Monday, April 29, 2024

Strawberry Cream Handpies

Cream Hand Pie

I went to McDonalds the other day and felt like something sweet after my Big Mac meal with fries and a diet coke.  I know I know….how could I?   I usually don’t get dessert but I saw strawberry cream pies on that sign while I was waiting for my turn to go through the drive thru and thought, I really should try one. Not for me.  For the sake of the blog.  For research. So I ordered one and I ate it.  I thought they were pretty good and wondered if I could make them at home.  So after some more thought I realized I needed to try another one to make sure I had the flavors down right?  Again, strictly for research.  So here is my version of Mickey D’s strawberry cream pie that I think is even better.  All in the name of research.

Strawberry Cream Hand Pies

2 packages refrigerated Pie Crust 
2 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen strawberries* 
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 whole egg, beaten
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white, beaten

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix 1 teaspoon of sugar with chopped strawberries and set  aside. 

* You can also use seedless strawberry jam or preserves with this recipe, just skip the sugar.

In a medium bowl, mix together egg, cream cheese, remaining sugar, and vanilla. Mix until fluffy.   

Unroll your pie crust onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 12 rectangles (6 per sheet of dough). Cut a slit into only 6 of the rectangles. Brush a little beaten egg white along the edges.

Scoop a spoonful of cream cheese filling next to a spoonful of the strawberry mixture onto each of the 6 rectangles without the slit. Keep filling away from edges you brushed with water.

Cover each filled rectangle with a rectangle that has the slit and pinch together the edges. Brush lightly with egg white and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Lush

 Strawberry Cheesecake Lush

Oh my goodness.  What more can I say about this simple to make but oh so luscious dessert? I think, of all the no-bake refrigerated desserts, this one is my favorite!  Don't get me wrong....I love all of them, including Lemon Lush, Butterscotch Lush, Pumpkin Lush and of course Chocolate Lush.  But there's just something about this one that makes it the winner of them all.  Maybe it's the fresh strawberries hidden within the layers of light and airy whipped cream cheese and then covered in a smooth and creamy cheesecake filling. Hmmm....not sure....I think I need to go get another bite to decide if that's it!

Strawberry Cheesecake Lush
1 package Golden Oreos (36 cookies)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) cream Cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (16-ounce) container Cool Whip (this will give you a total of 6 cups)
2 packages (3.4 ounce each) instant cheesecake pudding mix (use sugar free)
3 cups whole milk
4 cups sliced strawberries
Using a food processor,  crush the cookies to fine crumbs.  If you don't have a food processor put them in a plastic resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Transfer  the crumbs to a large bowl and pour in the melted butter and blend with fork. Pour the moist crumbs into a 9 x 13 baking dish and press the mixture on the bottom of the dish. Refrigerate until chilled. 

Cream Cheese Layer:
Using a hand mixer, beat together the powdered sugar, cream cheese and 1 cup of Cool Whip.  Spread over chilled cookie crust and set aside. 

Cheesecake Layer
Mix the cheesecake pudding mix, 3 cups whole milk, and 1 cup of the Cool Whip. Spread over the cream cheese layer.  Layer the sliced strawberries on top in a single layer to completely cover top.
You should have about 4 cups of Cool Whip left after measuring out the two cups. Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the Strawberries. Use all the topping and smooth it out with a flat spatula or swirl it as I did in the photo. 

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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Pork Medallions in Marsala Sauce with Baby Potatoes

 Pork Medallions in Marsala Sauce with Baby Potatoes


I always look for a good price on pork loin at the grocery store. You can usually get a nice size pork loin roast for a great price when they put them on sale. I keep it on hand for roasting, grilling, and quick skillet meals like this wonderful dish. This one takes a small roast because you want small medallions that will cook quickly on top of the stove. I love this as a quick night meal but I also like to make it when I have company coming.  It’s fast and delicious. Sometimes I serve it with mashed potatoes but this time I just added some whole baby potatoes and I loved it. The potatoes soaked up the Marsala sauce and gave this dish a whole new dimension.
Pork Medallions in Marsala Sauce with Baby Potatoes
2 small pork tenderloins (or one larger one, about 2 lbs)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry Marsala Cooking wine
1 cup beef broth
3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Trim the tenderloins of any excess fat. Cut the tenderloins into medallions about 1 1/2-inches thick. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.



Microwave the baby potatoes in the microwave for about 5 minutes or until tender. You can also boil them until tender if you prefer. Remove and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter and oil have melted, sear the meat on each side until brown. Don't over-crowd the pan, you want a nice sear. Sear the meat in batches if you need to. Transfer pork to a plate.


Melt the remaining 2 butter in the same skillet. Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle the onions with the flour and add the Marsala. Allow the Marsala to boil until almost completely evaporated.


Once the Marsala has almost completely evaporated, add the beef broth and cook until the mixture is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream and parsley.  Add in the cooked baby potatoes and stir to cover in sauce.

Return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.


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Quick and Easy Smothered Pork Chops

I  love pork chops!  I can honestly say if I had my choice of the finest steak or a juicy pork chop, the pork chop would win hands down. This is one of my favorite ways to cook pork chops... slow cooked so they are so tender and smothered in a rich buttermilk onion gravy.  You will love this recipe.

Quick and Easy Smothered Pork Chops

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 ribeye pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Put the flour in a shallow bowl and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. 

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess. 


Heat a large fry pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. 

Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. 


Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. 


Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving. 


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