Easy No Bake Cheesecake

All you need is five ingredients ~ six if you include the topping.  So it’s perfect for the pantry challenge.

I found this recipe while various blogs were having a countdown to 2012.  Each day they were posting their top recipes in different catergories.  Recipe Shoebox listed this as one their top recipes in the dessert catergory.  It looked so easy that I made it for New Years Eve.  Hubby and I enjoyed it and over the next few days, I finished up the whole cheesecake.  It was so delicious.

Easy No Bake Cheesecake

Recipe Shoebox

Stars of the recipe:

  •  1 (8 oz.) container of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or small package of instant pudding mix)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice (Don’t use if using instant pudding mix.)
  • 1 (8 oz.) container of Cool Whip or whipped topping
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust
  • Toppings:  pie filling, additional Cool Whip, cookie or graham cracker crumbs, chocolate syrup for drizzling


  1. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar (or pudding mix), and lemon juice (if using) until smooth and lump free.
  2. Mix in Cool Whip just until thick, creamy, and combined.
  3. Pour immediately into prepared graham cracker crust.
  4. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or if you’re in a hurry, stick in the freezer for  1-2 hours) or until set.
  5. Serve cold with desired toppings.  (I used lite cherry topping.  It was so good.)

Printable Recipe


“Tropical Smoothie” Smoothies

Last summer, my aunt left me a mesage on Facebook about Tropical Smoothie giving away a free smoothie if you came in with flip flops on.  The boys and I jumped on that deal.  As a result, the Imaginative One fell in love with the strawberry banana smoothie (don’t remember it’s real name).  Once I got the smoothie maker, the Imaginative One and I decided to try to recreate the smoothie.  I had to add a little of this and a little of that before the Imaginative One gave his seal of approval.

These are not exactly like the smoothies from Tropical Smoothie but are similar.

“Tropical Smoothie” Smoothie

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen cut up strawberries
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar or sugar substitute
  • 2 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup of yogurt (I use Greek yogurt.)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk


  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender or smoothie blender cup.
  2. Blend the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Pour in a glass.
  4. Enjoy!

Homemade Brownies

Whenever I tell the boys I made something from scratch, the Wee One replies “Scratch the box.”

These brownies are made from scratch and are the best I’ve tasted.  They are easy to whip up and use items found in my pantry.:)  You can adapted them to your liking.  Today I had Andes’ peppermint chips left over from my Christmas baking.  I decided to put a handful or two in the batter and use peppermint extract instead of vanilla.  I absolutely love chocolate and mint flavor combination so I can’t wait to have them after dinner.

Homemade Brownies

Cooking During Stolen Moments 

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine (1 stick)
  • 2 c. chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda


  1. Heat sugar and butter in a medium pot over low heat until butter is completely melted, stirring often.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips until melted.
  3. Let the chocolate, butter, and sugar mixture cool until it’s at room temperature.
  4. In a small bowl, briefly whisk the eggs.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chocolate mixture to the eggs and stir to combine, just to temper eggs.
  5. Then pour all of the eggs into the pot with the melted chocolate.  Stir to combine.
  6. Stir in flour, vanilla, and baking soda until well blended.
  7. Pour into a greased 13 by 9 casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes.
  8. When the brownies are done and still hot, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top.  Cool before serving.

Printable Recipe

This post is linked up to Everyday Mom’s Meal:  Church Supper.

Pantry Challenge Recipes

Here are some recipes that can be made from items in your pantry.


Instant Oatmeal Mix  – Add any add in you want and you have a delicious breakfast

Fruit Smoothie – Use any frozen fruit you have on hand, juice, and even any yogurt.  Be as creative as you like.


Sloppy Joes – As long as you have some hamburger in your house, you can whip up some sloppy joes.  If you have enough time, you can also make homemade hamburger buns to eat the Sloppy Joes on.  Save some of those sloppy joes for a Sloppy Joe pizza later.


Baked Spaghetti – Again you can use whatever meat you have in your fridge or freezer.  Use whatever cheese you may have in your fridge – okay maybe not bleu cheese.  If the cheese is not shredded, shred it yourself.

Ranch Chicken Legs – As long as you have chicken (doesn’t have to be just legs – use chicken breasts or thighs), Bisquick or something similar, and dry ranch dressing packet (or the ingredients to make your own), you can cook this simple main dish.

Taco Crescent Bake – You can switch this up with cooked chicken or even ground turkey.  You can try different cheeses.  This is a great main dish.  Don’t have tortilla chips but have tortillas, make your own chips.

Orange Chicken – I usually keep the ingredients for this simple dish in the freezer (popcorn chicken) and pantry (orange sauce) for an easy meal.

