Posts tagged ‘jello’

Key Lime Pie

Here’s a delicious summer dessert.  Is it as good as the pies you can find in Key West? No. But it was a hit at Jellopalooza 2, scoring 3.7 on a scale of 1-5. The jello gives the pie a smooth consistency, and the condensed milk cuts the tartness with some sweetness.  It didn’t turn out too pretty because I had covered it with foil while it chilled, and some of the pie ended up sticking to the foil.

Here’s the recipe.

1 package (3 oz.) lime jello
1 cup boiling water
1-2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1/2 cup lime juice
1 egg yolk, well beaten
1 1/3 cups (14 oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon aromatic bitters
1 egg white
few drops green food coloring (optional)
1 baked 9-inch pie shell, cooled

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lime rind and juice. Pour slowly into beaten egg yolk, stirring constantly. Add condensed milk and bitters. Chill until slightly thickened.

Beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold into gelatin mixture. Add food coloring. Pour into pie shell. Chill until firm – about 3 hours. Garnish with lime slices or Cool Whip, if desired.

Some comments from my guests, who had mixed opinions…

“Awesome! It’s the best one! Yum! Perfect balance of ingredients.” – Sara

“Good crust. Okay filling” – Ivanna

“Creamy and dense” – Larisa

“Generically sweet, too one-dimensional” – Christopher

“Good, but then an odd taste – is it the bitters?” – Shelby

This was the favorite dish of the party for 1-year-old Blake. Check out his cute lil’ puckered face as he enjoys the Key Lime Pie.

This was my first time using bitters in a jello recipe, but it seems that bitters are a common ingredient of Caribbean recipes like Key Lime Pie.   I had previously only associated bitters with cocktails. Hmm, maybe I should mix some bitters into my next batch of jello shots.

Here’s Jimmy Buffett’s recipe for Key Lime Pie (sans bitters).

April 11, 2011 at 12:11 am 2 comments

Jellied Fresh Vegetable Salad

Hmm, did 70’s parents think their kids might be more willing to eat fresh veggies if the veggies were encased in jello? If so, I think they were wrong. This was a foul concoction. It has the distinction of earning the lowest score at Jellopalooza 2: 1.4 out of 5. Yes, even Molded Ham and Egg Salad did better at 1.5.

I guess as a consolation, I can point out the dish is mostly healthy, if you overlook the sugary jello component. I took lemon jello, added bouillon, vinegar, salt and pepper, and sour cream. The vegetables in the mold were celery, radishes, cucumber, scallions, and green pepper strips.  The jello mold had a sickly cream color, probably due to the sour cream. It looks deceptively like pudding. Per the book’s suggestion, I garnished with lettuce. I did not serve it with French dressing – another suggestion of the book. It seems odd to me to put salad dressing on top of jello. And French dressing could not have saved this dish.

My guests were united in revulsion.

“This is absolutely terrible. I thought Ham and Egg was the worst…but no” – Sara
“Not horrible, still wouldn’t want it” – Brian
“Salty jello. Least favorite of the savory” – Ivanna
“Not my favorite, but a pretty cream color – cool presentation” – Larisa
“Salt doesn’t go well with it.” – Dave

Maybe I was too heavy-handed with the salt, but I don’t really think anything could save this jello mold.  A plain old salad may be dull, but it’s definitely preferable to salad vegetables in jello. If you wonder why my progress on getting through this cookbook is slow, it’s due to recipes like this one.

April 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm 1 comment

Richelieu Mold

Here’s another winner from the “Centerpiece Desserts” chapter – a jello mold fit for a Cardinal! And this one actually required some investigative reporting.  There’s a whole lot of flavor and richness in this jello mold, plus it was simple to make.

Here’s the recipe:

1 can (16 oz.) pitted dark sweet cherries
1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O, any red flavor
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup diced orange sections, well-drained
1 cup Cool Whip, or prepared Dream Whip
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds

Drain cherries and reserve 3/4 cup of the syrup. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add reserved syrup and orange juice. Chill until thickened. Fold in cherries and oranges. Pour into a 4 cup mold or individual molds. Child until firm – 4 hours or overnight. Combine whipped topping and toasted almonds. Unmold gelatin. Serve with topping. Makes 3 1/2 cups or 6 servings.

