I briefly touched upon this cheery cheesecake recipe in an earlier post highlighting my favorite Thanksgiving desserts, but thought if was worthy of its own mention since I recently made one for a friend. This no-bake version is my aunt’s recipe and it is always devoured. Friends cannot believe how easy it is to make considering how delicious it is. It is perfect for dinner parties since you quite literally whip it up the night before.
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake
24 graham cracker squares
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 T sugar
8 ounces softened cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 pint heavy cream (also called whipping cream)
1 can cherry pie filling, chilled
Graham cracker crust (Combine 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers, 1/3 cup melted butter, 3 T sugar and press into pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool.)
Beat softened cream cheese until smooth.
Add sugar and vanilla and beat some more.
Slowly pour in heavy heavy cream and beat until the mixture is thick and fluffy.
Pour/scrape into cooled pie crust.
Chill 24 hours.
Top with canned cherries.
This is a regular request for birthdays and special occasions. I know you are thinking that it can’t possibly be that good if it is so simple to make…but it is!
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. I really thought through my menu and preparations this year a bit differently because I was cooking for a few folks I had never hosted before. Here is a rundown of what worked well and what did not.
A Smoking Hot Turkey
Smoking the bird was a smart move this year because it freed up my double ovens for more sides. I concocted the brine in advance and immersed the turkey overnight in a big Gatorade cooler. Come morning all I had to do was rinse it off and place it onto my preheated smoker. The only hitch was my turkey reached optimal temperature sooner than I had calculated. The bird had plenty of time to rest and everyone raved about the delicious flavor. I just wish it had been a bit hotter by the time I served it.
Lesson Learned: Don’t overestimate cooking time!
Dessert Comes First
I made my pies the night before Thanksgiving this year. I know this is common, but I’ve always hesitated because some desserts taste so much better fresh out of the oven. Unfortunately I was up past midnight because my Heavenly Pie took much longer to make than I had planned for. Guest reviews were highly favorable!
Lesson Learned: Start earlier in the day!
Too Many Sides Sink the Buffet
Because I wanted a nice variety of side dishes for guests, I may have gone a bit overboard. I prepared green beans, brussels sprouts, two kinds of stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, two kinds of sweet potatoes, acorn squash, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn casserole. It was a ton of work and even more dishes to wash! I think my friends were a bit overwhelmed by all the choices and walked away from the table overly full. Next time I will trim back the menu!
Lesson Learned: Sometimes, less is more!
Planning and preparation was fun this year since I knew I wanted to blog about my cooking. But in the future, I will cut myself a little slack. Either that, or I need to hire a home sous chef!
What were your wins this year around the holiday table? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts!
I realized this morning that Thanksgiving is next week. By now I’ve usually hunted through my grandmother’s recipe box and pulled out all my tried and true favorites, created a shopping list, and planned out a cooking schedule. Somehow the holiday crept up on me and I honestly thought I had a couple more weeks.
With only a week and a half to go, I see an opportunity to skip the tried and true family favorites this year and scout out a few new side dishes and desserts. I recently joined a couple of Facebook cooking groups (The Home Chef’s Hangout and Real Cooks of Facebook) which have inspired me to try new things. The question remains, will I miss Gram’s cranberry relish, apple sausage dressing, and green bean bundles come Turkey Day?
My go-to website for finding recipes is always Epicurious. Though some of the recipes are a bit too complicated for my novice cooking skills, I find the reviews really helpful. Plus I love the pictures and breadth of choice. The slideshow for Make Ahead Side Dishes for Thanksgiving will be one place I pull ideas from this year.
Another great resource I like to use is Yummly. While many of the entrees are not as sophisticated as those I find on the Epicurious site, I like creating my own collections as a way of organizing recipes I’d like to try. As you can see, I’ve started collecting Thanksgiving Sides already!
I’m looking forward to trying something new and perhaps creating a few new traditions. Which Thanksgiving recipes do you still pull from your Gramma, Great Aunt, or even Mom? Feel free to share in the comments section. You can include your recipe unless it is a family secret!