Black Forest Trifle

pudding In the midst of our busy week with all the extra kiddos – I read that it was National Cupcake Day.

Being the wonderful person that I am – I knew it would be a tragedy for all those precious children to miss such an important holiday.

(What – you don’t believe me?! Okay, okay – so the real reason is that I’m a confirmed chocoholic and will use any excuse to make some chocolate!)

I used a new recipe for the cupcakes and surprised the kids at supper. They were really good! The frosting – however – was not. I fudged a little – okay a lot – on the frosting because I didn’t want to use the package and half of cream cheese the original recipe called for.

This recipe made a lot of cupcakes and those kids chowed down on them the first day. Slowed down a little on the second and pretty soon I noticed that no one even opened them.

It wasn’t until after the extra kids returned home and we were putting things away that I discovered why.

I opened the cupcake container and discovered that the frosting had dissolved and puddled at the bottom. I was left with 9 sad naked cupcakes with a few colored sprinkles on top.

Major frosting fail.

My first thought was “Just chuck them out to the chickens”.

But then my frugal side kicked in.  There was no way I was going to waste all that yummy chocolate.

So with Buddy to assist me – we turned the massive cupcake disaster into a fabulous Black Forest Trifle.

We started by crumbling half of the sorry looking cupcakes in the bottom of my pretty glass bowl. (I’m still on the look-out for a real trifle bowl!)

Then we took 2 cups of frozen cherries from the freezer (remember when we picked them with friends back in June?).

I thawed them, added 1-1/2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of corn starch and brought them to a boil. When they were slightly thickened, we poured half of them over the brownies and let it cool. That thickened juice just soaked right up into the cupcakes!

Meanwhile we mixed up a small box of instant chocolate pudding.

When the cherry/brownie mixture was cool enough that it wouldn’t melt the pudding, we put half the pudding down followed by a layer of Cool Whip.

We then repeated with the layers in the same order – cupcakes, cherries, chocolate pudding and Cool Whip.

Yum. Yum. Double Yum.

Those poor rejected cupcakes were transformed into a delicious dessert that disappeared within 24 hours.

Waste not, want not – that’s my motto – especially when there’s chocolate involved! 🙂

I’ve linked this post up with Chocolate Friday over at Stop and Smell the Chocolates and with Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum.

Waste Not Want Not – Cherry Peach Jam

Jam Our cherry crop this year was dismal. We harvested a small amount of very small cherries – hardly enough to do anything with.

But I adore cherries and was not about to let them go to waste!

Dagmar came to the rescue – deciding to turn them into jam.

They were too small to pit – so she put them whole in a saucepan with some water and boiled them until the pits came out.

Then she measured out the juice that was left – but there wasn’t enough for a batch.  So she headed to the freezer and dug around until she found a package of frozen peaches.


She added the peaches to the cherries and viola! She had enough for a batch!

Great taste and no waste!

A real winner!

Cherry Peach Jam

1 pound tart red cherries
1 1/4 pound peaches
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 – 13/4 ounce package fruit pectin
4 cups of sugar

Sort, wash and remove stems from the cherries. Pit and coursely chop them, measure 1 1/2 cups. (We used the juice and whatever cherry parts we could salvage from the pits.)

Peel, pit and coarsely chop the peaches, measure out 2 cups. (We used the frozen peaches from the freezer – we just thawed them and rough chopped them.)

In an 8-10 quart kettle or dutch oven combine the fruits and lemon juice. Add the powdered pectin and mix well.

Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Stir in sugar. Bring to  full rolling boil again, stirring constantly.

Boil hard, uncovered for one minute.

Remove from heat and quickly skim the foam from the top with a metal spoon. (This is harder than it looks – the fruit floats to the top as well and gets stuck in the spoon with the foam – just do your best. A little foam on top of your jam is not the end of the world!)

Pour at once into sterilized canning jars, seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Or put into freezer safe containers and freezer.

Makes 5 half-pints.

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday- Milk!

450px-milk_glassMy sister and her 6 kiddos came to the farm to spend a few days this week – bringing with them lots of energy and lots of food! I soon realized that our refrigerator couldn’t handle all the wonderful things she had brought.

So, I called one of the boys to bring up our Coleman PowerChill cooler. I love the convenience of an extra refrigerator on occasions such as this. He plugged it in, we filled it up and forgot about it…

…until noon the next day when we started to make lunch for the troops.I opened the cooler to grab the cantaloupes and was shocked to discover they were hot. Not warm, as if it hadn’t been running, but hot.

In the chaos of unpacking, dealing with the piles of duffel bags, sleeping bags, suitcases, and food, we had plugged our warm/cool electric cooler on in the warm function.

Our 2 gallons of milk and 2 cantaloupes had been “cooking’ all night long.


Now what do we do with 2 gallons of warm milk and 2 cantaloupes? Would it be okay to just cool the milk back down and drink it? Kind of double pasteurized?  We weren’t sure.

It was time to call Mom (of course!) After she stopped laughing, she started brainstorming ideas.

We decide to cut up the cantaloupe, put in the fridge to cool down and eat it immediately. It tasted fine.

Mom suggested making chocolate milk with one of the gallons. It was brilliant! I put it in a pot on the stove, added 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. After mixing it well with the immersion blender, I poured it back in the jug and put it in the fridge.

It chilled all night and the kids guzzled it down the next day!

One gallon down, one to go.

It was time to divide and conquer. We used some to make broccoli cheese soup for our lunch, some for the macaroni and cheese for the kids lunch, and the rest went into homemade vanilla pudding that we put in the freezer and made into pudding pops for the next day.

We did it! Nothing was wasted. Everything was used.

It is interesting to note that not one of us, my sister, my mom or myself, ever even thought of dumping the milk. We were determined to find a use for it because we had been taught from a young age that we should “Waste not, want not!”