No Bake Pie & Growth

20161221_203956.jpgHello Lovelies,

I wanted to share with you a highly popular dessert my mother always made in our household.  I made this no bake pie during the holidays and it is such a hit! It is super easy, can be made in a pinch, and requires no baking! It’s so delicious especially when the berries are really in season and are plump, sweet, and juicy.  Now, in March, berries are out of season and most farmers are beginning to plant seeds or starting to plant starters depending on where in the world you are.  But in these off months, I buy whole strawberries frozen.  Thaw them out and cut into pieces and it works like a charm.  I’ve tried raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries and mixed.  The best part of this recipe besides the no bake factor, it is cheap! You can make every other ingredient besides the berry from scratch.

You will need:

  • Graham Cracker Crust or a Homemade Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 box Vanilla Pudding
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Container/Can of Whipped Cream or 3 cups homemade whipped cream
  • 1tsp Vanilla or Homemade Vanilla Extract

My favorite recipe for homemade whipped cream:  20161221_200152.jpgpour heavy whipping cream into a bowl or mixer and add a pinch of sugar, and 1tsp of vanilla extract.

20161221_200600.jpgWhip until light and fluffy.

To make homemade vanilla extract:

vanilla-extractGet a glass container or bottle with a tight fitting lid. I got a really inexpensive bottle from Ikea.  Get one bottle of good but inexpensive vodka and four whole vanilla beans.  Cut each vanilla bean lengthwise without cutting it in half. Simply fill a jar or bottle with vodka and the vanilla beans. Store in a cool, dry, dark place. When it turns the traditional amber color and your desired strength it’s ready!  Mine took about 60 days to get a good Vanilla flavor and deep amber color.

My recipe for a graham cracker crust:  Combine finely crushed graham crackers with cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter until it is slightly moistened.  Press mixture firmly in a pie pan and bake for 5 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.  This will ensure that the filling doesn’t make the crust mushy.

If you are using boxed ingredients: Make the vanilla pudding according to package instructions.  Combine the pudding and sour cream together and mix until smooth. Put a layer of the pudding mixture at the bottom of the graham cracker crust, layer sliced berries (in my case strawberries), then a layer of whipped cream, and so on. Finish with a layer of whipped cream and decorate with any leftover berries. Put in the freezer for an hour if you are close to serving.  It freezes really well and defrost on the counter an hour or two prior. It doesn’t contain high fat ingredients and overall is a low fat pie!

*Due to the berries containing water, this pie will get liquidy the longer it sits at room temperature or if kept in the fridge for more than a day.

Now that the chaos of the holiday is long gone and the start of the New Year is in full swing, we embark on Spring.  Growth will be abundant in the upcoming weeks as Mother Nature awakens and I cannot be more excited.  Not only do we grow each year personally, but our skills continue to grow, our goals continue to grow, and so does our To Do List!  I haven’t been really good at setting goals and sticking to them primarily because these past two years have thrown us some major twists and turns making it difficult.  This year though, is showing us that we need to slow down further and really hone in on the goals we’ve set not only for ourselves, but as a family.  I redid our goal lists this year and made it much more attainable.  It is so easy to be really eager and then create goals that are just too ambitious.  So this year we are focusing on growing.  Perfecting the skills we have, making more use out of skills we do know, and getting a handle on my ever dreaded gardening.  Stay tuned for a step by step tutorial of building a raised garden bed.

We have seeds to plant, raised beds to make, and lots of prep work ahead.  I worked all winter feeding our DIY compost bin so I’m hoping to have some really nice composted soil to use when we get our garden ready.  The seeds have been started and are coming along nicely.  They are nice and cozy. No nasty little flies this time, you can read my seed fail from last year here.  Or our planting too early post here.  Thankfully, I canned my heart out all last summer for this past winter and am now running low on key staples. You can find canning information here or some of my recipes from the Canning Menu.  I did find that I didn’t do enough of one thing and overdid another. Canning and food prep is very much a learning experience through trial and error in regards to “how much” you stock.  I did can up 3lbs of potatoes last night and still have 3lbs to go. I will to can more pinto and black beans this week as well.  I’m hoping to get some good use out of our homemade rocket stove this year for some canning as we come into the season of yummy produce.

I’ve been a busy bee making soap and getting that side business off and running. I’ve cut back some DIY projects for the house as we’re concentrating more outside.  Babydoll is trying so hard to be home more, helping with the garden, and yard work.  So much to do and the time is upon us.  Time to get crackin!

How are you doing this time of year?  What are some tasks on your agenda? I’d love to hear!


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