Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

I love strawberries. And I love cream cheese. And I also love graham cracker crust. So this pie is my dream come true. I thought I'd share. It's especially wonderful because it's incredibly easy if you decide to just buy the graham cracker crust instead of going to all the trouble of making it. Please don't judge me for that statement, though. I have a teething eight month old for pity's sake. Someday when the kids are out of the house I'll make my own crust, but for now this pie is delicious either way and takes very little effort to make.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (see Note)
1/4 cup unpacked light brown sugar

1 pound (two 8 oz. packages) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint (2 cups) fresh strawberries, sliced in half

NOTE: To toast the pecans, place on a baking sheet in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.

How to do it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust: In a medium-size bowl, combine the butter with the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, and sugar. Press firmly into a lightly buttered 9-inch glass pie dish. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the sour cream and vanilla, and continue to beat at low speed until well combined.
Refrigerate the filling while the crust is cooling (if you decided to do it the hard way!). When the crust is completely cooled, spread the filling evenly in the crust with a rubber spatula. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top of the filling in a decorative manner.
Refrigerate the pie for at least 8 hours or overnight to ensure that the filling sets.

Makes one 9-inch pie.


Monday, March 26, 2012

21-day No Junk Food Challenge

...starts today.

I have determination, but very little confidence I can do it. My husband has even less confidence in me.

I'll be keeping up to date!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lemon Juice

I've recently discovered the amazing cleaning powers of lemon juice. You can add it to many different concoctions to clean washing machines, grout, etc. The best use I've found for it so far is cleaning microwaves. It's great because it requires hardly any effort or elbow grease at all. Just stick one 1/2 cup lemon juice in your microwave for about 5 minutes. Then simply take it out and wipe all the steam left behind with a paper towel. It's amazing how easy and effective it is! Now, for a real mess with baked on globs of food this may not be the ticket (although it would probably help to loosen up and moisten those stains). For weekly microwave cleaning, this is exactly what I need!