Saturday, January 03, 2015

My Birthday - Better Than Expected + Trifle Recipes

My 50th birthday was on New Year's Eve. Since it was just a short week after my father-in-law's death, none of us were in much of a mood to celebrate. However, my kids and a few friends made sure that it was still a special day - and it was much more fun than I had expected it to be.
The kids made Rio muffins for breakfast. They were fun and silly. (I loved the fact that there was not any fighting.)
We had a leisurely breakfast and more silliness.

Then Natalie and Ben stopped by. I had not even imagined that she would have a birthday present for me since the Silver Tree was the best possible present. However, she had another thoughtful, very Tammy-like, perfect for me, present. Over Thanksgiving break she had been in Chinatown in California and she must have had an extra suitcase since she brought me an entire, wonderfully themed present of things dealing with China. The cups in the tea set are double walled so that you can drink hot tea without burning your hands.

Ben gifted me by taking Remmie outside to play. Since Don has died, we have not made it out to the dog park, yet. It was delightful to see the two of them romping together in the snow. That helped the dog feel more contented than I think he had for some number of days.

Our friend Curt also sent me flowers. And I had literally just been thinking that it would be so nice to have some flowers that I was thinking of buying some for myself.

Later in the day we went to The Source. It is a new place that used to be some sort of factory. Now it houses a bunch of cool, very hipstery shops. A few of my foodie friends told me about it, so I thought it was worth checking out.

We had a fabulous lunch at Comida where they serve food that is Mexican Street food with a Southern twist. It was very tasty!

We started out with Not ‘Yo Nachos (Comida House Chips, blend of cotija, smoked gouda and asadero cheeses, black beans, avocado and tomatillo chile verde & chorizo). I loved the picked red onion on top the best of all. We also had a variety of tacos:

Stella’s Pork Carnitas
Slow cooked pork shoulder in Stella Artois over smoked gouda sweet potato mash with pineapple habañero salsa

Marinated Fish
Daily fish selection marinated in serranos and lime with orange jalapeño slaw and the business

Grilled skirt steak over refritos with roasted onions, pico de gallo, house crema and cotija

Bacon and Jalapeño
with cotija, smoked gouda and asadero

Roasted Chicken Quesadillas
with Comida Salsa with a a blend of cotija, smoked gouda and asadero cheeses. Topped with crema and served with salsa on the side.

Arrachera and Roasted Onion Quesadillas
with a a blend of cotija, smoked gouda and asadero cheeses with Pico de Gallo.

We also checked out some of the lovely shops.

Western Daughters

Beet and Yarrow

Mondo Market

Proper Pour

I had specifically wanted to go to Babbette's, but they had sold all of their loaves of bread before we arrived and thus, closed, so I will have to go back again.

I would have liked to see more, but they were closing early since it was a holiday.

In the evening the kids went their separate ways. Ethan spent the evening with two of his friends at a bar since he was finally old enough to do so. Ellie and Kohlton had a celebration over at Christy's house where they made cheese fondue and two kinds of trifle for dessert.

Larr and I had a quiet evening. We went to bed early, expect that I could not sleep, so I slipped out of bed quietly and sat down stairs looking at my new books by the soft glow of the Silver tree. Near midnight there were small,light sounds of fireworks. Fat, fluffy snowflakes floated down and I was content.

There are big changes ahead and I expect 2015 to be a much less stressful year.

Here are the recipes that Ellie used:

Strawberry and Pound Cake Trifle
via: Sandy Toes and Popsicles

1 pound cake
1 large box instant vanilla pudding, prepared
4 cups of sliced strawberries
whipped cream

Cut the angel food cake into bite sized pieces.

In your trifle dish, place 1/2 of the angel food cake pieces into the bottom. slightly press them down making the first layer even.

Pour 1/2 of the pudding into the center of the dish. then spread it evenly over the angel food cake layer. the key to a trifle is the layering, so be careful not to let the ingredients smear around the sides of the trifle dish.

Next, layer 1/2 of the strawberry slices over the pudding. it makes a nicer display to put the best strawberries against the dish where they will be seen.

Now you will repeat layering the angel food cake, the pudding and the strawberries in the trifle dish making two layers of each.

The final step is topping off the dessert with whipped cream. i prefer to use homemade whip cream as i feel it makes all the difference. just whip a pint of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form and add powdered sugar to taste.


Dirt Cake Trifle
via: The Happier Homemaker

1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 8 oz container of Cool Whip
1 package Oreos
2 packages French Vanilla Jello INSTANT Pudding
1 8 oz container Cream Cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3.5 cups milk

Cream together butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar.

In a separate bowl whisk pudding, milk, and Cool Whip. Add in cream cheese mixture.

Crush Oreos. (I like to put mine in a gallon Ziploc bag and let the boys crush them with a rolling pin, just make sure the bag is all the way closed!)

Layer cookie and pudding mixture and chill! ****Chill at least 2 hours before serving****


Rainbow Cake Trifle (she did not get to this one since she went out with us. However, I still think it is worth including here.)
via: The Kitchen Magpie

1 box of white cake mix (and ingredients to make it)
Food Coloring
3 cups of Whipped Cream
2 packages of Jello White Chocolate Instant Pudding . prepared according to package instructions.

Whip up one white cake mix according to the package instructions, then divide the batter into 6 cups.

Using any cake gels, food coloring or icing gels, color up the white batter.

You are going to make two cakes, so grease up two 8 inch cake tins.

Pour half of your red batter into the first one, reserving half for the second cake. Do not push it around, just let it move out naturally to the edges.

Pour the orange right in the middle of the red (again, only half of your batter, save half for the second cake) and that’s going to push the red even closer to the edge.

Keep going with the yellow, green, blue and purple, pout half of each into the very middle until you see a cake like below.

You can wiggle the pan side to side very slightly to help the batter move out.

Tap the pan on the table or counter lightly to remove bubbles.

Repeat with your second cake.

Bake the cakes according to the package instructions, cool and remove. You can at this point freeze them if you aren’t making the trifle right away.

The secret to the rainbow stripes is shown in the photos. It’s all about the direction you cut the cake!

Slice your cake exactly as shown in the photos and you will have gorgeous rainbow slices.

Place the best looking center pieces that are full rainbows on the edges like shown in the photos.Fill in the middle of the trifle with the pieces of cake that aren’t full rainbow slices.

To make each layer, place the cake layers down, put a third of the white chocolate pudding on top, then a third of the whipped cream. Then start another cake layer and repeat two more times.

Top the whipped cream with leftover rainbow cake crumbs.
Refrigerate at least 6 hours but it's far better if you make this the day before and refrigerate it overnight.

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