Cheesecake Cheater

SO this evening I made a very very big mistake…. I took my hungry husband to the grocery store with me…

Even worse was that this wasn’t just a normal shopping trip, this was a GIANT shopping trip to refill all the empty spaces in our refrigerator and pantry after cleaning out all the spoiled food after getting back from our travels. Sometimes I enjoy these type of grocery trips because I will pick a few new dinners to cook or snacks to try in the kids lunches…. but  as much fun as it is to experiment with new food choices the anxiety freak in me can’t handle the concept of returning home from a vacation, where we happily spent money left and right for the sole purpose of creating wonderful memories with our family only to spend more money at the grocery store when we get home.

Anyway, as we were meandering through this new wonderful grocery store Eric is tossing strange food products in the cart left and right.  Typically I am fighting the kids on this, but give in to a few of these spontaneous choices because what they pick is something the whole family would like.  Not my dear hungry husband’s choice of impulse food purchases; a strange block of fancy cheddar cheese that looks almost like its in some sort of caramel sauce, a tub of ice cream(despite the fact we already have 4 or 5 tubs getting eaten only by the frost in the freezer), two packages of bratwurst as if steak, pork chops, chicken and pork loin weren’t enough…when he is hungry and at the grocery store he also gets these funny little creative moods where he buys 2lbs of ground beef to make homemade hamburgers from scratch(these ideas I love) and yet the most obsurd impulse buy of the evening was this giant serving platter of fancy cheesecake from the bakery section that is filled with hard slices in a variety of flavors. I suggested one of the single serving desserts that looked really good (the fruit tart seemed to be calling my name) but my dear husband was stuck on cheesecake, so like the good wife I am I said, “but honey, I can make you a cheesecake …”  he immediately complained about how long it would take to cook and that we usually have to wait until the next day to eat them. I smiled and led him away from the bakery section.

I know for some of you “No Bake” options are kind of cheap, or so called cheating but for moms, working house wives and just plain old busy people that love to cook they are amazing!!  Well they can be if you get a little creative with them….

In the baking section next to the Jello packets and canned pie filling you will find a box of Jello No Bake Cheesecake. The first time I bought this little box of magic I was wildly impressed by its genius.  No need to bake for an hour and sit in the fridge for triple that time to set?? Amazing!! No need to take up counter space waiting for pounds upon pounds of cream cheese to soften or countless bowls and mixing supplies filling up the sink waiting to be washed? Heaven.  Simply use one bowl to mix the powder with 1 1/2 cups of milk, one pie dish to mix the crust mix(graham cracker crumbs) with some sugar and melted butter and WA-LA! there you have it, instant cheesecake filling!  To be honest, it kind of tastes as simple as it is to make.  So how can you spruce up something so bland?

Well I will tell you my friend, one of my favorite family recipes for true homemade cheesecake involves also making a sour cream layer to top it with.  A little sour cream, some sugar and a dash of vanilla beaten for 30 seconds and there you have it; a fluffy layer of rich goodness to top off any cheesecake.  We always have a pint(or two) of sour cream in our house so I quickly pulled it out and dumped it in the same bowl that was used to mix the magic one step cheese cake filling.  For one pie I use about 2 cups sour cream, about 1 cup sugar and around 2 tbs vanilla (its one of those things ya have to experiment with the exact measurements for taste preference) Use the electric mixer for 30 seconds and your topping is done. dump it right on top of the cheesecake, spread it around and then place it in the fridge for 30 min or so until you are done gorging on your lovely homemade dinner… then treat yourself to a super easy, no bake, “homemade” cheesecake delight. My treat.

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