Delicious No-Bake Eggnog Pie

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At this time of year, we usually have some straggling leftovers and I wanted to make something for Sunday dinner that would use up two cups of dairy eggnog.  I remembered a pie I had made for Christmas in 1985 from an old 1978 Southern Sideboards cookbook.  I adapted it a bit, including leaving out an extra two cups of whipped cream – I felt we had indulged enough over the holidays.  It’s a good dessert with a crunchy graham cracker/almond crust and a smooth creamy filling.  Make the day before serving so the pie can chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

DELICIOUS NO-BAKE EGGNOG PIE

CRUMB CRUST:

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter, melted

FILLING:

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dairy eggnog
  • 2 Tbsp. rum
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for topping

TO MAKE THE CRUMB CRUST:
Combine graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup sugar, almonds, cinnamon and melted butter in a small bowl.

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Press the mixture on the bottom and sides of a buttered 10-inch pie pan (deep).*  Set aside.

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TO MAKE THE FILLING:
In a cup, sprinkle gelatin over water to soften – set aside.  Mix 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt in top of double boiler.  Gradually stir in eggnog.  Cook over hot, not boiling water, stirring constantly until thickened.

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Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin until dissolved.  Allow filling to cool …

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…then fold in rum and whipped cream.

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Pour mixture into the pie shell and sprinkle with nutmeg.  Cover and let chill in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

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*I had a 10-inch pie plate but apparently it wasn’t deep enough.  I poured the leftover filling into two custard cups, covered and chilled for a nice light dessert after the pie is gone.

6 servings 

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This has nothing to do with eggnog pie but I couldn’t resist showing you this picture.  It’s not everyone who can look out the back door and see a St. Bernard dog in the snow.  Our neighbor’s dog is usually looking for a shady spot or barking to get back in the house, but today he was in his glory in all that beautiful snow.

StB-best

French Onion Soup and Tart Cherry Dessert

My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is what we enjoyed last Friday.

I adapted this recipe from one in a cooking newsletter I received awhile back (can’t remember source) and found this amount of soup is perfect for the 4 servings I like to make for our  Friday lunches.  I leave one serving on the table for my daughter who works at home and take three servings in a picnic basket to my youngest daughter – two for our lunch and an extra for her to use another time.  This is the first recipe I’ve seen for French Onion Soup that uses chicken broth and since I cook a chicken almost every week, I have a lot of broth in the freezer.  I also freeze any leftover broth from roast beef and this enhances the flavor of the soup quite a bit.  I also think the red wine vinegar gives the soup a special boost in taste.  Canned broth can also be used but the flavor may not be as good.

FRENCH ONION SOUP

• 1-½ lbs. sliced yellow onions  (7 cups)
• 1 Tlsp. olive oil
• Approx. 2 Tblsp. water
• Chicken stock, plus beef broth and water as needed, to make 4 cups total
• 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
• 1 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
•  ¾ tsp. salt (taste before adding especially if using canned broth)
• 1 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
•  4 slices sturdy bread (I used my homemade Italian bread*)
•  4 half-slices Swiss cheese
•  ¼ cup parmesan cheese

Saute onions in olive oil, add water.

Stir often on medium low heat until onions are soft.  Turn heat to low, stirring occasionally, cooking for an hour or so until onions are sweet and lightly browned.  Add small amounts of water as necessary to keep onions from sticking to pan.

In a large pot, place chicken stock/beef/water to make 4 cups.

In a small bowl, whisk until smooth the flour, brown sugar and salt.

Add red wine vinegar.  Bring stock to a boil and add the flour mixture, whisking well and bring back to a boil.  Boil on medium heat for 2 minutes.  Add sautéed onions last.  Pour into 4 oven-proof bowls and top each bowl with a slice of sturdy bread, a half-slice of Swiss cheese and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese.

Broil for a minute or so, watching carefully so the cheese doesn’t burn.  Serve immediately.

