Ok folks—whether you believe in global warming or not, can we all agree that it’s been the hottest summer on record? At least for the midwest it has been. It’s like Satan’s armpit here in Omaha, Nebraska!
In fact, my husband and I ran away up to the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota just to escape the heat during the month of July, hence the hiatus on blogging 😉 It was a nice vacation, but it’s not something we can do for the entire summer (yet…more on that later).
But in all reality- air conditioning or not, who wants to run their oven on 90ºF+ days? Who wants to slave away in a kitchen with no air vent (mine has no vents, can you believe that?!), and run up the bills on a mega hot day? Even cooking at night loses its advantage being a food photographer, as I do not yet have artificial lighting that will suffice.
Although I’d eventually like to invest in some of these babies:
Needless to say, there has been a whole lot of sandwiches, BLT’s, pizza deliveries and eating out that has been happening because of this phenomenon. I typically cook a LOT- and my poor husband Dave has to usually deal with the dirty dish aftermath (TRUE LOVE), but by not cooking, I’ve kept the house cool. On the flip side of saving energy bills, we’ve upped the output of cash towards local restaurants. Good and bad thing. Great for the economy–bad on the waist line. Ugh. Seriously—I feel like the only way to stay healthy is by cooking and eating mostly at home. It’s cheaper, typically lower in sodium, and fat, and you can monitor exactly what goes into your food.
So how do you “cook” without turning up the heat?
That’s why I’m bringing you a little something different on irokthekitchen.com, a Summer NO-BAKE series! I have been wanting to experiment with food other than that which requires baking, so here is my chance! I’m going to be shifting my focus away from baked-goods and going outside of my comfort box, presenting more things like no-bake desserts, salads, smoothies, home-made dressings, and the like. Win-win!
So here goes with the first recipe of many – to be continued into early Autumn.
Don’t worry, this is SUPER EASY to make!
Key Lime NO-BAKE Ice Box Cake
Hey, what can I say? Key Limes were on sale, the graham crackers from our camping trip were beginning to go stale, and I had a few bricks of cream cheese in the freezer-so it was time to get creative! This recipe brings a nice tart taste to the “cake” that will leave a spring in your step!
You also may be asking yourself –what the heck is icebox cake? Well, look no further for a delicious no-bake, layered treat that you stick in the refrigerator until it has cooled to yum-tastic perfection.
You will need:
Big mixing bowl
9×5 loaf pan or glass dish
Plastic wrap for storage
1 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese
1/2 tub of Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)
Juice of 8 Key Limes (about 4 Tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Approximately 10-12 sheets of Honey Graham Crackers
*Key Lime slices for garnish
- Dump the cream cheese from the packaging into your large mixing bowl.
- Setting the electric mixer on low, beat the cream cheese for about a minute.
- Add the whipped topping, and beat until smooth.
- Using your juicer, smash the juice of your key limes into another small dish (for measuring’s sake) and dump the juice into the cream cheese mixture.
- Continue to beat on low, and now add the vanilla.
- Set the cream creese mixture aside and prepare your loaf dish.
- You can line the loaf dish with plastic wrap for easy removal, but I chose not to.
- Lay the graham cracker sheets on the bottom, one at a time. You may have to break a few bricks off in order for it to fit.
- Using a spoon, layer some of the cream cheese mixture on top of the first row of graham crackers.
- Continue to layer graham crackers on top of the cream cheese mixture until you’ve reached the top of the dish (or until you run out of crackers like I did!) *Garnish with key lime slices.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
The ice-box cake will keep if well covered for several days. It can serve up to 4-5 people.
What a tangy and easy treat to beat the summer heat!