Peaches and Cream Cheesecake

Peaches and Cream Cheesecake -- A Pinch of Joy
Peaches and Cream Cheesecake -- A Pinch of Joy


A light and creamy  ending to a meal.  Or an afternoon party like a baby shower. Peaches and Cream Cheesecake is a no-bake dessert.  Just peachy  anytime.  Sorry, couldn’t help that pun — just fell out!   =) 

If you can find sugar free peach jello, it will give you a deeper peach flavor.  I usually end up using lemon because the peach is harder to find. You can use regular gelatin if you aren’t concerned about calories or carb counts.   You can also make this with fresh sliced peaches — about two cups.  Wheels loves fresh peaches so I have to hide them in order to have enough to make something. Or make the dish the instant I get the peaches home from the grocery — before he has time to know they are in the house.  lol  It’s better to keep a couple of cans of peaches available in the cupboard.  I use light or no sugar added peaches and drain them well so the cheesecake doesn’t become soggy from the inside out.  Just before adding the peaches, take a sharp knife and run it through the peaches in the colander to make the pieces a little smaller.  Just seems easier to cut into nicely defined squares.  This time I wanted a little peachy bling so I set aside some peach slices to decorate the cheesecake after it had firmed up in the refrigerator.

Peaches and Cream Cheesecake3 -- A Pinch of Joy

Use sixteen peaches so you can move a peach to the top of each square as you slice and serve it.  Start in the middle and lay the peach slices as shown to make the rosette.  Easy!!! 


Peaches and Cream Cheesecake2 -- A Pinch of Joy





Peaches and Cream Cheesecake
 
A light and cool ending for a summer meal or a not too sweet dessert for a gathering or a dessert bar, this no bake cheesecake is all Peaches and Cream!
Serves: 16 servings
Ingredients
Crust
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, leted
  • ¼ cup sugar
Filling
  • 4 packages cream cheese, 8 ounces each softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 package sugar free gelatin, peach OR lemon flavor
  • 1 29 ounce can light sliced peaches
  • 1 8 ounce container whipped topping, thawed
Instructions
  1. Mix graham crumbs, melted butter and sugar and press onto bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Filling
  1. Pour peaches into colander and set aside to continue draining.
  2. Beat softened cream cheese and sugar until blended and fluffy.
  3. Add dry gelation and mix well.
  4. If desired, set aside 12-16 slices for garnish.
  5. Fold peaches and whipped topping into cream cheese mixture.
  6. Pour over crust.
  7. Refrigerate until firm about four hours or overnight.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 square


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Mini Fruit Pizza

Mini Fruit Pizza - A Pinch of Joy
Mini Fruit Pizza - A Pinch of Joy

Mini Fruit Pizza.   Or Fruit Pizzettes.  I thought I was inventing a new word to describe individual pizzas.  Then I googled to be sure it wasn’t something obscene in some language I don’t speak.  Guess what?  The Italians, who created pizza, also created pizettes.  And that is exactly what it means.  Individual or small pizzas.  Perfect description for these little fruit tarts. 

You can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and bake 4 inch round cookies.  Or you can shortcut and use a sugar cookie mix.  Or do what I did and use the refrigerated roll of sugar cookie dough.  I cut the slices of dough just a smidge thicker than the directions specified and slightly smushed them with the palm of my hand to make them larger.   You can freeze the cookies after  baking and pull out a few at a time to make Fruit Pizzettes as needed.   The fruit topping tips it toward the healthy side.  (Right?)  The individual servings. are perfect for picnic gatherings.  You can transport the individual parts and assemble on site  which is great if traveling an hour or two to the family reunion.    Or make at home and carry in.  Makes a spectacular addition to the dessert table on a big tray!  

When cooled, spread with the cream cheese filling.  Use any fruit juice with a flavor that will complement the fruit you plan to use to help thin the cream cheese.  I used orange juice because I like the flavor.  The recipe makes enough filling to cover a dozen four inch cookies.  Two dozen cookies would require the entire 8 ounce bar of cream cheese, ½ cup sugar and two tablespoons of juice.  Cutting the fruit into small pieces makes the finished fruit pizza easier to handle and eat.  It’s a good way to use up small amounts of different fruits.  I used strawberries, green grapes and blueberries mixed together.  You can easily customize toppings on a few or all to accommodate different tastes or needs like allergies.   The combination of flavors is limited only by your imagination! 

Mini Fruit Pizza
 
A pretty summer dessert made in individual servings
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Base
  • A dozen 4” plain sugar cookies, homemade, mix or bakery
Filling
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice (or other juice to your taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Topping
  • Fruits of your choice to make two cups total. Some possibilities:
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, well drained
  • 1 small can pineapple tidbits, well drained
  • Fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
  • Green or purple seedless grapes, cut in quarters
  • Blueberries
  • Fresh peaches, cut into small pieces
  • Raspberries or blackberries
Instructions
  1. Make cookies ahead of time and cool
  2. Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and juice until smooth. Add nutmeg, if desired, and set aside.
  3. Prepare topping fruits, chopping, seeding or peeling as needed.
  4. Gently mix topping fruit together in small bowl.
  5. Spread filling on each cookie.
  6. Top with generous spoon full of fruit.

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Creamy Italian Ranch Crockpot Chicken

Creamy Italian Ranch Crockpot -- A Pinch of JoyChicken
Creamy Italian Ranch Crockpot Chicken  -- A Pinch of Joy

Cooking during a kitchen remodel has definitely been a challenge!!  The stove is out in the garage and the kitchen is full of three guys wielding power tools.  My cooking space is one crockpot on a tv tray in the front hallway adjoining the dining room and a second crockpot on the little chest in the dining room.  The dining room  is stuffed with boxes full of cabinet contents.  They were orderly when the project started four days ago.  Operative word – “were”.     The motto is:  “Keep calm and cook on.”  Because that keeps the crew fueled and those new cabinets going up! 

One crockpot today contained our lunch.   Left over soup  – begin with a packaged vegetable soup mix and throw in what is left of yesterday’s crockpot roast and just about everything else found in little containers in the fridge.   The second crockpot bubbled with a new- to- me recipe for our dinner.  I improvised a little by using dried onion flakes instead of sautéing a fresh onion and used minced garlic from a jar.  I also mixed them into the cream of chicken soup and cream cheese right in the crock pot on top of the chicken using shallow strokes of my mixing spoon.  This was supposed to be creamy Italian chicken – but I put in a package of ranch by mistake.  I couldn’t get to my spices to kick up the ranch flavors so I just went ahead and added the Italian dressing too.  I would make it the same way again because it made a very good and flavorful chicken and gravy dish served over brown rice. 

Creamy Italian Ranch Crockpot Chicken
 
Rich and flavorful gravy and tender chicken is delicious served over brown rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds chicken
  • 1 package Italian Salad Dressing Mix (2/3 ounce)
  • 1 package Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • additional 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (10 ½ ounces)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in crock pot, pour melted butter over chicken.
  2. Sprinkle Italian and ranch dressing over chicken, including between pieces.
  3. Pour water evenly over chicken and dressing mixes.
  4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. Saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter.
  6. Add cream of chicken soup, cream cheese and stir until smooth.
  7. Pour over chicken and cook on low for an additional hour.

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