Posted in How Tos, Recipes

Tropic Trifle

Tropic like its hot, because I guarantee you are going to be falling over this delicious trifle. So great, in fact, that I just had to make this my inaugural food post. Also this recipe takes a few quick spins of the mixer, and voila your done… in minutes!!


Trifles are almost always my go-to potluck contribution, because I can throw it together the night before – which is my #1 potluck rule –  and grab it and go when your running out the door, WHICH MEANS… more ‘hair did’, ‘make-up did’ doing. I have been making so many trifles in the past few years, that boredom set in and I have been getting adventurous with my ingredients, this one has taken the cake! – pun intended.

Ok so your going to need to take a quick hop-skip-and a jump to the grocery store – well unless you have toddlers in tow, then its all like; talking to every stranger, snacking on a cracker box in the aisle, “I lost my blankie”, and “Stay with mommy I am in a hurry” 65478300 times. In this case, I am sorry! I feel you! Maybe you can send hubby???

Shopping List;

1 pkg. Dr. Oetker chocolate mousse

1 cup of milk

1 tub of Cool Whip (regular or light will work)

2 pkgs of 6 mini angel food cakes (that’s 12 total – math geek right here)

1 pkg of coconut flakes

1 pkg of chocolate chips

1 pineapple (or 1 can of pineapple bits)

You will also want to make a long term investment in a trifle bowl like this one, because when you discover how easy this is it will be your go-to too.

miranda-7_75-trifle-bowl

Step 1: Mix the Dr. Oetker Mousse as directed on the pkg (adding your cup of milk, and mixing until thickened)

Step 2: Chop your angel food cakes into bite sized pieces

Step 3: Cut up your pineapple, putting 1/3 into the blender to create a liquid consistency, the other 2/3rds will be chopped into tidbits. If you opted for the canned pineapple – even easier- simply strain the pineapple over a bowl so that you separate the tidbits from the juice (both will be used).

Step 4: lay out a layer of angel food pieces to cover the bottom of the bowl.

Step 5: Drizzle 1/3 of the pineapple juice to the bottom layer, throw in 1/4 of the pineapple bits, a handful of coconut, and a handful of chocolate chips.

Step 5; Spread on a later of chocolate mousse

Step 6: Spread on a layer of cool whip

Step 7: REPEAT steps 4-6 to create a total of 3 layers.

Step 8: Top with the last 1/4 of your pineapple bits, sprinkle coconut and chocolate chips until your pleased with the presentation.

Step 9: Refrigerate overnight this way the angel food cake has the opportunity to soak in all the delicious flavors.

Also, like the cool kids do, you may present to guests with the leafy pineapple top set atop your trifle to make it all fancy-like. I’ve done it, and it made a lasting impression! 

Give it a try… or don’t. It’s totally up to you! But if you do, you will be ‘pining’ over it for years to come- no apologies, the pineapple puns are endless.

 

Tight Squeeze

Ella

 

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Posted in Elliott, Family

Elliott is 4 ever young!


Elliott is turning 4.

4!

A two year tumultuous infertility journey has somehow rapidly shifted gears into a four year adventure that has led us here.

Now nearly 4 – our boy – is his own person blossoming with his own thoughts, beliefs, and a timid but certain voice.

He’s still a thumb sucker – there is certainly no denying that – but regardless, somewhere in the last year, he has morphed into a mini man.

Elliott has spent the last nine months learning and growing expansively in a local Preschool program. At the time of enrollment, he was completely uninterested in anything scholastic. We knew he needed a program like this to get him ‘school ready’ and the exposure to the whole ‘small fish in a big pond’ phenomenon, as well as the socialization with peers he really needed.

Spending the last nine months facilitating this transition has been joyously rewarding. He still has difficulty recalling the daily events to report about it at the dinner table, but hearing him tell me about the friends (most of whom still remain nameless) he played with all day is just enough to ignite the heartstrings. Pre-preschool he was social – yet shy, intelligent – but hesitant to try, curious – but cautious, so our in home childcare situation was really holding him back from experiencing life the way its intended. He needed that push so-to-speak to force him to take responsibility in this integral learning phase. And so, this journey began. He has mastered his color identification, he can identify and mostly spell and write his name, he struggles with the alphabet but there is marked improvement. He plays blocks, and does crafts, and is friendly with the kids in his class. Just the other day, we were making a quick errand run through Walmart, and as I thoughtlessly rushed my son down the aisles, he was calling after me “Mom… mommy!” When I finally caught wind of this and turned to see, he was pointing out a school friend, the pair of them so excited to find a friend in-the-wild, neither of them able to recall each others names. It was exciting none-the-less, and neither of them wanted anything more than to remind their mothers that they know people outside of their family dynamic. It was just the sweetest thing to witness, and in that moment I kneelt to the floor and held my nearly-four-year-old  in a deep embrace and told him how proud  I was that he was building friendships with these kids.

His teaching/learning journey has always been a struggle; he was slow to talk, hesitant to walk, he resists sitting in quiet study <Where he shines is on the physical experiences of life hands-on, tactile play, and the arts, and sports.> Do I wish he could just learn with ease? Sure! Would I change a single thing about him? Absolutely not!

Elliott loves bumble bee (as in the yellow Camaro that transforms into a robot), he is obsessed with everything superhero, and we get a daily dose of hero dramatics every single day (aren’t we lucky!). He is into planes, and trains, and automobiles, and now that he has been provided with a kid-leveled bookshelf you can find him curled up with a book just about anywhere. His love for hockey has remained unchallenged, though, he has expanded his love to pretty much all sports and remains active outside (or in) day-in and day-out.

Elliott doesn’t want to turn 4.

He has resolved to stay 3 because it’s his favorite number, or so he says.

I can’t blame him, I am not so fond of him turning 4 either, it’s one of those difficult transitional ages, he will suddenly be swept into the responsibility of the educational system, and miss out on all the 1:1 time he got with family. That’s a tough transition for any age.

At home, this past year he has been such an admirable big brother. He is thoughtful and  encouraging with every interaction he has with Oliver. His only fault is that he worries to much about his reckless counterpart. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better mentor as a big brother. He is everything we wanted and more. Some mornings the kids wake on their own, and without even coming in to wake us, they get straight to business together cooking a breakfast on their little wooden kitchen set all the while chatting together like old comrades. It’s just the bees knees!

If there is anything we are most excited about in this past year, as far as milestones go, its that Elliott is a swimmer now. There was no lack of effort on his part, he hustled hard. It isn’t so much that he succeeded that we are so excited, although that is certainly a bonus, but that he worked so tirelessly to achieve it. He fought about as hard as his little body could fight to get here, and earned the reward to swim 6-10 feet without a life jacket because he developed that skill from the ground up.

If you were to ask Elliott now what he thinks of himself he would tell you that he is Smart, and brave, and nice. These are how he chooses to define himself at this ripe old age of 4, and I am one proud mama, that those are the only qualities that matter.

 

Tight Squeeze!

Ella