Friday, August 1, 2014

Broken Glass Jello

I know I haven't posted much lately; I've been very busy with long term house guests, a birthday party, the garden, animals and getting ready for the upcoming school year!  I will be starting my new teaching position in exactly two weeks and can't believe its time already!  This summer has flown by!
I made this AWESOME jello for Mr. J's birthday party.  I found the recipe from Food Librarian and have been meaning to try it for a long time now.  I'm sure you could even do a version of this with my Peppermint Martini Jello Shots; only for an adult party of course!

I doubled the recipe so we got to pick out 8 flavors of jello instead of 4; and we ended up with two 9 x 13 pans of this fun stuff!  It was great; and the cool thing is that you can use any flavors/colors of jello you like!  

I think it would be really neat to make for Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, St. Patricks day, etc!  The possibilities are endless!  Enjoy!

-4 (3 oz.) boxes of jello, any flavors you like
-4 cups + 1 1/2 cups boiling water
-2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
-1/2 cup cold water
-14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Day 1:
1. Mix each 3 oz. box of jello with 1 cup boiling water.
*Tip: start with the lightest color of jello and work to the darkest; then you don't have to wash or rinse the container between mixing.
2. Pour each jello mixture into its own flat container.
*I used the small Glad plastic containers, which are about 5 1/2 inch square and hold 3 1/8 cups each.
3. Cover containers and refrigerate until firm.  {Do this at least 2 days in advance.}
Day 2:
4. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish for jello by spraying it with non-stick spray {this will help the plastic wrap stay in place}, then place a long sheet of plastic wrap into the pan, press the corners down so the wrap is completely stuck to the pan.
5. Cut each container of jello into "squares", they don't have to be perfect or even straight.
6. Use a spoon or your clean fingers to remove the jello from the containers.  Place all of the jello squares into the prepared 9 x 13 dish.
*Tip: I found that setting each container of jello in a shallow dish of warm water just before cutting and removing helped a lot.
7. Sprinkle both envelopes of unflavored gelatin over the 1/2 cup cold water and allow gelatin to bloom.  Let gelatin bloom for about 5 minutes; this will ensure your jello has a nice smooth texture.
8. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to the gelatin mixture and dissolve completely.
9. Add sweetened condensed milk to the dissolved gelatin and let set until cooled to around room temperature.  
{Don't put it in the fridge to cool it down or it could set up and you'd have a large mass of white jello!}
10. Pour the cooled milk/gelatin mixture evenly over the jello squares.
11. Cover and refrigerate the jello overnight.  

Day 3 or Serving Day:
12. Use the plastic wrap to lift out jello or flip the pan onto a large cutting board.  Cut into squares. 
{You could even cut using fun shaped cookie cutters and treat yourself or the kids to the scrap pieces.}

I'm telling you, its totally worth trying.  My dad doesn't like jello and he really liked this, he said it was kind of like ice cream.  ENJOY! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, July 18, 2014

Roasted Apples & Brussel Sprouts

This is a great recipe; the combination of the savory onions and brussel sprouts with the sweetness of the apples it awesome!  It makes a great side dish for roasted pork or poultry.

I found and adapted this recipe from allrecipes.  Enjoy!

-16 oz. frozen brussel sprouts {I think fresh would be fantastic too!}
-2 apples, peeled, cored and cubed {I actually used 4 apples}
-1 to 2 sweet onions, cubed
-2 tbsp olive oil
-salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
-zest and juice of 1 lemon, optional {I didn't use because I didn't have any at the time}

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Toss onions, apples and frozen brussel sprouts together and arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
4. Toss to coat.
5. Roast veggies in preheated oven about 20 minutes.
6. Toss veggies and roast another 20 minutes until golden brown.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Banana Yeast Bread

We usually end up with just a couple extra bananas no one will eat so I like to either freeze them, make banana bread or banana cake/bars.  

Well, I have gotten bored with basic banana quick bread.  So, I found this recipe from Patty's Food.  Its a keeper!

- 2 tsp yeast
-3 tbsp honey
-3/4 cup warm water
-3 cups flour {you could use 1 cup whole wheat plus 2 cups white}
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tbsp canola oil or other vegetable oil
-2 ripe bananas, broken into pieces

1. Place water, honey, salt, cinnamon, oil and bananas into breadmaker pan.
2. Top with flour and yeast.
3. Set breadmaker to the dough setting and allow cycle to run, check on dough throughout the first 30 minutes.  If the dough is too liquidy like the picture below add more flour.
4. Once cycle is completed, remove dough, form into a loaf and place in a grease loaf pan.  Allow to rise about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake bread for 35-45 minutes.
6. Enjoy!  

*This banana bread makes fantastic toast and french toast!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Homemade Taco Sauce

I adapted this recipe from; its a great one and it really tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff.

A single recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups.

-8 oz. tomato sauce OR 1/4 cup tomato paste + 1/4 cup water + 1/8 tsp salt OR 16 oz. crushed tomatoes
-1/3 cup water {omit if using crushed tomatoes}
-1/4 tsp chili pepper
-1 1/2 tsp cumin
-1 1/2 tsp dry minced onion
-1 tbsp white vinegar
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp sugar
-1/4 tsp cayenne

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. I used crushed tomatoes I canned from last summer's garden; so I ran the sauce through the food processor.
4. Cool and place in an airtight container and use or refrigerate for up to 1 week {or freeze and thaw as needed}.

If you have any extras, it would be great mixed in taco meat, pasta sauce, used as pizza sauce or in a mexican style soup!  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake

Someone posted this recipe on facebook, it was one of their grandmothers recipes; so of course I had to try it!  And it is an awesome recipe!

Ingredients for Cake:
-1 1/4 cups boiling water
-1 cup oatmeal
-1/2 cup shortening or butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp cinnamon
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 eggs
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp nutmeg

Ingredients for Caramel Frosting or Glaze:
-1 1/2 cups brown sugar
-2 tbsp butter
-3/4 cup milk or cream
-1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Pour boiling water over oatmeal, cover with a towel or a plate and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
2. In the meantime, beat shortening/butter with sugar until fluffy.
3. Add vanilla, eggs and baking soda, beat well.
4. Beat in salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
5. Beat in brown sugar.
6. Add soaked oatmeal and flour, mix well.
7. Pour batter into two 8 or 9 inch  greased cake pans or one 9 x 13 greased baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.
8. Cool at least 30 minutes or completely before cutting.

Prepare Frosting or Glaze:
1. Cook sugar and milk/cream until it reaches 235 degrees.
2. Add vanilla and butter.
*for glaze: serve at this point

For Frosting:
1. Cool completely and beat until it reaches spreading consistency.


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Monday, June 23, 2014

Excellent Sweet Coleslaw

This is the BEST basic coleslaw recipe!  Its very easy to make and is always a huge hit.  I found this recipe on allrecipes.

-16 oz. bag coleslaw mix {or the equivalent in thinly sliced cabbage and carrots}
- 2 tbsp diced onion {we like red onion and I usually add more than 2 tbsp}
-2/3 cups miracle whip
-3 tbsp vegetable oil 
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 tbsp vinegar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp poppy seeds

1. Combine coleslaw mix and onion in a large bowl.
2. Mix together miracle whip, oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and poppy seeds.
 3. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture, toss well to coat.
4. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
*Sometimes I will just put everything in a bowl together and mix it all at once.
*Its also easy to mix the dressing ingredients in the large bowl then add the onion and coleslaw.
*I don't always allow 2 hours for chilling and its still great!


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