Easy and Quick Lemon Mousse

In 1976, I saw a cookbook at a reduced price in a book store and took a chance on it.  I’ve never regretted it.  The book was called The Garden Club Desserts Cookbook and this is the first dessert I made from it….certainly not the last.


  • 14 oz. can of condensed milk (I use non-fat)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) lite frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and lemon juice.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Serve in a pretty dessert dish.  Makes 4 to 6 servings. 

Blender Chocolate Mousse

I found this recipe in 1989 in a magazine and have taken this long to get around to trying it.  I needed to make a dessert quickly before heading out on an errand and this fit the bill.  It took minutes to make and is chilling in the refrigerator, ready for supper when I get home.


  • 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted, scalded*
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips (one heaping cup)
  • 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

The reason for heating the milk is to melt the chocolate chips, so heating until almost boiling in a pan or heating until very hot in the microwave will work.  If heating in a pan, stir constantly to keep film from forming and to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Place in a blender the chocolate chips, sugar and vanilla.  Pour the scalded milk into the blender and blend until mixture is smooth.

Pour into four dessert dishes.

Cover and chill for several hours.  Serve with whipped cream or topping. 

Apricot Cream Dessert

This dessert was adapted from a recipe  in an old 1977 Dinner and Supper Cookbook.  It’s easy to make this tangy, creamy dessert.


  • 15.25 oz. can of apricot halves
  • 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
  • 3 Tblsp. cold water
  • 2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

Drain the apricot halves.  Note:  I always save small amounts of drained juice to keep in a one-pint jar in the freezer.  Then, I have juice on hand to use instead of cold water when making Jello.

Puree the apricots in a blender or food processor.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the gelatin and cold water.  Add the puree, lemon juice and sugar.  Heat until gelatin and sugar are dissolved and mixture just starts to bubble.

Pour apricot mixture into a 4-cup container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Fold whipped topping into chilled apricot mixture and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Spoon into 6 dessert dishes.

This makes a nice light dessert.

Brickle Cream Dessert

This is a quick, easy dessert – made with ingredients I happened to have on hand.  Allow an hour for it to chill.


  • 1 cup Cool Whip topping, thawed
  • 3/4 cup Greek honey yogurt (or flavor of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup brickle bits
  • Large banana, sliced
  • 4 maraschino cherries, blotted dry with a paper towel

In a medium bowl, combine the whipped topping and honey yogurt.  Stir in the brickle bits and banana slices.  Divide among 4 dessert dishes and top with a maraschino cherry.  Chill for an hour.

4 servings 

Enjoy a cheery, delicious dessert.

The Best of 2010

It’s been another fun year of blogging and on this last day of 2010, I revisited the 10 most popular of the past year’s posts.

Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt

Round Patchwork Tablecloth

The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford Dessert

Irish Lemon Blackberry Sponge Pudding

Pork-Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole

Peach Crumble Pie

Creamy Ham Tetrazzini

Vintage Hanky Heart Pillow

Light Pineapple Cheesecake

Tasty Gingerbread Muffins

Happy New Year to All!

Light Pineapple Cheesecake

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we have our traditional leftover dish – Turkey Tetrazzini.  I was looking for a dessert that would be completely different from the rich food we have been eating since Thursday.  I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and it fit the bill perfectly.  It is light-tasting and light in calories – 207 calories based on 9 servings.



  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into small cubes


  • 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 8 oz. package low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

To make the crust:

In an ungreased 8-inch baking pan, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Rub  in the butter with your fingertips until mixture is crumbly.

Press the mixture onto the bottom of the 8-inch pan.

Bake @ 325 degrees F for 12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling:

Drain the pineapple, pressing down to remove as much juice as possible, reserving the juice (there should be about 1/2 cup of juice); set pineapple and juice aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour.  Add the egg and mix until smooth.  Add the pineapple juice.  Gradually add the milk and vanilla.

Sprinkle the drained pineapple over the baked crust.

Slowly pour the filling over the pineapple.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake @ 325 degrees F for one hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Cake is good served at room temperature or chilled.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield:  9 servings

The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford

In 1984, I participated in a recipe exchange by mail and this is one of the recipes I received.  There are a lot of versions of this dessert with a lot of names, but since Robert Redford still looks good to me, I’m keeping it.  This is an easy dessert to assemble, should be made ahead of time and chilled, and is very rich and delicious.



