Lemon Cheesecake Dessert

Lemon Cheesecake Dessert
Lemon Cheesecake Dessert

I’ve prepared this dessert for picnics and office affairs and have received rave reviews each time.  It is so light and refreshing and just perfect for the dog days of summer.   Although, I plan to eat it all year long!

The recipe is so versatile.  Please feel free substitute with your favorite puddings or berries.  The next time I prepare this I’m planning on using instant banana pudding instead of lemon pudding.  I may or may not choose to use sliced bananas (I hate them when they turn brown) but I will definitely omit the lemon juice/zest and use vanilla wafers instead of graham crackers.

All Rightie…Here we go:  (Complete Recipe at End)

First put cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl

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Mix all three…

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In another bowl pour in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

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Mix until stiff peaks form

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Pour into bowl with cream cheese mixture

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Prepare instant lemon pudding

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Add to cream cheese mixture

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Don’t forget to add the juice and zest of two lemons

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Gently beat cream cheese mixture, whipped cream, pudding and lemon juice/zest until smooth and creamy

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Begin building layers of graham crackers and cheesecake mix.  Start with graham crackers first

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Then  1/2 cheesecake mixture

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Add another layer of crackers, mixture and ending with graham crackers

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Don’t forget the Cool Whip

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Spread evenly with spoon and put in refrigerator

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Now for the topping!  Put berries, sugar, water and lemon juice into saucepan

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Cook until thick and bubbly.  Let berry topping cool and then pour over cheesecake dessert.

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Chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours but better overnight.  Serve and Enjoy!

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Lemon Cheese Cake Dessert

Ingredients  

Two 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese (room temperature)

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (3.4 oz.) instant lemon pudding

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

Graham crackers

1 container Cool Whip

Directions

  • In a large bowl mix with blender cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract…set aside
  • In a medium bowl prepare lemon instant pudding…set aside
  • In a medium bowl whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form
  • Beat pudding mixture and whip cream mixture in the bowl with cream cheese mixture until smooth and creamy
  • Add the juice and zest of two lemons and mix well
  • Put a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9×13 dish
  • Pour half of cream cheese mixture over graham crackers and smooth with spoon to cover graham crackers
  • Add another layer of graham crackers
  • Pour the other half of cream cheese mixture over layer of graham crackers and smooth with spoon to cover graham crackers
  • Add a final layer of graham crackers and then top with cool whip
  • Cover and put in refrigerator

Topping

12 oz. raspberries or blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons water

½ lemon, juiced

  • In medium saucepan combine berries, sugar, water, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until berries have broken down and mixture has become syrupy.  If sauce is not thick enough mix a little corn starch with cold water and then pour into berry mixture.  Continually stir until mixture reaches desired thickness.  Let mixture cool completely (I put mine in the freezer to cool faster) and then spoon over dessert.

Let dessert set for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

The Passing

The following is my submission to Literary Lion.

5171605261_8fbbd343d1_bMaggie arose to begin her night’s work.  It had become routine and so she proceeded with little thought.

Looking at her surroundings, Maggie noticed the moss ridden tombstones, and grass, that had been trampled by deer, who frequented the garden, seeking solitude from redneck hunters and their barking dogs.  She looked at the flower that had died in its vase years ago.  Maggie sighed.  No one came around anymore, not even the grounds keeper.

This state of affair saddened Maggie, but what could she do?  No one heard her anymore because there was no one to listen.  She knew it was her fault, but she had grown tired of the kids and their silly candles.  It had been entertaining, for a while, but with the passage of time, their frightened eyes and shrill screams bored her. And so she kept her silence and turned a deaf ear to their begging.  After a while the kids stopped coming.  So now it was only her, and Maggie was lonely.

Each evening, upon the sun’s decent, Maggie walked among the headstones and whispered the names chiseled in gray.  This was the only thing that gave her a sense of peace.  She reasoned, within herself, it was her way of honoring the dead.

Night after night she made her rounds.  She no longer needed to look at the names.  She knew them all and so she drifted from one to next until each name, had been spoken in the dark.  When her mission was accomplished she went back to her place to take her rest.

Her place was just as ram-shackled as others, but on this particular night, Maggie studied her abode.  Once again her eyes fell to the dead flower within its vase.  It had been there for as long as she could remember.  The flower was wrapped within a cloak death, that was dry and crumbling.  She studied the brown decay and realized, for the first time, there was none other like it, within the garden.  Someone, God knows when, had left it there and had left it for her.  Slowly Maggie drifted to the flower and reached to touch it with her wispy hand.

