Cream Cheese BLT – The Best Sandwich You’ll Ever Eat

We had decided to go on an unplanned road trip. I was determined to avoid the grocery store and instead work with the abundance of food we had on hand to put together a meal we could take along with us and eat in the van. However, I had no bread, no lunch meat, no tortillas, and no cheese. It was time to get creative.

I quickly made a batch of One Hour Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls. Seriously, these rolls practically make themselves. (Although they are terrible about washing their own dishes.)  I almost always have a supply of bacon and cream cheese on hand because those are staple foods at the Coppinger house, along with butter and cocoa, of course. Therefore, I decided to take my BLT Wrap idea and turn them into sandwiches.

What makes a BLT even better? Cream cheese, of course. This “to-go” meal was a hit, though the sandwiches were a tiny bit messy. Eh, that’s what napkins are for, right?

Cream Cheese BLT

Cream Cheese BLT SandwichesYum

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
Tomato slices
Lettuce

Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in bacon crumbles. Spread mixture on bread or buns and top with lettuce and tomatoes. Delicious!! This mixture makes enough for 10-12 sandwiches.

The best news of all is that you can add this Cream Cheese BLT Sandwich idea to your Make-Ahead Lunch Box list. Simply make the bacon/cream cheese/mayo mixture ahead of time, prep your lettuce and tomatoes, and put it all together on bread, buns, or tortillas when packing your lunch box. It’s a great change of pace from a regular ol’ sandwich.

You’ll definitely want to check out the inspiring idea behind this recipe:  BLT Wraps. Whether in a tortilla, on a bun, or even simply wrapped in lettuce – these are truly amazing.

BLT Wraps

Need more Make-Ahead Lunch Box ideas? Look through all these posts of yumminess.

These BLT Wraps and Cream Cheese BLT Sandwiches rich and filling, so the sides you’ll want to go alongside these need to be simple and light. Our favorites are:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Apples
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Pears
  • Applesauce

Now go get out your cream cheese and bacon. Wait. You do have these staples on hand, right?! :)

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Chicken – A Family Favorite Freezer Meal

I don’t think it would matter how much I of this Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Chicken I made – my family would keep asking, “Can I have another piece of chicken?”  I definitely never can make enough.

Ah bacon and cream cheese…two of life’s happiest ingredients. Today, I made a batch of this chicken – serving half for lunch and freezing half for another day. It’s a super easy freezer meal to make, and great to pull out and cook quickly. You can even cook it from its frozen state – so having it on hand can save your neck if you forgot to thaw anything for dinner.

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Chicken

What a great way to finish out this week’s freezer cooking challenge! I served this at lunch today with peas and smoothies (full of spinach, strawberries, peaches, and mango). It was a super easy lunch, packed with nourishment for my family. I’m excited to have more of this chicken in my freezer for another meal soon.

Have you made this chicken dish yet?  You’ll find this recipe in our {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook (which is currently part of a package deal you can get for just $5). The recipes included in that package are some that we use all the time at our house to get ahead!

As a reminder, here are the other posts from this week’s challenge:

If you’re just joining us for the Freezer Cooking Challenge, that’s great! You can get started here.

Coming up next week, we’ll be filling the freezer with breakfast items. I’m so excited about this, as having quick, easy, and healthy breakfast foods on hands is such a life-saver for me!

Easy Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

This Cream Cheese Fruit Dip is our very favorite dip to eat with fruit!

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I’ve probably already written this sentence a time or three, but here it is again:  Cream cheese makes everything better!

Or was I talking about butter when I said that? Actually, maybe it was cream? Well, the same is true for cream cheese, butter, and cream. (Although I will draw the line at adding any of the above to my lettuce salad.)

This recipe includes both cream and cream cheese. And homemade vanilla. (Or store bought vanilla, but homemade is so YUM.)  And then there is just a bit of maple syrup to make it sweet. Last but not least – you’ll add a shot of lemon or lime juice. Here are the specifics:

Easy Fruit DipYum

Easy Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cream (heavy whipping cream)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled)
Instructions
  1. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla, and lemon or lime juice.
  3. Fold cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream.
  4. Chill until ready to serve, or serve right away.

Tastes great with strawberries, grapes, and apples. Makes about two cups of dip.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
Have to eat dairy free? This wasn’t a winner of a post for you then, was it?! I’ll try to make it up to you next time. :)  Everyone else – multiple choice question:

Everything is better with:
a) butter
b) cream cheese
c) cream
d) all of the above

I’d love to hear your opinion on this one!

Healthy Crock Pot Recipe: Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

You’re about to learn about my amazing Italian Cream Cheese Chicken recipe – one of my family’s favorite meals!

If you didn’t know it already, after reading this recipe it will be very clear to you that I am not afraid to cook with, serve my family, or eat high fat foods.  Welcome to a recipe that includes butter, cream and cream cheese. Oh yes, that’s why it tastes so good.

