This Cranberry Orange Trifle is the easiest recipe for a really stunning holiday dessert. The cranberry and orange combination is perfect.
Have I ever told you that I was raised by a woman who really doesn’t like to cook?
If my mother wasn’t the frugal, semi-health-conscious person that her own home-cooking mother raised her to be, I have no doubt I would have been raised entirely on takeout. As it was, with the exception of her freezer stockpile of Schwann’s frozen dinners, I learned the art of the quick and easy recipe from my mother. She may have despised the chore of cooking and reminded us of that around 5 PM most nights when my siblings and I all started moaning about hunger pangs and sniffing around for dinner. Still, we ate macaroni and cheese from scratch, lemon pepper chicken and rice, and something called “Vegetables in a Cloud,” which was tastier than it might sound. She didn’t like to cook, but she got the job done.
As a mother myself now with four little mouths to feed, I am more grateful to her than ever before. I actually like to cook and enjoy every second of my time in the kitchen. But time in the kitchen, especially as a single parent, is always more rushed than I’d like it to be. Turns out, the most helpful things I learned about cooking, I learned from a woman who really doesn’t like to cook.
My mother didn’t pass on the secrets for a perfect slow cooked Bolognese Sauce or the ins and outs of a delicious pot roast. But when the baby skips his nap, and I have to hover over my nine year old to ensure she actually finishes her violin practice, and suddenly it’s time for dinner, it’s all of mom’s old tricks that I pull out of my sleeve to get food on the table. Thanks to mom, I learned the art of the one pot meal (long before it was a trend), how to repurpose the leftovers, and to always make two of everything – one for the table, one for the freezer.
This Cranberry Orange Trifle is yet another of mom’s best kitchen tricks for people that hate to cook. It’s dessert, and a stunning dessert at that, but so easy. You can cut corners and buy a pound cake (Sarah Lee, you’re a lifesaver sometimes) and even skip the pastry cream and sub in a box pudding mix. Or, if you want to channel a tiny bit of Julia and Martha, you can spend a few extra minutes in the kitchen and make the whole thing from scratch. Either way, you’ve got a dessert with a perfect flavor combination (Cranberry + Orange = So Incredibly Good) that is a real show stopper. We have my mother, queen of the trifle, to thank for this delightful treat.
For all the people tasked with bringing Dessert to Thanksgiving Dinner next week – this one is for you. You’re going to love it, even if you hate to cook.
Cranberry Orange Trifle
For the Cranberry Sauce
For the Pastry Cream
This triffle looks amazing! I need to try this soon!
The recipe looks great! I have a 9 year old and a 6 year old who play the violin too. The daily practice part is not easy, its like pouring a little bit of water everyday and you wait a long time to see the fantastic results. I salute you for all that you do as a single mom, you’re amazing!
I love single served trifles and I love your addition of orange and cranberry – yum!