My jello-fan-friend Christopher thought this one was especially good, and Dave enjoyed it too. I liked it too. I used strawberry jello. I think raspberry would have maybe added even more kick. Cherry jello would seem redundant.  The Cool Whip and almonds made a tasty garnish and cut some of the richness of the dark cherries.

I wasn’t really sure what the name meant. I googled for other recipes involving the name Richelieu, and there’s a wide variety, but I couldn’t find anything in common with this jello mold.  I guessed it was named for Cardinal Richelieu, a French nobleman of the 17th Century, thought of as a the first prime minister (and also a character in The Three Musketeers).  Richelieu was a lover of the arts, culture, and fine cuisine and is credited with introducing the eggplant to French cuisine. Thank goodness there is no eggplant in this jello mold. The Cardinal seems to have lived very large. On drinking, he said, “If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good?”  So I figured maybe the cookbook writer thought this decadent jello mold suited the Cardinal, plus it’s red like his robes.

Call me Columbo.  I don’t give up easily, and the Cardinal Richelieu connection to jello seemed tenuous at best. Everyone knows jello is more associated with Mormons than Catholics. Further investigation revealed a very simple answer. There’s a company named Richelieu Foods. One of their products is canned cherries. You can even buy the Richelieu brand cherries on Amazon.  Sigh…oh well, at least I learned some stuff about Cardinal Richelieu.

 

April 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm 1 comment

Long Island Iced Tea and Lascivious Jello Shots

I made 4 new Jello Shots for Jellopalooza.  It’s my hope they will make the meat and fish jello go down easier, but I don’t think my guests tend to overindulge in the jello shots enough to achieve that effect. I’ll describe them in the order they were ranked.

French Tickler

3 oz orange jello
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup cinnamon schnapps
1/4 cup vodka

This one was awesome and scored 4.3 on a scale of 1-5.  The Hot Damn! schnapps went well with the orange jello. It even smelled like cinnamon.  Ivanna wrote, “Nice and refreshing.” Larisa wrote, “super yummy for the holidays!” I would definitely make it again.

Midnight Affair

3 oz black cherry jello
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup amaretto

This one was also very good, scoring a 4.  Black Cherry jello can sometimes be hard to find, so when I see it at the store, I usually buy a few. It also is used to make fabulous Coke Salad! Anyway, amaretto makes for a smooth and tasty shot, combined with the black cherry jello flavor.

Sour Apple

3 oz lime jello
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup apple pucker

This one scored 3.1.  It tasted a little antiseptic. Dave called it “mentholish.” Ron thought it tasted like “lime jello with a hint of now or later sour apple candy. not good.” Larisa, on the other hand, enjoyed it because it tasted like “a apple jolly rancher.” Perhaps more apple pucker, less vodka would help the flavor.

Long Island Iced Tea

6 oz pkg lemon jello
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cola
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup gin
1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup tequila

This one only scored 2.6. Not surprisingly, it tasted very boozy, which was a turn off for my guests who prefer the sweeter shots. Ivanna wrote “just tastes like alcohol. period.” Shelby, however, gave it a 5 because it was “yummy and strong.” Larisa thought it would be “good for a big sorority party.” Maybe increasing the cola would help, but then again, I’m not sure something named after Long Island Iced Tea should be watered down. If you like it hard, this one’s for you. Ram it down!

The standard mixing directions apply if you want to try these shots.  Mix jello with hot water until dissolved. Add cold water and stir. Let sit for a couple minutes, then add booze. Stir and pour into jello shot containers. 3 oz of jello will yield 8-10 shots.

All these recipes and tons more can be found in Your Complete Guide to Jello Shots by Aaron Wright.

You can buy jello shot containers at Party City.

January 10, 2011 at 12:51 am 1 comment

Under the Sea Pear Salad

I had high hopes for this one, but it was disappointing.  I love pears, and I love jello and cream cheese combinations. But somehow, this one didn’t quite deliver. I don’t think the ginger really went well with the pears, and the ginger flavor was too dominant even though I only used the requested 1/8 teaspoon.

