Create your balance. Design your life.

Balance the Hassle: Super-fun Gooey Jello Cupcakes

I have to spell desserts backwards to make sure I’ve spelled it correctly.  Baking can certainly leave you s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d! (Especially if you are crunched for time, have to deal with dietary restrictions, or are cooking for a bunch of people).  In honor of the holiday weekend that just passed us, and in honor of all those who don’t have the time to try and fail on their own, AND for all those on a diet or allergic to eggs and peanuts  this post is for you!!!

Super-fun Gooey Jello Cupcakes or 3 PointsPlus WW Cupcake/No Peanut/ No Egg

(This recipe is for 24 cupcakes.  I doubled everything and made 48)

Ingredients for cake:

1 Box of Cake mix (I used yellow)

1 can of Sprite Zero

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly and transfer to a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray; bake in the oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Refer to cake-mix box for pan size and approximate bake time.) The nutritional info says a serving is 1/12—but this makes 24!  The WW calculation came out to 2 points for the mix I used and I added a point for the dollop of topping=3!

Ingredients for filling:

1 Box  Fat-free/ Sugar-free Jello Mix

2 C Water

You can stop here and proceed to topping OR do what I did, and make it super fun for little ones!  My daughter picked out blue “Mike Wazowski” jello.  We poked a hole in each cupcake after it was cooked and put a shot or two of jello in each cake.  I used a syringe and put a full dose of the LIQUID jello (uncooled, after being mixed with the water) into each cupcake.  Then stuck them all in the fridge and let them set up over night.  Next time, I will just poke smaller holes in the cupcakes (with a toothpick) and let them absorb a tablespoon or 2 of the jello.  Mine turned out fine but was a lot of my taste. Note: I did not need two boxes of jello for all 48 cakes.  One 2-cup batch of liquid was plenty.  I still had some left over.

Ingredients for Topping:

1 Tub Fat-free/ Sugar-free Cool Whip

1 Box  Fat-free/ Sugar-free Pudding Mix

Mix the tub of Cool Whip with the powdered pudding.  Dollop on the cakes.  Decorate with sprinkles if you wish!

photo (15)

Done!  Easy!!!  Delicious.  You don’t need a ton of ingredients.  You can make them as simple as you need to, or go all the way (like we did) and fill them and sprinkle them for a birthday party.  The best part, however, is that everyone can have on and no one feels left out!!!

Spend your 3-day weekends enjoying yourself and your family.  This was the first time, in a long time, that I didn’t spend more time in the kitchen (and/or cleaning) than I did having fun.  Too often, we have big plans in our head about elaborate get-togethers and the details end up spoiling our ability to relax and enjoy!  I am all for fancy and creative touches that make parties memorable and fun, as long as those touches don’t overwhelm us in the making or execution of the details (does this make sense).  My daughter’s birthday party and Memorial Day weekend fell at the same time this year.  Normally, I want to try all the things I see on Pinterest, have a perfect party, look breezy-and-pulled-together, and have a spotless home which leaves guests marveling, “How does she do it?”  This time, I had a great party out of the house at a skating rink (which actually cost me less), had some family over for Memorial Day, baked a little, laughed a lot, and left guests wondering, “Is she on medication?”  Best. weekend. yet!

I’m just saying, if we are to strive for “balance’ in our lives, we have to make sure to cut ourselves some slack.  For me, and I’m guessing at least a few others out there, feeling like I have relaxed over the weekend helps me face the week ahead.  I feel much more resentful of “work” when I feel like I lost my weekend.  Whether the work you do is inside or outside of the house, your time-off is important. Minimize the details that are unnecessary (or make you neurotic) if they will whittle away at the precious few minutes you have to enjoy yourself!!  The hand-carved-strawberries-that- look-like-flowers can wait.  Throw some of these cupcakes in the oven and get out there!

 

 

 

 

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