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Posts from the ‘Other Treats’ Category

Pumpkin Bread in Disguise

I know that the more appropriate time to post a recipe for pumpkin bread would be in the fall, but the last time I mentioned pumpkin bread on this blog it was April, so I’m getting closer to the mark! You might also be thinking that what you see in the photo doesn’t look like “bread” but it is! It’s the wonderful kind of bread that allows you to live in denial about actually eating cake. I decided to embrace the “cake-ness” though and turn the recipe into cupcakes. With generous dollops of cream cheese frosting they were delicious!

I got this recipe from my dear friend Kelly the last time we lived at West Point. I love having a box full of recipe cards hand-written by old friends. I remember everyone I get a recipe from but it’s even better when they write it out themselves.

Start with the water, eggs, oil and pumpkin.

Add the sugar….

…and mix again.

Assemble the spices.

Dump in the dry ingredients and mix again.

Fill the cupcake papers half-way. (This batter tastes wonderful by the way.)

Bake the cupcakes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 19 minutes.

I had some scrumptious left-over cream cheese frosting from a recipe that my new friend Lisa C. gave me this fall. She makes delicious cupcakes, so you can expect to hear her credited again on this blog! I doubled the frosting recipe the first time I made it and I obviously shouldn’t have. However, that tub of excess frosting generated the bolt of inspiration to turn pumpkin bread into cupcakes, so it was a fortuitous mistake!

Lisa C.’s Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup butter
16 oz cream cheese
3 1/2 cup of powder sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tablespoon of vanilla (I left this out because I’m just not a fan of vanilla in most recipes.)
1/2 tsp of salt

The recipe makes a lot. I usually get three loaves of bread. This time, I got 24 cupcakes and….

…had enough batter left over to make one loaf. The bread needs to bake for 50 minutes to an hour at 350, until a toothpick comes out clean.

My new position on baking with pumpkin is that the season should be extended until at least May, so go raise the eyebrows of the grocery clerk with a can of pumpkin next time you check out!

Grandma Quantz’s Coffee Cake

This is the coffee cake that I grew up with. My mother’s mother got the recipe from her mother-in-law, my Great Grandmother Quantz. Here it is in my mom’s calligraphy, written in 1991 for a clueless bride.

I told my mom I was going to post this and she sent me a couple of photos taken of Grandma Quantz in the Rosalia, Washington farm house where Aunt Ruth Mary and Uncle Dave have lived throughout my lifetime. I don’t remember her very well, but I do recall thinking she was very dignified.

The kitchen has been remodeled but mom says that this is how she remembers it as a child. Maybe someone in the family can tell me who the man at the sink is, and I would like to know who made the lovely birthday cake in the picture. I’m guessing: Aunt Ruth Mary?

Here’s my rendition of this family hand-me-down recipe.

Start by making what will be the delicious crumble topping out of sugar, butter and cinnamon.

Pull out one cup to actually use as the topping and the rest will be left to go in the batter.

Odd process, but I just follow the directions. This is family tradition, not efficiency in the works.

I go with the wet ingredients next.

Then added the dry.

Stir into a nice batter.

I always taste some…and think of my mother groaning over the raw eggs…family bonding.

Pour into a 9×13 pan.

Spread it around,

Sprinkle on the reserved topping. The crumbles are the only part of the recipe that I actually remember from childhood.

The cake is fine, but I get pretty focused on those little baked chunks of butter and sugar that drop into its depths! They melt in your mouth like little candies and when I was a kid I used to sneak back into the kitchen and pick them out of the leftover pieces to whatever extent I could without arousing suspicion of rodents afoot.

It’s not the coffee cake I usually make these days, but it’s a yummy way to start the morning, especially when Ric makes me a nice mocha to go with it.

Wishing you many family joys this Holiday Season!



Mimi Mac’s Peach Cobbler

Tonight I had peach cobbler for the third time in a week.

That’s because, last week was spent with my in-laws in Thomaston, Georgia, where the hospitality and the peaches are in a league of their own. My father-in-law is a pillar of the community in his own right, but he also descends from a dignified line of peach farmers from that area. The family peach business is a thing of the past, but he grew up knowing peaches. On Saturday he and his brother drove to a nearby town (Woodbury) to track down what they considered a suitable box for me to take back to my brother’s house in Virginia the next day. They said the fruit would be ripe when I arrived and they were right. They are perfect right now and I’ve eaten so many that my mouth is sore.

