The Chocolate Brownie Trifle

chocolate trifle finished

A friend once told me that all good southern desserts should have a crushed up candy bar added to them. Check and check. I brought this “Chocolate Bomb” (TheRoomDad’s official name for the dessert) with Heath bar sprinkles to the Memorial Day picnic we attended yesterday. I actually have a hard time eating very much of this brownie trifle because it is sooo chocolate-y, but no one else seemed to have a problem with it.

Trifles are a layered dessert with some type of cake pieces, pudding/cream filling, and another item like fruit (or candy) pieces in a footed glass dish. They are easy to assemble and must be made ahead of time, so the flavors and ingredients will meld. I think they make a great recipe choice for large groups.

chocolate trifle ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes brownie mix (I use Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix)
  • 16 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
  • 3 (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mixes
  • 4 c. milk
  • 6 (1.4 oz.) Heath candy bars, frozen
  • trifle dish (or other glass serving dish with tall sides)

Directions

  • Bake brownies according to the directions on the box for a double recipe. The Betty Crocker double batch bakes in a 15″ x 10″ pan. After the brownies cool completely, cut or break apart into large pieces. You will crumble the large pieces into bite size pieces as you layer into the trifle dish.

chocolate trifle brownie pieces

  • Pour the dry pudding mixes in a large bowl and add 4 c. milk (this is less milk than what the recipe on the box will indicate). Using a whisk, mix the pudding until smooth.
  • While the Heath bars are still in their wrapper, hit them on the counter to break apart. If they are frozen, they break apart more easily. After the candy bars are crumbled, open the wrapper.
  • In the trifle dish, create a bottom layer of bite sized brownie pieces. You can break the brownie into small pieces using your hands or cut into little pieces with a knife.

chocolate trifle layer 1

  • Spread a layer of chocolate pudding on the brownie pieces.

chocolate trifle layer 2

  • Spread a layer of Cool Whip on the pudding layer.

chocolate trifle layer 3

  • Sprinkle Heath bar pieces on the Cool Whip.

chocolate trifle layer 4

  • Repeat the layers ending with Heath bar sprinkles.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2+ hours before serving.

chocolate trifle bite

Notes

  • One box of brownie mix is not quite enough, but you will have extra brownie pieces using a double batch. I usually have a little leftover pudding and Cool Whip too.

This recipe is not exactly swimsuit friendly, but I couldn’t resist. Do you eat delicious party food to kick off the summer, or do you lean towards “healthier” options?

chocolate trifle bite

Easter Brunch

hashbrown casserole cooked

Aunt B will be visiting with her two boys for Easter. I have my parents in town too. That means I need to prepare food for a group, which is actually something I like to do. I am not sure why cooking for a large group is so much more appealing to me than the daily cooking for my own small(er) family, but it is (see previous post). One idea I have for Easter brunch is Hash Brown Casserole. It is easy to assemble ahead, and it includes melted cheese, which automatically gives the recipe bonus points.

There are many variations of this casserole available, but I am sharing the recipe I use. I like to serve this casserole with ham or scrambled eggs. I also think it works well with steak or hamburgers later in the day.

Ingredients

  • 1 2-lb package frozen, diced hash brown potatoes– thawed (the cubes)
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 1 10-oz. can Campbell’s cream of celery soup (could replace with cream of chicken)
  • 8-oz. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (+ a little extra to sprinkle on the top before baking)
  • 1 t. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 t. pepper (or to taste)

hashbrown casserole ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until combined.

hashbrown casserole ingredients mixed

  • Spread in a 9×11 casserole dish.

hashbrown casserole

  • Sprinkle extra shredded cheddar cheese on top.
  • Cover in foil and bake for ~35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes or so until the top is slightly golden and edges are bubbly.

hashbrown casserole closeWill you be serving anything special for Easter?

Snacky Dinner

turkey quesadilla slices

I so enjoy making party food, cooking a big dish for a group, or assembling appetizers and class snack foods, but I avoid the daily grind of cooking family dinner that will be eaten in 3.7 minutes followed by kitchen clean-up like the plague (and don’t even get me started on packing school lunches).

