Friday, January 15, 2010

A Retro Dessert and A "Green" White Elephant Gift

This is one of two desserts that I made for the Christmas buffet at my aunts house. I was going to make a sausage, apple, cornbread dressing but my mom said she wanted to make the dressing so she handed off her dessert to me. I also made a cake, but today I will share with you a lovely retro dessert- a Jello mold :-)

I've made many a Jello salad in my lifetime but I've never put it into a mold before. I thought this would be fun though since it was for a special occasion. As if you need a special occasion to put Jello into a pretty dish. ha ha! This mold is actually a cake pan from Kaiser that I got at Goodwill for $3! I think I got a great deal on it as it was brand new and not a single scratch on it. I decided to go with orange gelatin with crushed pineapple, marshmallows, whipped topping and coconut. An Ambrosia mold to be exact.

It was really good and I liked the combination of these flavors in this fluffy salad. I did leave out the coconut because my sister *thinks* she's allergic to it. The only change I would make next time is to use the mandarin juice in place of the cold water and to maybe reduce the amount of overall liquid in this recipe by about 1/4 cup just to firm it up a bit. I'd make this again though with the coconut as I think it would be a nice texture.

Ambrosia Jello Mold from Kraft
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • cold water
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) orange Jello Gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough cold water to juice to measure 1 cup. Add boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in measured liquid. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until slightly thickened.

Whisk in Cool Whip until well blended. Refrigerate 10 min. or until mixture will mound. Stir in pineapple, oranges, marshmallows and coconut. Spoon into 6-cup mold sprayed with cooking spray.

Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Unmold.

Tips from Kraft:

How to Stir Cool Whip into Gelatin:

Spoon Cool Whip into slightly thickened gelatin, using the amount of Cool Whip specified in the recipe.Gently stir the Cool Whip into the gelatin until all the Cool Whip has been incorporated and mixture is a uniform pastel color.

How to Unmold Gelatin:

Dip mold in warm water for about 15 sec. Gently pull gelatin from around edge with moist fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert mold and plate; holding mold and plate together, shake slightly to loosen. Gently remove mold and center gelatin on plate.

I mentioned in the title that there was a "Green" White Elephant Gift as part of this post. A couple months ago, Laura of Hey What's For Dinner Mom? hosted a white elephant gift exchange between bloggers who wanted to participate. The deal was to send a fellow blogger a gift that we didn't want-- a regift of sorts, which was the "green" part of the exchange. I sent my gift to Laura in Alaska and her postal service took 3 weeks to get it to her- crazy! I got a gift this week from Healthy Wife, Crazy Life.

In my little package was a cardboard birdhouse. Which at first sounded odd to me, but I started to look at it, I think it's pretty neat. It's water resistant and folds together pretty easily. I'll have to try it out this spring when the birds come back to my house. I also got a scented pencil made of recycled newspapers that smells like chocolate, some vanilla bean lotion, a mini bottle of hand sanitizer and a small cosmetic bag. Fun!

Thanks so much!


  1. Yummm! I've never had a jello salad before but that looks delish!!

  2. Jello molds aren't retro in Mexico! They are all the rage down here. I have a very easy and very delicious recipe on my blog if you're interested! :D

    I hope you'll post pics of the birdhouse when you put it together.

  3. When I was a kid you couldn't go anywhere that they didn't serve some kind of molded jello salad. They were never really my favorite and once I got to pick my own food, I stopped eating them. I sort of felt a twinge of "I want some of that" along with a cringe of "get that away from me" when I read this!


  4. WOOT!! finally got it and I like the idea of a fold up birdhouse so cute!

    Made a jello dish in orange cups the other day and it was good.

  5. That is such a beautiful jello! What an amazing creation!

  6. I don't think this qualifies as retro either (too pretty). To me, retro is plain red or green jello with banana butts sticking out of it like mom used to make (banana butts = pointy ends).

  7. Colleen, that cracks me up. We usually have red jello with banana slice, but have never it with banana butts :-)

  8. I love these easy and pretty jello salads. Thanks.

  9. Your jelly looks wonderfully retro! Very pretty design.

  10. This is really pretty and seems so old-fashioned. : ) I'm laughing over waiting for a special occasion to make jello. You're too much.

    I am in love with your little birdhouse. I'm going to go google cardboard birdhouses right now. Maybe we could make one out of cereal boxes or something. Claudia would LOVE to do that.

  11. Success!

    If anyone is interested or has a little bird-lover like I do, here's a link to make your own birdhouse:

    (Many thanks to you and your friend for the inspiration, Monica!)

  12. What a gorgeous retro dessert. I love the old fashioned jello mold ambrosia type foods.. I also like to wear my June Cleaver apron when serving it:);)

    Seriously, it looks beautiful and I know it tasted wonderful.

  13. Oh that jello mold and recipe brings back so very many memories! Love it! Who would have thot that in my middle age I would see food of my childhood called 'retro'. Grin!

  14. Monica, the jello mold recipe brings back soo many childhhod memories!! It looks so refreshing. Love your blog.

  15. That is probably the pretties jello salad I have ever seen! It sounds yummy too, I don't know why I don't make these ever, just a weird pretzel jello that my kids love!

  16. I have never had a jello Ambrosia salad. This looks so festive and elegant. I will be sure to try it in the future.

  17. Hi MOnica, My mother in law used to make a jello salad like this, but I never got the recipe. I loved it and this dessert also looks just as good and so refreshing with the oranges! Some of those old retro recipes are some of the very best and I'm glad that you revisited them. How are you doing on the cake this month? I'm baking it this weekend and am so excited to see how it turns out! Bye for now! Roz

  18. Hmmmm, I'm not sure about this one Monica. I think it may be like that carrot and raisin salad/slaw that you made a while back, something I need to try first before giving it a whirl.

    That regifting idea is kinda cool.

  19. Your jello looks awesome! I like the ring of oranges as garnish!

  20. You found a weakness in me-- in addition to my rice krispy treat addiction... I love Jello Molds exactly as you made this one. I could eat the whole thing. Yes, on the coconut!

  21. I'm not big on jello, but this looks absolutely gorgeous and worth a maiden voyage into jellocooking.

  22. i loooove jello salads, totally making this for our next church potluck :)

  23. When I was young, my Mom would make me just plain orange Jell-O (which I still eat today and there is a bowl in my fridge right now!), but at Christmas my aunt would make an orange salad with shredded carrots that my sister would gobble up and then a lime one with applesauce and 7-Up which was my favorite. It was special because that was the one time of year we had it. I have to go see if I have applesauce.....

  24.! I've never seen ambrosia made to look so lovely...I have never known anyone to not like to eat it but they always just put it in a big bowl and it looks like mush..this is so beautiful and I bet if I'd seen this on a dessert table I wouldn't have waited so many years to ever try it. :-) Great job!

  25. I thought it was an excellent blog, that information has been very helpful in my life, I am a desserts lover, so I really enjoyed this reading, this weekend I want to do one! Thanks for this great moment!


Thank you for your supportive comments. I appreciate each and every one of them!