The moment her essence touched the decay, the flower dropped its cloak of death and DoubleKnockOutRosebloomed into a beautiful rose.  Maggie felt herself bathed within a golden light.  She looked to its source and saw a man she knew to be her husband; and in that moment she remembered her earthly life. Her love stood with his hand outstretched and she heard his baritone voice say, “My darling…what took you so long…”

Maggie, filled with joy, flew into his arms and passed to the other side.

The Balloon Man

wpid-photo-20150816175959521It was the minion…always the minion, and there was only one.  One special little boy or girl would be the recipient of the lone minion balloon.

He pushed the cart of balloons and watched them all with a curious eye.  Children everywhere…the carnival proved to be a smorgasbord for his choosing.

“Eeny meeny miny mo…Mary, Susie or Jimmy Joe…  ”  He secretly snickered at the rhyme but was careful not to let his excitement show.  

He scanned his prey  searching for his Mary, Susie or Jimmy Joe.  Finally his eyes landed upon the redhead who had strayed from his mom, and he knew that this would be the one.

He reached for the minion, that was puffed with air, and handed the balloon to the lost little boy.  The boy saw the minion and reached in the air…

Then with  a flash of blue, the boy is whisked away and the balloon man is taken to the ground.

The officer called headquarters…”We Got him…balloon man will kidnap and hurt no more”!

Life Is Likened Unto A Flower

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The following is my submission to Literary Lion

Life is likened unto a flower 

It comes forth from the ground…just like a man.

It grows…just like a child.

Its petals hold tightly within the bud…just like the teen.

Slowly the petals begin to unfold…just like the graduate.

The flower blooms in all her glory…just like the adult.

The flower begins to bow her head…just like mid-life.

The petals thereof begin to loosen… just like the aging.

The flower withers and begins her fading…just like the old.

The flower lays herself down…just like the dying.

The flower is taken by the ground…just like the dead.

Her spirit lives on…just like the soul.

Patiently she awaits her  re-birth…just like souls in Heaven.

And then on “that day” she comes forth from the ground…just like the resurrected.

In a perfect tomorrow she lives forever…just like the one whose heart is God’s.

Selah

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, but the word of the Lord endureth forever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

(I Peter 1:24-25)

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.  (Isaiah 40:8)

Amy’s Freedom Part 3

(The following is my latest submission to Dark Side Thursday.  It’s the continuing story of a woman within the clutches of a serial killer.  Parts 1 & 2 can be found under the category:  Amy’s Freedom.)

Amy’s Freedom (Part 3)

The Root Cellar
The Root Cellar

He pictured Amy, hanging in the root cellar.  He knew of her excruciating pain.  He had once endured the same from the hands of his father.

He would never ask Amy to endure anything that he himself had not experienced first.  No, he loved her way too much for that.

The aroma in the tiny kitchen tantalized all of his senses.  Yes, of course he could smell the perfectly charred flesh, anyone could do that, but he actually saw, tasted, heard and touched the aroma as he stood with his eyes closed.  All of his senses were heightened to the point of combustion.

He had always been that way, even as a child.  At first the strong sensations frightened him but as time passed he realized he was special and was indeed unlike any other.  He kept this secret and told no one, not his weak pathetic mother and certainly not his self-righteous father.  This  revelation of himself created an euphoria that often erupted from his mouth in mad laughter.  He tried to contain it as much as possible because he knew others would think him “crazy”.

Being different made him lonely.  He craved someone as extraordinary as himself and so he began “the search”.  There had been so many “disappointments” through the years but he was confident that Amy would be different.  He smiled.   He knew “the search” was finally over.

He lifted the fillets from the grill and carefully plated them upon delicate bone china.  He then poured the Quinta Do Crasto, Vintage Port, 1997 into crystal goblets.  This particular wine, crafted from Portugal’s indigenous grapes, was thick and juicy and pared well fillet mignon.  The steaks were resting and the wine poured; the only thing missing was Amy.

He opened the cabin door to an autumn forest.  The aged root cellar was visible from the porch.  He stood for a moment, surveying the crumbling stone and then took a step into the fading sunlight.

******  

Amy hung limp from a splintered plank that ran the length of the underground hole.  The cellar was old.  It had been built by Scotch-Irish immigrants during the early 1800’s.  The hole was barely six feet high, so Amy’s hair fell into blood, tears and a dank soil that reeked of mold and decaying vegetables.

Amy shivered.  She closed her eyes to the dark and began to picture the two loves of her life, Rudy and Sky.  Her heart ached as she pictured Sky’s smile and Rudy’s wagging tail.  She determined, there in the darkness, she would live to see them again.  Her focus upon them would be her survival.

The screeching sound of rusting hinges caused her to open her eyes once again to the blackness around her.  She held her breath and listened intently.  There was a brief silence and then a faint creaking of wooden stairs.

