Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Getting Ready for 4th of July Festivities - Jello Parfaits, Licorice Bundles, Hot Cheese Sticks and Crack-tastic Crackers

I am spending time this morning getting ready for the various 4th of July parties that we will attend. I decided to bring the same thing to both dinner parties so that I could focus on fewer tasks.

The Jello parfaits were quick, easy and fun. I would totally suggest you try them out, if you like this kind of thing. I have the recipe and hints I learned below. The star shaped Rice Krispy treats are fun, but boy were they a lot of work. This may be the only time I add them. They took me about 2 hours to get how I wanted them to be.
I was thrilled when I found that Twizzlers put out special red, white and blue pull n' peels for the holiday. You know I had to make something with those.


Jello Parfaits

2 small boxes (3 oz size) or 1 large Strawberry or Cherry JELL-O
2 small boxes (3 oz size) or 1 large Berry Blue JELL-O
4 cups boiling water, divided
2 tubs (8 oz) COOL WHIP whipped topping, thawed
4th of July Sprinkles, optional
2 8x8 pans
10 small jars or disposable glasses, clear
Resealable bag or Decorator Bag

1. Pour the strawberry or cherry jello powder into an 8 x 8 pan. Add 2 cup boiling hot water and stir until the jello is fully dissolved. Next, add in 1 cup of cold water. Repeat the same process in the other pan using the Berry blue jello powder. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It will take the jello about 4-5 hours to fully set up.
In a medium bowl, combine 3 boxes of Cherry JELL-O and 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2. After JELL-O is set, cut into small squares. Score the jello with a butter knife. Add a few pieces of blue JELL-O to the bottom of each jar.

3. Place the Cool Whip in the bottom of a gallon size baggie with a small hole cut out of the corner or decorator bag. Pipe into jar on top of Jello. Top with a few pieces of cherry Jello. Add more COOL WHIP whipped topping and sprinkles, if desired.

I made these in small canning jars because I had them and thought they would be cute. You could also make these in clear disposable cups.


Star Shaped Rice Crispy Treats
via: Rice Krispie Website

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
- OR -
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal
- OR -
6 cups Kellogg's® Cocoa Krispies® cereal
Assorted sprinkles
12 wooden ice cream sticks
Why use Kellogg's® Rice Krispies®?

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan coated with cooking spray. While warm decorate with alternating rows of red, white and blue sprinkles. Cool slightly. (Using cookie cutters coated with cooking spray cut into star shapes. Insert wooden stick into each, if desired. This method did not work well for me. I found that it was best to butter the inside of the cookie cutter and press the mix into it, then push it out.) Best if served the same day.

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.


Mozzarella Egg Roll Cheese Sticks

String Cheese
Egg Roll Wrappers

Mozzarella sticks- use egg roll wrappers and string cheese. Lightly wet the edges of the wrappers to make them stick in place. Bake at 350 for 15-20min. Yum!

Crack-tastic Crackers
via: Sweet Teeth Blog

1 – 1 1/4 cup canola oil (you decide how much you want to use)

1 packet Ranch dressing mix

2-3 Tbs. red pepper flakes (I used close to 3…a little warm)

4 sleeves of Saltine crackers (give or take…however many you can fit in your mixing bowl)

1) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl for a good long while (5-10 minutes), to really get the crackers coated. Eat a few if you want.

2) Lay them out on a cookie sheet and drizzle the yummy, ranchy, peppery oil that’s in the bottom of the bowl, over the top of the crackers. Bake at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through.

3) Let them cool and store in a big ol’ baggie. Or a few little baggies. My husband has his bag ready to take to work.

That’s it! So very easy and a great snack for a game or party. Or a Tuesday.

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