Friday, August 17, 2012

Peaches-n-Cream No-Bake Cheesecake

This recipe I cut in half from the original I found.  I will post the full size 8x10 recipe and if you want you can cut it in half and put it in a prepared graham cracker pie crust.  It was very delicious.  I would most definitely make this again!  It was the other cheesecake I made for my hubby's birthday the other day.  Chris did have a piece and said it was good - but he likes the plain old vanilla cheesecake with a strawberry topping.  I served it to the guys as they were combining the field behind our house.  Our hired man was still raving about it two days later after he had some, but who doesn't like peaches and cream?!  As with the other no bake cheesecake recipe I have, I used the 1/3 reduced fat neufchatel cream cheese and lite whipped topping.

Peaches-n-Cream No-Bake Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar, divided
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 .3-ounce package peach jello
2 fresh peaches, chopped (extra slices for top if you like)
1 8-ounce tub cool whip, thawed

Mix graham crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup sugar and press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  In a bowl mix cream cheese and sugar until combined then add peach jello and mix well.  Fold in peaches and cool whip with a spoon and pour into crust.  You can top the cheesecake with more slices of peaches as shown in my photo above.

No-Bake Cheesecake

This was so easy it was a fright.  Basically 5 ingredients and you're done.  I skipped out on making a homemade graham cracker crust, but that just adds one tiny extra step if you want to make your own.  I just needed something super quick and easy because I didn't have the time to bake the cheesecake and let it sit and refrigerate long enough to take out for my hubby's birthday treat.  He said it was good... does prefer the baked kind better, but this will do in a pinch.  I used the 1/3 fat reduced cream cheese and light whipped topping to reduce fat.  You can use whatever you like if you want the full force of the flavor with the regular cream cheese and whipped topping.  I chose to buy seedless strawberry jam for this recipe, but you could top with whatever jam or jelly you like.  It makes a really quick topping when you don't want to slice up fruit for the topping (or if you don't have the fruit you want).

No-Bake Cheesecake

1 graham cracker pie crust
4 tablespoons sugar
1 8-ounce package 1/3 fat reduced cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups cool whip lite
strawberry jam

In a bowl cream together sugar, cream cheese and cool whip.  Pour into crust.  Refrigerate for 4 hours and add strawberry jam to top shortly before serving.

Vegetable Beef Stew

This is my favorite go-to meal for company or extra people for supper.  It makes a lot and tastes wonderful.  I don't really follow a specific list of ingredients every time because it's so universal.  You can basically just gather whatever veggies you have and throw them in.  I also don't measure, my meat and veggies but I will attempt to for your benefit.  :)  I put in quite a bit of meat.  I like a little beef with my veggies and I love how it kind of shreds apart so you can get a small bite of steak within each spoonful.  My kids really love this stuff and it's a great healthy meal chock full of veggies that are so flavorful.  I love how the potatoes absorb the flavors. 

Vegetable Beef Stew

2-3 pounds sirloin or tenderized steak, trimmed of fat and cubed**
half a small bag of baby carrots
6-8 small red potatoes
half a bag of frozen pearl onions (I think the bag is like 10-12 oz or something)
9-10 oz package of frozen green beans
1 green pepper, chopped
1 16-0z can tomato sauce (or you can use diced tomatoes)
1/3 cup Homemade Cream Soup Mix  (or a can of cream of mushroom soup)
5 tablespoons Homemade Dry Onion Soup Mix (or an envelope of Lipton onion soup mix)
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon crushed marjoram

In a large skillet brown the edges of the cubed meat.  Put everything in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5.  If it seems like it's not thick enough closer to eating time, turn the lid to the side to let the steam escape for about 20 minutes to a half hour.

**I always have packages of steaks in my freezer since we buy a half a cow at a time.  So for this recipe I used 2 frozen packages of sirloin steak.  I'm thinking each of my packages was right around 2 to 3 pounds and after you trim the fat and the bone off you are left with probably 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds.  You can use a very cheap cut of meat for this meal because it cooks for so long - it will bring even the toughest of meat to a wonderfully tender bite.  Just be sure to cut off as much fat as possible to keep it lean.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spaghetti Casserole (Crock Pot)

This was quite a tasty dish.  It had a very mild flavor.  I'm sure if you wanted to give it a stronger flavor you could put some spaghetti seasoning in with the meat sauce, but overall this is a family pleaser.  My kids really liked it and the hubby said it was good.  He said some of the noodles were hard, but that happens around the edges sometimes.  It has a very short crock pot time - just 4 hours on low, so when it's done, it's done.  Cooking it much longer than probably 4.5 hours will result in edges that get a bit crunchy.  The kids and I put Frank's Red Hot sauce on our dishes and I also threw on jalapenos and banana peppers.  It was yummy.  Hope you enjoy!!

Spaghetti Casserole (in the Crock Pot)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 26-ounce jar tomato and basil pasta sauce (you could also use your favorite pasta sauce or just make homemade spaghetti sauce)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
12-ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I just used the stuff in the tube since I didn't have grated)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese or marble jack

Brown beef with onion in a pan and drain grease.  Stir in pasta sauce, shut off heat and let sit until you are ready to put in crock pot.
In a saucepan melt butter over medium low heat, whisk in flour until smooth.  Slowly pour in evaporated milk, whisking the entire time, until the can is empty and continue to whisk until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese and pepper.
In a greased 5 quart crockpot spoon 1/3 of the meat mixture on the bottom.  Break 1/2 the noodles over meat and spread 1/2 the white sauce over noodles.  Sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheese and repeat layers.  Spread remaining meat sauce over cheese and sprinkle with the last cup of shredded cheese.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours at a maximum of probably 4 1/2 hours.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shredded BBQ Crock Pot Chicken

I was looking for something super easy to whip up to take out to the guys in the field for supper.  This was definitely it.  It literally took me 5 minutes (maybe less.... I didn't time myself) to throw together and then all afternoon to cook.  It was quite delicious!  The only issue I had with it was the fact that it was so juicy that if you didn't quickly eat your bun, the bottom got soggy.  Next time I will thicken the sauce before I serve it so that it isn't quite so juicy.  My kids thought this was great and I didn't hear any complaints from the guys in the field, but then again, they might not dare complain for fear that they won't get another meal during harvest again.  :)  My hubby said they were good - so I will just assume everyone else enjoyed them also.  Hogan said they were good also - and he's my food critic, so his opinion usually counts.  Makes a nice big batch and you can half it if you don't need that much.

Shredded BBQ Crock Pot Chicken

8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I always have these in a big bag from Sam's Club)  **I threw mine in the crockpot right from the freezer... don't freak out - you can do this!  :)
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Grease a 3-4 quart crockpot (I used 3) and turn on high.  Place all chicken in crockpot, add remaining ingredients.  (I didn't mix the ingredients before I put it on the chicken, but you sure can).  Cook on high 5-6 hours and about an hour before you eat it, take a potato masher and 'shred' up all the chicken pieces.  You can also cook this dish on low for probably 7-9 hours.  I would probably put it on about 9 or 10am to have it ready by 6pm.  This dish I whipped up about noon yesterday and it was ready to mash (shred) by 4:30pm.  Serve on buns.