The International Day of Friendship is a United Nations (UN) day that promotes the role that friendship plays in promoting peace in many cultures. It is observed on July 30 each year.
In 2011, the UN proclaimed the International Day of Friendship with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The UN wanted for the day to involve young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.
July 30 is also National Cheesecake Day, so treat yourself with a slice (or two) of this decadent dessert made of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and a graham cracker crust.
This is a savory meal that will make you forget you’re dieting. I make mine low-carb for our diabetic friendly family. I make it with more meat and veggies. We skip the regular mashed potatoes. For a low carb or keto version, you can do parmesan and cheddar cheeses with mashed cauliflower now available in most stores.
Another trick is to use red or yellow potatoes instead. The texture is slightly different, but the carb count is lower and they are low on the glycemic index. What’s that? It’s a chart of how easily your body can convert things to sugar.
This is a great way to stay on target. It gives regular shoppers alternatives to high sugar and simple carb foods. We’ve been using this method for over 10 years. Best of all lots of items can be substituted into Keto and Paleo diets.
We started using this in conjunction with low carb dieting to keep type 2 diabetes in check. We happily report it has taken us back to pre-diabetic status. We have both lost weight and feel better even when we don’t stay as strictly to diet as we should. Hey, sometimes I just need chocolate ok.
Jen’s Easy Shepard’s Pie
1 1/2 lb ground chuck or round
1 package Steam and mash Ore-Ida potatoes Frozen (or low carb substitutions. Parmesan cauliflower is really good).
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables (California mix is better for carb counts)
4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (dried)
1 cup chopped onion
2 pkg Brown gravy mix
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt (I skip this there is enough in gravy mix.)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3c water (if it’s too wet it’s a big mess)
- Heat 2 Tbsp Olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add Beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Brown beef, about 5 min.
- If not using cast iron or oven safe pan, turn into cassarole dish.
- Mix 2 pkg brown gravy mix with 1/3 cup water. Mix well and pour over beef and vegetable mix. Stir well.
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Make topping with mashed potatoes or cauliflower.
- For topping add 4 Tbsp butter, 1/2 c milk, and dash of salt and pepper to potatoes. (If using cauliflower add parmesan and cheddar cheeses, salt and pepper.)
- Spread potatoes or cauliflower over filling. Cover completely.
- Bake uncovered at 350°F about 20 minutes.
- Top with sharp cheddar cheese.
- Put under broiler in oven for 5 minutes. Watch to make sure top is not over done. Serve hot.
These are great to freeze to. We put them in those aluminum pie pans or sealing dish. Freeze until needed. Simply defrost and warm. Those pans go easily from freezer to oven and table. If it seems flimsy simply place on on a baking sheet for ease of carrying
This is a great red, white, and blue dish for any patriotic holiday. It gets even better if you switch out the fruits like kiwi instead of blueberries and leave the strawberries with your bananas and you just got Christmas colors. This lucious, fluff like treat is always one of the first things to disappear at our parties.
Cheesecake Fruit Salad
These are for the red, white, and blue version.
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 lbs fresh strawberries
3 fresh bananas, chopped to bite size
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 lg 24.3 oz Philadelphia Cheesecake filling
1 16 oz container of Cool Whip
4 cups mini marshmallows
1 tsp real Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream or milk
- Prepare strawberries by removing stem and chop into small peices.
- In large bowl combine cheesecake filling, vanilla, and milk. Mix u till smooth.
- Fold in 1/2 of Cool Whip
- Fold in fruit, marshmallows, and remaining Cool Whip
- Keep chilled.
1 16 oz pkg Bacon
1/3 c red onion
1/2 c dried cranberries, Craisins
2 heads fresh broccoli florets
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c sunflower kernels
1/4 c Blue Cheese dressing
1/8 c Avocado oil Mayonnaise
1/8 c heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tsp or packets sugar or substitute
- Mince onion, chop broccoli
- Cook bacon well. I like mine so I can simply crumble it.
- Add bacon, broccoli, Craisins, cheddar cheese, in lg bowl
- Toss to mix well
- Assemble dressing and pour over salad.
- Mix well to coat.
- Chill 30 minutes or until serving
- Add sunflower kernels right before serving. Mix well and enjoy.
2 medium cucumbers, chopped into1/4 in pieces
2 c grape tomatoes (I like the sweeter taste of grape over slight tart flavor of cherry tomatoes).
1/2 c minced radishes
5 oz fresh Basil leaves
2 Tbsp minced red onion
3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp minced garlic
- Mince radishes and onion.
- Wash cucumbers and dice into about 1/4 inch bite size pieces. I find it easiest to slice into 1/8″ slices and cut into quarters or eighths.
- Slice grape tomatoes in half.
- Combine cucumbers,tomatoes, radishes, and chopped basil in large salad bowl.
- Mix Olive oil and vinegar, and garlic.
- Drizzle liquid over salad and salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix well to coat and enjoy.
Serves 9-10 easily.
We paired this with hamburgers and fries. Kids and adults loved it. It was a great low-carb side dish for my husbands birthday party.
This was so good! I got the original recipe from a Pintrest pin. We made it for our Anniversary celebration. As there are currently 8 people here after Hurricane Michael, I needed something for the adults that wouldn’t break the bank at the adult beverage store. (We gave the kids the virgin version and they loved it too.)
1 can frozen limeade mix
1can frozen Margarita mix
4 cups club soda
1 pt lime Sherbert (we only found it at our local Publix.)
750 ml white rum (we like Bacardi)
Mint leaves both for punch and garnish
4 limes thinly sliced (we use 2 in punch, 2 for garnish.)
- Muddle 1 handful of mint leaves with 1 cup club soda to release thier flavors.
- In gallon pitcher or punch bowl, combine lime sherbert, frozen Margarita mix, and frozen Limeade mix.
- Add mint leaves, and lime slices.
- Add remaining 3 cups club soda
- Mix well. (This virgin version was loved by kids attending).
We had a great time making it. It paired really well with the Irish Skillet we made. Now I have a great idea to use for St Patrick’s Day. Happy cooking and make so.e memories with your family.
1 pie crust (I get mine premade in the refrigerated dough section. You can also make your favorite recipe for this. Cauliflower crust is really good)
1 small eggplant about 1 lb.
6 tbsp butter
1/2 c finely chopped onions
1 clove of garlic crushed (I like mine. minced so I use about a tsp minced).
1 lb ground chuck
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/8 c chopped celery tops
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- Roll out pie crust to 11 inch circle. Fit into 9 inch pie plate. Crimp the edges, refrigerate till ready to use.
- Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Measure 2 cups.
- Add 4 Tbsp butter to medium sauce pan. Cook eggplant, covered 5 minutes then drain.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Melt rest of butter in lg skillet. Saute onions and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
- Add ground chuck and rest of ingredients. Mix well. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add eggplant to meat mixture. Turn into pie shell. Bake 45 – 60 minutes until crust is golden brown.
- I add shredded sharp cheddar to mine. I learned this one from my mom. The cheese gives it a little kick.
This is a great way to get extra veggies into your diet. While eggplant does have a mild flavor, when mixed like this my husband thought it was Shepherd’s pie for the longest time. That was actually my fault.
He told me he hates eggplant before I made it the first time. So I made it and didn’t tell him the eggplant was inside. (This works with kids to.) When he asked I just said it was Shepherd’s pie. He has loved it for more than our 15 years of our marriage. Yes, I did come clean and tell him it really was eggplant but he still loves it!
You can easily substitute the crust with a gluten free or keto option. I’ve done it with parmesan cheese or simply increase the chuck and forget the crust all together. Makes an incredible casserole too.