{Recipe} Sour Patch Grapes (a.k.a. “Glitter Grapes”)

{Update April 2, 2013) – Welcome Pintester readers! What can I say? Guess these just aren’t for everyone. If you think they’re gross, that’s OK. I think beets are gross. Tomato – tomahto, right? Anyway, if you try these and aren’t impressed, here’s a tip: put the grapes in a colander and rinse off the Jell-O powder and you’re left with plain grapes again. Also? If you use a different flavor of Jell-O (I used MELON, not lime), or sugar-free, they’re probably NOT going to taste like the original recipe. Just sayin’. And finally? Guys… it’s grapes and Jell-O. I think the expectations are a little too high, LOL… 

{Update June 26, 2012} – I am completely overwhelmed by all the pins for this blog post! I am so glad that so many people are enjoying these. And thanks for all of your great suggestions in the comments. I am definitely trying them frozen this summer! Since originally posting this recipes, I have made the glitter grapes with a few different flavors, but my favorite is still either Melon Fusion or Watermelon (depending on what I find at the store). I still have not tried them with sugar-free Jell-O, but I will try to get to that. In the meantime… thanks for visiting!

Jake’s Pinewood Derby was a couple weeks ago and our den was asked to bring fruit to the event. While it is super great that they are encouraging more healthful snacks at scouting events, I was racking my brain for some way to make fruit more exciting. It couldn’t involve skewers because, well… all those crazy boys were going to be running around. I could just envision one going right through a Wolf scout’s eye or something. Shudder.

Then I remembered a link that Dara had posted on Facebook. It was for sparkly sweet grapes. Perfect! I’d had sugar frosted grapes before and enjoyed them, but I have never felt comfortable with the whole raw egg-wash thing. It’s one thing if I’m making them for a small group of people I know well, but not for a community event. There are too many people with egg allergies these days. I’d hate to be the person who made someone sick. Glitter Grapes, however, do not require anything questionable. All you need are grapes and Jell-O.

glitter grapes
I went with green grapes and Melon Fusion Jell-O. I wasn’t sure how the color of the gelatin would effect the the overall color of the grapes, so I tried to keep it in the same family.

The first thing you do is thoroughly wash your grapes. Don’t skimp on the water. The grapes need to be wet in order for the Jell-O to stick to them.
glitter grapes

Next, pour out about 1/3 of the Jell-O powder onto a plate.
glitter grapes

Drop a handful of grapes into the powder and coat them on all sides.
glitter grapes

You can use a spoon if it’s easier. The powder tends to gunk up on your fingers (yes, “gunk up” is the technical term).
glitter grapes

Add more gelatin powder as needed and continue the process until all the grapes are covered. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
glitter grapes

And that’s it! I am calling them “sour patch grapes” because quite a few people thought I got my hands on some of the sugar they use on Sour Patch Kids. This recipe was seriously easy and seriously good. Believe it or not, people were actually looking for me so I could tell them how I made the grapes, LOL! And Drew overheard two boys from the Webelos II den talking about how good the glitter grapes were. He said, “If they inspired a couple 5th grade boys to talk about them long after they’re gone, I think you’ve got a winner.” Ha! 🙂 This will probably be my go-to picnic/potluck dish this summer. I’m sure other flavors of Jell-O are good, too. But I’m sticking with the melon!

Sour Patch Grapes (a.k.a. Glitter Grapes)

glitter grapes

1 pound of green seedless grapes, pulled from the stems and rinsed
1 3-oz. package of Melon Fusion Jell-O (NOT prepared)

Rinse the grapes under water until all are clean and wet. Spread the gelatin mix on a plate, about 1/3 at a time. Place a handful of grapes on the plate and gently roll each grape in the gelatin powder until it is covered. Place the coated grapes into a bowl and repeat the process with the remaining ingredients until all of the grapes are covered. Place the bowl and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, until the gelatin is set. The colder these are, the better they taste!

Be sure to visit Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom to check out other delicious recipes!

dress dilemma

My husband’s 20th high school reunion is coming up in April and I have no idea what I am going to wear. He attended a Jesuit school so I want to make sure I look presentable. I mean, I’m sure everyone would be accepting if I showed up in some sassy hip hop clothing, but why risk it? (Not to mention that’s not exactly my style.)

But do I go with a dress? Or a pretty top and dress pants? I just don’t know. I bought this gorgeous shirt at Kohl’s recently — a Simply Very tank with a tie on one side. It is super cute but it’s a dark orange color. Almost like pumpkin. Is that inappropriate for spring? And what color pants should I wear — brown? Gray? My black and white pinstripe? I just don’t know.

Time is ticking away so I need to find something fast.

asparagus & ham omelette with goat cheese

asparagus & ham omelette with goat cheese

Laura is going through a phase of testing her independence. At home, it can be frustrating, but relatively easy to handle. Out at the store, however? Notsomuch. My last few grocery shopping trips were real exercises in patience. She refuses to sit in the cart and insists on walking, so you can imagine how much fun it is to push a wobbly grocery carriage with one hand and hold Laura’s hand with the other, all the while convincing her that yes we do indeed have go up the frozen foods aisle.

