Not even going to lie. Sometimes, I don’t make everything homemade. Sometimes I just get a quick craving or family is stopping over unexpectedly and I need a dessert ASAP so I do the next best thing to homemade, I improvise and take a shortcut! And you know what??? I am totally okay with doing that! You should be too! Sure homemade is better but putting together a few store bought ingredients and plating them nicely goes a long way too!
I was craving some strawberry shortcake on this very warm (almost) summer day but I really didn’t have time to bake an angel food cake and whip up some homemade whipped cream. So it was Stop and Shop to the rescue!! I grabbed a bakery made angel food cake, a can of extra creamy Reddi-Whip, some fresh strawberries and I made this little jar of yumminess in no time. The only “work” that was needed was to wash, hull, slice, and macerate the strawberries which is just “fancy speak” for letting them soak in sugar (granulated or powdered) until their juices release. After about 20-30 minutes of soaking they will be nice and syrupy, perfect to pour over strawberry shortcake or even an ice cream sundae!
The key with using store bought items is to make them look a little cuter then they do sitting in their plastic containers or bags. If you plate them well before serving everyone will think you’re an awesome little chef and none will be the wiser. I have an insane collection of bowls, platters, plates, and Mason Jars because, well, Mason Jars are AMAZING! I’ve touted their awesomeness before but it bears repeating, Mason Jars are the BEST! Buy them. Buy A LOT of the. Use them for literally everything! For this quick dessert, they were the perfect vessel to layer my shortcake and it looked so much cuter then just dumping everything into a plain bowl.
I roughly tore up some angel food cake, placed it into the Mason Jar, and then smooshed it down with a spoon. Next I put a nice scoop of strawberries in, then whipped cream, and I repeated the layers (smooshing them down in between each addition) until I was at the top of the jar. The only thing left to do after that was to eat! It was really delicious, super easy to make, and satisfied my craving in no time.
So, the moral of the story is this: Don’t be afraid to take shortcuts. It’s okay. We’re all human, we’re all busy, and sometimes we just need fast and easy. Want to make homemade pizza but don’t have time to make the dough? Buy pre-made. Half homemade is better than nothing! Use the carton of store bought stock. Substitute in jar sauce if you really have to, your baked ziti will still be good. Go ahead and buy those store made brownies!………..a little frosting and sprinkles will go a long way to jazzing it up! In the end, it’s about getting good food on the table without a ton of hassle. While we all would love homemade eats all of the time, being creative and using a few shortcuts here and there will still result in a delicious meal or dessert! Trust me, I know this for sure because my shortcut strawberry shortcake was the bomb! LOL