Monday, June 27, 2011

A rainbow is never a failure

Well, I was hoping this was going to be my first "introductory" blog post that would wow all my friends with my amazing ability to pour some jello.  Unfortunately, I do not have the amazing ability to pour jello!

Kaylee's 2nd birthday is this coming week and we had another family over for a BBQ to celebrate.  Her big birthday party will be at Grandpa's house in California in a couple of weeks.  (Be on the look out for that blog post!)  So for this mini-party I had the brilliant plan to make these from Glorious Treats blog:
(picture courtesy of Glorious Treats blog)

I couldn't find fancy glasses like she used but I did find basic drinking glasses at Target - 4 for $2.50!  With Kaylee down for her nap, I set out to achieve a masterpiece.  The recipe I was following didn't say how many desserts this would make so I bought 2 small boxes of each color to be on the safe side.  Note: You only need 1 box of each color to make 8 small glasses.  Unless you mess up like I did and have to start over...but more on that later.

I started with the purple layer.  Really you can do whatever color order you want! Red, White (cool whip) and Blue for the 4th of July, the colors of your favorite sports team for a party, Red and green layers for Christmas...oh the list goes on!

This is my left-handed pouring while right-handed photographing in my attempt to be like The Pioneer Woman...I wonder if she uses a tripod?  That would have been nice.  But I digress.

You make the jello using the quick set method.  After several attempts I found that using slightly less boiling water and slightly less cold water to get a thicker pouring jello which was easier to create layers with.

Next pour in your bottom color to whatever level you prefer, reserving about 1/3 of the liquid jello. It can sit out while the other stuff chills.

Here's a tip: When you pour your layer of jello, take a spoon and scoop out the bubbles.  Better yet, scoop out the bubbles when it's still in the mixing bowl!!

Put your glasses in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.  I used a tray for ease in taking the glasses in and out of the fridge each time.  Now put your jello mixing bowl in the sink, add hot water and let it sit while you go off and do your laundry, clean the house, iron clothes for 30 minutes....oh who am I kidding, I watched tv.

When you go to make the next layer of jello, your bowl will be clean and all remaining jello bits will have dissolved. Rinse and start the next color!  Easy clean up!

Take 1/3 cup of cool whip and mix it into the remaining purple jello.  The directions I had said to "pour the mixture on top of the slightly set purple jello already in the glasses" but my coolwhip mixture was not pourable so I spooned it on top and then carefully spread it evenly over the purple jello layer.  I was so proud and even caught myself dancing egotistically around the kitchen.  Note: don't do your celebratory dance until you know you've actually done it right!

Then you put this into the fridge to chill for 15-30 minutes.  See how this can be an all-day feat?  Okay, fast forward 15 minutes, and we're onto the next layer.

Now here is where I got tripped up and had to change my original plan.  Hopefully you can learn from my mistake.  But if you do and yours turns out great, don't tell me about it.  Kidding! I'd love to see it!

Repeat the steps for making the quick-set jello with your next color.  I chose blue.  See the ice?  That's the quick set method.

Take the glasses with your purple and cool whip layers out of fridge and pour the blue jello onto the purple cool whip layer.  Just like that, so easy....WAIT!!  Who am I kidding?  I completely bombed at this step. And no, there are no pictures because I was too mad, maybe even a tear or two.  I tried pouring the blue jello from a pyrex pitcher and the stream was too thick...It busted right through that delicious cool whip layer right down to the purple layer.  That caused the cool whip layer to float to the top.  So after I ruined 2 glasses that way, I switched to a measuring cup thinking it would give me a wider stream.  Nope, ruined 2 more.  4 left.  So, using the measuring cup I dribbled the jello literally one drop at a time.  This worked for 2 of them, the other 2 bombed as well.  So what did I do you ask?  I dumped them all out and started over with the purple layer.

Oh I should mention that Kaylee had awoken from her nap, played, eaten dinner, and gone back to bed for the night before I started in on my new attempt.  So please don't think I was neglecting my (almost) 2 year old for some jello.

2nd attempt at the purple layer poured & chilled - check.  This time I decided to forego the coolwhip layer and go for this look from Zakka Life's blog instead.
(picture courtesy of Zakka Life blog)

At this point I figured out how to pour jello slowly, widely, and softly!  But I was too tired at this point to attempt the cool whip layers again.  Are you ready for this magical tip?  A spoon.  A regular old flatware spoon that you eat cereal with.   Such a simple solution that my complex brain couldn't think of it....Hey! No need to laugh at that!

Okay, so you spoon on the blue layer, let it chill for 30 minutes, make the green layer, spoon it onto the blue layer, let it chill for 30 minutes...yada yada yada and this is what I had by the end of my dessert project:
 See why I said to scoop out the bubbles?

I also did not use a piping bag to make my cool whip topping look like perfection, but I suppose this was a lesson in being okay with non-perfection anyways!  We'll call it artistic!  Yosemite's Half Dome anyone?

All in all it was still an impressive dessert.  As you can see, no one liked it...

Another tip:  If you have little ones who like to play "kitchen" or "store", open your jello boxes by sliding your finger or a knife under the entire flap (don't use the "press here" marks) then glue or tape it back shut to add to their kitchen!


  1. Loved this! In a million years I would never have enough patience for this project but yours turned out amazing! And we glue our kitchen boxes back together for Ot's play kitchen too! :) xo!

  2. I'm doing this for the 4th because you inspire me and because my kids love jello. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. WOW - I am very impressed! Yours turned out great, too. Love the blow-by-blow, sounds like something that would have happened to me. :)