This short section did not fit into Part 3 of this guide so I am adding it separately for those who want a few ideas to get started. These are some low cost ideas that are popular with my family. We don't have dessert every night so it's always a treat when we do. I'm always looking for recipes that are also easy and quick with few ingredients and these fit that criteria.
Mini Apple Pies
8-10 slices of bread (stale is good)
1 can apple pie filling (or other fruit pie filling)
2 tbsp margarine
Use a sharp knife and remove crusts from bread. Save the crusts for bread crumbs or stuffing.
Use your hand or a rolling pin and press bread slices flat. Divide pie filling into the middle of half the bread slices. Cover each with remaining bread slices. Wet your fingers and press ends together but be careful not to use much water. You just want it damp enough to stick. Use a fork and press the tines around the edges. Melt the margarine in a frying pan and then place pies in the pan. Fry on each side until golden brown. Remove and place on a dish with a paper towel to absorb any grease.
Pudding with fruit
1 pkg sugar free or reg instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup of sliced fruit (bananas, pears, strawberries or other fresh berries or canned mandarin oranges or frozen and thawed fruit)
Prepare pudding according to package directions and pour into small bowls. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Top with fruit before serving.
2 pkgs sugar free or reg gelatin, strawberry or cherry are the favorites in our house but any flavor could be used
1 cup diced celery
1 cup pecan pieces
Boil 2 cups of water. Add pkgs of gelatin and stir very well until dissolved. Add one cup of ice water and stir. Add the celery and pecans. Refrigerate for at least two hours or until jelled. Most people like this dish even if they aren’t Jello fans.
Strawberry Pound Cake
1 pkg sugar free or reg instant pudding mix, prepared and refrigerated
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 pound cake (angel food cake could also be used to reduce the calories)
Using a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss, slice the pound cake in half length-wise to make two layers. Spread about 1/2 cup of the pudding on the lower layer top. Layer sliced strawberries on top of the pudding and press lightly. Dollop a few spoons of pudding on top of strawberries. Save the rest of the pudding for another use. Place the top layer of cake on top and press very lightly. Slice and serve.
Brownie mixes can usually be found at dollar stores for a low cost dessert. To make them special, drizzle caramel ice cream syrup over the top and sprinkle with pecan pieces.