Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Strawberry Trifle

Feel like a cool, light, refreshing, refridgerated dessert? Yes? Here in Texas we’ve already broke our yearly record of 14 days over 100. It’s not even “summer” yet! I’m afraid what August will bring. So if I can find a way to leave the oven off, you bet I’m doing it. This trifle is so quick and easy, you’ll be showing up with it at every block party from now ’til Labor Day.

PLUS, it’s made with my favorite summertime ingredient. J-E-LL-O! Jello cheesecake pudding to be exact. Did you know they made cheesecake pudding? HELLOOO! I didn’t either! I’m already thinking of 1,001 variations. I see chocolate cheesecake pudding in my future…. ahhhhh, and saving calories. Perfect!

If you feel like skipping all my nonsense, feel free to scroll to the very bottom for the recipe. ~winks.

~ Funny story, I brought this to a party Saturday night after I made it, because as you all know, I can’t KEEP all these sweets in the house; I’d rot my teeth out. So, I brought it to a party and three people asked me just was on that plate? Ham? Pasta Salad? Mashed Potatoes? Ham, people? Really? ~giggles.  Mashed Potatoes? When’s the last time you saw mashed potatoes with almonds sprinkled on top. Sigh.

So, hindsight being 20/20, I know realize I should have made them (and taken my sample photos) in cute single serving dishes, with a strawberry garnish on top. I never think about garnishes! I’m working on it.

Ok, first:

Rinse one quart of strawberries, pat dry, and cover with 3/4 cup sugar. Let them macerate for 2-3 hours. I always wondered just how macerating works – tried to look it up for ya’ll, but I couldn’t find a scientific explanation.



~I’ve recently read recipes where macerating strawberries calls for you to douse them with red wine, and honey. Interesting!

Dice one angel food cake into 1 inch cubes.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Those are huge one inch cubes Katie.” I know.

In a bowl mix macerated strawberries, juice from 1 lemon, 24 oz. of strawberry yogurt, and one small packet of Jello pudding, CHEESECAKE flavored!

Yes that is strawberry yogurt you’re looking at in the 10 o’clock position. It was Greek yogurt, not till I got home did I realize it said “strawberry flavored” and not “fruit at the bottom.”

Still good.
Make it do people, make it do.

Fold together those beautiful ingredients, then adding half a container of Cool Whip.

Nothing says summer like Cool Whip and Jello.



Then begins the kid-friendly help in the kitchen part.

Last year I started a cooking club with my students. I miss that. They would have loved this.

If you’re a proper Southern woman, you’d have your gorgeous trifle bowl out.

If you’re like me, you call a friend and borrow a glass mixing bowl, because yours are dirty.

Begin layering, first with a layer of angel food cubes.

Then a layer of the yogurt mixture.

Then sprinkle with almonds.

Try not to eat them all before you finish your trifle.

Continue layering until….

You’ve reached the top!

Then spread a layer of Cool Whip over the top, and sprinkle with a final *generous* helping of almonds.

Don’t be like me and forget your garnish. Wouldn’t this have been gorgeous with strawberry slices on top?

I know.

Make it do people, make it do.


Delicious! And cool. And no oven required.

Refridgerate for a couple hours.

If your kids sneak in the fridge and gouge holes in the top tasting this Jello surprise before supper, make sure to cover it up with Cool Whip.

All is well in summertime.

Hope ya’ll like it.

~Peace, Love, and Jello Ya’ll!

~ I need to have t-shirts made. ~ he heee.

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Summer Strawberry Trifle


3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 large Angel food cake, or other bready substance
1 qt fresh strawberries
1 lemon
3 (8oz) containers of strawberry yogurt
1 container Cool Whip


First slice your strawberries, covering with 3/4 cup sugar. **Save a couple strawberries for garnish! Allow berries to macerate for 2-3 hours in the fridge. Next cut angel food cake into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.

Juice the lemon, throwing away seeds. In a bowl mix lemon juice, yogurt, pudding mix, and strawberries. Stir well. Fold in half the Cool Whip.

To assemble the trifle, place a layer of cake in the bottom of your trifle bowl. Next layer the strawberry yogurt mixture, then sprinkle lightly with almonds. Repeat until you've filled the bowl! Top with remaining Cool Whip and almonds.

Garnish with a strawberry. Refridgerate and serve!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

‘Nanner Puddin’ Cheesecake

This twist on plain o’ nanner puddin’ will knock your socks off! So rich and decadent with an impressive meringue topping! Don’t let meringue scare you!!!! I’ve got tips! ~Watch the video!

Let’s go!

Now, if you’re still absolutely terrified of meringue, or you’re short on time, or you’re short (tee hee hee), you can always use whipped cream…. or…. cool whip (EEEK. high fructose corn syrup).

