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Suggestions on how to make Jell-O exciting (non-alcohol version)?

I've been tagged to make an "exciting" Jell-O dish for a SuperBowl get-together. No alcohol.

Any suggestions?

Thanks very much.

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  1. Do you have to use Jell-O? or can it be something made with gelatin? There are a bunch of good panna cotta recipes at Epicurious. The lemon with blackberry sauce is wonderful.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Thanks, but unfortunately it has to be Jell-O.

      Although I suppose I could adapt a run-of-the-mill gelatin recipe with Jell-O, right?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I just Googled up Jello Recipes and there are a whole bunch out there. I remember on thing we used to do with Jello iin the 60's was chill it until it was almost set and then whipping it with an electric mixer until it became a Jello mousse and spooned that into servng glasses. It was not horrible IIRC.

        1. re: Candy

          The Jello mousse-like stuff can be set and then served with a complementary pudding or sauce, too.

    2. You should check out rworange's jello quest posts: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31236... Click on her post at the end to get to her results, some of which have alcohol in them, but you can still get some good ideas. And another one of her topics revolving around packaged jell-o: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31238...

      1. jello in fish molds . . . or if you want it taste good and have jello as an ingredient, a lemon pie.
        you could make them individually in small pie pans or creme brulee pots

        LEMON CREAM CHEESE PIE in a graham cracker crust

        1 (3 oz.) pkg. lemon Jello (or any lemon gelatin)
        1 c. boiling water
        MIX AND COOL

        while that happens,
        8oz. cream cheese (that low fat neufchatel is fine)
        1 c. sugar
        3T lemon juice, fresh is the best but RealLemon won't f'up the pie
        1t vanilla

        Add cheese mixture to jello mixture a little at a time

        WHIP 1 SMALL can evaporated milk, WELLchilled
        (We always used Pet milk)

        Fold the whipped milk (standing in peaks) into the mixture.

        The crust you have made beforehand (good kid activity)

        graham cracker crust:
        1/2 lb graham crackers (NOT cinnamon topped!), crushed
        (put them in a bag and whack 'em with a rolling pin, can, or mallet)
        1/2 c melted butter

        Mix crumbs and butter together in a deep dish pyrex and press it with a fork or your fingers into an even crust in the pan. save some of the dry crumbs to sprinkle on top of the pie.
        Add filling, sprinkle crumbs.
        Refrigerate a few hours or overnight, covered with wax paper after it sets up.

        + you can use ginger snaps instead of graham crackers -- esp those excellent Anna's Ginger Thins.
        + This pie is easy, but I've seen it go wrong a couple times. Don't let the jello set too long or you'll get globs of it in the pie. In this pie the jello should be incognito. I personally hate Jello. It should be just cool and a little thick, like raw egg whites.
        + Other way to go wrong: GRANULATED GRAINY. You've got to really cream that cream cheese and sugar together with the lemon juice and vanilla.

        1. I am so glad to see Jello finally mentioned on Chowhound because it is unparalleled in two situations: 1) If you get stuck with some terribly sour grapefruit, dig the segments out with a spoon as if you were going to eat it and put it in jello, any flavor but black cherry is best. The icky sweet jello sort of soaks into the sour grapefruit and the combo is palatable. 2) Sick feverish young children who won't eat anything else will usually eat red jello. No, it's not a health food, but it will get some fluid and calories into them.

          1. In a large bowl combine a pint of frozen vanilla yogurt with 2 cups hot water and one large box of black raspberry jello. Once well combined add a 15 oz can of blackberries including liquid (or 1/2 pint of fresh berries and add 1/3 cup cold water) and freeze it, you have one delicious cold jello mousse.

            I pour the entire recipe into a Tupperware ring mold and chill til ready to serve.

            1. Nothing beats orange jell-o with canned mandarin orange slices suspended in it. Of course, I think it needs to be made in an old tupperware mold by Aunt Edna to REALLY be good.

              :) memories....

              1. Here's something I learned from Mom: Jello torte made in a loaf pan sprayed with Pam.
                Alternate layers of green, red, and orange or whatever colors you like with layers of cream cheese and yellow gelatin -1 large box of jello (WITH WATER) to 1 pkg cream cheese. Pour some of one color, let it set, then a thin layer of cream cheese/jello, then a layer of another color, then the cream cheese layer, and so on. Let each layer set b4 pouring another layer. I've made this ending up w/about 8/10 layers. Looks great when sliced. To unmold set laof pan into hot water to loosen, then invert onto a serving plate. decorate with fresh fruit and mint leaves.

                1. Hmmmm, how about using sparkling apple cider for the cold liquid? I usually do it with champagne, and if you can keep it very cold, the bubbles will be trapped in the jell-o as it solifies which can be fun, if you slice fruit in as well.

                  1. My mother has a Thanksgiving standby consisting of a lemon jell-o mold with grated carrots, diced canned pineapple and walnuts in it. The recipe's probably from the 1950s. Sounds awful but it looks pretty and tastes good. It's a refreshing blend of flavors and textures.

                    1. My Grammy's favorite jello recipe - combine lemon jello with canned cranberry sauce, top with chopped walnuts. The tartness of the cranberry helps to cut the sweetness of the jello, also makes for a more interesting texture.

                      1. I'm not a big Jell-o fan, and I HATE making it. I would rather make a 3-layer scratch German Chocolate cake than one box of Jell-o. My loathing is irrational, but there you go!

                        That said, my friend has a recipe for a cranberry mold that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that is made with Jell-o. I will email her for the recipe and see if I can get it back to you in time.

