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Pistachio Cheesecake for St. Patrick’s Day

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With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would share a wonderful green recipe that we use to celebrate the holiday. The only thing that makes this cheesecake St. Patrick’s Day-ish is the lovely, pastel green color… it doesn’t taste like shamrocks or leprechauns or anything, I promise. It’s very rich, and has a light nut flavor.

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For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a spring form pan.

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Add the melted butter…

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…and stir until combined.

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Then press the crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan with your fingers or a spoon.

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In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat some more.

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Mmm, it looks so yummy!

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Add pistachio pudding mixes and beat until it’s smooth. Again. 🙂

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At this point, you could just eat all the cheesecake batter with a spoon, if you want, but get your fill of it before you add the eggs! 🙂

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Add the eggs, and beat it until it’s just combined. You don’t want to over do it, but you want all the egg to be mixed in.

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Then scrape the cheesecake batter into the crust and smooth it out with a spoon.

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Optional: Use another spoon to smooth it again, just so you can get another taste.

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Place the springform pan onto a cookie/baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack; then run a knife around the edge to loosen it. Cool for another hour, and refrigerate over night.

Sorry I didn’t get a photo of the finished product before it was cut, but it was so hard to keep everyone from attacking and devouring it instantly!

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Pistachio Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted
Filling:
6 packages (8 oz. ea.) soft cream cheese
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 packages (3.4 oz. each) instant pistachio pudding mix
5 eggs

In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in melted butter until well-combined. Press onto bottom and 1 ½ in. up sides of greased 10” springform pan. Set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, milk, and pudding mixes until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed until just combined. Pour over crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around edge to loosen; cool one hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Slice and drizzle with chocolate syrup, if desired. Serves 12-14.

*For 9” pan, for filling use:
• 4 packages (8 oz. ea.) cream cheese,
• 8 ounces sweetened condensed milk,
• 1 ½ packages pudding mix
• 4 eggs 
 

(One time we mixed up a package of pistachio pudding and it didn’t taste very good; later we realized it was because the pistachio nuts had become rancid, so be sure that your pudding mix is within the expiration date for this recipe.)

 

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin
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St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

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These yummy, green cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You know, that time of year when everyone has shamrock plants and you see little green people with long red beards sneaking around. That is, you might see them. I never have.

At our house, St. Patrick’s Day gets a little bit more attention than most of the other “minor” holidays for two reasons. First, it’s Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary; and second, because we have a bit of Irish in our blood from a few generations ago.

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Combine dry ingredients.

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Whisk together wet ingredients.

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Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients… or the other way around,  it doesn’t matter. : )

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And beat it until well-blended.

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Spoon batter into regular-sized cupcake liners, until about three-fourths full. This recipe makes just a bit more than 1 dozen cupcakes for me.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes. You want them to be done, so they don’t fall or do something dangerous like that.

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Then mix up your favorite cream cheese frosting and make them beautiful!

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St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Green food coloring, optional
Cream cheese frosting

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and mix until blended. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Add food coloring to frosting if desired; frost cupcakes. Yield: 1 dozen.

Leave us a comment and tell us what you are doing for St. Patrick’s Day this year!

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin

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8 reasons why we wash dishes by hand

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About a year and half ago, we quit using our dishwasher in favor of the good old-fashioned kitchen sink and dish cloth method.

Here is a list of reasons why we took this drastic step.

1. We were tired of having “clean” dishes (especially silverware!) that still had food hardened on to them. Yuck!

2. We hated the water spots on the dried dishes. Our metal mixing bowls started looking cheap.

3. We always had several sinks-full of dishes that had to be done by hand anyway. (Glass dishes, knives, and large pots and pans.) And for huge meals like Thanksgiving, the dishwasher only washed a fraction.

4. It took so long for the dishes to be washed, dried, and ready for use. And we still had to empty the dishwasher– a chore we girls hated– up to three times a day! When two of us are washing and drying the dishes by hand, we can be done with all the supper dishes in twenty minutes.

5. Uh, have you ever cleaned your dishwasher? Mom and Dad had to do this about twice a year, which wouldn’t be so bad except that it’s a disgusting job! To use Mom’s description, it looked like someone had made a casserole and put it in the dishwasher for the full cycle to bake, but it baked on to all the surfaces that you can’t see when you just look inside. Imagine trying to wash your dishes in water with “casserole” floating in it.

6. It has cut down on our electricity bill, although we probably use just as much water as the dishwasher did.

7. We get to use all of our beautiful dish towels and our hand knit dish cloths! (See our Etsy shop, where we sell cotton dish cloths.)

8. Lastly, it’s such a wonderful way to spend quality time with each other. Sometimes we girls will sing as we wash and dry, or talk about what to plant in the garden this spring.

Maybe some of you are devoted to your dishwasher, and that’s great; and maybe some of you have never even had one, which is also great! After a year and half, we are still doing just fine without ours. 🙂 One of these days we are going to replace the dishwasher with another cupboard; after all, who can’t use more cupboard space? But that’s a story for another time!

Here is a beautiful poem that Mom enjoys.

At the Kitchen Sink

Do we, I wonder, stop to think
How we need God’s grace at the kitchen sink?
It really isn’t fun
When you can’t get your dishes done.
For some folks need to fill their pans,
And others want to wash their hands;
The cook brings vegetables to scrub;
One sister has a cloth to rub;
Each little one keeps coming up
For a cold drink in a little cup.
You try to keep your water hot,
But cold drips in as well as not.
It takes a lot of prayer I think
To keep God’s grace at the kitchen sink,
Yet–I am glad that I can live
Among dear ones, who take and give.
There is a wondrous family link
Of love around the kitchen sink.
– Author unknown
 

Thanks for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin