Creamy Cheesecake Strawberry Parfaits

I had EVERY intention of posting this recipe like 3 days ago buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut this house remodel is literally taking up every single minute of spare time I have.  I honestly forgot about it.  No that’s not entirely true.  I’d remember while I was sitting in traffic or when I was in the shower.  Neither of those were truly the appropriate time to start writing up a blog post – one could get me a ticket and or in an accident and one could electrocute me.  Apparently you cannot take your laptop into the shower.  LOL My life has turned to honestly – getting up for work, working all day, coming home, trying to make dinner (albeit in my bedroom or hallway), working on the remodel – from plastering to washing tools, to moving crap, to picking up crap, showering and then bed.  I haven’t been to the gym in like 2 months (trust me it’s KILLING ME!), I haven’t see my hairdresser in 2 months (That’s worse I think!), my poor nails are well non-existent and mangled from all the chemicals I’ve been using here.  My allergies and asthma are horrific now.  I should really wear a mask as I sound like a mafia hit man who has smoked 4 packs a day for the past 30 years.

Friday I ended up working part of the day in the office and then throwing in the flag and coming home to finish the rest of the day there as I felt like crap.  What’s funny is when I got home and logged back in I had a meeting I had to dial in to.  This guy and I had been emailing back and forth for about a week about an issue but had never spoken on the phone.  To reduce the back and forth threads I just set up a phone call – when I HAD a voice.  So when he dialed into my conference line and introduced himself I, through a very raspy deep voice said “Hi, how are you?”  SILENCE… LOL I then chuckled-turning-into-a-coughing-fit said “Please pardon how I sound or if I abruptly go on to mute mid sentence.  As you can hear I sound horrible.  I have severe allergies right now and the first thing to go is my voice.  So no, I don’t normally sound like this and no I don’t smoke 5 packs a day. I have never smoked.”  He then busted out laughing.

He proceeded to tell me about this waitress he knew back in college that worked the midnight shift that would bring you your food with a half lit cigarette in her mouth.  He said she had the most growling/husky/raspy smoker’s voice he had ever heard. He said I sounded like her and that I made him all of a sudden crave pancakes and bacon – apparently that’s what he ordered after the bar.  LOL
Cheesecake Fresh Berry Parfaits

So thank you for being patient and sticking with me through this remodel from hell.  Never in my life did I think it would be THIS involved! All I know is the day we sell this house will be the 2nd happiest day in my life.  First day is obviously marrying Mr. Fantabulous. For me it’s not so much selling a house but it’s about the fact that we finally get to close a long, not so good, chapter on our lives. This house consumed our lives and almost alienated us from our family and friends.  It’s so far from those that we love and care about that even a simple “wanna come over tonight and hang out?” was a trip.  No one wants to spend an hour to 1.5 hours in the car each way just to hang out for a few hours or even a movie.

Okay now that I’ve babbled on and on about the woes of Lori let’s talk about this parfait.  This came about because I had an extra package of cream cheese that I couldn’t fit into my cream cheese container.  See I’m weird as I don’t buy the small tubs of cream cheese. Instead I buy that bricks and then put them into this covered glass bread pan that stays in the fridge.  I smush them all together and it’s easier for Mr. Fantabulous to get his cream cheese out for his bagels.  You see it would be different if he closed up the bricks after he used it but he doesn’t which means when I go to use it I end up with those crusty edges on it which are utterly useless.

Cheesecake Fresh Berry Parfaits9

Since I had that extra package I set it out on the counter to soften figuring I’d use it in something. A few hours later I was back in the kitchen (when I had a functioning kitchen) and realized I had to use it as it was perfect-for-cheesecake texture however I didn’t want to bake a cheesecake.  For me I actually prefer no bake cheesecake over baked cheesecake as baked seem ‘heavier’ to me in texture.  If I eat cheesecake it has to be super creamy and light. Mr. Fantabulous, being a New Yorker, is baked all the way. But since I was the one making this no bake won out.

Yeah just look at it! I honestly could not have asked for a more prettier and simplistic dessert to make!

Cheesecake Fresh Berry Parfaits2

Normally when I make no bake cheesecake I use sour cream – it adds that ‘zip’ to the mix that cheesecake needs however I had no sour cream BUT I did have Greek yogurt. And honestly nowadays I pretty much use plain greek yogurt interchangeably with sour cream.  It’s healthier, higher protein and it almost always gives the same outcome. Now since I only had vanilla it wasn’t a big deal for me since I was already adding vanilla to the batter. If you only have plain then add a teensy bit more vanilla to your mix.

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When I make my no bake cheesecake I always add a bit of heavy cream to the last bit of mixing as that rounds out the flavor and gives it that truly luscious, creamy texture.  You just want to watch how much you add as you don’t want it to get soupy otherwise it won’t set. Just a few Tbl will do you.

Once it was all done I sat there staring at it, after trying about 14 spoons of it – shush, don’t judge me, it’s my cheesecake anyway.  LOL I had to put it in something.  I could have easily gone with a bowl or even trifle dish but I wanted individual ones.  This way I could span it out for a few desserts and I wouldn’t eat the whole bowl myself.

Cheesecake Fresh Berry Parfaits Collage

Out came these adorable little latte mugs though for this recipe I’m calling them parfait glasses.  Go with it people!  It’s all about improvising, right?!

