We started this week with a gallon of strawberries (from our weekend in Clarksville). And you know that strawberries can’t just sit around for long without getting super nasty and squishy. As of Wednesday afternoon, our strawberries have either been consumed plain (although, what’s plain about a strawberry?) or baked into something awesome. Let’s talk about something awesome.
Inspired by a dish my pal Sarah brought over for dinner a few weeks ago, I made a strawberry pretzel salad. Well, I kind of made a strawberry pretzel salad. I’m a huge fan of the real deal. In fact, it’s a Ringer family tradition to eat it for some holiday (Christmas, maybe? Thanksgiving? I can’t remember.). And it’s so good. Why we call it a “salad”, I have no idea, but it does make it seem healthier, yes? Anywho, a few weeks ago Sarah brought us a pretzel salad covered in various fruits. Delicious. So I took a tip from her and left off the jello layer, opting for a layer of strawberry puree instead. (This was partly because I didn’t want to wait for the whole jello boiling/cooling process, and partly because jello is kind of weird.) I think it worked out perfectly. There’s just something so delicious about pretzels, cream cheese, and fruit. Even my non-pretzel-loving husband couldn’t get enough of this stuff. In fact, we ate the last of it straight out of the pan last night (while watching The Lion King, in case you were wondering).
- 1½ cups crushed pretzels (I recommend letting a food processor do the work for you)
- 4½ tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 (8 oz) packages ⅓ less fat cream cheese
- 1 (8 0z) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- ¾ cup strawberry puree
- sliced strawberries (as many as your heart desires)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the crushed pretzels, 4½ tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Stir in the whipped topping. (At this point, you're going to think to yourself, "Wow, this is a lot of whipped topping." Yes. Yes it is. But you want it all.) Spread over the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Once it has chilled, spread the strawberry puree on top. Add the sliced strawberries and, if you have the willpower, refrigerate for another 30 minutes. Otherwise, go ahead and dig in.
- Consume within 48 hours to ensure a crunchy crust and a non-disgusting layer of strawberries.
*adapted from allrecipes
At the same time that I was whipping up a pretzel salad, I decided to make a cheesecake. A strawberry, strawberry cheesecake. With a chocolate graham cracker crust. I know, right? And let me tell you, it’s good. I followed The Curvy Carrot’s directions, so I’ll let you check out her far superior photos and recipe writing skills. The only change I made was to eliminate the strawberry jelly layer on top of the cheesecake. But I’m sure that would also be delicious.
And to assure you that we’re not just eating dessert around here, check out the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers we served as an entree before the great strawberry indulgence. I’ve discovered that stuffed peppers are one of my favorite meals to serve. It’s a really simple way to pack a lot of veggies into a casual dinner.
So that’s it for the strawberries. And I believe I’ve knocked a few pins off my Pinboards. Happy eating!