For me, the kitchen feels like the heart of our home.
One whiff of my coffee brewing in the morning lifts and soothes my spirit. The sight, smell and taste of a particular recipe has the potential for such an immediate reaction, doesn’t it?

I smiled yesterday as my niece, home from college, exclaimed to her sister, “Oh, Aunt Jen’s special french toast.” My tradition of making stuffed french toast evoked a warm memory for her. There’s power in a shared meal…so let’s make it both pleasurable and memorable.

My desire for Tasty Tuesday is to encourage each other in making meal time an occasion, rather than an event. In our home, quite often it is just an event, a chore. The kids must be fed, and that’s a reality (and I admit that happened tonight as I wrote this post. 🙂
Once a week, we can spur each other on to try something new. If you’re a brand new cook or don’t have a lot of time, I’ll share lots of quick and easy meals. That’s my specialty.
If you’re a gourmet cook….please, let us learn from you.
I can’t wait to see what everyone brings to the table.

This week was difficult in deciding what to share.
I hosted our family’s Easter Brunch and we had a
feast. The stuffed cream cheese french toast was an option,

as was the yummy pound cake, quiches, Cracker Barrel Copy Cat hash brown casserole, Homemade Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and three other breakfast casseroles. I decided on sharing my strawberry cheesecake trifle.

The reason? It’s so incredibly easy, looks beautiful (even when you goof up like I did with the layering) and tastes even better than it looks. For those of you new to my blog, I love to shop at yard sales and thrift stores. A truffle bowl is a must for your “eagle eye” list. Not only does it display food beautifully, but it’s a wonderful decorating item for floating candles, displaying ornaments at Christmas, featuring flowers…oh, the list could go on and on.

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup sugar (divided)
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened (8 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice (I didn’t have any, so I substituted)
  • 3 cups whipping cream, whipped
  • 1 loaf (10-3/4 ounces) frozen pound cake, or better yet…homemade
  • thawed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate, grated
  • Chocolate curls and additional strawberries (optional)

1. In a bowl, toss strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
2. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, orange juice, and remaining sugar until smooth.
3. Fold in whip cream; set aside. (now, honestly, I would have been just fine calling it a recipe at this point since the taste testing was going so well. 🙂

4. Drain strawberries, reserving juice; set the berries aside. Gently toss cake cubes with reserved juice. (I admit, my frugal nature got the best of me. I used 2 packages of Martha White pound cake muffin mix that I had gotten free with my coupons, and used those. My son cut them up and they were triangles, not cubes.)

5. Place half of the cake in a 4 qt. trifle dish or serving bowl. Top with a third of the cream cheese mixture, half of the strawberries, and half of the grated chocolate ( I also didn’t have the chocolate, so as much as I mourned its loss…it’s optional.)
6. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture.
7. Garnish with chocolate curl and strawberries if desired.
8. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. (This allows the flavors to blend, but I made this minutes before the guests came, so I estimate it was about two hours. )

Chocolate curls on top of desserts just scream, “You are special,” but what’s a lady to do when she doesn’t have any long chocolate bars? Have your son donate one small Hershey bite size candy bar that he had in his Easter candy stash and improvise. Small, but meaningful. 🙂

My tip for attempting chocolate curls? Make sure you freeze the chocolate bar a bit before attempting. Although the ramification wasn’t too bad. Someone had to do it.

Dig in and enjoy. But beware, it’s goes really fast!