This is the box they hand selected for me. Aren’t they beautiful?

During our visit, Charlotte (known to my children as Mimi) made two cobblers. She got going so fast on the first one that I missed getting any pictures of it. But I was on my toes for the second one, which included a few blueberries from Barney’s brother’s bushes. The recipe is from her mother, my husband’s maternal grandmother, who was a sweet and spicy little slip of a lady called “Mimi Mac” by her grandchildren.

She apparently made a mean cobbler. You can tell when a recipe card looks like this, that it’s pretty good.

Here’s the Ariel font version of Mimi Mac’s Cobbler

1 stick of margarine (butter)

1 cup self rising flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup “milk” 2 cups fruit

1 TBSP lemon juice

Prepare and sweeten your chosen fruit, then toss it in the lemon juice.

Peaches don’t stand a chance against a knife that size!

Melt the butter in a baking dish

While it’s melting combine the sugar and flour.

Then measure the “milk”. Now, does this next picture look like a picture of “milk” to you?

My dear mother in-law translates “milk” in his recipe as ½ cup of heavy cream and ½ cup of whole milk but even when asked, she still calls it “milk”. I told her that people might call that “half-n-half” but she shrugs and twists her hand in the air in this cute little gesture that she alone can pull off which roughly means “Oh, well!” She is so sweet! She will be downright adorable if she ever gets old but she’s in better shape than most people I know so she can just have her cream keep looking 20 years younger than she is.

Add the “milk” to the flour and sugar mixture.

And, whisk until smooth.

Let the baking dish with the melted butter cool slightly. Then pour the batter over the top. Do not stir it together with the butter. NO STIRING allowed! (Make sure your grandson understands!)

Drop the fruit evenly over the batter. Still, NO stirring.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Give it a few minutes to cool…then dig in.

I must say, that left to my own devices, the dish would have been twice as big and I would have had a big wallop of extra creamy vanilla ice cream on top, but Mimi looks as good as she does for a reason. Moderation is her mantra. So, I behaved with decorum and took an overnight break before I ate what was left in the pan for breakfast. I ran first though, so… Anyway, doesn’t this look delicious?

If you’re keeping track, you realize there’s a missing cobbler, which brings me to tonight. I am now at my brother’s house where I used most of that big beautiful box of peaches to bake another cobbler. This one was a different style though. Mimi Mac’s is probably more of a true cobbler – sort of a cross between a cake and a sweet sticky biscuit that rises up around the fruit. On the other hand, the one I made tonight called for the peaches to be treated more like a pie filling and had a crispy crumbly crust on the top. I think it was probably more of a “crisp”. Whatever it was, I’m thankful that with 8 kids in the house there’s just enough left for my breakfast.

Which style do I like better?


Variety is the spice of life.

Thank you again, Charlotte and Barney, for a lovely visit, for spoiling me once again in your relaxing home, and for the wonderful peaches.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

My mother made Strawberry Rhubarb Pie a few weeks ago and made the mistake of mentioning it to me on the phone. What she forgot was that my Dad would be driving to Pullman two days later. I spent those 48 hours campaigning for her to send “a piece” to me and reminding him. Really, I meant for her to send about half the pie but she sent me exactly one piece. I snuck it into the office and ate it all by myself without offering to share any with my family. So, maybe I shouldn’t be judging mom’s sharing technique especially after she went to all the trouble to make it again for our last night in Eastern Washington.

I had just left Ric alone with the movers after a dresser being driven across the lawn on a dolly started losing all of its drawers into the grass. It’s just best for me not to watch some things, so I went up to Spokane where the boys were already staying with my parents. I got there just in time for the pie making, so I got out my camera. She was actually making three pies. In my economy they were to be divided thus: one for me, one for everyone else and one for the neighbor who gave her the rhubarb.

She had already started chopping the rhubarb by the time I set down my purse. I liked the color of this batch and it packed a healthy rhubarb sizzle in every bite.

She also had the crumb topping ready, but I had her pose with the pastry mixer anyway.

She let me slice the strawberries.

But, Mom took care of the crust. She is much better at shaping the edge than I am…so are most people.

