Monday, June 2

Good Eating Monday: Jello Strawberry Pretzel Squares

We visited friends in Pensacola this past weekend. They live in housing community that surrounds a lake. There's an upside and downside to living by a lake. The upside is it's pretty and has ducks. The downside is lake water invading your living room after a sudden drop of 26 inches of rain! Luckily, our friends house was just high enough to avoid this, though a good many of their neighbors were not so lucky. 
Our friends observed, "a disaster is a good way to meet your neighbors." 
(They helped quite a few of them pull stuff out of their homes.)

Here in Florida, we're entering our summer rainy season that involves hit and miss spots of rain,  mostly due to evaporation from the heat.
 I'll have a pic this week of my rain garden at work.
It's always gratifying to do something that works.

Today's Good Eating Recipe is another no-bake gelatin dessert:
"Strawberry Pretzel Squares."

However, I don't recommend trying to make it look like the picture with the Jello on top--that never works out for me.
My jello usually soaks in under the cream cheese and turns marbled.
Instead, in my directions, I'm going to recommend layering the jello layer in first on the pretzel crust, then the cream cheese layer as the top layer.
 I believe this will work better.

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar, divided
 (1/4 cup pretzels; 1/4 cup for cream-cheese)
2/3 melted butter, lite butter or margarine.
1 1/2 pkg lite or reg Philly Cream Cheese, softened (8 oz size)
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup thawed Cool Whip Topping
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 6oz package reg or sugar-free strawberry jello (or strawberry banana)
4 cups fresh strawberries (I used sliced bananas instead)

Crust: Combine melted butter/margarine with crushed pretzels & 1/4 cup sugar until well mixed. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan, then bake 10 minutes at 350.
Remove and let cool.

Jello Layer: In a bowl, combine jello with boiling water and stir till fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add cold water and stir.
Chill jello in refrigerator for 1 1/2  hours until thickened, but not solid. Stir in fruit. Pour over pretzel crust and return to refrigerator to fully set.

Cream Cheese Layer: In a bowl beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar, milk and cool whip until blended. Drop by large spoonfuls over solidly set strawberry jello, then spread into a nice smooth layer. Refrigerate 2 hours before cutting & serving.
I thought the pretzel crust was the best thing about this dessert.
Despite the jello soaking into the cream cheese layer, this dessert was a huge hit with the Air Force kids on Tuesday night!

For Mama Kat this week, I'll be posting another no-bake dessert I'm trying from Pinterest called, "No Bake Rocky Road Bars."
Just saying it sounds good!  So 2 recipes this week!
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