Archive for June, 2011

I love making trifles.

They are fast, easy and so good. And people will think you have slaved over these babies for hours.

I’m just going to give you a list of ingredients and you can adjust the portions based on how many you want to make.

The cast of characters.


Cut the cake into bite-size pieces and layer in the bottom of your serving dish. I used stemmed goblets because they were pretty, but you can make this in individual bowls or make one great big layered bowl of trifle – use a clear glass bowl for the must stunning presentation.


Top the cake with vanilla pudding. I used instant and for this intent and purpose  it works just fine. And it is fast and easy when you are feeling slug-like.


Top the pudding with berries. I used raspberries and blueberries because I wanted this to look patriotic and festive, but you could use any combination you like.


Layer delicious freshly whipped whip cream on top of the berries. You could use frozen whipped topping, but fresh whipped cream tastes so much better.


Repeat layers and finish with a berry on top.


Patriotic Trifle

pound cake, cut into bite-sized pieces

instant vanilla pudding, made according to package directions


whipped cream

Layer cake, pudding, berries and whipped cream in a pretty serving bowl or individual serving pieces. Repeat layers and top with whipped cream and a berry. Refrain from snitching too much while you are layering and enjoy the looks of awe and joy as your guests dig into this delicious dessert. You can make ahead of time and refrigerate for an hour or two – but don’t make too far in advance because the cake can get soggy.


She Who Loves Trifles


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If you are looking for a dessert that is so simple and effortless it practically makes itself, let me know when you find it.

All kidding aside, this dessert is super fast and easy and delicious so if you aren’t exactly Betty Baker, whip this together then stand back and listen to the ohhs and ahhs as your guests like their plates clean and ask for more!

Start with a pre-made pound cake (I used Sara Lee’s frozen pound cake). Slice into about quarter to half-inch slices – depending on if you want hearty or more delicate slices.

Wash raspberries and stir in a spoon or two of sugar. Set aside and let the sugar work its magic on the raspberries while you rinse the blueberries.

I used freshly whipped cream, but you can also use frozen whipped topping if you aren’t into beating defenseless cream into a frothy pile of deliciousness.

Put the cake in a fun serving bowl or platter. I just picked up this blue beauty (and the little blue bowl) last week at Sur la Table – one of my new favorite stores. I kept wandering around in there so long Captain Cavedweller finally agreed to come back and pick my drooling self up half an hour later. It was a good thing he came when he did or I’m not sure I could have restrained myself from buying approximately 37 more things that I really, really wanted. But I had to have these! Had to!

Use red, white and blue dishes for your berries and whipped cream. It looks fun and festive without being a lot of work!


She Who Really Likes Finding Favorite New Stores!

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The rest of this week, I’ll be posting Fourth of July party tips and ideas. You may even get a recipe or two if you stick around.

Today, I wanted to post a few cute and fun ideas I came across last week in my travels. Please keep in mind Hubby and I were on vacation and I got to go to at least 75 stores which is about 74 more than I usually do a month let alone a week so I don’t remember exactly where I found what.

This was one of the first things I found and had to have. I think I grabbed it at one of those outlet mall kitchen stores. I think. It is silicone and works really slick. I strongly advise against putting it in the dishwasher. Even the top rack warped it. Still makes the mold just fine, but it doesn’t sit flat or straight.

I used juice to make the cubes. That way when added to punch or pop on a hot day, you aren’t diluting the liquid. Freeze fun colors like red juice or blue Kool-Aid for an unexpected patriot pop of color.

You can also use this mold for jello, mints, chocolate  Рall sorts of fun and entertaining items. I was most entertained by the frozen juice stars. They were pretty yummy.

This one is easy – you can get patriotic cupcake papers just about everywhere right now. They are in grocery stores, departments stores, kitchen stores. I think I got these at Wal-mart last year.

The point of all this rambling is do something fun with these besides cupcakes. Arrange them on a serving tray and fill with a patriotic snack mix like Chex Mix with red, white and blue M&Ms. Use them to hold solid berries like blueberries or strawberries. Raspberries can get a little smooshy on you in the heat. Fill them with grapes, nuts, bits of fresh veggies. Put battery-operated tea lights in them and place them around for decorations on your buffet table. Place a Tostito’s scoops chip in each one and fill with cheese, taco-seasoned meat and olives. Put a brownie bite inside and finish with a dollop of whipped cream (use Reddi-Whip in the heat to keep a swirled shape the longest.)

I loved this mini patriotic pinwheels. What I’m going to do with them exactly I don’t know, but the possibilities are so exciting! You could tuck them in a salad or dessert for a fun accent. Put a piece of rectangular florist foam in a long container, cover the top with moss, then poke in stems of red,white and blue flowers and use these little gems for a final accent for your centerpiece. Use them to mark dishes that are extra hot or spicy.

Think outside the box and have fun with your Fourth of July entertaining. You’ll be a savvy entertaining!

She Who Needs to Get Crackin’ on Her Own Fourth of July Buffet Plans

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Miss Molly

Today is my oldest brother’s youngest daughter’s birthday.


My niece Amanda, the one in the photo with her buddy Tuff, is celebrating her birthday today. I will refrain from saying how old she is because she was born 10 years after I was and it is difficult for me to think in terms of numbers that high. Really it is.

I remember the first time I saw her – she was just a few days old and so tiny and beautiful. She quickly became my baby. I spent a lot of time babysitting her in her first few years and was nearly devastated when my brother packed up his family and moved them to the ends of the earth.

Amanda was a live wire from the get go. She was bubbly and vivacious, full of sass and fun. Not much has changed over the years.

I’m not exactly sure when or why I started calling her Miss Molly, but the nickname has stuck all these years. My dad, who also has the unique habit of giving people nicknames dubbed her Samantha Jane and called her that for years and years. I’m not sure that he doesn’t still call her that. How the child grew up to know her name is a wonder.

So as she celebrates her birthday today, I hope she knows her auntie is thinking of her and wishing her every happiness today and always. And remembering the little girl who used to sing “My boyfriend’s back,” who asked for “ointmilk” for breakfast and spent an adventuresome day with me learning the true meaning of “shop til you drop.”

Happy, Happy Birthday, Miss Molly! Hope it is fantastic!

Love you!

Your auntie

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