Then, she added the flour and checked in with the aged cookbook she got for a wedding gift from her grandmother, (my Great Grandma Quantz). She doesn’t really follow the recipe as much as she thinks she does though. I guess it just jogs her memory. The recipe at the bottom of the post is how she actually makes the pie.

Here is the cookbook dated from the late 60s. It calls for “Regular Gold Medal Flour or Wondra” in most recipes. What is Wondra, I wondra-d?

After the cookbook consultation, we dumped in the pretty strawberries.

…and mixed the filling together gently.

I really like the old pastry mixer that I grew up with, which is why I stuffed it in my suitcase and left for the East Coast with it. (Just joking, Mom. Don’t get up and look!)

The filling is put into the crusts looking like a bunch of freshly sugared fruit. It was very pretty and I was surprised that was all there was to the process. I thought there would be a sauce involved for some reason. It certainly comes out of the oven differently than it goes in.

The crumb topping is Mom’s twist on the pie and I like it.

She puts a pan under each pan for the oven because there is a tendency to drip.

She also makes aluminum foil collars to keep the edges of the crusts from overbrowning.

Three strips of foil folded together into one long strip and then turned into a loop and pressed around the edges. I have visions of cutting my fingers on the foil just thinking about this process, but it really does help on pies that have to bake for a long time.

Here is one of the pies, with its collar off, showing us why she put the pan under the pan. See how clean my Mom’s oven is? No rhubarb drips allowed! (Notice you never see pictures of my oven, because I do things like drop pesto pizza into the hinge!)

Here is my pie. It was yummy. I ended up sharing – which was Mom’s plan all along but Oh, My! It was delicious.

I was so intent on the zingy goodness that I almost forgot I meant to post this culinary experience. So, final photo has a few bites missing from the side.

Here’s the recipe for one pie:


1 ½ cups sugar

1/3 cup flour

2 cups rhubarb

2 cups strawberries

Crumbled Topping

¾ cup flour

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Any single crust recipe or pre-made will do

Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes until filling is bubbly.  Let it cool and set before attempting to slice.

Thanks for the pie, Mom!

Cougar Graduation Cap Cupcakes

For the last three years we’ve coordinated the university ministry for our church and when it’s graduation time we have an open house with cupcakes for our grads. Washington State’s colors are “Crimson and Gray” so red velvet cake with gray cream cheese frosting works beautifully. The caps are made of little cookies with frosting tassels perched on a dollop of black frosting.

Notice how I’ve managed to work cookies into a cupcake design! Here’s how they’re made:

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter (cold – straight from the fridge)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Wilton food coloring in your choice of color
About 1 TBSP water

Cut the butter into cubes and drop them into the food processor with the flour and pinch of salt.

Process into crumbles then add the sugar.

Separate the yolk from the white and drop it in. I do this by cracking the shell in half and plopping the yolk back and forth between the two shells until all of the white has dropped away. If some of it is clinging I kind of use the other shell to cut it away. I think this saves me a whole $2.00 splurge on an egg separator.

Add the vanilla.

Process again. It will get to a crumbly state like this. Then you can add the food coloring.

It will still be crumbly.

Add water a few drops at a time through the food processor’s feed tube until you get a ball of dough like this.

Divide the dough into four parts.

Flatten each piece into a pancake with your hands on an oversized piece of parchment paper.

Stack the “pancakes” and refrigerate them for an hour or two.

While you’re waiting, it’s a good idea to get the food processor cleaned up unless you want to see the stains from that food coloring for weeks to come. By the way, my food processor’s name “Princess P.” The P stands for what it can do: process, pulverize, pulse, puree. And, for how it sounds: it purrs. And, for Priscilla – because that also starts with P.

Okay, back to the dough. Usually by the time I pull the dough out of the fridge, I’ve overshot the target by a little and I need to actually let it warm back up slightly. When it is firm but pliable, place each pancake under a second piece of parchment paper. (So many P-s!) Then roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness between the sheets. (I now have a nice wooden rolling pin, thanks to my Uncle Pete’s suggestion, but it’s not getting anywhere near this much food coloring!)

Peel away the top paper.