If you are afraid of fats, I’d love to assure you of how healthy it is to eat these whole, natural foods. There’s a big difference in the fat you consume at McGreasies and fat which is whole and natural. Our bodies, skin and hair need healthy fats in order to thrive. Here is a post I wrote a while ago regarding butter and cream – and if you’d like to read through my entire series of Getting Real with Food posts, you can do that here.

Ah, and I have to laugh at myself because while this recipe calls for butter, cream and cream cheese – it also calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which always makes me think of low-fat cooking. I’m not afraid of the fat in the skin of a chicken, nor am I afraid of cooking a chicken with bones – but I don’t really prefer pieces of bone or skin in my pasta dishes. Therefore, I find that boneless, skinless chicken works best in this recipe. ;)

Italian Cream Cheese ChickenYum

Healthy Crock Pot Recipe: Italian Cream Cheese Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons dry Italian Dressing Mix
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1½ cups cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, dressing mix and butter in a crock pot. (I used my homemade Italian Dressing Mix to make this dish.)
  2. Cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  3. Shred chicken with a knife and fork. Add cream and cream cheese to the chicken and stir.
  4. Cook for ½ hour longer on low.
  5. Serve with whole grain noodles or brown rice.

Italian Cream Cheese ChickenWhat are the fats you include in your healthy diet?

Cream Cheese Frosting

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I’ve had several requests for a good frosting to use for decorating sugar cookies. I’ve worked on a “sucanat powdered sugar frosting” and will share the recipe in a few days. Obviously that frosting is going to be a bit on the brown side and is probably not quite what you’re looking for in a Christmas cookie frosting (unless you’re frosting Gingerbread Men).

Today I have two Cream Cheese Frosting recipes to share with you. One uses unbleached organic powdered sugar, which has no nutritional value, but at least it’s not bleached or filled with pesticides. It is very much a compromise food, but we’re talking about Cream Cheese Frosting here. At Christmas time. Don’t go crazy, but if you’re gonna frost some sugar cookies anyway, you’ve gotta make sure you really enjoy the taste of the splurge!

The second recipe I’ll share uses honey or real maple syrup for sweetener. This frosting doesn’t work as well on cookies…it’s fluffier and better on cakes. BUT, since it uses honey or maple syrup, it’s one step healthier than the unbleached organic powdered sugar variety.

Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese FrostingYum

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 1/2 cups unbleached organic powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip butter and cream cheese with beaters until fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until mixed thoroughly.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4- 1/3 cup honey or real grade B maple syrup (depending on your taste) OR 30 drops liquid stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, honey and vanilla until creamy. Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.

You can make your own cream cheese very easily! I do prefer store bought cream cheese in these recipes however as the homemade cream cheese is cultured and therefore a little too sour for my taste in these frosting recipes.

I will admit right  here and now that if something has cream cheese in it, I have a hard time staying out of it. I CAN NOT make either of these frostings very often because I love them too much. Are you a cream cheese lover  like I am?

Make Your Own Yogurt and Cream Cheese

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

You can make your own yogurt and cream cheese, and it is not hard! You don’t have to have any fancy equipment (and when you see my pictures, you’ll believe it!). Not only will this save you money, you’ll have yogurt and cream cheese that is very good for you! Try making this yogurt, then add your own fruit, sweetener (I recommend stevia or real grade B maple syrup) and a touch of vanilla. YUM!

Here’s what you need to do to make yogurt:

1 quart of whole milk (I use unpasturized milk from a farming friend)
3/4 cup plain yogurt or this yogurt starter

Pour the yogurt into a quart jar (using a glass container is important). Heat the milk on the stove in a saucepan until it is just under 100 degrees.

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Pour the milk over the yogurt in the jar and shake.

Place the jar into a cooler of hot water, cover and leave in the cooler for seven hours.

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There, you just made yogurt!

Now, you can eat the yogurt as I mentioned before, or you can take your yogurt and make cream cheese (and impress the socks off of someone!).

To make cream cheese, line a strainer with a tea towel. Pour the yogurt into the tea towel.

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You need to secure the tea towel full of yogurt and hang it for 7-10 hours (I usually do this overnight) so that the whey can drip off. I’m sure there must be a more impressive way to hang your yogurt, but what we’ve come up with works just fine!

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Here are the secrets to my effective cream cheese-hanging-whey-dripping process (I know, you’re on the edge of your chair!):

I fold over the top of the tea towel and hold it closed with a couple of rubber bands. Then, I use several more rubber bands to attach a long wooden spoon to the wadded up tea towel. Then, I use a rope to dangle the tea towel from a cabinet door. And, of course I leave a bowl under the whole contraption so that whey doesn’t drip all over the floor (because then, my process would not be nearly as cute).

Then, after you can tell that the whey has all separated from the cream cheese (you can tell it’s finished if it isn’t dripping any more), then you pull the whole thing down and scrape the cream cheese into a jar. And that’s it.   It is so simple.

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Sure, you can tell people that it took you hours and hours to make yogurt and cream cheese (because technically it DID take hours to make), but the part you actually played in it took about 10 minutes.