I am being compensated for this post by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association and as a part of the Mom it Forward Blogger Network. The ideas, recipes, and opinions are 100% my own.
When I first got married I used to watch cooking shows on the Food Network all the time. One of my favorite shows to watch was Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee because I really liked the ideas that she came up with. But I’ll be honest, I kind of thought the whole semi-homemade thing was kind of a cop out. I mean she’s a chef on the Food Network, shouldn’t she be able to make everything from scratch? Then I realized that nobody has time to make everything from scratch, especially when you like to plan parties with too much food like me. One of my favorite things to do is to combine a frozen item with homemade touches to create a delicious combination while using less time and effort. That’s exactly what I did for this mini chocolate cheesecakes with raspberry sauce and honestly, they are better than if I’d made them from scratch.
All I used for these mini cheesecakes is a frozen Sara Lee cheesecake, frozen raspberries, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and heavy whipping cream.
I started these cheesecakes off by using a round cookie cutter to cut out bite-sized pieces of cheesecake. I love using mini foods for parties because most of the time people don’t want a huge slice of cheesecake but will eat one or a couple minis.
Now I couldn’t just serve a frozen cheesecake straight out of the box so I made two yummy sauces – one raspberry and one chocolate – to top the cheesecake. One of my favorite tricks is to keep frozen fruits on hand and just heat them up on the stove with a little powdered sugar (1/4 cup powdered sugar to every cup of frozen fruit) over medium heat until the fruit is broken down to create a fantastic fruit topping. I prefer using frozen over fresh because frozen fruits are frozen right when they are the ripest and perfectly fresh berries are tough to find.
And for the chocolate sauce, I just heated up some chocolate chips in the microwave for a minute and added about two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
And then I added my two sauces to the mini cheesecakes I cut out earlier. Look at how many fun combinations I came up with using just those two simple sauces – chocolate dipped cheesecake, raspberry dipped, raspberry with chocolate swirls, chocolate swirls, and the possibilities continue.
Serve a combination of the cheesecakes together and you’ve got a fancy dessert spread that took less than 10 minutes, way less time than it would’ve taken you to make a cheesecake from scratch.
So next time you are planning out your menu for a party, check out the freezer and refrigerated aisles for over 3,700 different and delicious foods including veggies frozen at the peak of freshness, Asian and Hispanic dishes, and a bounty of yummy desserts. And if you feel bad about using frozen foods, don’t because frozen foods are real foods, frozen. Let frozen and refrigerated foods be your #HolidayHelper this year. For more great meal ideas using items from the freezer and refrigerated aisles, you can check out EasyHomeMeals.com or the NFRA website.