Graduation

A lot of things have been happening over the past couple weeks, all sorts of senior events to keep me busy, leading up to the big finale…graduation.  I was in the front row during the entire two hour ceremony, so I had to maintain my composure and look dignified during the speeches (all while remembering to keep my legs crossed).  My parents and sisters took all sorts of pictures (a couple of which were a tad unflattering as some of the young ladies up there forgot about the leg crossing rule…) which got annoying but I was assured that I will appreciate that they took so many pictures ten years from now.

Anyways, so I am officially graduated from high school, ready to take on the world (so to speak).  My parents were  insistent on a graduation party so I offered to make the desserts.  I really wanted to find something that wasn’t chocolate.  Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, but I feel like chocolate is always the main component in all my desserts, so I decided to go for a fruity dessert.  Alas, the fruit trifle was born.

Now, this recipe is completely adaptable.  Pound cake not for you?  Use white cake layers.  You hate strawberries?  Use kiwi instead.  There is so many different combinations you can use for this recipe, so think of it more as a guideline as anything else. However, from experience, make sure you check the side of the bowl every so often to make sure your layers are looking clean and how you wish.  You can’t fix the bottom if the top is already in place!

Fruit Trifle (adapted from Allrecipes)

Ingredients:
1 box of pound cake mix, prepared, cooled, and cut into 1″ cubes
2 pints of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 pint of fresh blueberries
2 bananas
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (3.5) pkg. of vanilla instant pudding
2 cups of milk
12 oz. container of Cool Whip (thawed)
1 kiwi (optional, for garnish)

Directions:
1. Slice the strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar.  Cut bananas and combine with the orange juice, making sure to coat all slices (this prevents browning).  Combine pudding mix with milk and beat for two minutes.
2. Lay half of the cake cubes on the bottom of the trifle bowl then layer half of the fruit on top.  Pour half of the pudding mixture on top, and then spread half of the Cool Whip on top of the pudding.  Repeat in the next layer, setting aside a little bit of each fruit for garnish on the top of the trifle.
3.  Garnish as you please.

I apologize for the picture quality, I had to take these pictures last minute and there wasn’t any good natural light.

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Reese Pieces Cookies

Hello there.  My name is Samantha, I am a seventeen year old girl who has been dabbling in the culinary arts for the last couple years.  I am young compared to most of the men and women who dominate the food blogging world, however I am often described as a old soul trapped in a young woman’s body.  I will do my best to post on a weekly basis (maybe even more during the summer).  I encourage you to comment and ask questions as I will do my very best to answer them.

Moving on, this cookie recipe is one of my favorites, it is a drop cookie and the use of instant pudding mix in the batter helps the cookie retain moisture for several days.  If Reese Pieces aren’t for you, feel free to substitute anything you wish (they make excellent chocolate chip cookies as well).

Reese Pieces Cookies (Adapted from Allrecipes)
Yield: 36-42 cookies

Ingredients:
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Reese Pieces (or the substitution of your choosing)

Directions:
1.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift together flour and baking soda.
2.
Cream together butter and both white and brown sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in pudding mix, until blended.  Add flour mixture in parts, until completely blended.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Then, stir in Reese Pieces, making sure they are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
3. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-14 minutes or until cookie edges turn golden brown.  While cookies are baking chill any remaining dough until needed.