/3 + 2 T. corn starch( it thickens much easier than flour) or use about the same amount of flour if you prefer. Note:  If you use all cornstarch it may be too thick to your liking so you can mix half and half as in 1/4 c. cornstarch and the rest flour. FYI

In a small bowl place corn starch and about 1/2 cup cooled chicken broth. Whisk until smooth.

In a large pot that you have placed your 3 1/2 cups chicken broth Gradually add smooth cornstarch mixture. Cook on medium heat until it slightly starts to thicken.  Add cooked carrots and potatoes and frozen peas.  Stir continually until it thickens.  Pour into deep baking dish.  Cover with 1 refrigerated pie crust.  Pinch around edges. Prick top about 4 times and prick edges too. Sprinkle a little pepper on top and  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until browned. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.  Salad on the side would be my choice. Enjoy!

Note: To be safe place your baking dish on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet to catch any spills.  Mine was filled pretty close to the top so I was happy I did do the foil thing.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ricotta spinach roll-ups

Summer cook outs are fun but some days oven easy meals work too!  This particular dish you can easily put together the night before you are going to bake it.  All it takes is planning ahead and buying the ingredients which are:

1 lb.low skim or whole Ricotta 
1-cup 5 cheese blend shredded cheese or shredded mozzarella
1 egg
Pinch salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped spinach cooked
1 box lasagna noodles (cooked according to directions)
2 quarts pasta sauce

I follow the instructions on the box for the lasagna noodles and when they are cooked I drain and rinse them in cold water, pat them slightly to absorb some moisture and spread the filling on each strip and roll and place onto casserole that you have already added some sauce to. Use Marinara sauce if you prefer meatless meal.

Top with remaining sauce and cheese and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes covered.  Remove cover and if necessary bake another 5 minutes.

This is an easy all in one meal that you can serve your family or take along to a party. They will definitely be a HIT!



From my kitchen to yours,

Friday, July 15, 2016

Visiting Mom and Harrisburg

My mom lives in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area and we visit her monthly if not more. She'll be 93 in October and is still going strong.

She lives in a small efficiently apartment and is quite independent.  She won't move closer to me so my hubby and I make a monthly trip to tend to her needs.  It's a long drive and quite tedious but thanks to my hubby who drives we make the most of it occasionally checking out a restaurant or an area on the way that we haven't been to..

We don't get to do much other than grab a bite to eat when we are travelling to and from her house.  Hubby goes several different routes to her house so as not to get too bored on the trip and also being it is so far we both get tired so stopping at a rest area and getting out of the car to stretch sometimes helps.

I have tried having her move closer to me especially that my dad and brother are no longer alive.  She won't hear of it so I'll do it as long as I am able to. It was an enjoyable two days and she likes all the mini meals and goodies I make for her.

On our trip back to Pittsburgh we decided to take the route to Harrisburg on the turnpike instead of our usual route 80 and 28.  

Since we were going to Harrisburg I contacted a very good friend to have lunch with us.  Her and her husband met us at a local eatery and it was wonderful to connect.  Good food and good conversation with friends is certainly good for the soul.  I much needed friendly lunch.

I took some photos of the city as well as a special bakery my hubby loved to patronize when he worked there.  The people are so nice and Italian.  The whole family contributes to the success of this business.  Husband, wife and children are involved on a daily basis.

The name is Alvaro's and you can't find nicer and friendlier people who take pride in their business.  It is on Green Street near McClay, a block or two from the Governor's Mansion.

Here's some of the goodies and freshly baked bread. Of course we took some home.  A must!

Make sure if you're in the Harrisburg area to check this place out.  They serve lunch and dinner too!

After checking out this familiar stop, we were off to do a car tour of the city

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of Harrisburg.

As Always,

Visiting with long time friends Ernie and Diane was great.  You can't beat having friends to share memories with.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Oh my Strawberry Pie with real Whipped Cream :)

Heavy whipping cream really adds to the pie!  Yummy!

Mom wrote down Mrs. Lucas's original recipe.

This recipe was inspired by my mom's neighbor Mrs. Lucas and of course she made it long ago and today was my first attempt to make it.   I have to say it was very easy and I made the two pies.  I gave one to my very appreciative daughter and of course one for me and the hubby! One of the many great things about summer is STRAWBERRIES!!  Enjoy!

Happy Baking from my kitchen to yours,

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
3 cups water
**2 - 3 oz. pkgs. strawberry jello
2 + containers fresh sliced strawberries (It depends on how full you want your pie to be)
1 pt. heavy whipping cream (whipped with 4 T. confectioners' sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla)
1 pkg. (two shells) refrigerated pie crust baked according to directions. 

**Note:  The above recipe is the way it was written.  I only had 1- (3oz) pkg. strawberry jello and I found it to be fine. You can do either.

This recipe makes 2 pies

Bake pie crusts according to pkg. directions.  Cool completely!

Place first 3 ingredients in a large pot and whisk together. On medium heat, cook slowly until mixture starts to bubble and becomes clear.  Add strawberry jello and mix well. Cool completely.

Using your favorite pie dish place refrigerated dough in pie dish and bake accordingly. I pkg. will make two pies.  Fill with strawberry filling.

Note:  Make sure pie crusts are cool before filling.

Place strawberries mixture in baked pie shell.  Pour cooled glaze over pie and refrigerate until totally set.  Top with heavy whipped cream. Fabulous :)


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