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March 3, 2010

Home Cookin’ is a Family Affair

Filed under: Home Life,In the Kitchen — my3daughters @ 4:56 pm

My Aunt Olive loved to cook.  She also loved to read cookbooks, especially the kind that churches and school put out.  While I didn’t inherit her skills in the kitchen, I did inherit her love of these “local” cookbooks.  So, of course, when trying to decide what to make for the church picnic last month (yes, we have a picnic in February), I turned to my “local” cookbook collection.

The Strawberry Pretzel Jello was a hit and several people asked me for the recipe.  Since I can’t remember who asked, I’ll post it here and link to this on Facebook.  That should cover everyone and then some. 

Here is the recipe for the Strawberry Pretzel Jello by Carole Kolowitz from the cookbook “Home Cookin’ is a Family Affair: A Book of Favorite Recipes complied by the Parishioners and Friends of Saint Sebastian Church in Belle Vernon, PA.”

Combine 2 c. pretzels (broken into small pieces), 3/4 c. melted oleo (I used butter) & 1 Tbsp. sugar and place in 9 x 13-inch dish.  Bake at 400 for 8 minutes; cool.  (I sprinkled my crust with mini chocolate chips before cooling).

Cream 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 1 c. powdered sugar and 1 c. thawed Cool Whip.  Spread on cooled crust.

Combine 1-6 oz box strawberry jello, 2 c. boiling water & 20 oz “frozen” strawberries (thawed).  Refrigerate until slightly thickened, then spoon strawberry mixture onto cream cheese layer.  Spoon remaining Cool Whip onto jello. (Note:  this recipe uses the large, 16 oz size of Cool Whip).

While scanning the recipes to see if there was anything else I wanted to make, I realized that there were eleven different recipes for similar four layer desserts.  If you are feeling creative, give these options a try.  Don’t forget to let me know how it turns out.

Layer 1 Options:

1 cup of flour, 1 stick of melted oleo (again, I would use butter) & an optional 1/2 c. chopped nuts.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

I package of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie dough.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

80 Ritz Crackers crushed or 16 oz of Crushed Oreo cookies & 1 1/2 sticks of melted oleo (again, I would use butter).  Do not bake.

24 graham crackers crushed, 1 stick of melted oleo (if you haven’t figure it out by now, I’d use butter) & 1 c. sugar.  Do not bake.

Layer 2 seems to be the same for every recipe.  Cream together 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1 c. powdered sugar & 1 c. thawed Cool Whip.

Layer 3 Options:

6 oz of instant pudding (chocolate, lemon & coconut were among the choices listed) & 3 c. milk.

6 oz of flavored jello, 2 c. boiling water and 20 oz “frozen” (thaw first) fruit (or equal amount canned fruit).  Just be careful here because some fruits do not mix well with jello.  Read the box.

Layer 4 is also pretty much the same for every recipe.  Just use the rest of the of a 16 oz tub of Cool Whip.  You can garnish the dessert with chopped nuts or more crumbs of whatever you used to make the crust or fresh fruit.  Oh, how about chocolate shavings!

Whatever you do, remember that Home Cookin’ is a Family Affair.  Now’s a great time to teach our children that food doesn’t have to come from a drive through window or be cooked in the microwave.

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