Lemon Cream Cheese Dip & Cheesecake

Lemon Cream Cheese Dip-3364 on Whisk Together Title

Books:  Kiddo is back in school and that means more reading books around his level.  We have been reading “Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin” by Liesl Shurtliff.  The kids are just loving it because the main character’s name refers to a “butt”, so anything butt/fart related is of course instantly amusing to kids.  So far they enjoy it and the action moves fast enough to keep them entertained.

We had started reading “The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death and a Boy Named Eel” by Deborah Hopkins.   What is with this trend of lengthy titles with colons???  Well, anyway, I really really liked this book although it might be best for over age 10.  There is a lot going on in the book including fiction AND non-fiction.  The non-fiction portion discusses Dr. John Snow, a real doctor in 1854 who attended Queen Victoria himself and discovered the cause of the cholera outbreak.  A lot of great information both historically and biologically.  It also makes you appreciate clean water and our current system of water and sewers.  **Spoiler** Over 600 people died simply because a mother cleaned out her baby’s diapers into the cesspool and the cesspool water seeped into the Broad Street Water Pump well.

Lemon Cream Cheese Dip-3356 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  Firstly, I have updated the Sloppy Joe mix and recipe since last posted.  On my sixth run through of the recipe, the family decided that the extra tomato paste made the dish super duper awesome instead of super awesome.  So, the printable recipe has been updated and the spice mix remains the same for Christmas or party gifts or your pantry!

Now to the cream cheese dip that the kids are giving the thumbs up for:
The kids have been eating this up all year for snack time or dessert!  Always a thumbs up in this house.  This recipe base is perfect for making double, triple or quadruple servings.  Orange, lime, lemon or grapefruit zest could all substitute for the lemon powder.  Vanilla beans or espresso powder could be added as well in lieu of the fruity flavors.

You can put this in little ramekins or disposable plastic cups with graham crackers, oreos or vanilla wafers for a crust.  Top with cherry or blueberry pie filling.  Or use as a dip as we did here with strawberries, kiwi and graham crackers.
Use a chocolate cracker crust and orange zest for Fall.
Use plain graham crackers and lime with toasted coconut topping.
Use full fat cream or neufchetal cheese.
Use Vanilla Wafers for the bottom and bananas on top.
Use Oreo cookies for the crust and more chocolate on top.
Use raspberries on top of lemon zest cheesecake.
Use caramel in the cheesecake and cooked apples on top.
Use almond extract with cherry or blackberry topping
The combinations are endless!

Here is a photo of the lemon juice powder.  It is so handy for adding lemon flavor without wondering if we have lemons in the house.  This way I can always make a smoothie or dessert with lemon flavor with what is in my pantry. King Arthur Flour usually has sales around the holidays to stock up the pantry at a discounted price or free shipping.

Lemon Cream Cheese Dip-3357 on Whisk Together

 

Lemon Cream Cheese Dip & Cheesecake
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) plain Greek yogurt (or vanilla)
  • 1 Tb. lemon juice powder or 1/2 tsp. lemon zest (or favorite flavor) or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (or other)
  • 2 Tb. sugar or powdered sugar
  • For more of a cheesecake and less of a dip:
  • 16 oz. softened cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt – plain or vanilla
Instructions
  1. To make it fast: mix everything together with a fork. This will be faster, but you may also have lumps from the cream cheese.
  2. To make it pretty: make sure the cream cheese is softened and beat on low to medium speed with beaters for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add the sugar or powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until mixed well.
  3. Dip can be eaten immediately.
  4. Cheesecake needs mixed and put into the fridge until firm and ready to serve – about 2 plus hours.
Notes
Reduce or double/triple/quadruple as needed! [br]Don’t be afraid to change the flavors. The blog post has LOTS of great flavor combinations like almond and cherry, vanilla wafers and banana, raspberries and lemon, etc.

 

Cheesecake Fruit Dip Recipes

So, I’m a fruit nut and the strawberries are not totally disgusting this time of year.   But anyway, here is a basic dip that does not include corn syrup.  A wide number of fruit dips include cream cheese mixed with marshmallow creme.  Though delicious, I’m trying to go for something a little less processed.

The first is your basic fruit dip.  I love it because it tastes like cheesecake… without all the baking and 1000+ calories.

**Just tried off-brand cream cheese and I would advise to go with Philadelphia brand.  The off-brands do not have consistent results for me.  **

Cheesecake Fruit Dip
yield  8oz.

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened (aka leave it on your counter for 20 minutes)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix it all up!  Dip with berries, pineapple, cantalope, kiwi, graham crackers or oreos.  Whatever you normally would eat with a cheesecake.  Or even spread it on sugar cookies.  Drool.

 Variation:   instead of vanilla extract use a mix of lime zest/juice, or lemon juice/zest/extract

Skinny Cheesecake Fruit Dip
yield 8 oz.

1 (8 oz.) package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature (also called Neufchatel)
1/4 cup Splenda or alternative no calorie sweetener
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix it all up!

Yes, you COULD sub all the sugar for Splenda, but then it starts to give it a nasty wang.  Blah.

You can change up the flavor for this next version.  I was trying to experiment and make my own Key Lime Cheeseball Dip and it didn’t taste quite like the mix we buy at the local store.  But it did taste very limey!  I’m sure you could try different flavors like lemon or orange.  Since there is gelatin involved, simply roll into a ball in plastic wrap and fridge for 2-3 hours to shape into a ball.

Lime Cheesecake Fruit Dip
yield 8 oz.

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese
7 Tbs. Lime Flavored Jello (you will need the larger 6 oz. box)
2-3 tsps. lime juice
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers (optional)

 Mix it all up except the graham crackers!  Adjust the jello and juice to taste.  You really gotta like the jello flavor to like this one!  Sprinkle the crushed graham crackers on top, or roll the cheeseball in them.

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