Amy realized she was no longer alone.  She heard footsteps, slow and methodical…

One…two…three, and then a pause…

four…five…six …another pause…

seven…eight…nine…and then breathing…slow rhythmic breaths…in and out…

Amy’s heart seized with fear and she wanted to scream, but then, with the strike of a match, her face was bathed with golden light.  She squinted from its shock and tried to focus. The flickering light threatened to die, but a dank breeze quickened the flame, and she found herself staring into the bluest of eyes, inches from her face.

He smiled when he saw her eyes widen with recognition.  Slowly he pulled the tape from her mouth, freeing her question of…

“Why…”?

Simply Fried Corn

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Growing up in the country I ate my fair share of “fresh from the garden” vegetables.

My Mom, a single parent, worked hard to put food on the table.  During the summer months,  after a full night’s work in a cotton mill, she came home every morning to work and care for a large vegetable garden.

I remember those early mornings, as clear as if it were yesterday.  The fresh tilled soil was soft and warm to my bare feet.  I followed my mom from one row to the next as she tended seedlings, barely peeping above their sodded blanket.

This would replay day after day throughout the hot summer until our garden yielded the harvest that would feed us through the winter.

Life was not easy for my Mom.  She had to work hard for everything life gave her.  She tackled it all with determination and a strong faith in God.  I can remember her tears during the hardest of times but I never saw my mother give up.

I loved seeing my mom happy and she always seemed the happiest when she was cooking in her kitchen or working in her garden.  We lived a simple life and ate simple foods.  One of my favorites dishes, she prepared was fresh corn cut off the cob and fried in a pan.  Sometimes, when we had it, she would fry bacon first and use its drippings to season the corn. Other times when bacon was scarce (which was often) she used fresh butter to season the pot.

Today, in my own kitchen, I continue to cook my mom’s dishes.   During those times I feel ever so close to her.  I sense her presence, her smile and the unconditional love she always gave freely.

This past Sunday I prepared her dish of simply fried corn.  Hope you enjoy this simple but delicious recipe.

Simply Fried Corn

Okay, first things first!   Shuck and remove silk.

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Cut corn off the cob and be sure to scrape cob with your knife in order to get all of that sweet milk.  Now’s the perfect time to pick through the kernels and remove any stray “silks”.  Put corn into frying pan.

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Add sugar and butter.

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Add water, salt and pepper.

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Bring corn to a slow boil, cover and turn heat to low.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water has cooked out.

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The finished product creamy, sweet and savory all in the same dish.

This dish is delicious served with fresh sliced tomatoes and homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Simply Fried Corn

Ingredients:

  • 4 Ears of Corn
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ Stick of Butter
  • ¼ Cup Water
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt

Directions: 

  • Shuck and clean ears of corn.
  • Cut corn off the cob with a sharp knife.
  • Be sure to scrape cob in order to get all of the corn’s “sweet-milk”.
  • Pour corn into a small frying pan; add sugar, butter, water, salt and pepper.
  • Bring corn to a slow boil over medium heat. Be sure to stir to keep from sticking.
  • Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
Bessie Hardy 5/30/23---4/4/2013
Bessie Hardy
5/30/23—4/4/2013

Easier To Navigate!

Categorizing-Social-Media-Conversations

Redhead Reflections is now easier to navigate!

It has taken a while, but I have categorized all articles!  The listing can be found at the top right hand corner, adjacent to the title line of each page.  Simply click the arrow beside the words “select category” and a drop down menu will appear.

Below is a listing of the categories and a brief description of what you can expect to find in each:

Amy’s Freedom:  The continuing saga of Amy and a crazed serial killer.  (Not for the  faint of heart)

Dark Side Thursday:  Dark stories for the writing group, “Dark Side Thursday”(For now it is a collection of “Amy’s Freedom,” however once this story is complete there will be other dark adventures) (Not for the faint of heart)

Faith:  My faith is very important to me and so here you will find a collection of articles revealing my spiritual insight.

Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers:  These articles are my submissions to the writing group “Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers”. Each week members are given a photo in which they are to weave a story around within 175 words or less.  (Not a lot of words to write a complete story so this is quite challenging) (Not genre specific)

Horror and Suspense:  Definitely one of my favorite genres.  Most stories within this category are not for the faint of heart.

Literary Lion:   A collection of my submissions to the writing group “Literary         Lion”.  Each week members are given one word and are expected to weave a tale around the word in 400 words or less.  (Not genre specific.)

Half Marathon
Half Marathon

Personal Stories:  A collection of articles about myself and my life.

Photo:  A collection of photos I have taken.

Recipes:  A collection of recipes.

(Future Category:  Flavor Of The Month)