Crockpot Ribs – You can use this same method for chicken or even a pork roast.  Use whatever barbecue sauce you have on hand.

Spanish style chicken noodle soup – This recipe calls for raw chicken.  I’ve made it with cooked chicken.  You can use frozen corn or canned corn.  You can use dried black beans or canned black beans.  If you use the dried beans, make sure you prep it beforehand.


Menu Planning Monday ~ Week of Jan 16

Monday – hamburger gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans

Tuesday – spaghetti with salad – Maybe garlic bread

Wednesday – broccoli beef over rice, veggies

Thursday – veggie soup with rolls

Friday – The boys are going up to their cousins’ house so it will just be Hubby and I for dinner.  We are having apple sage porkchops, rice or noodles, and peas

Saturday – Eat whatever you want night – Don’t know when the boys will be back from their cousins so we are going to have a relaxed plan for dinner.  Hubby and I are going to Chinese for lunch to celebrate the Chinese New Year so we will be pretty full from that.

Homemade Tortillas

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday holiday.  This morning the Wee One started talking about the holiday and how it does not matter what color a person’s skin is because God made you the way you are.  It made my heart melt listening to the wisdom of a 6.5 year old.

Now onto my recipe –

In October, Finding Joy in my Kitchen hosted 31 days of Cooking from Scratch.  She showed you how to make homemade bread, breakfasts, etc . . .  One of the recipes was for homemade tortillas.  Since October, I’ve wanted to make homemade tortillas.  So today I took the time out and made some.  They were fairly easy.  Time consuming but otherwise easy to make.

Homemade Tortillas

Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour or more white whole wheat (I used all white whole wheat flour.)
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1/4 c. olive oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil.)
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder


  1. Pour the warm water into a big bowl (stand mixer bowl if you have one and are going to use it)
  2. Add the olive oil, sea salt, and baking powder.  Stir well to combine these ingredients.
  3.  Place the bowl on the mixer and attach the dough hook.
  4. Turn on the mixer to setting 1 or 2.  (I had my mixer up to a setting of 3.)
  5. Gradually add the flour.
  6. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for 5 minutes until the dough is combined and fairly smooth.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball and cover, allowing the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes, cut dough in half.  Slice each half into 5 rolls.  Form balls out of each slice, cover, and set aside for 10 minutes.
  9. Use a rolling pin, roll out each tortilla into an 8 to 10 inch circle.  You want them thin. (In order for me to roll the dough out, I had to flour the surface where I was rolling them out and then also the top of the dough.  It kept sticking otherwise.  Mine were not circles.  They ended up being more egg shaped.  It didn’t matter, they were good anyways.)
  10. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees and place dough circles on griddle.  (I did mine in a skillet on the stove.  I heated it up to 5.)
  11. Do not grease the griddle or skillet if it is non-stick.  If you normally grease the griddle or skillet, use butter or olive oil.
  12. Allow the tortillas to cook for 5 minutes/side.  Watch carefully to make sure they don’t get too browned.
  13. Place cooked tortillas on a large plate.

You can put them in the fridge after they cooled for 3 to 4 days or freeze them for a few months.

Printable Recipe

For directions on how make the tortillas without the stand mixer, visit Finding Joy in my Kitchen.

This post is linked to:  Everyday Mom’s Church Supper

Fruit Smoothie

Yummy!  And healthy!  That’s two words that describe these smoothies.

Right before Christmas, I bought an individual smoothie maker with cups for a Christmas gift for the whole family.  The Imagative One and I love making and drinking smoothies.  He also likes to drink milk shakes made with the smoothie maker.  I will share his favorite smoothie on a different post.

Breakfast Smoothie

Stars of the recipe:

  • 6 to 8 oz of fruit juice (I’ve used 100% Juice Cranberry-Blueberry, Lite Cranberry Raspberry, and Ruby Red Grapefruit-Cherry.  All those were for different smoothies.)
  • 1/4 c. yogurt (I’ve used Greek yogurt for an extra boost of protein.)
  • 1 cup of frozen fruit (I’ve used either cherries or strawberries.)


  1. Put all the ingredients in the individual smoothie cup or blender.
  2. Blend until combine.
  3. Pour into a cup and enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Menu Planning Monday ~ Week of Jan. 9, 2012

Monday ~ Greek inspired crockpot chicken {new}, mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes, veggies

Tuesday ~ Spanish style chicken noodle soup, rolls

Wednesday ~ grilled cheese sandwiches, basil tomato soup

Thursday ~ Eat whatever you want night

Friday ~ Pizza night

Saturday ~ Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (me) – Part is going to stock the freezer for later meals, left overs for boys