                        1. They want jello? You might as well go all out. My mom makes a Strawberry Pretzel Jello "Salad" for church supper type deals and reports that it is enormously popular. I've never tried it.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: coconutz

                            I believe I've had this! And I admit that I did like it. It was very dessert-y.

                            1. re: coconutz

                              My aunt Sue makes pretzel jello every time I'm home! It's wonderful, and about the only way I'll eat pretzels or jello.

                            2. Jello salad consisting of jell-o mix, hot water, applesauce, and frozen raspberries. The applesauce gives it a delicious texture and is a substitute for some of the water usually used in the recipe. I don't remember the exact measurements but I could easily find it if you would like.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: prettyme

                                That sounds interesting (for Jell-o, coming from a non-Jell-o fan here). I might have to give that a try. I think the applesauce texture might make me like it more. Thanks!

                                1. re: luv2bake

                                  Here are the particulars:
                                  1 package raspberry jello
                                  1 cup boiling water
                                  1 cup applesauce (no cinnamon)
                                  1 bag frozen raspberries

                                  Make it just as you would regular jell-o! Easy as pie.

                                    1. re: prettyme

                                      hi, prettyme. I made the jello today. I was wretchedly ill earlier this week, and jello was sounding wonderful. We couldn't get raspberries here in our podunk burg, but they had blackberries (which were incredibly good, surprisingly!) I did a big pkg of jello, so basically I doubled the recipe.

                                      I've already eaten about half of the mold! Of course, that's almost all I ate today, but still -- oink!

                                      1. re: luv2bake

                                        Well I hope you feel better soon!! Glad you enjoyed it! I'll have to experiment with other berries. And hey, no oink-ing. At least you got a serving or two of fruit.

                                2. Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions.

                                  I think I'm going to go with a steamed bun with a taro root/jello-o filling. I'll let you guys know how it turns out ...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. My grandma always added a can of fruit cocktail and made a mold. Top with Cool Whip for good measure.

                                    I actually had an interesting jello punch at a New Year's party. Might want to Google and see what you get.

                                    1. Maybe this is already way-too-common knowledge, but if you wait 'til Jello cools to about raw egg-white state, then whip with electric beater, it becomes foam. A lighter color (red becomes pink), and a matte opaque finish rather than the shiny, see-through, usual Jello.
                                      It still holds its shape when chilled, like regular Jello. Just another decorative option.

                                      1. Here's a little excitement for Jell-O. Make Jell-O with soda water. When you eat the Jell-O the little gas bubbles tingle your tongue. It as a popular Jell-O thing back in the early 90's. Think pop rocks.

                                        1. There's a Jello mold I like -- it doesn't really taste like Jello because it has so much stuff in it. It's like the Jello and cranberry mentioned above, But there's only enough Jello to hold it together -- the rest is cranberry sauce, finely chopped raw apple (tart firm ones work well), and finely chopped walnuts. So it's not as sweet or as pure gelatin in texture as most Jello molds. I'll see if I can dig up the recipe. You can sometimes find a cranberry or raspberry-cranberry Jello to make it with.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: eamcd

                                            That sounds exactly like my friend's recipe. I emailed her days ago and haven't gotten the recipe yet! I'm sure that's the same one because hers is apples, walnuts, and cranberries. It is so good. I think I would like to try it with a little orange zest sometime, too.

                                            I can't wait to see your recipe. Maybe that's why I like it, since it's not so jello-y. It does not have that firm jello consistency.

                                          2. Crown mold. Fill halfway with blue jello. Set. Put in a bunch of goldfish crackers. Fill the rest of the way with more blue jello.

                                            Flavor is not exciting, but it will get noticed.

                                            1. A dear friend from Texas used to make lime Jello with canned Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilis. Sort of a chunky, hot, sweet-ish tomato aspic. I serve it sort of as a relish. Takes all of 5 minutes to prepare.
                                              Vats of it flew off Becca's buffet tables. Always with Southern style and Texas foods.
                                              She was a great hostess. Some of my best recipes are from her.

                                              1. Try making the Jello with sparkling water or soda -- the carbonation adds a little kick and gives it lightness.

                                                1. Blech! As a young person, I was forced to endure many Jello-ish dishes, and I loathed them all. I like home-made gelatin and aspic dishes, but the fake flavors of Jell-O sent chills through my spine. This is bad frankenfood, and I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Cheat, if you have to, but don't feed your friends this crap.

                                                  1. My mom sometimes makes cookies with jello. They're pretty good, and a nice way to dispatch jello without having to eat just jello, which I can't abide, especially the green flavor.

                                                    Jello Pressed Cookies

                                                    4 c. flour
                                                    1 tsp. baking powder
                                                    1 1/2 c. margarine
                                                    1 c. sugar
                                                    1 pkg. jello
                                                    1 egg
                                                    1 tsp. vanilla
                                                    additional jello for sprinkling

                                                    Cream butter, sugar and jello. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add flour and baking powder; mix until smooth.
                                                    Drop from cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheet; sprinkle with jello. Bake at 400° for 13-14 minutes, till just barely brown at edges.

                                                    (Now, the last time I made these, I burned them all; not sure what I did wrong, but 400 for 13-14 minutes was way too hot and way too long, even though it always worked fine before. So you may want to experiment with the time & temperature.)

                                                      1. Forgive me, but the best jelly (sorry - English) is made in clear plastic (or glass) cups and has a drinking straw set in it. One of those things I just can't get passed, Mum used to do this but the jelly was orange juice set with gelatin.