Now I could have easily gone with just a parfait glass of cheesecake but visually it would have been one note.  Side note, Mr. Fantabulous LOVES it when he is eating something at a restaurant and can say “Honey this dish is very ‘one note’.  I think it needs something.” I love that I’m rubbing off on him.  Anyway, this parfait need some pizazz and a pop of color! Plus anytime I can add stuff to a dish, yeah  me!

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Earlier that morning when I was Sam’s club I had bought the most perfect batch of strawberries ever.  They were huge, fat and super juicy.  Nothing, NOTHING is better than when you bite into a fresh strawberry and the flavors just burst in your mouth – a little sweet, a little tart and uber juicy.  Plus the fact that they had been in my fridge for a few hours meant they were ice cold.  I dunno, there’s just something about ice cold fruit that I love.

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As I started making up the parfait glasses I got the first layer done – cheesecake filling and berries – I stopped for a minute.  They were ‘missing’ something. It needed another ‘color’ to blend it all together.  We had the light and the bright but we needed a grounding color.  And I’m sorry when I think of grounding colors for food immediately I go to chocolate.  Okay wait, who am I kidding? I ALWAYS go to chocolate.  It’s like bacon; it’s my happy place.  If I wanted to go uber fancy schmancy I would have made chocolate curls for this but I was pressed for time annnnnnnnnnnnd okay yes, I was kinda lazy.  Hey I’m being honest.

So out came my favorite mini chocolate chips and away I went.  This is one of those dishes when it came to adding the chocolate, less is more. You want it to be more of an accent flavor rather than overpowering it.

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Another layer of cheesecake, berries and chips and into the fridge they went to chill out.  A few hours goes by and it’s time for me to do the photo shoot of these. Since I don’t have a kitchen (where I normally do my photo shoots) and I didn’t feel like lugging everything in to my bedroom to take the shoot. Plus the thought of saying ‘I did a photo shoot in my bedroom’ makes me think of porn and while I love kitchen porn, I’m not doing that kind of porn.  No, I want to keep you guys in the TKW family, not cause you to go into therapy!  LOL

So out to the pool house I went.  Honestly I can’t believe I never thought of doing photo shoots in there.  The sky lights and all the windows makes for some of the most amazing natural lighting shots!  I’m thinking even once I get my kitchen back in order I may have to do my shoots in the pool house for now.  I mean these photos have barely any editing or filters on them.

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Anyway, as I’m taking the photos I hear the door slide open then shut and Mr. Fantabulous approaching me.  I have my back to him while I’m doing the shoot so he literally has no clue what I’m taking photos of. He knows it’s food but not these babies.  As he approaches he asks when I want to do for dinner and says “How about we go out for… WHAT IS THAT???  OMG what IS that?!   Where are the spoons?  I get one of those now…RIGHT?????

I just smiled from ear to ear and I honestly love his kid-like genuine reaction. The fact that he gets so excited by food now makes my day.  Thankfully I was done with my photos which meant he could eat one of these.  I swear he pretty much carried the camera, tripod, lens, the food, the table and me in one arm back into the kitchen.  The man ran I swear!  He immediately dug his spoon in without batting an eyelash.  Now he did something that he has never done.  You see it normally takes him 2 bites before he’ll comment back on a food.  He literally didn’t even get through the first bite when he started raving about these.  If he could have stuck his tongue all the way in the glass and lick around the inside he would have as that sucker was bone-dry by the time he was done scraping the sides with his spoon.

All he kept saying was “Man that was awesome.  Did you make more? Are you going to finish yours?  That tasted just like chocolate covered strawberry cheesecake!  Damn that was awesome!”

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Go me!  Now go you and make these!  These will be a HUGE hit at your next get together.  Make these for a block party of picnic and watch them get devoured!

Creamy Cheesecake Strawberry Parfaits
Find more fantabulous recipes, tips and tricks at www.thekitchenwhisperer.net. Also, join our TKW Family on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, full fat and room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla greek yogurt
  • 4 Tbl heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip together the cream cheese and greek yogurt until smooth and creamy.
  2. Shut off the mixer and add in the confectioners’ sugar then slowly turn the mixer on gradually mixing until it’s mixed in.
  3. Shut the mixer off and scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer back on to medium and slowly add in the cream and vanilla.
  4. Whip until light and creamy.
  5. Grab 4-6 parfait glasses (mine are 8 ounces) and place 1/4 cup of the mixture on the bottom followed by a few Tbl of chopped strawberries and a sprinkle or two of mini chips.
  6. Evenly divide the rest of the cheesecake batter into the glasses followed by the rest of the strawberries and mini chips.
  7. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

 

2 Responses to “Creamy Cheesecake Strawberry Parfaits”

  • Mary says:

    I am following a Bariatric diet, so I like to add protein powder to almost everything. How much would you suggest adding to this recipe? I would also like to reduce the sugar or substitute Splenda. Any Suggestions?

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Mary! I love adding protein powder so for this go with 1 scoop (vanilla, strawberry, any flavor really). 1 scoop for me is about 1/4 cup give or take. For Splenda add 3/4 cup of splenda with 2 Tbl of cornstarch to a food processor and process til a fine powder. Use as regular confectioner’s sugar!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

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