Summer is officially in full swing at my house. Kids got out of school last Thursday and I lost all of my hair by Saturday. I kid. I kid. Sorta. This is the time of year that working from home has some serious downfalls. On one hand, you want to be Super Mom and plan all these super cool, fun things for your kids so this will be the summer to remember. On the other hand, you HAVE to get work done. But when you don't go into an actual office, how do you do that? How do you be a fun Mom, still teach your kids through the summer and make sure they are actually practicing basic hygiene and eating decent food, keep the house straight, get all the chores done (grocery shopping, cooking, etc.) and still keep your sanity, manage a shower and earn a paycheck? I just can't figure out that balance yet without losing my mind. And my dishwasher broke yesterday and it's going to be two weeks before the warranty repair work can be done on it. Summer just started, y'all. I know - first world problems, right? But seriously, if you have any tips on how I can keep it together without totally falling apart mentally - I'd love to hear your tips. Because something has to give at some point, doesn't it? We can't possibly be all things to all people at all times and yet we don't want to alienate all those folks that we love and are more important to us than work and a clean house.
So now, how do I segue from that barrel of laughs to talking about this recipe? Well, I can't really, so here it goes. Clearly I stink at small talk. To celebrate summer, I thought I'd share this old school recipe made with graham crackers, crushed pineapple, cream cheese and COOL WHIP. It was pretty popular in the 70's. It's simple to make but it's served chilled so it is refreshing and surprisingly does not taste heavy at all. This 8x8 dish can be cut into 12-15 pieces so it serves more than you would think. Do yourself a favor and bring back this favorite dessert and make it a 1970's summer to remember.
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter*
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature*
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping (COOL WHIP), thawed
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained well
*You can use salted or unsalted butter, whatever you have. Just make sure that it is butter and not margarine.
Preheat oven to 300F. Crush your graham crackers. I just throw them in a Ziploc bag and pound the heck out of them. You can also just buy graham cracker crumbs too. Whatever works for you. I just happened to have these graham crackers for s'mores.
Also, at this point, go ahead and get your pineapple drained. I just throw it in a strainer and let it drain while I get to work on everything else.
Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick butter) in the microwave using a medium, microwave-safe bowl.
Add 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs to the melted butter and stir until combined.
Measure out 2 CUPS of the crumb mixture and press it firmly into the bottom of an 8x8 or 9x9 square baking dish.
It helps to use the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass to press the mixture down.
Bake crumb mixture for about 8-10 minutes and then allow to cool completely.
You'll have some crumb mixture left over. Just hang onto it because you'll need it for the topping.
Measure 4 oz. softened cream cheese. Most cream cheese is sold in blocks of 8 ounces and have these handy dandy little markings on them to help you measure it out easily.
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.
It helps to use an electric mixer or a stand mixer for this.
If using a stand mixer, turn it down to low and add the powdered sugar slowly until it is all incorporated and smooth.
Try to resist dipping your fingers in this amazingness. Ok, go on, dip your finger in, I won't tell.
Now add in a big ole heaping tablespoon of the drained pineapple and give it a good stir.
Next, spread the cream cheese mixture over the baked and cooled graham cracker crust.
In a separate bowl, combine the whipped topping with the remaining drained crushed pineapple.
Stir well. It will get thick and clumpy.
Spread whipped topping mixture over the cream cheese layer. I just drop it by the blob-full all over and then gently spread it using the back of my spoon.
Now, sprinkle the rest of the graham cracker crumb mixture on the top.
Cover with plastic wrap.
Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. This is a great dessert to make the night before you actually need to serve it.