With its warmer weather and longer days, summer is synonymous with outdoor gatherings--whether it's a formal get-together or a weeknight barbecue with family. One way to cap off your al fresco dining experience is with a cool, refreshing dessert made with summer's best bounty: fresh berries.
Lifestyle author and TV host Katie Brown suggests preparing no-bake berry desserts for your summer soirees.
"Summer berries are perfect for making delicious, approachable desserts," Katie Brown says. "With just a few ingredients, you can make a refreshing no-bake dessert that your friends and family will love but won't keep you in the kitchen."
Holding an outdoor gathering this summer?
Here are some tips from Katie Brown:
--Establish a theme for your party that ties together your invitations, table decorations and menu. A few simple ideas can give your party an exciting look and give your guests a unique experience.
--When dining outdoors, cover your food with burlap covers to keep away the bugs.
--Nothing sets a softer mood than a candle's flicker under the moonlight. Create a lighted pathway with lawn globes.
--For more tips, check out the new book, "Katie Brown's Outdoor Entertaining."
Katie Brown is a lifestyle expert and TV Host. Jell-O is a proud sponsor of the "Katie Brown Workshop" on Public Television.
Easy Raspberry Sorbet
1 cup boiling water
Stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large freezer-proof bowl at least 2 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in frozen lemonade concentrate. Refrigerate 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Mash raspberries with fork. Add to gelatin mixture along with whipped topping; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Cover. Freeze 4 hours or until solid. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Scoop into cones. Return any remaining raspberry mixture to freezer. Makes 12 servings.
Variation: Serve scooped into dessert dishes instead of waffle cones.
Berry Bliss Cake
3/4 cup cold milk
Add milk to dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Stir in 1 cup whipped topping. Cut cake horizontally into three layers; brush with juice. Place bottom layer on serving plate; top with 3/4 cup mixed berries, half of pudding mixture and middle cake layer. Repeat layers of mixed berries and pudding mixture; cover with top cake layer. Top with 1/2 cup whipped topping and remaining berries; cover loosely with foil. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Store any leftovers in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.
1 1/2 cups Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs
Mix crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Press onto bottom of 13- by 9-inch pan; set aside. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and milk in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Add 1 cup whipped topping; mix well. Carefully spread over crust. Refrigerate. Meanwhile, stir boiling water into dry gelatin mixes in large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the berries. Pour over cream cheese layer; cover. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Top with remaining whipped topping and berries just before serving. Store any leftovers in refrigerator. Makes 20 servings
Size-wise: Sweets can be part of a balanced diet, but remember to keep tabs on portions.
Substitute: Prepare as directed, using Jell-O Strawberry Flavor Sugar Free Low Calorie Gelatin.
Storage know-how: Once thawed, store Cool Whip Whipped Topping in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or re-freeze for up to 3 months.