Use a pizza cutter to form a grid of one-inch squares for the caps, with smaller lines of buffer dough between each row of caps. The buffer will be peeled away from between them and the caps will not leave their place on the parchment paper until after they have been baked. With cookies this thin, it is almost impossible to move them without mutilating their shapes.

Lift and peel the dough from between the cookies.

Poke little steam holes into the center of each cookie to avoid puffing. (I don’t know how critical this is but Julia Child says to do it with dough like this, so I do.)

Place the sheets of parchment onto a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.

Remove them on their paper to cool on a rack.

Once they are cool, use your clean fingers to rub off the inevitable crumbs that will be stuck around the edges. Set them aside to wait while you go on to the cupcakes. The cupcakes can be any kind you want to make. If you want to hear about the escapades involved in making mine, go to…. Lessons in Red Velvet.

For this post we’ll go on to the dreamy cream-y cheese frosting.

2 boxes of cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 sticks of butter (at room temperature)
1 (2lb) bag of powdered sugar
Gel Food coloring

Drop the cream cheese and butter into the mixer and cream them

Add the powdered sugar. I don’t sift the sugar for frosting and the only time I’ve ever had trouble was when I used a cheap generic package. I also don’t add the sugar gradually…big surprise for those of you who’ve read my cookie recipes, I’m sure. Then, mix until it’s nice and creamy like this.

Pull out two small portions – one for the tassel color and one for the base of the caps.

Color the remaining frosting to the main color you’ve chosen. I made gray by adding a small amount of black Wilton gel food coloring. Gel food coloring is critical for frosting because it doesn’t mess with the consistency like liquid.

Don’t forget to color the other bowls of frosting. I use a table knife to get the color out of those tiny jars and then just use it to mix.

The final colors….Go Cougs!!

I pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes with a large frosting tip. I am only a perfectionist when I want to be and with frosting – I don’t want to be. As long as I come out with kind of cute layer on the cupcakes some way or another I’m happy.

Next I put on the base of the cap with a pastry bag that just has the tip cut off. Sandy and Susie taught me this tip-less trick while we were working on the Victorian Tea together. You get the cutest little dollops.

Press the cookies into place.

Then put the tassel-colored frosting into a piping bag with a fine line tip and make the top part of the tassel. (I am learning how to spell t-a-s-s-e-l by the way! Word is faithfully correcting me from “tassle”. I wish it would do so automatically and let me live in ignorance though.)

Then switch to a little frilly tip for the bottom part of the t-a-s-s-e-l.

Keep a toothpick handy to help cut off the end of each one if needed because it goes through open space from the cookie to touch down on the cupcake and it can be hard to lift the tip away without pulling the t-a-s-s-e-l away too.

Voila!!! Not one cupcake is perfect, but they’re pretty cute, especially with the happy graduates:



And, my hubby, the Army’s newest if not only Ph.D in Radio (Nuclear) Chemistry. He’s great looking for such a brain!

Last, but not least, a special thanks to Chris and Katie for making the sandwiches and setting everything up for the party while we were all at the graduation ceremony.

Lessons in Red Velvet

I know that we learn from our mistakes, but over the years I have decided that I am not a fan of this approach, which is why I read trustworthy cookbooks and put into practice what I pick up. This also happens to be a big reason why I study the Bible. I’d rather take wisdom where I can find it and not have to learn the hard way that God had a good reason for what He said to do.

Of course, in spite of the best guidance, I occasionally think I have better ideas, like with red velvet.

The foundation for this lesson started on Good Friday when I procrastinated about buying a cake mix (my usual approach to cake baking) and couldn’t find a red velvet mix in Pullman. A bunch of students were coming over after the Good Friday service to watch The Passion – and have dessert. I had racked my brain for what kind of desert might go with such a gut-wrenching movie and come up with a plan to make a cake that illustrated Isaiah 1:18. There was no time at the local IGA to think of a plan B. Thankfully, I had been ogling the Pioneer Woman blog and happened to remember that she had recently posted a red velvet cake. (See it here.) It was beautiful and I had looked pretty closely at the ingredients so I grabbed buttermilk and red food coloring and trotted home.

The cake turned out nicely – until I hurriedly tried covering over red crumbs with cream cheese frosting that was too thick for the job. It turns out that hiding crimson with white is harder than it looks in cakes, not to mention the cosmos. Anyway, there were crumbs of red embedded in the frosting, but the point was made, maybe even accentuated. Here are a few shots of that cake.

