Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Creamy Coconut Pie

Erica celebrated another birthday and requested this for her birthday treat.  Logan was very happy with her selection.  I actually forgot to put in the almond extract this time.  It still tastes fine, but we like it better with the extract.  I've also doubled the recipe and put it in a 13 x 9" pan with crumbs just on the bottom.  (You don't need a full double recipe of the crust for this.)

1 package (3 oz) cream cheese
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups coconut
3 1/2 cups whipped topping, thawed (I use one 8 oz container)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 Graham Cracker Crust

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

To make the crust:  Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Add the melted butter and stir until all the crumbs are moist with the butter.  Press onto bottom and sides of the pie plate.  If desired, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  (I don't usually bake my crust.) This makes enough for a 9: or 10" pie crust.  For this coconut pie, I use a 10" pie plate.

To make the filling:  I like to put the coconut in the food processor and chop it up a little finer than how it comes in the package.  Set the coconut aside for a later step.  Beat cream cheese in a mixer bowl until softened; beat in sugar.  Gradually add milk and beat until smooth.  (With my lovely beaters this loves to splatter everywhere.  I often cover up my bowl and beaters with a dish towel to contain the splatters.)  Fold in coconut, whipped topping and extract.  Spoon into crust.  Freeze until firm.  Let stand a room temperature to soften before serving.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Slow Cooker Shredded Italian Beef

from Mom:  "When Sharon Johnson came to visit a few weeks ago, she mentioned a shredded beef dish that was served at a funeral she had gone to.  I looked and looked for one and could not find one without a tomato sauce base, like BBQ.  Then I did a search for "shredded beef + Italian Salad dressing."  It showed up as "Shredded Italian Beef."  I called her and told her what was in it and she said it sounded just like the one she had tasted.  We tried it tonight, June 14, 2017, and it was really delicious.  She said the people had also added sour cream to it, but we just used provolone cheese as we didn't have sour cream."

3 cups beef broth (I used water and low sodium “better than bouillon”-- 3 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt (I used thin sliced onions instead of the onion salt)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 (.7 oz) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (2 ½ to 3 pound) boneless chuck roast or boneless cross rib roast
Provolone cheese (or you could use sour cream or other cheeses)
Dinner rolls (I like the whole wheat dinner rolls at Winco)

     Combine broth and seasonings and dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil. 
Place roast in slow cooker, pour salad dressing mixture over the meat.  Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours, or on High for 4-5 hours (until the meat is really tender and falls apart).
     When very tender, remove the bay leaf.  Remove from the slow cooker and shred meat with a fork and place back into the broth.  Serve on buns.
TIP:  I prepare this the day before I want it.  I cook and shred and beef and place into a bowl and cover and put in the refrigerator.  I pour the broth into a bowl and cover and refrigerate.  The next day, I remove the fat from the broth.  Place the broth in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan.  Heat to boiling.  Make a “slurry” of a few tablespoons of cornstarch and cold water, and gradually add to the broth until it is slightly thickened.  Add the shredded beef into the broth and simmer on low for an hour to blend all the flavors.
     To serve:  Cut the dinner rolls in half, place them on a broiler pan.  Place the shredded beef on one half and place slice of cheese on the top.  Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the other half of the bun is browned.  Serve with a tossed salad or coleslaw.

This is delicious!