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Archive for March 4, 2016

RECIPE: Tricolor Jello Fingers For St. Pat’s, July 4th, Halloween, Christmas & More

Green Jello Squares

Jell-O Treats

Tricolor Jello Mold

Top: St. Patrick’s Day themed Jell-O from TheModernRoost.com used food color to create the darkest green layer. Center: The recipe for this Halloween Jell-O from SomethingNewForDinner.com. Bottom: Christmas Jell-O from Due Forni | Las Vegas.

 

You’re never to old to enjoy a fancy Jell-O dish. Call it retro, call it Jell-O art; just call it to the table.

Multi-layer jello finger food (no fork or spoon required), called finger Jell-O, ribbon Jell-O or Jell-O squares, is the type of food fun that the family can look forward to with each holiday. Simply match the colors to the occasion.

You can make as many layers, and as many colors, as you like. The Pioneer Woman makes an even snazzier version. So does the Brown-Eyed Baker.

You can slice this into what is known as “finger Jello,” because you can pick it up and eat it with your fingers. Extra gelatin is added to the Jell-O to create a firm texture.

You can make it in any colors; for example:

  • Green and white for St. Patrick’s Day (one layer of Lime Jell-O, one layer of Melon Jell-O)
  • Red white and blue for Memorial Day and Independence Day
  • Blue and white for Chanukah
  • Orange and Peach or Black Cherry for Halloween
  • Black Cherry red and Raspberry red for Valentine’s Day
  • Team colors for the Super Bowl (use food color to tint as needed)
  •  
    Check out the different flavors and colors of Jell-O.
     
    You can make a diet version with sugar-free Jell-O, and swap the sweetened condensed milk for evaporated milk that you sweeten with a non-caloric sweetener.

    RECIPE: JELL-O SQUARES

    In this recipe, adapted from Taste Of Home, the Jell-O is firmed into “finger Jell-O” or “Jell-O squares” with the addition of extra gelatin. Prep time is 30 minutes, plus 90 minutes chilling/firming time.

    Make the recipe on a day when you can let each mixture come to room temperature at its own pace, and firm up each layer in the fridge for more than 30 minutes. Don’t skimp on the cooling and firming times, or you won’t be pleased with the results.
     
    Ingredients For 32 Pieces

  • 1 box (6 ounces) Lime Jell-O
  • 1 box (6 ounces) Melon Fusion Jell-O
  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • Boiling water, cold water
  • Preparation

    1. SPRAY a 9×13-inch baking pan (ideally Pyrex) with nonstick spray.

    2. MAKE the bottom layer: In a medium bowl, mix the green Jell-O with 1 envelope of the unflavored gelatin. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour into the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer, until firm.

    3. MAKE the center layer: In a clean bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water. In a separate small bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over ½ cup cold water. Let the gelatin stand for 4 minutes and then add ½ cup boiling water to dissolve it. Add to the condensed milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature and pour over the bottom layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer, until firm.

    5. MAKE the top layer. In a medium bowl, mix the red Jell-O with 1 envelope of the unflavored gelatin. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour over the middle layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer, until firm.

    6. SLICE into individual pieces, plate and serve.

     

    THE HISTORY OF JELL-O

    Gelatin (also spelled gelatine) has been made since ancient times by boiling animal and fish bones. Aspic, a savory, gelatin-like food made from meat or fish stock, was a French specialty centuries before the dawn of commercial gelatin. It was very difficult to prepare, relying only on the natural gelatin found in the meat to make the aspic set.

    Powdered gelatin was invented in 1682 by Denis Papin. But the concept of cooking it with sugar to make dessert dates to 1845 and an American inventor named Peter Cooper. Cooper patented a dessert product that was set with gelatin, but it didn’t take off.

    In 1897, Pearle Wait, a carpenter in Le Roy, New York (Genesee County), experimented with gelatin and developed a fruit flavored dessert which his wife May named Jell-O. The first four flavors were orange, lemon, strawberry and raspberry.

    Wait tried to market his product but lacked the capital and experience. In 1899 he sold his formula to a townsman and manufacturer of proprietary medicines, Orator Frank Woodward, for $450. The Jell-O itself was manufactured by Andrew Samuel Nico of Lyons, New York.

    Alas, sales were slow and one day, Wait sold Sam Nico the business for $35. In 1900, the Genesee Pure Food Company promoted Jell-O in a successful advertising campaign, and by 1902 sales were $250,000. In 1923 the owners created the Jell-O Company, Inc., which replaced the Genesee Pure Foods Company. The purpose was to protect the Jell-O trade name and to keep it from becoming a generic term.

    That same year, the Jell-O Company was sold to the Postum Cereal Company, the first subsidiary of a large merger that would eventually become General Foods Corporation. Lime Jell-O was introduced in 1930.

     

    Old Strawberry Jello Box

    Strawberry Jello Box

    Top: A box of strawberry Jell-O from the 1890s, courtesy eBaumsWorld.com. Bottom: Strawberry Jell-O today. Photo courtesy Kraft Foods.

