Friday, May 28, 2010

J Delicious Cake Trifle!

I have a friend, JD, who had major surgery two weeks ago. He has to get false teeth, so all of his teeth were pulled. Big Ouch!!  So what can he eat? Not much! But I came up with a little something he can eat, when he feels like it.

I used the cake ball recipe from The link is here: It is a fantastic site with beautiful pictures and the cutest ideas ever! I have made the cake balls several times, and I will post about the ones I made at a later date. But, when I realized that JD needed something he could eat without using his teeth, I thought about soft cake and pudding and then the cake balls.

So this is what I came up with:

For this recipe you need a baked cake, icing, and pudding. I used a chocolate cake that I had in the freezer. It was left over from a friends birthday cake. It was a deep dark chocolate, so I thought that a banana pudding might go well with that. I used a white buttercream frosting. You can used canned frosting if you like.

I mixed the banana pudding per the instructions on the box. You could make the pudding from scratch if you like. (We will do that in a future post.)

Next, I made the buttercream frosting. I used the recipe from the Wilton website. Here is the recipe: 


  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

Next, I followed the cake balls directions. I tore the cake into little pieces and put it into a bowl, and then I mixed in some buttercream frosting. You have to do this with your hands! I'm pretty sure it is required!! It is a lot easier with plastic gloves, and faster too. You will not use all your icing from the buttercream icing recipe. You need it to be a soft consistency, but not mushy.

Next, put your chocolate/icing mix in the bottom of a bowl. I made this for one person, and I wanted him to have plenty, so I used a big bowl. This would look really nice in a sundae glass or a big round goblet so you could serve individual servings.

We are just going to layer from the bottom on up. Next, add a layer of pudding.

Just keep building your layers, taking turns using the cake ball mixture and the pudding.
Build to the top of your bowl.
I stopped building my bowl at this point, because I had to transport it all the way across town. If I hadn't been transporting it I would have added whipped cream to the top.
Also, if this hadn't been designed for JD, and his teeth problem, I would have added shaved chocolate to the top of the whipped cream. But, I could have sprinkled chocolate on top of  whipped cream for him.
There are so many variations we can do with this recipe. Let's talk about them in future posts.
Have a great weekend!
Any questions? Email me. I would love to hear from you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

7 Layer Dip (Made with 8 layers?!)

In honor of Cinco de Mayo on Wednesday, I am posting a delicious and easy to make appetizer. It is called 7 Layer Dip, but it has 8 layers.(Why? Because I got the recipe from a friend who make it with 7 layers, but I added the eighth layer of salsa!)

This is everything you will need. I recommend putting the dip together the day before you will be serving it. That gives time for all the flavors to meld together, and oh, are they wonderful!.

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to put the dip in. I say it like that because this dip can go in just about anything. It works best in a rectangular pyrex dish, any size. If you are serving a lot of people then use the 13" X 9". You will need to use more of all of the ingredients, but I will explain that as we go along. I used the small 6" X 9" for these pictures. In the past I have used round, oval and square dishes. The recipe works in any dish.

LAYER 1 ~ refried beans. Spread the beans along the bottom of the dish. For the small dish, I only used half of the can. For the large dish you will need the entire can.

  LAYER 2 ~ add your chopped onion.They should be chopped small.

LAYER 3 ~ add your tomatoes. I used 2 roma tomatoes in the small dish. They are sweet tasting and delicious! I chopped the tomatoes about bite size, and I did what is called a rough chop. That means that there is no precise size or look I was going for. I just wanted them chopped about bite size.

  LAYER 4 ~ Mayonnaise. Add your mayo in a thin layer over the tomatoes, onion, and beans.
Don't worry if it is hard to spread. I like to take out my mayo and sour cream about 15 minutes before I start assembling the dip, but I don't always remember! When I forget, I just very gently spread the dip and try not to upset the layers too much!!

Layer 5~ Avocado.  I love avocado! I can eat it on just about everything, and I love when it is used to make spreads and dips. So, I used 2 avocados for this dip. If you are not an avocado lover (shame on you!) you can use less of this luscious fruit, or none at all. You can skip this layer. That is the beauty of this recipe. Put in what you like, and even more of it if you want, or leave out what you don't like, or use less of it.  I chopped the avocado small, and spread it evenly over the layers.
LAYER 6 ~ Salsa!  Add a light layer of salsa. You can use hot salsa if you like it hot, or if not use what ever temperature suits you. You can use any type or brand, or even make your own. You know, that is a good idea. I think we just might tackle that in another post. It is a lot of fun!!!
LAYER 7 ~ Add sour cream. Spread with a light touch. You don't want to get the sour cream too mixed up with the salsa. Oh heck, I don't know who I'm kidding. It is next to impossible for it not to look like a mess when you spread the sour cream, but don't worry. It will be fine!
LAYER 8 ~ Add your cheese! I like to use a Monterey Jack and Cheddar mix. But use whatever you like best. I have used straight cheddar and it is delicious also. I also like to use a fancy shred, but a regular shred works fine too.
 See what I mean about not worrying when it came to the sour cream mixing with the salsa. The cheese hides all the ugly mess!
     Now what to serve with your 8 layer dip? I use either Mission tortilla chips or these Pita Bites. They are both wonderful with the dip. But use you favorite chip or cracker. There is no wrong way to serve these. Let me know what you used to serve them and how you changed the layers, if you did.

                                                          Have a Happy Cinco de Mayo!