Have you noticed that recipes, just as styles and fashions, come and go? Seven-layer salads were all the rage twenty-five years ago. Chicken Tetrazzini, Broccoli Casseroles, and Hash Brown Casseroles were also very popular.
Mama served Chicken Tetrazzini on occasion for dinner when I was growing up. It took a Broccoli Casserole to convince Greg that broccoli was a good thing. Hash Brown Casserole was one of my Aunt Cat’s signature dishes, and you could count on it being at all of our family dinners.
These are wonderfully delicious dishes that have been put to the side for newer, updated recipes, but they should not be forgotten. When I recently shared a Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole recipe on my blog, I found out just how much people desire to see the old classic recipes. So, starting today, I will share an “oldie but goodie” with you occasionally.
This Cream Cheese Pie was a favorite of mine when I was growing up. You usually saw them in the purchased graham cracker crust and topped with cherry or blueberry pie filling and they were wonderful. This recipe is for a 9 x 13-inch dish but use half of the ingredients for a 9-inch pie.
Cream Cheese Pie
- 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (24 squares)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup butter, melted
- 2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 2 (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
- ⅔ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cans pie filling, chilled (cherry or blueberry)
- For crust:
- In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar; add butter and blend well. Press onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before filling.
- For filling:
- With an electric mixer beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in sweetened condensed milk and mix until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Pour into cooled crust and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Pour pie filling over the top of pie and serve.
If you are a caramel lover, you know that there is a significant difference in store-bought caramel sauce and homemade caramel sauce. Store-bought lacks flavor, in my opinion, it’s just sugary blandness. Homemade caramel sauce is simple to make and has an excellent taste! I like to have it on hand to top ice cream, baked apples, brownies, cheesecake, or even add a little to hot cocoa. Honestly, I could eat it by the spoonful but I try to resist doing that!
Here are a few tips for making homemade caramel.
1. Have all of your ingredients measured and near the stove before you start.
2. Use a much larger pot that you think you need. When you add the cream and the vanilla your mixture will bubble up violently.
3. Cook your caramel in a good quality, heavy pot.
4. Do not stir the mixture. The sugar will melt rather quickly. After it melts you can swirl the pan gently as it boils.
5. Don’t leave the pan. Your caramel can go from the perfect medium amber color to burnt caramel in a few seconds.
6. Simply leave out the salt if you would rather have your sauce without it.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. water
- ½ c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. Fleur de Sel (or kosher salt)
- Add sugar and water to a medium to large saucepan, do not stir. Heat over low heat until the sugar melts.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to boil for 5 to 10 minutes, gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture turns a medium amber caramel color. At this point turn the heat to low and remove the pan from the burner.
- Slowly add the cream, vanilla, and Fleur de Sel and stand back. The mixture will bubble.
- Return the saucepan to the burner and whisk the mixture until smooth. Continue to cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour into a heat proof container and allow to cool at room temperature for several hours. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
I have lived in 8 different cities in my lifetime. I know what it feels like to be the new family in the neighborhood. Since I was surrounded by family when I was growing up, it was a bit intimidating when I moved away for the first time. I have wonderful friends at each stop on the road, and I keep in touch with many. When we moved to Garfield six years ago, there were many families that welcomed us. One family, in particular, was Mrs. Martha and Mr. Nick’s family. They invited us to family gatherings and made us feel as if we had been part of this community forever.
Recently, while at a friend’s wedding, who also happens to be Mrs. Martha’s daughter, I tried a cake frosted with this light and airy whipped cream cheese frosting. Mrs. Martha was nice enough to share the recipe with me. I prepared a red velvet cake for the picture, but Mrs. Martha says that this frosting is great on chocolate, strawberry, and lemon cakes too. This frosting is not your typical cream cheese frosting. It isn’t as rich or sweet as traditional cream cheese frosting, which makes it perfect for a summer cake. Whip up your favorite cake recipe today and try this simple and fabulous frosting.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 (16-oz.) container Cool Whip
- Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and Cool Whip, beating until mixed well.
- Frost your favorite cake between layers and on top and sides. Keep cake refrigerated.