Tonight I decided I was going to bake, bake and bake some more. This all came about because Zik’s sister mildly hinted that they would love me to make them cheesecake and Zik put his bananas aside to brown (they are ready), thus letting me know he would like me to make some banana bread.  Since I was so lovingly baking for others, I figured I’d love myself a little and make myself my favorite chocolate cake!

I started with the simplest thing first… the cheesecake.  If you are wondering to yourself how a cheesecake could possibly be simple to make, check out my cheesecake recipe, try it and see for yourself!  To switch it up, I thought I would make a fresh strawberry compote to mix in to the cheesecake filling.  First I chopped about a cup and a half of fresh strawberries, coated them in a tablespoon of corn starch and two tablespoons of sugar, mixed in a tablespoon of water and placed it all in a small saucepan on low heat and covered.  I stirred occasionally to ensure there was no sticking going on and it turned out PERFECT!

Next the graham cracker crust! I used 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup of sugar and 8 tablespoons of melted butter.  Mixed it all and pressed into my individual cardboard baking boxes.  Popped them in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 minutes and presto… they were done!  OK, I thought to myself, things are going along…time to put this filling together!

I gathered the ingredients for the filling to prepare my cheesecake recipe and open the can of sweetened condensed milk only to realize it had gone bad!!! My thoughts were racing, “OH NO!  I have everything unwrapped and ready to go… my strawberries and graham cracker crusts are ready and I may not be able to make my filling!!!”  Then I realized…WAIT…I have evaporated milk and if I mix that with sugar I get sweetened condensed milk.  I was saved!  Whew, thank God.  Anyhow, a cheesecake that should have taken me about 30 minutes ended up being over an hour and I’ll have to cook the banana bread and chocolate cupcakes tomorrow!  Such is life!

cheesecakeAfter I finished the filling and the compote and crusts cooled, I gently folded the strawberry compote into the cheesecake filling.  Next I filled up my boxes and they are now chilling in the fridge, waiting to be eaten up!  Did I mention that the cheesecake filling is NO BAKE?

I actually have a few extra cheesecakes!!!  The first TWO local friends (Los Angeles, CA) to leave a comment on this blog gets some cheesecake!  YUMMY!

The lesson of today…always keep ingredients in your kitchen so you can make anything you MAY want to prepare from scratch because you never know 100% that something you purchase pre-made from the store will come out of the can or box like it is supposed to!


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