The real trouble with red velvet began when I watched a re-run episode of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown a couple of days before I needed to make red velvet cupcakes AGAIN for our graduation open house. (Note: If you missed my prior plug for that show, please check out the post on pulled pork (here). I’m still looking for someone who can explain the Zans!) In the episode we watched, a woman who owns a bakery made red velvet cupcakes, and she talked about how you shouldn’t use butter in cupcakes because it makes them dry. She believes in using oil. That got me thinking about the Pioneer Woman cake I had recently made, which called for shortening. I wondered if perhaps that perfectly delicious cake might have been too firm to be parlayed into scrumptious cupcakes. Meanwhile, Bobby Flay, used butter in his cupcakes and won, but I was already well down the destructive path of second guessing sound wisdom. Oil, butter, shortening – conflicting expertise – what a dilemma!

My solution – when the experts can’t agree appoint yourself as one. In my visions of blogging grandeur, I even took a picture of myself writing my own hybrid recipe from the two mentioned above. Stupid! I have studied cookies to the point that I can alter recipes with predictable results, but I have no business trying it with cake recipes, when my usual method involves pictures of eggs and oven dials on the back of a box.

This photo is now quite embarrassing!

But, we will never know exactly how this recipe might have turned out, because I failed to even follow my own plan correctly. Here’s how it happened.

Holly and Megan came over to bake with me, which was great fun.

I guess I was distracted with the novelty of a sifter being operated in my kitchen as Holly was measuring the flour and I told her the wrong amount. (It matters how much flour you put in cake, by the way.)

The batter tasted great, but I kept looking through the oven glass at cupcakes that weren’t rising and wondering why it was taking so long. Finally I pulled them out in a fit of aggravation and found that the bottoms were burned. WHAT!?

Worse yet, they tasted burned.

What you cannot see in this trash can is the chunk of my ego buried under the pile.

I called Ric who was already leaving the grocery store after shopping for other graduation party supplies and asked him (in a very miserable voice) to go back in and shake the place down for a red velvet cake mix. He felt so sorry for me that he bought me these flowers to make me feel better.

Maybe I should have baking mishaps more often!

He may have also been feeling bad about breaking the news that he did not find a mix. Instead, he found more red food coloring. Oh, yippee – a chance to redeem myself.

For the next batch I humbly followed the Bobby Flay Throw Down recipe exactly – almost. You can find it online here. The only exception was that I mixed the cocoa and the red food coloring like The Pioneer Woman recipe because it’s much prettier to dump red coloring into white batter. You get a picture like this….

Instead of like this…

…which is how it looks if the cocoa is added in with the dry ingredients. If I wasn’t blogging, I wouldn’t care, but now you’ve gotten to see some pretty red swirls. If you really want to see pretty red batter photography, check out the Red Velvet Sheet Cake on Ree’s Blog.

Both recipes made delicious cake – much better than I’ve ever gotten from a mix. So, the wheels are turning in my brain on this whole cake thing. I will conquer this process!

In the end, the lessons learned were profound. Follow directions when you’re not an expert and be careful about measurements.

Next Post: the graduation cap cupcakes that all of this trouble went into producing. Here’s a sneak peek.

White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

This was a mid-morning snack last week. The boys have grown five inches (between the three of them) in the last six months, so a dozen muffins is about right for “second breakfast” and with a tall glass of milk, “elevensies” is taken care of as well.

My basic muffin recipe goes like this:
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup of: oats, whole wheat flour, another cup of all purpose flour or any other combination of dry flour-like stuff that I am in the mood to throw in
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup milk
Add goodies according to taste or what you have in the cabinet.

Muffins are the reverse of cookies. You start with the dry ingredients then add the liquid. (For this particular batch that second cup of dry stuff was quick oats.)

Stir it all together gently. You’re not supposed to over-stir muffin batter. Honestly, I can’t remember why, but when Alton Brown explained it in a book it made sense and I have done my best to obey this rule ever since. And, the muffin quality in my house has improved.

Once the dry and wet have been delicately combined, you can add goodies. For this batch, I used about ¾ cup each of chopped white chocolate chips, chopped dried cranberries, and finely chopped walnuts.

