Happiness Is…Recipe: Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

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Happiness is birthday celebrations.  One last night, one this Sunday, and another one next Sunday.

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Happiness is flowers. My girl loves picking them, and we both love buying fresh ones from the store.

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Happiness is memories…especially ones associated with food, family, and fun.

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Happiness is healthy children.  After a week of one after the other getting sick, everyone was healthy this week.

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Happiness is having so many people on Team Ethan who truly believe in him.

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Happiness is a weekend of working in the yard, soccer, birthday parties, and family in town.

Happiness is this delicious Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie. I am not sure where the recipe originated because we have been making a version of it since I was a child.  We typically used canned pie filling, but I forgot to buy it at the store.  So, I made my own strawberry filling this time.  And, it turned out just as great.  One bite of this pie is pure happiness, especially when the pie is the dessert to celebrate a special birthday.

Mini Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

Mini Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 package cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Strawberry Glaze

1/2 cup strawberries, chopped

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

Crust

Pepperidge Farm Coconut Cookies

Instructions

    Preparing the Cream Cheese Filling
  1. Add the cream cheese and condensed milk to the mixer. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour in the vanilla.
  3. Slowly mix in the lemon juice.
  4. Continue to mix until smooth and combined.
  5. Strawberry Glaze
  6. Add the strawberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a saucepan.
  7. Cook over medium high heat for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium low.
  9. Mix together the cornstarch and water.
  10. Slowly add to the strawberry mixture, stirring quickly as it thickens.
  11. Immediately remove from heat.
  12. Refrigerate.
  13. Putting It All Together
  14. Place cupcake liners in muffin pan.
  15. Place a cookie on the bottom of the liner.
  16. Add a scoop of the cream cheese filling.
  17. Repeat with all 12 liners.
  18. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  19. Before serving, add the strawberry glaze to the top.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/02/24/happiness-is-recipe-strawberry-cream-cheese-pie/
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Have a happy weekend!

 I shared this recipe at Dwell on Joy, Whipperberry, Rattlebridge Farm, 30 Days, Ladybird Ln., Crazy for Crust, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Jennifer Cooks, Alli ‘n Sons, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, It’s a Keeper, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Domesblissity, Tidy Mom, A Little Nosh and Mom Trends.

My Big Sister – Recipe: Mamaw’s Lemon Pie

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My big sister is more than just a sister.  She is one of my best friends.

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She is more than just a friend.  She is a an amazing aunt to my littles, a second mom when they are at school.

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She started learning to be a mom because she had me for a shy, little sister.  She did everything for me…including ordering for me at Dairy Queen.

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Even when she stopped ordering for me at Dairy Queen, she still always remained by my side, supporting me, encouraging me, and loving me.

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When God created sisters, I am pretty sure that He used her as the model.  Because she is everything that I could have asked for in a big sister and more.

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I count my blessings every single day that she is mine.

Happy Birthday, Darla!  Thank you for being you.  I love you very much!

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I am cooking dinner for Darla’s family tonight to celebrate her birthday.  She requested Asian meatballs.  When I asked her about dessert, she just said, “No chocolate.”  So, I decided on two different pies – Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie and Mamaw’s Lemon Pie.  Because, everyone needs at least two desserts to celebrate a special birthday.

Mamaw’s Lemon Pie

Mamaw’s Lemon Pie

This recipe has been in our family since before I was born. Our mamaw, my mother's mom, made it frequently for family gatherings, and it was always a hit.

Ingredients

Pie Filling

1 14 ounce can condensed milk

3 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Crust

1/2 cup crushed graham crackers

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

Instructions

    Preparing the Filling
  1. Add the condensed milk to the mixer.
  2. Blend in the egg yolks.
  3. Pour in the vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the lemon juice, and blend until combined.
  5. Preparing the Pie Crust
  6. Mix together the graham crackers, butter, and sugar.
  7. Putting Together the Pie
  8. Press the graham crackers into the bottom of a cupcake liner. You can also do the same thing using a regular sized pie plate. I just decided to do mini ones today.
  9. Pour some filling on top of the graham cracker crust.
  10. Sprinkle additional graham cracker crust crumbs on to the top.
  11. Repeat with all of the cupcake liners. I was able to make 10.
  12. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/02/23/my-big-sister-recipe-mamaws-lemon-pie/

Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at Jennifer Cooks, Something Swanky, It’s a Keeper, Fireflies and Jellybeans, A Little Nosh and Mom Trends.