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


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. carton of Cool Whip whipped topping, divided
  • Small package of instant vanilla pudding (four 1/2-cup svgs.)
  • 1-1/2 cups milk, divided
  • Small package of instant chocolate pudding (four 1/2-cup svgs.)
  • Block of Hershey chocolate bar or Ghirardelli milk chocolate bar
  • Pecans for garnishing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

To Make the Crust:

Mix the flour, butter and pecans well.  Press mixture in a 9×9 baking pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 15 minutes until lightly brown.  Cool

To Make Filling and Assemble:

Layer 1: Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Fold in 4 ounces (half of an 8-oz. carton) of whipped topping.  Spread over cooled crust.

Layer 2: Mix vanilla pudding and 3/4 cup of milk until thickened.  Spread over Layer 1.

Layer 3: Mix chocolate pudding and 3/4 cup of milk until thickened.  Spread over Layer 2.

Layer 4: Spread remaining 4 oz. of whipped topping over Layer 3.

Grate the block of milk chocolate over the top of the dessert and garnish with whole toasted pecans.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. 

This dessert won a ribbon at the Hamilton County Fair (Cincinnati) in 1984 and has been a favorite dessert in our family ever since.

I’m so glad I took part in that chain mail recipe exchange.

“Redford”, as we call it, was our dessert today when my daughters and grandchildren returned from swimming at Boomerang Bay (Kings Island, Mason OH).  We had another old favorite for lunch – Mom’s Tuna Melts.

Low in Calories – High in Flavor


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 dish is reduced in fat and calories and is a good choice when trying to lose a few pounds, but just by making the servings larger, you get a really good flavorful meal for anybody at the table.   This is my meal of choice after having Marinated Pork Tenderloin for Sunday dinner (see recipe here).


  • 1 cup dry pasta
  • 1 oz. pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. pork tenderloin slices, marinated and grilled, cubed
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut in pieces
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled


In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta 9-11 minutes until tender.  Drain, do not rinse.

While pasta is cooking, in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts until golden brown (watch them – they burn easily) and transfer to a small bowl.

In the same skillet, heat olive oil, add red pepper, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes until tender.  Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.

Add broth, vinegar and oregano to same skillet, bring to a boil.  Cook 4-5 minutes until liquid is reduced about half.  Return vegetables to skillet, add artichokes and grilled pork.  Simmer on low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Serve immediately with a sprinkling of feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Yield:  5 servings

I’ve been making this dish about 10 years, adapted from one on Weight Watchers Light & Tasty software.


Nutrition count based on 5 servings per Diet Power software:  251 calories, 10.7 g fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 306 mg sodium, 151 mg potassium, 21.5 g carbohydrate, 1.27 g dietary fiber, 2.6 g sugars, 5.9 g protein

Weight Watchers:  5 points 

I got the idea for dessert from several recipes on the All Recipes web site.  I made the cake from an angel food cake mix and baked it in three 7-3/4″ loaf pans.  I used one loaf for this recipe and wrapped and froze the remaining loaves for another time.  Of course, you can also use a bakery or store-bought cake.

Make the dessert the night before serving so the flavors can blend together well.



  • One package angel food cake mix (Betty Crocker)
  • 1 cup whipped topping, thawed (Cool Whip Lite)
  • 1/4 cup Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Prepare cake according to package directions.  Pour into three ungreased 7-3/4″ loaf pans.   Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes for the 7-3/4″ size.  Leave cakes in pans and set pans on sides on a rack until cakes are cool.  Remove cakes from pans.

Take one cake and divide into 12 slices.


Place a slice of cake in each of 6 dessert dishes.

Mix together Cool Whip and toffee bits.  Take half of this mixture and spoon about one tablespoon onto each of the 6 cake slices.  Place another slice of cake on top of the Cool Whip mixture and divide the remaining portion of mixture to spoon on top of second cake layer in each dish.


Wrap dishes and refrigerate overnight.

Yield:  6 servings 

The dessert looks a little messy, but it sure is good.


Nutrition based on the above ingredients and 6 servings per Diet Power software:  173 calories, 4.67 g fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 247 mg sodium, 26.7 mg potassium, 31.3 g carbohydrate, 0 dietary fiber, 21.3 g sugars, 2 g protein.

Weight Watchers:  5 PointsPlus

This was a very tasty and satisfying lunch.

A Chicken Dish and a Butterscotch 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 the meal we had this week.

