Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dried Fig Almond Bark and a Happy Fourth

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July! Ours this year was different from what it has always been- instead of going to my grandparents' summer house we stayed home and went to the local parade, a neighborhood barbecue, and then a minor league baseball game.  It was fun, and there was definitely a lot of good food to go around :) More on that to come, but I've got a recipe from last week to share first:

Dried Fig Almond Bark

slightly adapted from Food Network

1 lb semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried figs

Line a baking sheet with foil, shiny side  up.  Melt the semisweet chocolate in a double boiler or intervals in the microwave.  Spread the chocolate on the foil, making a layer about 1/4 inch thick.  Sprinkle on the almonds and figs, so that there will be some of each in each bite.  Let harden at room temp (or in the fridge) before breaking into pieces.

This was our Friday snack/dessert while we got ready for the memorial the next day.  Almonds and figs are good for you, and you could really give this an extra flavor and health kick by using dark chocolate.  I think that might even go better with the almonds, and probably the figs.

On to the Fourth..

This was the first year our neighborhood had a community barbecue, and we were all asked to bring a salad.  Something else came to mind though, a recipe my mom has made several times over the years.  It does take some time but the end result is pretty and festive.  They were a hit at the barbecue, and one neighbor asked for the recipe, so I'm glad I put in the time and made these.  Make these and score some major brownie points at your next get together :) 

Rainbow Gelatin Cubes

4 3-oz packages Jell-O ( I used two red and one 6-oz of blue, divided)
6 envelopes unflavored gelatin
5 3/4 cups boiling water
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup cold water

In a bowl, combine one package Jell-O and one envelope unflavored gelatin.  Stir in one cup boiling water until dissolved.  Pour into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray and refrigerate until set but not firm, about 20 minutes.

In another bowl, combine the condensed milk and one cup boiling water.  In another bowl, sprinkle two enveloped unflavored gelatin over cold water and let stand for one minute.  Stir in 3/4 cup boiling water and add to milk mixture.  Spoon one cup of the creamy gelatin mixture over the first layer of Jell-O and refrigerate until set but not firm, about 25 minutes.

Repeat from beginning of recipe twice alternating Jell-O with creamy gelatin layers.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into one-inch squares.

 Everything you need, minus the water.

Our fridge shelf is less than perfectly flat, haha.

Ready for the barbecue!

My bottom layer(s), red and white, got a bit cloudy because the red hadn't set when I poured on the white layer.

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