Merely a Trifle

I looked for a healthy trifle recipe for a party this week and ended up concocting one of my own from several I found, making modifications as I went.  It was a smashing success and I had several requests for the recipe. 

Strawberry Trifle 

1 purchased angelfood cake (9-inch)
3 bananas
20-oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice, well drained
3 pints fresh strawberries,hulled and sliced
2 TB sugar or sugar substitute (I used Domino-Lite)
12-oz. container Cool-Whip Free, thawed
12-oz container fat free sour cream
1 small box sugar free, fat free vanilla pudding mix

In a large bowl, sprinkle the berries with sugar substitute, toss, and set aside

In another bowl, thoroughly mix FF sour cream and pudding mix, then fold that into the thawed Cool Whip.  

Slice angelfood cake in thirds horizontally (so you have three layers).  Put bottom layer of cake in bottom of trifle bowl.  Spoon berries around the edges of the layer to fill in between cake and glass and into the hole in the middle.  Slice one banana onto the cake (little round pieces), then add 1/3 of crushed pinapple on top.  Add a few more berries.  Then spread 1/3 of the creamy mixture on top.

Add second layer of cake and repeat with berries, banana, pineapple, and creamy mixture.

Depending on the size of your bowl and how many strawberries you use (I went a little overboard on mine), two layers may fill it up completely. In that case, take the third layer and put it in a separate bowl just for yourself 🙂 and take the other one to a party.

Make at least 4 hours ahead a chill thoroughly.  Top with a whole berry and cover with plastic wrap while in the fridge.

Can also add kiwis as an additional fruit layer. 

Crummy knees

Medical issues have also been circling this week. I learned on Monday that I will have knee surgery this summer, something that actually is a relief given the pain and general discomfort. I had two MRI's last week, one of each knee, and seeing the results with the doctor made it clear that knee replacements will be in my future at some point. If I were older now, we would be talking about it – arthritic deterioritation, bone spurs, internal edema, ruptured ACL's, etc. Sigh. I physically can't put pressure on them at all, stairs have to be taken by two-footing each step (which makes me feel about 100), and I can't bend more than 120 degrees without pain. So I don't.

Weight looms over me because I know that, although it may not be the only reason for the bad knees, being so heavy for so much of my life certainly didn't help them. My doctor had me tested for diabetes this week, too. More wake up calls that even though I may not feel particularly like losing weight and getting tough with myself — far from it, I want to reach for comfort food and non-stress things — it's necessary for me to change the behaviors first, and then the feelings and motivation will come to support it. I know how to lose weight when I put my mind to it. I simply haven't been focused enough on it. This week I'm back focusing on the mechanics of it and not worrying about whether I want to. I don't have to want to, I just have to do it anyway.

Standing up for two hours to teach last night didn't help. The knees don't like to bend but they also don't really like to be straight, either. Thank God for podiums to cling to when the pain got bad, and for my beloved Birkenstocks. No way could I have done that in heels.