Welcome to The Blue Bandana. I’m Judi, and I am here to tell stories of adventures. Life is a grand journey full of excitement and I want to explore it all. It happens fast and I often forget so much because it goes so quickly and I move on to the next thing before I get a chance to write it all down. So join me as I travel, cook, eat, design, run, cycle, push myself to the limit. I am interested in SO MANY things, and I will explore those here also – everything from poetry, wisdom, love, and beauty in all its forms. Hop on board!
Well, it’s been a bit….. and the big news is – we’ve moved into our very own place! We are so excited to be nesting together. We love the space, the view, the birds, the garden-to-be, and all the projects to complete!
First in time is the laundry room.
We bought a new washer and dryer, and will be buying a new tankless water heater. Then will come the paint cabinets, sink (from http://www.ecorelicss.com), and a few other touches to make it pretty. I can’t wait!
We had these delusions that we would close and immediately get into this project. What fools we were! We’ve been here over a week and only the washer and dryer are in. Things take so much longer in real life!
In other news, Michael’s daughter and baby boy are now living with us. I had mixed emotions about this at first, but now, I couldn’t imagine them being anywhere else. It is such fun to have a little guy around! He’s the cutest! And we get to see him every day, all of his little faces and noises, and how he grows. Yesterday we took him to church for the first time and left him in the nursery for the service, and he did great! Then I got to hang with him for my shift in the baby rom. BONUS! We love this little guy!
What’s this? Is it a flag, or dessert? Is it sweet, or salty (BOTH!) How can this be?
Every year my friend Ashleigh has a 4th of July party that I look forward to all year. We’re talking tie-dye t-shirts, a candy scramble, boiled peanuts, blackened mahi and fried grouper that her brother caught himself. DEE. LISH.OUS. It’s an all out fun and eat-fest.
My self-appointed role is what else but to bring dessert! My wonderful Italian mother passed along to me not just the love of baking, but the Italian gift of needing to feed people. I can’t help it. The gooier the better. I stole this this recipe from her, adapted it a bit, and have been making it for Independence Day ever since.
I mean, what says Happy Birthday USA better than salad/dessert???
Here’s the deal: The original recipe says to start with the pretzel layer and go up. After time crunched fails where the Jello was too hot and I poured it over everything and then it sunk to the bottom and made the pretzels soggy, here’s what you do:
Make the Jello first. Let sit and cool.
THEN crush the pretzels, and pour them into your 9″x 13″ baking dish.
Melt the butter, stir in the sugar, and pour over pretzels and mix round, until evenly distributed.
Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes and let cool.
Put the cream cheese in your mixer and make it creamy. Add the sugar, mix, then fold in Cool Whip. Spread onto the pretzel layer ( make sure it’s cool, and careful not to bring up the pretzels as you spread) put in the fridge (I’ve done the freezer too) for about 2 hours.
Before you’re ready to make the flag, slice your strawberries. I had a little help with this.
When the cream cheese layer has set, take out of the fridge and place sliced strawberries and blueberries on top of the cream cheese layer in an American flag pattern. I recommend mushing the fruit into the cream cheese layer. Otherwise when you pour the Jello on top of the fruit the fruit can float out of position. If you look again at the pic at the top, that’s exactly hat happened down in the bottom right-hand corner. Oh well……
Here is the pre-Jello fuzzy view. I really need to learn how to take a picture!
I mushed as many blueberries into that square as would fit. Maybe it really doesn’t look like stars are peeking through, but you I don’t think anyone is going to mistake this for the flag of Puerto Rico or anything.
Also appropriate for the upcoming Labor Day celebration, y’all.