4 servings 

*Italian Bread

Based on 4 servings, the soup with bread and cheese is 264 calories.

For dessert, I made a light but very flavorful dessert from an old Shaker cookbook, We Make You Kindly Welcome.

TART CHERRY DESSERT

  • 3 oz. package of cherry Jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cherry brandy/liqueur or cherry juice
  • 1 Tblsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

In a medium bowl, place cherry Jello and  pour boiling water over.  Stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in cherry liqueur/juice and lemon juice.  Pour into a 9-inch dish and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, pour cherries into a small bowl and add sugar.

Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours while gelatin mixture is chilling.

Remove gelatin mixture from refrigerator (should be partially set) and stir in cherry/sugar mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for another 2 hours.

4 servings 

Can be served plain or with a bit of whipped topping.

Based on 4 servings, this dessert is 192 calories.  Add 20 calories if using lite whipped topping (2 Tblsp.).

The soup and dessert were a good combination – low in calories and very tasty.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Dessert

I developed this recipe using bits and pieces from other dishes.  The topping is Stabilized Whipped Cream from Veronica’s Cornucopia.

There are several steps, but easy ones, and this dessert goes together very quickly.  It is simply delicious – rich, cool, satisfying.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CREAM DESSERT

Topping (PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE SERVING)

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 24 miniature marshmallows
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Crust:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter, cut in small cubes
  • ½ cup salted peanuts, chopped

Filling:

  • 4 serving pkg. Jello instant chocolate pudding
  • 1-½ cups milk
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 1 Dove Pleasure Or Hershey Nugget for grating

To make topping:
The night before serving, in a medium bowl mix the cream cheese with a fork until smooth.  Gradually add the cream, stirring until blended.  Stir in the marshmallows and sugar.

Place bowl in the refrigerator (do not cover the bowl).  Place the beaters in the freezer to chill overnight.


In the morning, place the cream mixture in a mixer bowl and beat with the chilled beaters until marshmallows have dissolved and stiff peaks form.

To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, place flour and butter cubes.


Mix the butter into the flour with your fingertips.  Add the peanuts and mix into the dough.  Place dough in the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch baking dish.


Bake @ 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling:
Place instant pudding mix in a medium bowl and whisk in the milk for one minute.  Add peanut butter and continue whisking until smooth.


Pour pudding on top of cooled crust.


Spoon topping on top of the chocolate mixture.

Grate the chocolate candy over the top of the dessert.

Cover and chill for at least two hours.

Servings:  6 

I made an extra batch of the stabilized whipped cream to see how long it would hold up after being made.  Refrigerated, it will remain stable for 5 days.  It is also possible to freeze and thaw the cream with good results. It’s nice to make in advance and have on hand for when you are pressed for time.   Of course, you could also substitute regular whipped cream or a frozen whipped topping (thawed) in this dish.

Lemon Pecan Dream Cups


Every Friday, I fix lunch for my two daughters.  I leave lunch on the kitchen table for my oldest daughter (who lives with me and works at home) and pack a picnic basket with lunch for my youngest daughter and myself to take to her home.

I make four servings so she can have something extra to squirrel away for later.  Lunch is always simple – a main dish salad or casserole plus a light dessert.  I came up with this dessert today, using what I had on hand and basing it loosely on one of our favorites, The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford.  The crust is so good in this dessert and the lemon filling is light and tangy.  We all loved it.

LEMON PECAN DREAM CUPS

Crust:

  • ¼ cup all -purpose flour
  • 2 Tblsp. butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Filling:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup frozen topping, thawed
  • 3.4 oz pkg lemon instant pudding (4 servings)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1-½ tsp. lemon juice to enhance flavor (optional)

Topping:

  • ½ cup frozen topping, thawed (divided)
  • 4 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Have four oven-safe custard cups at hand
To prepare the crust:

Place the flour and butter cubes in a small bowl.

Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips.  Stir in chopped pecans.

Divide this mixture between the four custard cups and press mixture down in the bottoms of the cups.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Place cups on a wire rack to cool.

To make the filling:

Place cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl.

Stir until smooth.  Stir in ½ cup frozen topping until blended.  Spread this mixture on top of cooled crust in custard cups.

In the same medium bowl, place instant pudding mix and milk.

Beat until pudding starts to thicken – about one minute.   Stir in lemon juice.  Spoon the pudding mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture in the cups.

Swirl 2 Tblsp. of  topping on each cup and place one pecan half in the center.

Cover and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.

4 servings 

Honey Blackberry Creme

I made up this recipe for supper using what I had on hand.  It was really good.  The yogurt and cream cheese are smooth and creamy, the blackberry jam adds a nice sweet/tart flavor and the graham cracker crumbs are crispy.  My daughter and I really enjoyed it.

BLACKBERRY HONEY CREME

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 6 oz. container of  Greek honey yogurt (Yoplait)
  • 3 honey graham crackers, crushed (about ½ cup), divided
  • ¼ cup blackberry jam*

Blend the cream cheese and yogurt together until smooth – a small food processor works well for this.

In each of 4 dessert dishes, place 1 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs.  Divide the cream cheese mixture among the four dishes.

Top each with 1 tablespoon of blackberry jam.

Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumbs over the top of each dish.

Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.

Makes 4 servings 

*I used my homemade blackberry jam.  Click here for the recipe.  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/good-blackberry-jam/

Cherry Fudge Mousse

I wanted to make a dessert that would use up some leftover frozen tart cherries and a carton of Greek yogurt.  I thought about how much we like a Cherry Fudge Pie I make and translated it into this dessert.  It is easy to put together, can be made ahead of time, and is really delicious.  Using 2% milk and lite Cool Whip, a serving is 250 calories.

CHERRY FUDGE MOUSSE

  • 1-½ cups frozen tart cherries, thawed, with juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. quick cooking tapioca
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli milk chocolate)
  • 4-serving package of instant French Vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5.3 oz. container of Greek yogurt (Dannon)
  • 1 cup Cool Whip frozen topping, thawed

To make the Cherry Fudge Sauce:

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, mix the cherries, juice, sugar, tapioca and salt.  Cook until mixture begins to boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil for another minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in almond extract and chocolate chips.  Let cool to room temperature.

To make the mousse:

In a medium bowl, place the instant pudding and milk – whisk until smooth and starting to thicken.  Whisk in the yogurt and then the Cool Whip topping.

Spoon into six small serving dishes.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Spoon the cooled Cherry Fudge Sauce over the chilled moose and serve immediately or cover and return to the refrigerator.  Further chilling will thicken the sauce.  Can be kept refrigerated for several days.

Yield:  6 servings.

You might also like this Cherry Fudge Pie

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/presidents-day-and-cherry-fudge-pie/

Twinkie Tiramisu

My youngest daughter loves Twinkies and dropped a big hint when she saw a recipe online for a recipe for Tiramisu that used them as the base.  I borrowed the idea of the Twinkies but otherwise used my own recipe for Tiramisu.

TWINKIE TIRAMISU

* 5-½ Twinkies
* 4 oz. light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
* 15 oz. light ricotta cheese
* 2 cups light Cool Whip whipped topping
* 1/2 cup Kahlua or coffee liqueur (to pour over Twinkies)
* One Hershey chocolate Nugget

Place Twinkies in bottom of 9×9 inch dish.

Pour Kahlua or liqueur over Twinkies.  There will be some in the bottom of the dish which the Twinkies will soak up.

In a large mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until smooth.  Fold in Cool Whip whipped topping.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top of the Twinkies.

A microplaner is good to use for grating the chocolate Nugget over the top of the dish.

Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Yield:  6-8 servings 

Since not everyone in the family is that fond of Twinkies, I also made a batch of my original version, using Italian lady fingers…


This recipe was first posted in November of 2008.  Click here for my original recipe.

For the big taste-off, only my youngest daughter and I were willing to try the Twinkie Tiramisu.  We found it to be very similar to the lady finger version –  a little bit sweeter.  My daughter said there was a faint Twinkie “aftertaste”, which I didn’t pick up.

The Italian lady fingers version would be lower in fat and calories, but for dyed-in-the-wool Twinkie lovers, there’s nothing like that jolt of sweet cream filling.

Margarita Mousse … with Leftover Cake

A few months ago, I made a cake with a thin glaze that used Margarita non-alcoholic frozen concentrate.  It was OK, but nothing special, so I cut the leftovers into slices and stuck them in the freezer.  For this past Sunday dinner, I decided to thaw the cake to use as both crust and topping for a delicious mousse, also made with the Margarita concentrate.

I adapted an old mousse recipe I have been using since 1976 and it turned out great.  I loved being able to make use of a rather ordinary cake and create an easy dessert that the family really enjoyed.

Although the Margarita-flavored cake added a bit of punch to the dessert, I believe any plain or lightly glazed cake would work just as well, since the mousse has a strong lime flavor.

MARGARITA MOUSSE DESSERT

  • 3 cups leftover plain or lightly glazed cake
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand Non-Fat)
  • 3 Tblsp. Margarita non-alcoholic frozen concentrate (Bacardi), thawed
  • 2 cups frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Spray or butter a 9-inch baking pan and a flat baking sheet

Take 2 cups of leftover cake and crumble coarsely.  Place in the prepared 9-inch baking pan and press down.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Take the remaining 1 cup of leftover cake and crumble into fine crumbs.  Spread on the prepared flat baking sheet.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 5 minutes, stir and turn and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Note:  The two pans can be baked at the same time.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, Margarita concentrate and whipped topping.

Spread this mixture over the cooled crust in the 9-inch baking pan.

Sprinkle the fine toasted crumbs over the top.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Cut into squares to serve.  Makes 6 servings.

The mousse alone also makes a nice dessert.  Spoon into dessert dishes and chill.

Summer Strawberry Dessert

I had a small amount of strawberries to use and wanted something for a lunch dessert that wasn’t too heavy or rich.  This recipe, adapted from one on Allrecipes worked out quite well.

SUMMER STRAWBERRY DESSERT

  • 1-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 (1 oz.) package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups (1 pt.) of fresh strawberries, halved (divided)

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk and pudding mix.  Beat on low speed for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

In another large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add whipped topping on low speed until blended.  Add the pudding mix and mix on low speed until smooth.

Fold in 1-3/4 cups of halved fresh strawberries.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl or individual dishes.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, top pudding with reserved strawberries.

Makes 5 servings.

Honey Blueberry Pudding–Low Cal

My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is the meal we had this week.

This something I whipped up from what I had on hand and it turned out to be a delicious, low-calorie, low-fat dessert.  My daughter particularly loved it because it was the same Weight Watchers PlusPoints count as a serving of cottage cheese!

It’s easy to put together and makes a great guilt-free ending to a meal.

HONEY BLUEBERRY PUDDING--LOW CAL

  • One 1 oz. box of Jello vanilla instant sugar/fat free pudding
  • One cup 2% milk
  • One 5.3 oz container of Dannon Greek Honey Yogurt
  • One cup Cool Whip frozen topping, thawed
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk until it begins to thicken.  Whisk in the yogurt and then the Cool Whip until smooth.

Divide among five dessert dishes and top with fresh blueberries.

Chill until ready to serve.

5 servings 

Nutritional count based on 5 servings per my Diet Power software:  112 calories, 2.66 g fat, 18.4 g carb, .4 g fiber

Weight Watchers PlusPoints:  3

For the entree, we had an old favorite, Chicken a la King.  It was a good meal.