angie food cake

Family-friendly recipes from a frugal gal that likes to eat

Archive for the tag “cream cheese”

Taco Pasta

TGIF! Who has big weekend plans? I have a busy day tomorrow. My city hosts a clean up day, so my husband and I get to drop off a truckload of crap! I. Cannot. Wait. Our garage is full of random things the previous owner left for us, and it’s finally time to say goodbye!

I’m also spending Saturday afternoon with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law having a soup cooking extravaganza! We’re making chicken chili, steak chili and minestrone. We’re all looking forward to having freezers stocked full of soup for the upcoming winter.

I’m planning to make an Olive Garden copycat minestrone recipe, so I’ll share it with you next week.

This week has been a good one. Kicked it off with tailgating at the Gopher Homecoming game. I didn’t go to the U, but it’s still fun to dress up in Gopher gear and show our support. Plus day drinking is always a blast!

I’ve also just been enjoying the weather. I feel like we often miss out on fall in Minnesota (official seasons are winter and road construction), but this year has been really great. I love this tree in our backyard.

Too bad there’s already 5,897 leaves on the ground and another 6,324 still on the tree. Yay raking.

We also got to dog-sit Amery, Scott’s parent’s dog. It’s so fun for Luke to have a friend in the house.

 

I also spent a lot of time on Pinterest this week, looking for new recipes. This recipe contains two of my favorite words – taco and pasta. Sold!

 

Taco Pasta
From Overworked Supermom

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef (I used ground turkey)
8-12 ounces medium pasta shells  (I used whole wheat penne)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 packet (4 tablespoons) taco seasoning
3 ounces cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional – I didn’t have this, so I didn’t use it, but would’ve been great.)
Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the ground meat and onions over medium-high heat until the meat is done. Drain any excess water or grease.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, garlic and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream, cooked pasta and a little of the pasta water. Continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat to reduce the sauce.*
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. If using cilantro, toss right before serving.

*I am unsure if the pasta water is essential to this recipe. You wouldn’t need to simmer to reduce the sauce if you didn’t use it, but it might add flavor. Like I said, I’m unsure! Next time I make this, I’ll skip the pasta water to see what happens.

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Cherry Breeze No-Bake Dessert

I’m back! And I have a super easy no-bake dessert for you lovely folks. Since most of my readers are my family members (Hi, Mom!), y’all already know this recipe, as it has been a family favorite for years. This dessert has shown up at every family holiday celebration since I was a little girl. Made famous by my mom’s Aunt Aida, this dessert is definitely the most requested treat in her arsenal. Aunt Aida and her daughters are known for their rich, interesting and always delicious desserts, so I always assumed Cherry Breeze was an Aida original, but guess what? Go ahead and Google Cherry Breeze. Seriously, go ahead, I’ll wait.

The first result you see is Aunt Aida’s exact recipe! Not such a family secret after all. Oh well, no worries, this is still the best!

I made this Cherry Breeze today for Scott’s dad’s birthday dinner. I introduced Cherry Breeze to my other family, and it has quickly become a family favorite on their side as well! And why shouldn’t it? It’s basically a quick and easy version of cheesecake without the springform pan and hours of work.

Start by beating an eight ounce block of softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. Be sure you take the time to soften your cream cheese, or you WILL have lumps.

 

Next, add in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined. The filling will be really sweet and sticky.

Add in the lemon juice and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Mix on a low speed at first so you don’t splash juice all over the place. Once the filling is ready, it should look like this. Creamy, smooth, no lumps. If you are using a KitchenAid, make sure you scrape the cream cheese that’s stuck to the bottom.

Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

Finally, pour the cherry pie filling on top and¬†refrigerate for our hour. This step isn’t necessary, but I prefer the cherries to be cold.

Cherry Breeze
From Aunt Aida

Ingredients

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 9 inch graham cracker pie crust
1 can cherry pie filling

Directions

  1. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Pour in sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined.
  3. Add lemon juice and vanilla, blend until ingredients are smooth.
  4. Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
  5. Pour the cherry pie filling on top, using almost the entire can. Chill for one hour.

The filling will firm up a bit, but it will still be a looser, messy-ish pie. Don’t worry about the appearance, it will still be tart, creamy, sweet and delicious!

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