Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cool off with Jell-O

One hot afternoon last week, while discussing what to eat for supper, my daughter made the comment that she wished we could have something cool to eat.

I know the feeling and find myself planning more and more meals that involve sandwiches, green salads and pasta salads. I’ve also been known to make a number of Jell-O salads this time of year as a side dish to whatever we are eating.

I have several favorites.

Sometimes I mix up a batch of orange Jello-O, using the juice from a can of pear halves as part of the 1 cup of cool liquid called for in the instructions. (There’s not enough liquid for the entire cup, so I use water to reach the one-cup measure.) Pour the mix into a square baking pan and add the pear halves, cut side up, and place a cherry inside the indention before placing in the refrigerator. The same salad is also delicious using sliced pineapple instead of pears.

But the one I’ve made most is the one I remember from my childhood. It’s a salad I ate at my paternal grandmother’s house, and I associate it with her, although I imagine one of my aunts made it. It’s simple enough and so good. Mix a small box of Jell-O (my favorites for this recipe are orange and cherry) as instructed on the box, using juice from a can of fruit cocktail as part of the cool liquid. Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish and mix in the can of fruit cocktail and some chopped pecans if desired. Place in refrigerator to congeal. I love having this salad on a hot summer day as a side dish with a sandwich. It cools me off and is so good.

When strawberries and blueberries are in season, I often made cherry Jell-O parfaits. I mix the Jell-O as instructed on the box and divide it between four parfait dishes. After the Jello-O has set in the refrigerator I layer the fruit with whipped topping for a cool and easy dessert. We all love it at my house.

I made a new version of this treat last week using a recipe from the Jello-O website, www.kraftfoods.com/jello/. Fast Fruity Delight is a simple recipe for an easy hot-weather dessert. I love trying new techniques, and I was eager to mix the frozen strawberries I used into the Jello-mixture and watch the dessert as it quickly congealed. This four-ingredient treat would be a fun recipe to make with children.

There are so many Jell-O recipes on the Web site. Give them a try this summer.

Fast Fruity Delight
  • 3 oz. package Jell-O gelatin (choose flavor based on your fruit)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, tropical fruit blend, blueberries, etc.)
  • 1 cup whipped topping
Add boiling water to 1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O gelatin in large bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved.

Stir in 2 cups frozen fruit until gelatin starts to thicken. Add 1/2 cup gelatin mixture to whipped topping and stir with whisk until blended. Spoon into four dessert cups; cover with remaining gelatin mixture.

Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or until firm.


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