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Cheesecake and strawberries

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 3:39 p.m. CDT
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(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Lime cheesecake with strawberries is a great-tasting dessert that also looks impressive on the table.

This cheesecake creation, which calls for fresh mint and 3 cups of luscious strawberries piled all over it, is one of the most beautiful dishes I have ever made. It is also, more importantly, one of the best-tasting desserts I have ever made.

Besides all that, it is easy to make. This recipe was passed along to me a few years ago, after I tasted it at a potluck. I have added my own touches, changes, and shortcuts. Here is my version:

Lime cheesecake with strawberries

Yield: 12 servings

1 prepared graham cracker crust 

3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese

2⁄3 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup lime juice, divided

½ cup granulated sugar, divided 

2 teaspoons lime zest or peel, chopped very fine

1 (6-ounce) container of plain yogurt

2/3 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup lime juice, divided

½ cup granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons lime zest

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

3 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

3 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves

With an electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese, yogurt, powdered sugar, half the lime juice, lime peel, and vanilla, until smooth. Pour into graham cracker crust. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze 2 hours or refrigerate overnight. 

NOTE: I made mine in the evening, covered with plastic wrap, and froze it. I took it out about 10 the next morning to serve at noon. It was perfect!

Cut strawberries into quarters, toss with remaining granulated sugar and mint, and spread over the cheesecake when you are ready to serve.

Chicken enchilada skillet

This recipe comes together quickly in a skillet.

Makes: 6 servings

Total time: 20 minutes

Nonstick cooking spray

12 corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 can (10 ounces) Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, not drained

1 can (10 ounces) red enchilada sauce

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 cup shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack blend cheese, divided

Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add tortilla pieces and chicken; mix well. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until hot, stirring frequently.

Pour diced tomatoes, not drained, and enchilada and tomato sauces over chicken mixture. Mix well. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over chicken mixture. Cover skillet; cook 5 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Serve immediately.

Chicken potpie with cornbread crust

Filling

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups chopped roasted chicken

1/2 cup frozen sweet petite peas

1 potato, diced and boiled

1 1/2 cups chopped, cooked carrots

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Dash of hot sauce

Cornbread crust

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 large egg

2 tablespoons canola oil

To make filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter. Add onion and saute until tender, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add in flour until blended. Slowly stir in 2 cups of heated chicken stock, whisking well. Cook mixture over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas, potato, carrots, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Pour into a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish coated with cooking spray and spread mixture evenly. 

Million-dollar mac ’n’ cheese

Serves: 4

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk 

1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard 

Generous dash of ground black pepper 

3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained 

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces) 

1 can (2.8 ounces) French fried onions 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Stir soup, milk, mustard, pepper, pasta, and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Bake for 20 minutes or until it’s hot and bubbling. Stir. Sprinkle with onions and remaining cheese. Bake 1 minute or until the onions are golden.

Tip of the week: Before opening a can of soup, shake it well and open at the bottom end, instead of the top, and it will slide right out. 

Readers corner

To our reader who was looking for a tilapia recipe, I think I have a good one. I just want to make it first and see what it tastes like. 

For the reader who is looking for the spaghetti pie recipe, I will run that again next week if I can get it. It was a recipe loaned to me by my daughter-in-law. She said it was her grandfather’s recipe.  

–Grace

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This question is on the Nov. 4 ballot in Paw Paw: "Should the village of Paw Paw adopt an ordinance permitting and regulating the keeping of chickens within the village?" How would you vote?
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