If TheRoomDad has taken care of the grocery shopping, I can be persuaded to make fast dinners during the week that have minimal clean up. I have a recipe for turkey apple quesadillas that is acceptable as a mid-week meal. It is an odd combination of ingredients, but the adults and children at my house love them. The other nice thing about the recipe is the fact that all of the key food groups are in one bite, so I don’t have the pressure of having to come up with a side dish TOO. Utensils are not required to eat this “meal”, and we really don’t have to have plates either, so clean-up is a breeze.

Have you developed a resistance to making weeknight dinners night after night after night, or is it just me?

turkey quesadilla slices 3

Ingredients

  • Dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon)
  • honey
  • flour tortillas (any size– I like large then folded in half when heating)
  • Munster cheese slices (our grocery’s deli section has pre-sliced packs. Cut or break each slice into halves or thirds when assembling the quesadilla)
  • Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced (or another tart, green apple)
  • deli turkey, thinly sliced

turkey quesadilla slices 2

Directions

  • Mix equal parts honey and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. I start with 1 tablespoon each of mustard and honey. That is usually enough for 4 quesadillas (4 large tortillas folded in half).

turkey quesadilla honey mustard

  • If using the large tortillas, spread the honey mustard on half of the tortilla.

turkey quesadilla spread and apples

  • Layer 1 1/2 slices of Munster on the honey mustard spread. Since I cut the deli slices into smaller strips, I place ~3 1/2-slices across the half of the tortilla with the honey mustard.
  • Add 1-2 slices of turkey on top of the cheese.
  • Place several apple slices on the turkey.

turkey quesadillas assembly

  • Top the apple slices with 1/2 to 1 cheese slice.
  • Fold the tortilla in half to close.
  • Spray a skillet with Pam and using medium heat, cook the quesadilla on both sides until the cheese is melted, and the tortilla is browned.

turkey quesadilla cooking

  • Remove from heat, cut in thirds or quarters, and serve immediately.

turkey quesadillas finished

Notes

  • You can purchase a “brick” of Munster cheese and grate the cheese instead of using slices.

Comfort Food

taco soup and tortilla chips

It is dreary here today. We are on the fringe of all of the icy weather, so we have had solid rain with some icing. It means that bridges are closed, and school was cancelled. What do you do on a day like this? Cook soup. Since I was in my pajamas when I had this brainstorm, I sent TheRoomDad to the grocery store for Taco Soup ingredients. Not only is the soup delicious on a cold day, it is also the perfect soup for eating dinner in front of the TV and watching winter Olympics.

taco soup

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 32-oz. chicken broth (sometimes I use an additional 16-oz. can)
  • 1 4-oz. can mild chopped green chiles
  • 1 16-oz. can yellow corn (I like shoepeg corn)
  • 1 16-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-oz. can light rd kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 16-oz. cans diced tomatoes (drain 1 can and leave juices in 1 can)
  • 1 package original taco seasoning mix
  • 1 package dry ranch dressing mix

Toppings

  • grated Mexican cheese blend
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips

taco soup prepping

Directions

  • Trim any fat off the chicken breasts and cut in half. Put halved chicken breasts in a large soup pot with chopped onions, garlic, and 32-oz. chicken broth.
  • Simmer until meat shreds (about an hour or so). I take the pot off the heat and with two forks, pull the chicken apart in the soup pot. If it is not pulling apart easily, cook longer.

taco soup shredding chicken

  • Add all other soup ingredients through the ranch dressing mix.

taco soup adding ingredients

  • Cook another hour or two on low heat. If you would like to thin the soup at all, add some more chicken broth.
  • Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Notes

  • This is a great crock pot recipe. Put the chicken, onions, garlic, and broth in the crock pot on low in the morning. At the end of the day (about 3:00) shred the chicken. Add the other ingredients and cook a few more hours on low.
  • The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
  • Freezes well.

taco soup bite