Jello Banquet recipes

Well, my dears, we had a lovely time the other night at the ISFAJ (International Society for the Advancement of Jello) Banquet, didn't we? I was SO glad for all of you that could come, and for your excellent contributions. We will definitely have to get together again soon. Meanwhile, here are the recipes. I will post a few more pictures later.

**Update with better pictures: here

Rainbow Layered Jello

1 6-oz. package green jello
1 6-oz. package lemon jello
1 6-oz. package orange jello
1 6-oz. package strawberry jello
4 c. sour cream, or plain yogurt

*Remember to start making this early. If you want it done by dinnertime, you should have it started before noon. Or make it the day before.*

Mix green jello with two cups boiling water. Take out ½ cup of this jello mixture and, in a separate bowl, combine it with 1 cup sour cream. This is your creamy layer. Pour it into a 9x13 glass pan and refrigerate until set, about ½ hour–45 minutes. Pour remaining 1 ½ cups (or so) of clear green jello over creamy layer and refrigerate until set. (The clear layer usually sets faster.) Repeat process with yellow, orange, and red jello, alternating clear and creamy layers.

You can half the recipe (using small 3-oz. jello packages) and use a smaller casserole pan, if desired.

For the Black Bean Chowder with Yogurt-Cilantro Relish recipe, I direct you here. (I left out the ham hock). And as you may recall, the bread recipe is here.

Quinoa Cakes with Shrimp and Lemon-yogurt sauce
1 c. red or white quinoa, or a mixture of the two
2 c. water

Combine quinoa, salt and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Grate 1 carrot, 1 small zucchini (with peel), and 1 small onion. Add vegetables, along with 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, to the cooked quinoa. Stir in an egg to make a moist mixture that will (sort of) hold together.

I formed it into little cakes for frying, but they didn't really hold together, so you could probably just add it in a thin layer to some olive oil in a hot pan, and fry on both sides till crisp. Then form into cakes by packing into a measuring cup, and top with a cooked shrimp and the sauce (below).

Lemon-yogurt sauce:

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. mustard

Stir together and heat in saucepan or microwave until warm.

Chocolate Basil Torte
for the cake:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 packed cup fresh basil (leaves only)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

for the ganache:
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375F and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of wax paper or parchment paper, and butter the paper.
2. Place the butter and the chocolate in a glass mixing bowl, microwave on high for 1 min., and stir till smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt, and set aside.
3. Next, make a basil sugar: pulse the sugar and the basil together in a food processor until the basil is very finely chopped and uniformly green in color. The sugar will look slightly wet.
4. Add the basil sugar to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, blending completely between additions. Sift the cocoa powder over the batter and fold it in until no dry spots remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
5. Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the cake barely begins to crack. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a round serving plate.
6. While the cake cools, make the ganache: place the chocolate and the cream in a small glass bowl, microwave on high 1 minute, and stir until melted and smooth. Using a flat spatula or knife, spread the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, if desired.


  1. that was the funnest night ever. and the food was so dang good. thanks for inviting us.

  2. THANKS everyone for letting me crash your party! What a fun group of friends! I wish I lived within 30 miles of your house, Sam & Marilyn, so I could go to all your parties. What larks we'd have, Pip, ol' chap!

    And thanks for letting me stay overnight and letting me admire your beautiful boys--I LOVE THEM! They are so intelligent and sweet--you guys are definitely good parents!

  3. Why is Jessica that skinny after just having baby? She's just as cute as she was in London. I'm so glad you've kept in touch with her so I could see her.

  4. Another comment? Yes. I'll have several. (see below)
    I totally didn't "get" what the party was about. Coming into the house I assumed we were all going to bring jello creations and then have some sort of contest as to who was the winner. When I explained it to Joel, he was like, "Whoa. That sounds like a lot of Jello for a party." Kind of like, we're all going to get sick of eating that much Jello.
    Then, I felt like a retard for bringing my kindergarten (or, let's admit it, special ed) creation. At least Maggie and Clara liked it.

  5. I'm sorry if I got in your face at the party while you were getting food for everyone. I'm like that annoying second-grader that wants to be the teacher's helper with EVERYTHING, even to the point where the teacher finally spouts in exasperation, "Beth, sit down!"
    I'm like, "Teacher! Can I help? Can I drizzle the sauce? Can I? Can I serve the soup? Can I help?" I think it has to do with my need to be liked. Isn't everyone going to think I'm great if I do everything? I know, I'm not well...
    And, I thought your choice of guests was great. What an awesome party!

  6. No. I'm still not done. The food was awesome. I'm going to Good Earth someday and I'm buying a buttload of quinoa!
    It was all so gourmette! And you were so unflustered by all of it. Amazing! Simply amazing!


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