A cherry cheesecake that is both easy and delicious

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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It's another exciting week here at the "Thompson Homestead." Yes, we all know it's hot and can't do a thing about it but we have found things to keep us very busy while staying cool indoors. We began looking around and decided to scale back some pieces of furniture and appliances we no longer need or have room for. Some very nice friends of our family purchased some of these and the house already looks better, with more room to decorate and move furniture around.

I met a farmer who is raising some beautiful produce at the Benbrook Farmer's Market which is open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, beginning at 8 a.m. He saved us a bushel of unshelled black-eyed peas so you know Mike and I are busy shelling peas and watching some of our favorite old movies. I'm freezing the peas in freezer bags; it will be nice to have peas later in the year. This farmer's market has the best locally grown produce, including tomatoes, squash, onions and peas. Please note my new zucchini recipe which takes advantage of summer produce.

A friend had a dessert crisis, and her dish got dropped on the way to an event and she asked me for a recipe that she could put together fast. I'm featuring the cherry pie recipe today, just in case readers may want a delicious and easy recipe, but I hope it's not replacing a destroyed dessert.

Zucchini is a popular summer squash that has such a light and delicious flavor. When buying zucchini, select the smaller ones which will have a thinner skin. This can be cooked so many ways including adding slices to your dinner salads.

Dee Dee's Ritzy Zucchini

3 pounds fresh small zucchini-rinsed and sliced

1 sweet red bell pepper- rinsed and finely sliced

3/4 stick butter (not margarine)

2 Tablespoons flour

One 5-ounce can evaporated milk

1/4 cup whole milk

1 (8 ounce) package grated Velveeta cheese

One 4-ounce can chopped green chilies

One 4-ounce jar chopped pimientos

2 and 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed

1/3 cup slivered almonds

Dash salt and pepper (to taste)

• Boil zucchini and bell pepper in a saucepan just until barely tender; don't overcook.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and mix well. Slowly add both milks and cook, stirring constantly on low heat, until white sauce is thick and smooth.

Stir in cheese and heat just until cheese melts.

Add chilies, pimientos, a little salt and pepper. Fold in cooked zucchini and bell pepper mixture.

Pour in greased (or spray with Pam), a 3-quart baking dish, and top with cracker crumbs.

Sprinkle almonds over top of crumbs and bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

If you make this dish one day ahead, be sure and wait to add the crumbs and almonds until you are ready to bake.

Try this recipe once-you'll love it.

Easy Breezy Cherry Cheesecake

One regular size graham cracker crust-I like Keebler's.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature

1 can Borden's Eagle Brand milk

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can cherry pie filling

Cream cheese until fluffy. Add milk and blend well. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into graham cracker crust and chill 2 hours. Top with cherry pie filling. Keep refrigerated.

It's time to get back in the kitchen to help the Mikester shell more peas, and I think we're going to watch some old movie he picked out. I wonder what he has in mind? I hope it's not a western.

Have a great week in Parker County and let's be sure our pets have plenty of clean water and a cool sheltered environment during the heat of the day.

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