The recipe called for canned pear halves, lime jello, salt, lemon juice, cream cheese, and ginger.  There’s a layer with cream cheese in the mix, and a layer without, so the dish has a pretty appearance.  For some reason the recipe recommends serving with mayonnaise. Mayonnaise? I didn’t do this. I have to draw the line somewhere. Maybe that is why the dish didn’t do well? Would mayo have actually improved it? Mayo, ginger, and pears? Blech.

I’m guessing they added the mayo because this recipe is in the “Salads that Make the Meal” chapter. Every other recipe in that chapter involves veggies, meat or fish (or all of the above).  So I’m not really sure why this fruit dish is thrown in there. Maybe the mayonnaise addendum was a last minute thought to help the recipe fit into this chapter.

Guests scored this a 2.6 on a scale of 1-5. Perhaps it would have been more appealing if I hadn’t made it in the brain mold?

Some guest comments…

“No…just no” – Sara

“Odd flavor” – Brian

“Baby food?” – Ivanna

“Pretty presentation” – Larisa

“Pear is a nice presence but the ginger is overwhelming.” – Christopher

January 9, 2011 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Strawberries Romanoff

I’ve still got a bunch of recipes from my November Jellopalooza 2 event that I haven’t written up, so it’s time to catch up.

Strawberries Romanoff was the 2nd most successful dish of the day, scoring 3.9 on a scale of 1 – 5.  Clearly the writer of The New Joys of Jell-O was impressed with this dish, since he or she chose to put a photo of it as a chapter heading. It’s probably my favorite photo in the book. A couple are about to walk into a house. Clearly they are guests at a dinner party, although we cannot see the hostess. The gal carries Strawberries Romanoff in a large glass bowl, and she has coordinated her outfit to match the jello.  The couple smiles and seems to be saying, “Hello hostess, we’ve brought jello! But not just any jello – Strawberries Romanoff!”  And thus begins the chapter entitled “Bring on the Super Desserts.”  Super Desserts? Oh, they’ve already been broughten.

The recipes involves strawberries, sugar, strawberry jello, brandy, Cointreau, and cool whip.  You make a layer with the cool whip and a layer without, so the dish has a pretty layered appearance.  You serve it from the bowl without unmolding it, according to the instructions. Because of the high volume of jello dishes I made for the party, I was running out of large bowls, so I made it in my flag mold and did unmold it, so mine didn’t turn out so pretty.  I thought the berry and booze combination worked, but some guests felt it was too boozy.

Some guest comments…

“Tastes like alcohol and berries” – Dave

“The foam is nice and sweet.” – Ivanna

“Straightfoward, but satisfying” – Christopher

“Tasty” – Larisa

I would make Strawberries Romanoff again. And if I brought it to a dinner party, I would be sure to wear red.

If you want a more traditional non-jello version of Strawberries Romanoff, here’s Emeril’s recipe.

January 9, 2011 at 7:40 am Leave a comment

Jellied Holiday Nog and Eggnog Martinis

It’s not a cool yule without eggnog.  But eggnog and jello? Does it work? Yeah, actually it’s not bad. It’s better than it looks in these iphone pics, I swear.

I made Jellied Holiday Nog for a dinner party.  The recipe involves lemon jello, jello vanilla pudding, sugar, dream whip, rum extract, vanilla and nutmeg. It turned out to have a pudding consistency. I didn’t try to keep it in a mold but let it run free.  It made a nice sidecar to the delicious layer cake made by HungryKat. I think if I made it again I’d put real rum in it, and more than a dash.  Even though the recipe involved no actual eggnog, it did taste noggy, due to the rum extract, vanilla, and nutmeg.  Jello magic!

My favorite seasonal eggnog recipe is for an Eggnog Martini.  I got this recipe out of Sauce Magazine. If you happen to have any eggnog left in your fridge from the holidays, try this out.

1.5 oz vodka
1.5 oz amaretto
3 oz eggnog
Splash of cinnamon schnapps
Sprinkle of nutmeg

Chill the first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Enjoy!

