Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

Citrus and Cream Salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Citrus and Cream Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Many families expect a certain dish to be on the table at every gathering.  Citrus and Cream Salad  started as a favorite of a particular relative who could be counted on to show up to the family potluck with a big dish of it in hand.  Fruit, cottage cheese,  and your favorite Jell0 all wrapped in whipped topping – everyone loved it!    When the original contributor moved on to new and different foods, others began filling the gap by making the dish THEIR signature.  It is simple, foolproof even!  Easy to transport already made or quick to make on the spot.   Looks good and tastes even better. 

If you live in the middle  USA, this dish is known as “Fluff” something.  At our table it is  “that Fluff Stuff”.  Fluff  refers to the bowl of whipped topping on the ingredient list and referenced by “cream” in the real name.  All the other ingredients could vary, but fluff is the mainstay.  The dish can be eaten as dessert or salad –or  a main dish.  Or as a meal in itself.   Started by grandmas long ago and contributed forever after to family gatherings by beginning and uncertain cooks and those of considerable skill who know what counts as a no-fail potluck dish.   Citrus and Cream Salad is a classic.

Precise measurements don’t matter for this recipe.  Use what you have.  Cottage cheese carton missing a spoonful or two – doesn’t matter. Neither does large curd or small curd (I prefer the large curd for cottage cheese any time.  That’s just me).   Whipped topping on hand is a full carton plus a half cup in another container – use it all.  Pineapple doesn’t match the size can given – use two smaller ones or even just one if that is all that is on the shelf.   My favorite flavor of gelatin with this dish is orange, but lemon or lime works just as well.  The color will be orange, light yellow or green – your choice.  I like the crunchy walnuts and usually put in a  handful more than the recipe says.  This is also a perfect dish for kids to make (or younger kids to help make).  Just be sure the mixing bowl is large enough to handle the ingredients and stirring needed.  Curb enthusiastic stirring as whipped topping needs “folding” motion or a gentle stir to mix ingredients not a “whupping” that removes the air. 

Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

A family potluck classic -- the secret is out!

Ingredients

  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2/3 cup English walnut pieces
  • 24 ounce container cottage cheese
  • 8 ounce container whipped topping
  • 1.5 ounce package of sugar free gelatin (orange, lemon or lime)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in large bowl in order given, sprinkling gelatin over the top.
  2. Fold together gently until well mixed.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Can be made the night before.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/04/citrus-and-cream-salad-aka-fluff/

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How to Hard Boil A Perfect Egg in 6 Easy Steps

How to Hard Boil an Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
How to Hard Boil an Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
A perfect hard boiled egg.  Great for salads, deviled eggs, breakfast, protein source and more.  Whatever use you have for hard boiled eggs, it is so easy to make them so they turn out perfectly every time.  No green ring — no rubbery white — no stubborn shell that refuses to come off — everything comes out right. 

2Place in single layer
Step 1:  Place eggs in a single layer on the bottom of a large pan.     For easy to peel eggs, choose ones that are at least five days old.  New or farm fresh eggs are hard to peel and are notorious for taking chunks of white with them.   I usually have older eggs in the refrigerator since they are one thing I always try to have on hand, but for Easter or when I know I will want to serve egg salad or have deviled eggs, I buy an extra dozen about a week ahead of time. 

3Cover with an inch of water -
Step 2:  Cover the eggs with water to a depth of 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the eggs.  Water temperature should be on the lukewarm scale — not hot and not cold. 

How to Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
Step 3:  Place pan over medium heat, uncovered, and heat just until water begins to boil.  Time will vary depending on the number of eggs and size of pan. 

How to Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
Step 4:  Turn off heat.   Cover tightly and let set for 12 minutes (14 for larger eggs). 

6 Cool immediately
Step 5:  Remove cover from pot and, using tongs,  plunge eggs immediately into cold water.   You can also drain hot water (carefully and away from little ones)  and fill pot with cold water or ice cubes.  The cold water stops the cooking process so the white does not become tough and the green sulfur ring does not form.  It also helps separate the shell from the white. 
How to Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
Step 6:  To use eggs later, return them to their original carton after cooling and store in the refrigerator.  Marking HB on the carton,  at least,  and preferably each egg is the rule at our house. IF not marked, remember hard boiled eggs will spin and raw ones will not.  (Why do you think I know that little tidbit?  See above rule / guideline / mom said thing.  Got it? )  Hardboiled eggs will keep for up to one week, refrigerated.   When ready to use, break the shell by tapping the egg on its large end where the air bubble rests.  Gently separate the shell from the egg and enjoy! 

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Crock Pot Lasagna

Crockpot Lasagna -- A Pinch of Joy
Crockpot Lasagna -- A Pinch of Joy

Another crockpot special to feed the work crew during the kitchen remodel!   I mooshed a several different Crockpot Lasagna recipes together to come up with this. 

I would make this crock pot lasagna again – but flavor it up a little bit.  Normally we don’t do spicy, but this was a little bland for us.   Since I did not have a stove, I used ground beef that I browned before freezing and added dried onion flakes and minced garlic from a jar.   I think this would be better with a small/medium onion chopped and sauted with about twice the garlic I used.  It probably would also benefit from using a more flavorful jarred sauce so feel free to use your favorite instead of the plain.  Or add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning.  Remember to keep the meat and sauce layer thin enough to sort of see the noodles beneath and add just a taste of meat on each layer.  My tendency is to pile it on and I always run out before I get to the last layer :-)   The amount of spaghetti sauce could vary from 24 ounce size to 28 ounces so use the full container.  The extra bit of water helps soften the noodles and they very nicely absorbed the full amount of moisture, without being dry or mushy.   Because the guys weren’t ready to quit right at four hours, I set the crockpot on warm for an hour or more to hold it with no problem.  A good basic recipe. 

Crock Pot Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef, approximate
  • 24 ounce container spaghetti sauce, plain
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 ounce package regular lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 ounces cottage cheese (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup additional shredded mozzarella or shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Spray inside of slow cooker pot with cooking spray
  2. Brown ground beef, if not pre-browned.
  3. Stir sauce into browned meat and spread one fourth of the mixture over the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Arrange a single layer of uncooked noodles over the sauce, breaking as necessary to fit.
  5. Combine cottage cheese, mozzarella and seasonings in bowl, then spoon one third of the mixture over the noodles.
  6. Repeat layers of meat, noodles and cheese two times.
  7. Top with remaining sauce.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  9. Remove cover 10 minutes before serving. Add additional ½ cup of mozzarella or parmesan cheese to top.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/04/crock-pot-lasagna/

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