Teresa Hatchell 2005

We have a huge extended family, and we all get along so well. It is a wonderful blessing.

Usually, I am not a person who enjoys having down time. I pretty much stay on the go many days and evenings each week. But when relatives and close friends invite me to an occasion, I will take time out from the hullabaloo of life and wholeheartedly enjoy the caring people who make my life so worthwhile.

I encourage you all to adopt this as a permanent way of life. Don’t continually think about work that is waiting for you later. Just relax and “visit” with your friends and family at least a few hours a week.

Below are a few quick pie recipes that you can whip up to take to your gatherings. Several of them were inspired by various shows I enjoy listening to on Saturdays when I am doing tasks around the house. None of them are complicated, but all of them are easy and delicious.

Caramel banana nut pie

1 ready-made graham cracker pie crust

3 large, ripe bananas

1 container of caramel dip

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted

1 small container Cool Whip

Slice the bananas into the pie shell. Mix the pecans or walnuts with the caramel dip. Spread the mixture over the bananas. Top this layer with the whipped cream. Chill the pie for two to three hours.

Delicious peanut butter fudge

4 cups white sugar

12 ounce can evaporated milk

1 cup Land 'O Lakes butter

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

7 ounces marshmallow crème

Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside. Butter a 3-quart saucepan. Place the buttered saucepan over medium heat and combine the sugar, evaporated milk and 1 cup of butter within the saucepan. Heat the ingredients to between 234 and 240 degrees, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when it is removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Remove this mixture from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and marshmallow crème. Beat the ingredients vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Pour this quickly into the prepared 9x13-inch baking dish. Allow the fudge to cool completely before cutting it into squares. It is best to store this fudge in an airtight container in the fridge.

Five-minute double layer chocolate pie

1-1/4 cups cold milk

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2 packages (4-serving size) chocolate flavored instant pudding and pie filling

8 ounces frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

1 ready-made graham cracker pie crust

In a large bowl, beat the milk and pudding mix with a wire whisk for one minute. Whisk in half of the whipped topping. Carefully spread this mixture evenly into the crust. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the top. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with a swirl of chocolate syrup or with lightly roasted, chopped pecans or walnuts. Refrigerate the pie until you are ready to serve it.

Easy-to-make key lime pie

9-inch pie shell, baked and totally cooled, or graham cracker crumb crust

3 egg yolks

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup lime juice

1 cup heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to whip the egg yolks with the sweetened condensed milk. Gradually beat in the lime juice. Pour this batter into the pie shell of your choice. Chill the pie for six hours. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it stiffens. Spread this mixture over the pie. You may sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs across the top and/or accentuate the flavor with thin slivers of unpeeled lime.

Contact writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com

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