Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Swingin Jell-O Salad

For my birthday this year, it was a big one, 3 decades to celebrate, Nate rented a sensational pad out in Palm Springs so we could throw it back to the 60s for a retro celebration.
I was in MAJOR need of a weekend away, and this was beyond perfect.
We spent three days poolside lounging in gorgeous weather and threw a totally hip shindig on Saturday night, complete with timely-themed appetizers that I was having a little too much fun to get good photos of...but here is a run-down of the easy stuff;
Celery plate- celery with either cream cheese, peanut butter or pimento cheese spread (which everyone voted should stay in the 60s, no pimento cheese fans here)

Dates- pitted & split- stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon- held with toothpick and baked at 450 for about 15 minutes or until bacon is cooked through.

Mini crustless white bread samiches (half pb & grape jelly, half with havarti dill slices and thin cucumbers) a normal sandwhich with 2 slices, crst removed then cut into 1/4s on the diagonal

Then for dessert- I made this rockin' Jell-O salad. Which is super old school, all American goodness, and I looooove it. My sister was not havin' it- she's grossed out by Jell-O and even adding the buttery pretzle crust and cream cheese whip layer, this was still a no-go for her. I however, super-giant-puffy-heart Jell-O Salad and post here for you my recipe with a few tips that were missing from the recipe I was given by Nana, who I think can make this with her eyes closed and a hand tied behind her back.

2 cups crushed pretzles
1/2 cup butter- melted
1/4-1/3 cup sugar
1 box of Jell-O (I used blackberry raspberry fusion, because how can ya resist that?!)
1 large bag of frozen fruit (I used raspeberries)
1 container of cool-whip whipped topping , thawed
1 8oz block of cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar

Pre heat the oven to 350. Combine the pretzles, butter and sugar and press into the bottom of a greased 9 x13 inch pyrex baking dish.
Bake 8-10 minutes, then let cool completely. COMPLETELY.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip the sugar and cream cheese and then using a spatula fold in the cool whip until it's totally mixed with the cream cheese.
I scoop the cream cheese cool whip mixture by the spoonful evenly over the pretzles, then I use the back of a big metal spoon lightly greased to very gently create a wall-to-wall even layer of the cream cheese mix, with no holes that go through to the pretzle layer.
Refridgerate for at least 1 hour so it sets up.
Then make the J-E-L-L-Oh!! Prepare the Jell-O according to package directions, then pour into a big mixing bowl and refrigerate 15-20 minutes or until it gets a little thicker and starts to set up.
Then stir in the frozen fruit and when Jell-O is somewhat set and definitely not in a liquid state but a state you would call Jell-O, then spoon it onto the cream cheese layer and spread it evenly.
Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate 3-4 hours so Jell-O gets completely set.
Slice into purtty lil squares and serve up some throw-back yumminess!!