     

    Today Jell-O is manufactured by Kraft Foods, a subsidiary of Phillip Morris, which acquired both Kraft and General Foods in the 1980s and ultimately merged the two companies. There’s a Jell-O Gallery Museum in Le Roy, New York.

      

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    PRODUCT: Cold Snap Beer & Hot Toddy Recipe

    Samuel Adams Cold Snap Ale

    Hot Toddy

    Drink it from a glass, drink it as a toddy. Top photo courtesy BestBeerHQ.com; bottom photo courtesy Wonderful Brands.

     

    What’s with the weather around here? Every few days it switches from spring to winter and back.

    Today it’s snowing: a cold snap. Time to drink the last of the Cold Snap beer we received from Samuel Adams.

    An unfiltered white ale with crisp wheat and citrus notes, Cold Snap complements lighter fish dishes like sushi and smoked salmon. The maltiness also tempers the heat in cuisines like Indian and Thai.

    And Cold Snap’s spiciness (sweet orange peel and plum, peppery coriander) works with desserts like spice cake and fruit tarts.

    For the winter chill, there’s even a…

    RECIPE: SAMUEL ADAMS COLD SNAP HOT TODDY

    Beer simple syrup? How can you resist?

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 3.5 ounces Samuel Adams Cold Snap
  • 3.5 ounces sugar
  • 2 ounces Earl Grey tea (heated to 170°F)
  • 1.5 ounces Bourbon
  • Garnish: lemon wheel, cinnamon stick
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    Preparation

    1. MAKE the beer sugar syrup. Combine the sugar and beer in a large pitcher or pot. Whisk lightly to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture into another pitcher or pot of the same size. Repeat this process every 5 minutes until the head of the beer is completely gone. Store the syrup in a glass jar in the fridge until ready to use. Then…

     

    2. COMBINE the Cold Snap syrup and bourbon in a glass and top with the hot tea. Let the drink sit for a few minutes to cool and allow the ingredients to marry. Garnish with a lemon wheel and/or cinnamon stick and serve.

    Here’s more about Cold Snap.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Flavored Whipped Cream

    While classic whipped cream is a festive topping on everything from shortcakes to ice cream sundaes, flavored whipped cream tends to be memorable. While Reddi-Wip makes chocolate whipped cream, usually the only way to experience flavored whipped cream is to make your own.

    It’s not a new idea! By the end of the 19th century, the industrial revolution had enabled centrifuge-separated, high-fat cream. Cooks could buy the cream and whip it directly, without tedious hours spent skimming it from the top of milk.

    Pastry chefs went to town making a myriad of whipped cream desserts, shaped in molds, flavored with chocolate, coffee, fruits and liqueurs. Here’s the history of whipped cream.

    Today, it’s not surprising that you can buy Baileys Irish Cream Whipped Cream in Ireland. But you can make your own as quickly as making a trip to the store.
     
    RECIPE: WHIPPED CREAM WITH IRISH CREAM LIQUEUR

    How about some whipped cream for St. Patrick’s Day that’s flavored with Irish Cream liqueur? Use it on brownies, pound cake, in your coffee or hot chocolate, and anywhere you can: It’s delicious!

    If you’d like a mint-flavored whipped cream (delicious with anything chocolate), substitute green Creme de Menthe liqueur. A deep green color, it will tint the whipped cream green.
     
    Ingredients

  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
  • 1/3 cup Irish Cream liqueur chilled
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Optional: green food color
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CHILL the heavy cream thoroughly so it will whip better. Put the cream and the liqueur in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to whipping.

    2. ADD the ingredients to a stand mixer or a large bowl (if using a hand mixer). Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. It’s ready to serve!
     
    Tips

  • If you want to make the whipped cream an hour in advance, under-whip it; then give it a final whip by hand to right before serving.
  • If you want your whipped cream to keep its shape and not deflate, stabilized whipped cream, which has added gelatin, will keep the whipped cream stiff for days. Here’s a recipe.
  •  
    MORE FLAVORED WHIPPED CREAM RECIPES

  • Bourbon, Five Spice, Holiday Spice, Lavender, Rum & Salty Caramel Whipped Cream
  • Candy Cane Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • Frangelico Whipped Cream (substitute any liqueur)
  • Savory Whipped Cream Infused With Herbs Or Spices
  •  
    What do you do with savory whipped cream?

    First, you ditch the sugar and vanilla extract in favor of savory flavors. Then, you garnish a bowl of soup, top a baked potato, garnish a plate of asparagus.

    Add lemon zest to whipped cream for fish and seafood (including smoked salmon); bourbon for grilled meats; grated Parmesan cheese for soup, meats and fish; horseradish for beef; herbs or spices with vegetables.

    You’ll love how flavored whipped cream adds new life to recipes.

     

    Brownie With Whipped Cream

    Making Whipped Cream

    Pouring Baileys Irish Cream

    Pudding Parfaits

    Top photo: A brownie with a side of Irish Cream whipped cream (Piyato | Dreamstime). Second: Whipping the cream (Kuhn-Rikon photo). Third: For St. Patrick’s Day, make your flavor Irish Cream Liqueur (photo Diageo). Bottom: Whipped Cream tinted green in this cookie parfait recipe from Yummly.

     

      

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