Hello!

I’ve made some really great (if I do say so myself) meals over the last few weeks. The hot weather (for some reason) makes me want to try new things and stray from my usual go-to recipes.

Without further adieu, here are a few of the more memorable ones.

Enjoy!

FRESH CORN AND SQUASH SOUP

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 7 ears)
3 cups water
2 cups chopped yellow squash
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chives

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add corn and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

Place half of corn mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Strain corn mixture through a sieve (or strainer) into a large bowl; discard solids. Repeat procedure with remaining corn mixture. Garnish with chives, if desired.

COOL, CREAMY CHOCOLATE BARS

Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
Cooking spray

Filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed and divided
3 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 (3.9-ounce) packages chocolate instant pudding mix
Unsweetened cocoa (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool completely.

3. To prepare filling, place 1 cup sugar and cream cheeses in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Fold in half of whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture on cooled crust. Cover loosely; refrigerate 1 hour.

4. Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until pudding is set. Spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining half of thawed whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Cut into 15 pieces.

Happy Eating!

Sincerely,

Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings

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