Scoop the batter into a muffin tin sprayed with non-stick spray. You can use papers, but I never seem to have them in the cabinet – possibly because my boys often chew them like little goats when they’re done with each muffin and it grosses me out.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.

Spread the tops with butter or margarine. (Yes, I can allow for margarine in non-cookie situations!)

Then sprinkle with sugar.

Enjoy one before they’re gone. In my house, that’s about 10 minutes.

Edible Easter Baskets

The boys have outgrown snap-together eggs and plastic grass, but Easter is still about surprise in the morning – the surprise of life and of an empty tomb. Treat filled baskets can’t hold a candle to that, but they do add joy to the morning.

Thankfully, I’ve awakened to the world of food blogs, where culinary creativity abounds. (Maybe not so much on this one, which is why I’m staking my claim on corniness.) There are plenty of ideas out there so I decided to modify one of the cookie nests.

Recipe: The basket is a fortified rice crispy treat.
¼ cup butter
10 oz marshmallows
4 cups rice crispy cereal
2 cups shredded wheat cereal crushed

I added the crushed shredded wheat because I wanted a more “nesty” look than plain rice crispies would give me.

Melt the butter over low heat then add the marshmallows and stir until they are melted and smooth

Dump in the cereal and stir together.

Spray the inside of the cereal bowls you are going to use for molds.

Divide the mixture between the bowls.

Spray your hands with cooking spray to avoid sticking to your work and press the cereal goop into a nest shape.

Let the bowls sit overnight then pop out the nests and use them like baskets in the morning.

Joy to you this Easter!
(Originally published 4/24/2011)

Molly and Becky’s April Flowers

My friend Molly and her sister Becky brought me this GORGEOUS fruit arrangement on Wednesday. They made it themselves! Then Molly brought another one to Bible study on Thursday. What a treat!

I could hardly stand the thought of eating it, but it was too big to fit in the fridge. Thank goodness for photos. I asked if she took pictures while she was making it, because I’ve been trying to drag her into this blogging project. And, she did! So, enjoy…

And last but not least, you’ve got to see the one that her youngest daughter made to take to one of their neighbors. I think it’s adorable that it’s sitting in front of their homeschool chalkboard with flowers already drawn on it.

Thank you so much, Molly and Becky for such a delightful gift!

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

The theme last Tuesday was layers. Layers of white lasagna, then layers of dessert – seven 9×13 pans worth.

Here’ s the recipe for one pan.

Crust Layer
2 cups of crushed pretzels 
1 TBSP Sugar
3/4 cup butter – melted
White Layer
1- 8 oz pkg. Cream Cheese softened
1 cup sugar
8 oz cool whip topping
Red Layer
6 oz box Strawberry Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
1 cup very cold water
2 cups frozen strawberries

I like to use the food processor for crushing the pretzels. but you can smash them any way that suits your mood. For reference, the entire bag of pretzel sticks gave me 5 cups crushed. (I was tripling the recipe so I had to scrounge in the snack cabinet for a few extras.)

Once they’re crushed stir in the sugar and melted butter.

By the blogging way, I would like you all to know that I have just learned to spell “pretzel”. Apparently it is not spelled “pretzle”. Thanks to Microsoft Word for its contribution to my education.

Press the p-r-e-t-z-e-l mixture into the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 350-400 degree oven then let it cool.

The middle layer involves Darth Mixer. Mix the cream cheese and sugar until it’s nice and smooth, then add the Cool Whip and mix with a little less vigor. You need to scrape the sides with the spatula because Cool Whip doesn’t have quite enough oomph to pull the heavy cream cheese completely away from the sides.

Spread this layer over the crust. It should be pretty firm so it doesn’t need long to set before you can proceed, but for good measure, store it in the fridge while you’re working on the Jell-O layer.

This recipe calls for only half the water in the Jell-O box instructions so that you get a nice firm layer. Bring one cup of water to a boil then whisk in the powder until it’s dissolved. Remove from the heat, drop in the remaining cup of liquid, which includes ice. Stir vigorously until all of the ice melts then add the strawberries.

Store the finished dessert in the refrigerator, and give it a couple of hours to firm up before you try to cut and serve.

Yikes, don’t let it fall off the edge though!