Family Christmas Fun – Recipe: Pecan Pie

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We celebrated an early Christmas with my family this past weekend.  As I have mentioned before, my sister’s family lives next door.  In addition, my sister is the school nurse at our school, so we see each other daily.

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But, that does not take away the magic of being together under the same roof as we celebrate Christmas.  There is just something special about staying up late watching movies or putting together puzzles and then getting up together to drink tea, visit, and spend the day in our pajamas.

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My parents have a wonderful way of taking us back in time, spoiling us and allowing us to be the kids for a day or two.  They have taught us that, no matter our age, we are always their little girls.  There is something special and magical about that, knowing that when we go home, we will be spoiled for the weekend…almost like our own little bed and breakfast.

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After spending three days in the hospital with Ethan, having Christmas with my family was just the vacation that I needed to instantly make everything right in the world again, to come back to a Polar Express kind of world where all we have to do is believe.  Because…believing is when you see the true magic unfold.

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I did not do laundry or cook this weekend.  There is no reason for that when I am with my mom.  She is the one who taught me those things, who has mastered the art of beautiful baking, the one who makes everything seem so seamless and easy in the kitchen, especially when it comes to baking.  So, while I did not cook this weekend, I did make some dessert for Thanksgiving.  I made this wonderful Pioneer Woman pecan pie.  And, when I received my mom’s seal of approval, I knew that I had truly arrived in the baking world.  There are a zillion blogs, cook books, etc. on the market these days, but there is nothing better than learning first-hand from a mom who continues to create as much magic in her kitchen as she does in her home for the holidays.

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Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

This pecan pie is slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie.

Ingredients

Pie Crust

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup butter

¼ cup cold water

1 cup White Sugar

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Corn Syrup

3/4 teaspoons Vanilla

1/3 cup Melted Butter (salted)

3 whole Eggs Beaten

1 cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans, roasted

1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream

5 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

1 Tablespoon Whiskey (can Add More If Desired)

Whipped Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

    Pie Crust
  1. Mix the 2 cups of the flour, salt and sugar together lightly in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the butter cut into the flour using a pastry cutter or by mixing together with clean hands. The mixture should look like large crumbs and begin to cling together in clumps.
  3. Add the remaining ½ cup of flour and mix lightly.
  4. Sprinkle the water over the dough and continue mixing together with clean hands until the dough holds together.
  5. Divide the dough into two discs.
  6. Roll out and press into prepared pan. I like to lightly spray my pie pan with cooking spray.
  7. You can really do whatever you want to make the pie look pretty. For Thanksgiving, I cut out little leaf shapes and pressed them along the edges of the pie.
  8. You will have some leftover dough because this recipe makes two 9-inch crusts.
  9. Pecan Pie
  10. Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.
  11. Gently mix in the chopped, roasted pecans.
  12. Pour mixture into the pie shell.
  13. Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350º for 25-30 minutes.
  14. Remove foil, then continue baking for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.
  15. Note - This is just a personal preference, but I like to remove my pecan pie when it is still slightly jiggly. It will continue to set some after you remove it from the oven. And, it will be more gooey and delicious the next day when you serve it.
  16. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight.
  17. Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce
  18. Combine cream, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a saucepan and stir to combine.
  19. Cook over medium-low to medium heat, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thick (sauce should bubble slightly as it's cooking.)
  20. When sauce is thick, remove from heat and stir in whiskey.
  21. Return to heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
  22. Pour into a container and refrigerate until completely chilled. Stir before serving.
  23. Drizzle over pies!
  24. Whipped Cream
  25. Add the heaving whipping cream to a bowl.
  26. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed.
  27. Slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  28. Continue to beat for 8-12 minutes, until stiff, fluffy peaks start to form.
  29. Serving Pie
  30. This pie is best served in small slices with a drizzle of the Whiskey Maple Cream sauce and a spoonful of the whipped cream.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/12/family-christmas-fun-recipe-pecan-pie/

Thank you for a wonderful weekend, Mother and Daddy!  It was just perfect in every way.  We love you!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Breville.

I shared this recipe at Delightfully Dowling, Add a Pinch, Skip to My Lou, A Southern Fairytale, Make Ahead Meals, and Mrs.  Happy Homemaker.