January 7, 2011 at 7:44 am Leave a comment

Mmmmm brains!

Happy Jelloween, everybody!

My friend Mary gave me this awesome brain jello mold for my birthday, so I decided Halloween was the day to break it in.  I had planned to make this for the Googleween party at the office, but last minute preparations for my Android costume and the Witches Brew punch kept me too busy to get ‘er done.

I found this brain jello recipe online and thought it sounded good. There were some recipes that tried to achieve the gray  or tan color of actual brains, or a pink color, but I like the green brain idea. It’s more festive and more appealing to actually eat. I did make my Witches Brew punch a very sludgy gray color, thanks to the Blavod black vodka, but I don’t think one should serve too many gray items at a Halloween party. You can find the punch recipe and other Blavod recipes here.

I made the recipe as directed, however I substituted Hansen’s Kiwi Strawberry soda for lemon-lime soda, since I happened to have it on hand.  I sprayed the mold with Pam, and I must have soaked it pretty good, because the brain slid perfectly from the mold without me even having to put it in hot water. The ingredients are lime jello, walnuts, cream cheese, and boiling and cold water. Follow the link above for the full recipe.

This was really simple to make, took probably 15 minutes total, plus 3 hours to set.  The nuts and some of the cream cheese settled to the bottom to make a sort of crust that gave an accent to the flavor. I’m not a huge fan of lime jello in general, but this is definitely a fun jello mold that I would hope to bring to a future Halloween party, or the next time I invite some zombies to dinner.

October 31, 2010 at 11:19 pm 1 comment

Lemon Chiffon Pie

I made this Lemon Chiffon Pie for my a going away party for my friends Mary and John.  It was a hit!  Sadly, I lost the photo I took of the actual pie, so I’m substituting a similar, though somewhat better looking, pic to give you an idea of how the pie looks.

To make this pie, I combined egg yolks, water, sugar, lemon jello, lemon rind, and lemon juice.  The challenging part for me was that I then had to beat egg whites until foamy, and then gradually beat in more sugar. It was then supposed to “stand in stiff peaks.”  I felt like I was mixing it forever but it was still somewhat flaccid.  Gradually, it approached the stiff peak consistency. I then folded in the gelatin mixture, blended it some more, let it chill and then poured it into the pie shell.

It came out tasting very much like a typical lemon meringue pie.  You wouldnt even realize there was jello involved unless someone admitted it. At the party, kids and adults alike enjoyed the pie.  John had some the next day and declared it my best jello dish yet (of course, he can compare it to some of the monstrosities of Jellopalooza like Salmon Dill Mousse, so there was nowhere to go but up).

Even though the beating was tiresome, I would definitely make this again. Maybe I need one of those fancy kitchenaid mixers? This is a great dessert for a summer picnic – delightfully refreshing.

October 18, 2010 at 6:05 am 2 comments

Double Strawberry Dessert

This was another easy one from the simple beginning chapter of the book.  I mixed strawberry jello, strawberry jelly, and salt in boiling water.  I then measured out 1/2 cup of the mixture and blended in sour cream and let it chill.  Meanwhile I added frozen strawberries to the rest of the jello mixture.  I had to let that chill for 3 hours or so until it was firm. I then spooned it into serving glasses. I beat the sour cream mixture and poured it on top.

I probably should have beaten it a bit longer as it turned out looking a little cottage cheesy rather than smooth like the photo in the cookbook.  Why do things never turn out like the photos in the cookbook? Still, it was tasty, kinda reminiscent of strawberry yogurt with the fruit on the bottom.  It’s nothing particularly exciting, but a nice simple dessert.

I think this recipe probably should have been named Triple Strawberry Dessert for its use of strawberry jello, strawberry jelly, and strawberries; however the recipe just calls for “jelly, any red flavor” so I guess that’s why they didn’t want to make assumptions and stopped with the Double Strawberry moniker.

It’s been trendy in the event business to serve mashed potatoes in martini glasses as part of a mashed potato bar.  So I’m hoping that these catering companies will soon start serving jello the same way, after they see my presentation here.

October 18, 2010 at 5:17 am 1 comment

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