Tasty Tuesday–Cherry Cola Jell-O

Since Easter is rapidly approaching, I decided to share our family’s favorite Jell-O recipe. It’s been something of a family secret until now, but since it’s been so popular with everyone who has tried it, I decided I could part with it!

  • 15 oz. can dark sweet cherries (pitted)–I use Oregon Fruit brand
  • 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 large package (6 oz.) cherry Jell-O
  • 13 oz. cola

Drain fruit from both cans of juice AND SAVE. Add water to juice (if needed) to make two cups. Heat juice to boiling; add Jell-O. Stir until dissolved; pour into bowl and cool slightly. Add cola and fruit; pour into 1 1/2 quart mold if desired (I use a trifle dish). Refrigerate until set.

Tasty Tuesday–Salmon Pasta

Lent means fish sales. I especially love it when salmon goes on sale, because I love to bake it will a little lemon juice and olive oil. I love it even more when I have salmon leftovers, because then I get to make one of my very favorite pasta dishes! If you don’t love capers as much as I do, feel free to reduce the amount in the recipe.

  • 16 oz. fettuccine
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • leftover salmon, flaked
  • 1 to 2 cans of artichoke hearts, quartered or chopped
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 7 oz. capers, drained
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large skillet, heat butter; add garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in cream and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer two to three minutes until thickened, stirring constantly. Add salmon, artichokes, salt, and pepper.

Drain pasta and add to skillet. Stir in cheese, basil, capers, and lemon zest. Serve when heated through.

Tasty Tuesday–Beef Barley Soup

Our family loves pot roast, and we also love using leftover pot roast to make beef barley soup. It’s such a hearty, filling meal, especially on a cold winter night!

  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 10 cups beef broth (if you don’t have enough, make up the rest with water)
  • Approx. 2 cups chopped leftover pot roast
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 11 oz. box quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

In a large saucepan, saute carrot, celery & onion with salt in butter until translucent.

Add the broth, beef, tomatoes, barley, pepper, rosemary, basil, and oregano; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until barley is tender, stirring occasionally.

Tasty Tuesday–Peppermint Hot Chocolate Bread Pudding

Even though I wasn’t planning on making a dessert for New Year’s Day, once I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I did have to make a few changes, based on what was available to me at the store, so you’re getting the recipe I actually used, not the one I found. I also used Kahlúa in place of the coffee required in the original recipe, because I wanted to add more mint flavor, plus, I’m always looking for a new booze-soaked dessert recipe!

  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup peppermint hot chocolate mix
  • 1/4 cup peppermint mocha Kahlúa
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces stale challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows, divided

Place the eggs in a blender and blend on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add the sugar and then add the hot chocolate mix and blend until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the Kahlúa, milk, and vanilla and blend until well combined.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch dish and place 1/2 of the cubed bread in the pan. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of the mini marshmallows on top. Add the rest of the bread and pack tightly. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and another 1/4 cup marshmallows.

Slowly pour in the custard. Press down on the mixture with a spatula or the back of a spoon to thoroughly saturate. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Bake at 325, uncovered, for 45-55 minutes or until the bread cubes are crisp and browned and the center is firm.

Remove the dish from the oven and top with the remaining mini marshmallows.

Switch your oven settings to broil and broil for about two minutes, or until the marshmallows are toasted to your liking. Watch it closely, the broiler will burn the marshmallows easily.

Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Tasty Tuesday–Apple Cider Milkshakes

After we went apple picking last week, and came home with a gallon of apple cider, I decided I wanted to make apple cider milkshakes. I couldn’t really find a recipe that I liked, so I played around with it a little bit until I had the proportions right. I used two scoops of Edy’s Washington Apple Pie ice cream, and four scoops of Caramel Delight (I have a pretty small ice cream scoop, so you may use fewer scoops than I did), but there are so many ways you could prepare it to your taste…vanilla, caramel, apple pie, and cinnamon ice creams would all work well, in whatever proportions you prefer! I garnished mine with a cinnamon stick because I was feeling fancy…you could also drizzle some caramel sauce on top, or add an apple slice, or whatever else sounds good to you!


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 6 scoops of ice cream

Blend cider and ice cream until smooth. Garnish as desired.

Tasty Tuesday–Roast Beef Sandwich Pizza

There are some summer days (like all of last week) where you just don’t want to turn on the oven. This cold pizza is a good dinner option for days like that. If you don’t like horseradish as much as I do, feel free to cut back the amount.


4 oz. cream cheese with chives and onion (from 8 oz. tub)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. creamy horseradish sauce
14 oz. prebaked Italian pizza crust
8 oz. deli roast beef, cut into bite-sized strips
1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/3 cup zesty Italian salad dressing

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and horseradish sauce; mix well. Spread evenly over pizza crust.

In medium bowl, combine roast beef, tomatoes, lettuce and dressing; toss gently to coat. Top pizza crust with roast beef mixture.

To serve, cut into wedges.

Tasty Tuesday–Blackberry Smoothies

I love blackberry season at Eckert’s! They are by far my favorite fruit to pick…and eat! I’m always looking for new recipes to try with our bounty, and this time, the children really wanted me to make smoothies. I had fun putting this recipe together…I think the nutmeg makes it extra special. The following recipe makes about 3-4 servings, so I had to double it for our family. You could also easily halve it if you only want to serve two!


  • 2 cups fresh blackberries (frozen would work, too)
  • 16 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar (more or less depending on how tart your berries are)
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Serve immediately.