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A luscious "mush" for dessert

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During these hot days of summer, anything cold and refreshing never fails to please and it always hits the spot! It's this time of the year that homemade ice cream makes an appearance and it's always a treat. The only downfall to homemade ice cream is the preparation time and having to deal with an electric ice cream maker. This often means having to get a huge bag of ice and rock salt to complete the operation.

Let's NOT get out the ice cream freezer and make a frozen summer treat in a regular home freezer! The recipe I'm sharing is for "Frozen Cranberry-Pineapple-Pecan Melange" or to make it a shorter name, "Lush Mush". This is a clever title to a frozen dessert that is much like ice cream but doesn't have to be made with a traditional ice cream maker. This recipe also is made very fast so you can get in and out of the kitchen in short notice. It's almost a perfect summer dessert recipe!

To begin, you combine cream cheese with pineapple juice, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. You then stir in crushed pineapple, cranberry sauce, chopped pecans and miniature marshmallows. You then whip whipping cream and fold it into the mixture. This is spooned into a 9x13 inch pan and frozen to a mushy-firm consistency. It's now ready for the dessert dishes and topped with sweetened whipped cream, if you choose. It's also a pretty pastel pink color coming from the cranberry sauce and is a really wonderful and easy dessert!

This recipe actually gives its age away a bit. The recipe calls for a 17 oz. can of whole cranberry sauce. If you check the cans of cranberry sauce today, the cans are about 14 to 15 ounces. The prices have remained the same for the most part, but alas, the size of the can has shrunk! If you would like to, you can add an additional 1/3 cup of whole cranberry sauce to the recipe in addition to the 14-15 oz. can you'll be using to make up the difference. However, if you feel that the can of cranberry sauce is enough and the difference isn't that much, go with just using that and disregard the difference. Personally, I like to add the additional 1/3 cup just to make sure that I'm not skimping on the ingredients!

When whipping real whipping cream, make sure that your bowl and beaters are cold. In fact, I like to chill the bowl and beaters of my electric mixer at least overnight before whipping the cream. Having cold utensils will help the cream to whip higher and faster. Just be careful to not overwhip the cream, as this would turn it to butter, which you don't want to have in this recipe! Though I've never tried it for this recipe, you may want to try using thawed frozen whipped topping in place of the cream for convenience. In this case, you'll need about 4 cups of topping.

If you would like to make some homemade ice cream this weekend, I shared a "Cheesecake Ice Cream" recipe two years ago that's incredibly good! In case you missed the recipe, here's the link to get it again:

http://www.examiner.com/article/let-s-make-a-new-flavor-of-ice-cream

Put together this cooling and refreshing "mush" without having to deal with an ice cream maker!

"LUSH MUSH" (FROZEN CRANBERRY-PINEAPPLE-PECAN MELANGE)

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk, such as Eagle Brand
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 can (17 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Cream together the cream cheese, reserved pineapple juice, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the cream. Fold in the whipped cream. Turn into a 9x13 inch pan, cover and freeze in your home freezer until mushy-firm. When frozen, spoon into dessert dishes. Serve with additional whipped cream, if desired. Yield: 10 servings.

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