"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
February 12, 2014
Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries
by Melanie Gunnell

Valentine's Day is a family affair around these parts. Long gone are the days of Brian and me gazing into each other's eyes over a romantic dinner in a secluded booth at a five-star restaurant. Wait a second, did that ever happen? I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened in the history of ever. Maybe in 20 years, but for now Valentine's Day is a family holiday and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Along with our annual Valentine's Day scavenger hunt (not food related), we do a candlelight dinner. My four boys go crazy over this tradition. Just last night, I overheard my 8-year old say to his younger brother in a voice that could barely contain his excitement, "Only a few more days before we get to eat dinner in the dark!" Clearly I need to get candles that produce a bit more flame.

Here I thought I was teaching my boys the niceties of fine dining, and all along, they've just been ecstatic to eat dinner in a situation that approximates cavelike dwelling.

Over the years, I've served a fancy meal, an everything-heart-shaped meal, and an all pink or red meal (that one was a bit scary). This year, I have a few new ideas up my sleeve. First up are these delightful cheesecake-stuffed strawberries. After tasting them, the only coherent thought I could muster was, "Where have these been all my life?"

Not only are they a cinch to prepare, but they also taste absolutely amazing. It's like a heavenly bite of strawberry cheesecake with the emphasis on the strawberry, which is just fine with me. They look much more elegant than the preparation requires.

I don't know if I'll serve these as a sweet side dish or as a dessert option, but either way, come February 14th, they'll be on our table and I kinda sorta think they should be on yours, too.

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen strawberries

Ingredients

  • 24 medium to large strawberries
  • 8 ounce light cream cheese
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions

1. Remove the tops of all the strawberries and cut out a cone shape from inside the middle of each strawberry with a paring knife, making a little well to be filled with cream cheese mixture.

2. Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Fill a ziploc bag with the cream cheese mixture (filling it into one of the corners). Twist the top of the bag and snip the corner of the bag with the filling.

3. Squeeze filling into each strawberry and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve (no more than 3-4 hours is best).

Recipe Source: inspired by many recipes online including The Girl Who Ate Everything


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About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/

Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

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