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Whether you’re simply exhausted from a summer full of activities, tired after shopping for back to school supplies, or just plain want to take it easy and be completely lazy, there’s no reason you have to sacrifice a delicious dessert at the end of a meal just because it’s such an effort.

The most obvious and easiest way to enjoy a great dessert is to stop by Nino’s and pick one up. But sometimes the urge comes late, and you’re just NOT going to jump in the car for a late grocery trip.


There are times, however, when you can pre-plan for a quickly made dessert while you’re shopping for groceries, or just keep things in the pantry or fridge that make for those last-minute desserts when the mood strikes. In fact, you may find that you already keep many, if not all, of these ingredients on hand in your kitchen. If so, you’re in luck.

Some of the best, quick dessert ideas come from ingredients in your fridge that you sometimes forget are great dessert components because you don’t normally use them that way.

Cream cheese, for example.

If you buy cream cheese for your bagels, you might not remember that it’s the primary ingredient in nearly all cheesecake recipes and that a no-bake cheesecake is simply cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Thin with some milk, coffee cream, or any dairy product, and you have a pudding-like cheesecake that’s truly yummy. Throw some sliced fresh fruit on top, and no one would ever know you just threw it together at the last moment.

Nutella S’Mores

Many people love Nutella, the chocolate/hazelnut spread. Sandwiched between graham crackers and toasted marshmallows, it’s an amazing quick dessert. If you want to jazz it up, add some toasted sliced almonds.

Warm Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberries

Got a coffee cup? Write this simple recipe on the inside of your pantry cupboard, and it will make a quick dessert in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee! Whisk 1/4 cup flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and a dash of vanilla extract and salt in a large mug until smooth. Microwave until puffed up (about 2 minutes for most microwave ovens). For a “molten” center, push a chocolate kiss or a 1” piece of chocolate candy bar on the center of the dessert before you microwave it. Viola! A liquid center!

Sautéed Fresh Peaches with Rum & Butter

If you have a couple of extra peaches, this simple dessert can be served as is or with vanilla ice cream and graham crackers.

Cut 2 peaches into thick slices, and then sauté them about 4 to 5 minutes with 3 TBSP butter and 2 TBSP sugar. Add a splash of rum and a pinch of cinnamon, and you’ve got a warm peach topping.

Mascarpone Oreo Cookie Fluff

Another rich, creamy cheese is Mascarpone. I’ve shared a fabulous quick dessert recipe for my Tira Misu Crème Dip.

You can also take 1 cup of Mascarpone cheese, thin with ½ cup milk, and add 1/3 cup powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla and up to 1 cup of crushed Oreo cookies for a decadent, flashy fluff.

Great desserts don’t have to be a lot of work. In fact, once you get used to the notion that you can make so many tasty treats from so few ingredients so quickly, you may just get used to the idea that when it comes to time, less can actually be more.

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