On a tangent, I now feel terribly guilty every time I eat cool whip after reading “The Omnivore’s Dillema,” but MAN, it makes a mean jello salad 😀

~Peace, Love, and Nanners Ya’ll!

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'Nanner Puddin' Cheesecake


1 1/2 cup(s) of crushed Nilla wafers
1/4 cup(s) of chopped pecans
1/4 cup(s) of butter, melted
2 large ripe bananas
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp. of brown sugar
3 8 oz. packages of Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup(s) of sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. of coffee liqueur
2 tsp. of vanilla
3 egg whites
6 tbsp. of sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 in springform pan.
Crush wafers and nuts in a food processor. Mix with melted butter and press into the bottom of your springform pan.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
In a small pot, combine diced bananas, brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, just until the sugar melts. Set aside.
Take out your favorite red Kitchen-aid mixer. Combine cream cheese, and sugar until well blended.
Add eggs one at a time. Beat in liqueur and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.
Gently spoon tablespoonfuls of your caramelized banana mixture over your cheesecake filling, and swirl in using a knife.
Bake for 30 minutes, until set.
While baking, prepare your meringue. Using a cold bowl, and cold egg whites, beat your 3 egg whites, 6 T of sugar, and add in cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks.
Gently spoon your meringue over your HOT cheesecake, this cooks the underside of the meringue so it will not weep. Brown the meringue at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

First I have to tell ya’ll, this recipe was featured on the front page of  Tasty Kitchen, a site by The Pioneer Woman! I was so honored!!

If ya’ll are like me, you’re scouring your cookbooks for endless recipes to use up your endless supply of squash. Sound familiar? No? Consider yourself lucky. I LOVE squash, but after having it with nearly every meal the past month, I’m looking for something that doesn’t taste….. like squash.

Enter Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Does it taste like squash? Nope. Great way to fool the kids.

Or not feel so guilty eating a piece of chocolate cake. Two cups of shredded zucchini hiding in here!

A friend gave me this recipe from the Out Here periodical, available (free) at Tractor Supply – check it out.

Let’s start:

Guess what’s missing in this picture? ZUCCHINI! HAAAAAAAAA. I’ll show you that later.


First, cream together softened butter, oil, and sugar. Niiiice and creamy.


Then you’ll add eggs and Mexican vanilla. Don’t have Mexican vanilla? Oh, I’m so sorry. Find a friend to get you some.


You’ll want to stir together your dry ingredients. If you don’t, you’ll end up OVER MIXING (GASP) your cake batter trying to incorporate the cocoa you forgot to add to the flour mixture = dry cake. No bueno.


Next, you’ll slowly add a little bit of dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, stir gently….

And then a little bit of wet ingredients, gently stirring after each addition.


Keep repeating until you the most beautiful, soft, creamy cake batter you’ve seen. Taste test please!

THEN lightly smack yourself on the forehead for realizing you didn’t shred your zucchini yet. Peel your zucchini, and shred two cups, trying (but not too hard) to remove large seeds. No worries if you miss any, it’s extra protein.


Two cups please! Don’t you feel so resourceful? And responsible and nutritious? Give yourself a pat on the back.

Then you’ll gently fold your zucchini into your cake batter.

Folding in means you’ll slowly turn the bowl as you scrape around the edge and fold that into the middle. If you emphatically stir like a crazy woman, your cake will be tough and not fluffy and your kids won’t love you anymore.

Next, flour and grease a 9×13 inch pan. And when I say flour, I mean sugar. Take a paper towel and scoop out a little bit of Crisco. Spread it evenly allll over every nook and cranny of the pan. Sprinkle sugar and shake the pan around, covering all the Crisco. Gives the cake a nice little glisten-y finish, and a little crunch instead of “flour lips.”

FINALLY! Spread your batter evenly in the pan. Sprinkle liberally (husband wants more next time) with chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 36.4 minutes. Cool. Eat. Drink Milk.

If you’d like, you can sprinkle with powdered sugar, make a chocolate glaze, or eat it plain. Or, you can be like me and call it Chocolate Chip Zucchini “Coffee Cake” and eat it for breakfast.


Peace, love, and baking, and I hope ya’ll enjoy my new site!

Feel free to leave a comment or a PICTURE of you with your cake – I WOULD LOVE THAT!!!

~Peace, Love, and Zuccs Ya’ll!

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup sour milk (add 1 T or so of vinegar to milk, let sit 10 min)
2 cups zucchini, peeled, grated, de-seeded
12 oz. choc chips


Cream butter, sugar, and oil.
Stir in eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients, and STIR.
Alternate by adding dry ingredients and soured milk to the butter and sugar mixture.
Fold in zucchini gently.
Grease and sugar coat a 9x13 inch pan. Spread batter evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until it tests done. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, a chocolate glaze, or eat plain.