I brought out an old favorite today- Chicken with Spinach and Noodles. This was adapted from a recipe I found in 1998 on Weight Watchers Light & Tasty software.  It’s a very flavorful dish yet light on calories and fat.


  • 3/4 cup dry egg noodles
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups julienned spinach leaves
  • 2 Tblsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz. skinless chicken breast, cooked & cut into cubes
  • 1-1/2 oz. part-skim  mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tblsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 9-11 minutes until tender.  Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, heat oil; add garlic to skillet and cook stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in bell pepper and cook until pepper pieces are tender.  Stir in tomatoes, spinach, vinegar, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.  Cook until spinach is wilted and mixture is heated through.


Add cooked chicken and noodles; toss to mix well.  Add pieces of mozzarella, stirring until cheese is melted.

Spoon 1/4 of mixture onto each serving plate.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.  Serve immediately.


Makes 4 servings 

Based on 4 servings, nutrition count per serving (DietPower software):  184 calories, 6.41 g fat, 48.9 mg cholesterol, 107 mg sodium, 699 mg potassium, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 3.52 g dietary fiber, 19.3 g protein

Weight Watchers:  3 points per serving

In my recipe binder there’s a note:  “First made on 3/29/1998.  Excellent.  Would be good with asparagus instead of spinach.”

For dessert, I tried using what I had on hand to make a chilled Butterscotch Pecan Dessert and we both enjoyed it very much.


  • One oz. box of sugar/fat free instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup Cool Whip Lite dessert topping, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 6 toasted pecan halves

In medium bowl, mix together the pudding mix, ricotta and yogurt.


Fold in the Cool Whip and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.

Divide mixture between 6 dessert dishes.  Place one pecan half on top of each serving.

Chill until ready to serve.


Yield:  6 servings

Based on 6 servings, nutrition per serving (DietPower software):  136 calories, 6.99 g fat, 10.8 mg cholesterol, 213 mg sodium, 23.2 mg potassium, 11.1 g carbohydrate, 0.449 g dietary fiber, 3.79 g protein

Weight Watchers:  3 points per serving

Good Chicken Casserole and Pistachio Pineapple Pudding


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 yesterday.

This casserole was made using my favorite low-fat mac and cheese recipe, Shannon’s Macaroni and Cheese, and adding chicken, broccoli and a crisp cheese cracker topping.  It makes four generous servings or six adequate servings for someone trying to watch fat and calories.


  • 3/4 cup dry macaroni
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tblsp. dried minced onion
  • 1-1/4 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. 2% milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Grating of black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups steamed broccoli flowerettes
  • 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 2 Tblsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup cheese cracker crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

Spray a 9″ casserole dish

Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water for approximately 8 minutes until al dente.  Drain, do not rinse.  Place macaroni in a large bowl and immediately stir in the cheese and minced onion.

In a separate bowl (or small food processor) blend together the cottage cheese, milk, mustard, salt and pepper.  Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni and mix together.  Add the steamed broccoli and cooked chicken, mixing well.  Spoon the macaroni mixture into a sprayed 9″ casserole dish.

In a small bowl, mix the parmesan cheese and cheese cracker crumbs together.  Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni.

Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


Makes six 1-cup servings.

Each serving = 244 calories, 10.2 g fat, 36.4 mg cholesterol, 466 mg sodium, 222 mg potassium, 18.8 g carbohydrate, 0.281 g dietary fiber, 19.2 g protein (per DietPower software)

Weight Watchers:  6 Points/Plus per serving 


The dessert is based on a recipe I just found on All Recipes.  It is surprisingly rich and delicious – and only 116 calories/2 Weight Watchers points.


  • One oz. box of sugar-free, fat-free instant pistachio pudding
  • 2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits (packed in juice), drained
  • 1 cup Cool Whip Light dessert topping, thawed

In a large bowl, whisk together the instant pudding and plain yogurt.  Stir in the pineapple and then fold in the Cool Whip dessert topping.

Spoon mixture into six dessert dishes, cover with plastic or foil, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Makes six 1/2 cup servings

Each serving = 116 calories, 2.54 g fat, 4.61 mg cholesterol, 53.5 mg sodium, 227 mg potassium, 19.9 g carbohydrate, 0.333 g dietary fiber, 4.14 g protein (per DietPower software)

Weight Watchers = 2 points per serving 


Shannon and I thought it was a very tasty, satisfying meal.