The only solution was that I had to stop taking her with me. Now, I’m used to going out a couple times a week (mostly just to get out of the house) so now I had to adapt to a new shopping routine, going just once a week. The forced planning has actually been good, and I’ve had to become a little more creative, using what we have on hand. Today’s lunch was the perfect example of what can happen when you realize that your sanity is more important than getting those extra few ingredients.

I had some leftover roasted asparagus, a bit of goat cheese, and of course ham and eggs which are always in my fridge. An omelette sounded like the perfect lunch! (Not to mention full of protein. You can have your creatine supplements; I’ll take eggs.) I threw together a simple salad (complete with homemade croutons!) and drizzled on a bit of my current favorite salad dressing: the Cook’s Illustrated Cobb Salad Dressing. I’m currently obsessed with this one. My friend had us over for lunch last week and made it and I cannot get enough of it. Seriously, I think I could just drink it. But I won’t. Ahem.

Anyway, my point is that I made this healthy, yummy meal and devoured it before I could even possibly have gone out to the store and come back home. Lesson learned.

asparagus & ham omelette with goat cheese

hats off


Although you can probably crochet anything (well, maybe not hot tub spa covers), I’ve been busy on the basics lately. Namely: hats. One of my best friends recently started her own photography business and asked if I’d crochet some baby hats for her photo shoots. I was honored that she thought my skills were that good! Of course, I said yes and I set to finding two patterns: a feminine pattern and one that could be used for either little boys or little girls.

The hat in the photo at the top of this post was crocheted using The Dainty Daisy’s Shell Stitch Beanie pattern. I have since made several other hats using this pattern and I love them all! The pattern is easy, hooks up quickly, and is pretty true to size. This is a 6-12 month hat and you can see that it is too small on Laura (who loves wearing this test hat anyway!)


The other hat is just a basic HDC stitch. It’s a little more boring and a little slower, but I still love the results:


I’m also making some embellishments for the hats (crochet flowers, loopy bows, and buttons) on clips so she can use them in any of the hats. With a little luck I’ll be finished up by the end of the week. I hope she likes what I’ve come up with!

2011 ultimate blog party starts friday!

Last year I participated in The Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom and discovered so many great new blogs in the process. I can’t wait to do it again this year! It takes place from April 1-April 8 and it’s a wonderful chance to meet new friends, win fun prizes, and (let’s be honest here) promote your own blog.

I’ve decided to submit a “door prize” this year. At the end of the blog party, one of the participants will be chosen to win a bunch of knitting goodies including a pair of needles, two skeins of yarn, a knit pumpkin kit, and a copy of “Stitch ‘n Bitch: Superstar Knitting” by Debbie Stoller.

5 minutes for mom door prize

I don’t pick the winner for this giveaway — the lovely ladies organizing this web event take care of that. I just ship it out 🙂 However, I do plan on having a giveaway right here on my blog so you’ll want to check back for that. Want to know more? Read all about the 2011 Ultimate Blog Party to find out how to join, how to submit a prize (if you’re interested) and when everything gets rolling. I promise you’ll have fun!

her bright smile haunts me still

cordelia's dad at the iron horse

What a super amazing weekend! Friday night Drew and I went to see Cordelia’s Dad play at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass. They’re one of my favorite bands and I’d never seen them live. Drew, on the other hand, actually toured with them back in the Rosemary Caine days. We met up with Drew’s friend Jeremy (who we haven’t seen since our wedding 10 years ago!) and had dinner at Bueno y Sano (a mainstay of my college diet years ago) before the show. It was as delicious as ever. Then we headed over to the club for the show.

I also got to see my friends Jess and Chris who I haven’t seen since the Sheep & Wool Festival last October. It was awesome seeing all these great people — it just made a fantastic night even better! The show itself was as amazing as you’d expect. If you’re not familiar with the band, Cordelia’s Dad is kind of hard to explain. They have their own body of 100% original work, but they might best be known for taking traditional early American folk songs, stories, poems, and so on and setting them to music which more often than not could be described as indie/punk. If you want to take a listen, I found this video of their rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” from Friday’s show. It gives the uninitiated a great sense of what they do.

Here are a few more photos:

cordelia's dad at the iron horse

cordelia's dad at the iron horse

cordelia's dad at the iron horse

The first set was acoustic, and the second set was electric. Both rocked! They don’t play together all that often because individually they’re very busy with their own projects these days, but hopefully they’ll reunite again soon. I know I’ll be there.

menu plan monday, still cold out there

Where is spring? Why am I still lighting fires in my wood stove? I don’t expect to be out there in my flip-flops, but I’d love a day out of the 40s. I want to bring my grill back up to the deck and start cooking some lighter meals!

Anyway, I have several new recipes I plan to try out this week and a couple of super-easy dinners. I was thrilled to go to a Trader Joe’s over the weekend and I picked up a jar of their curry simmer sauce. I used to love it, so I am excited to try it again. It’ll make for a super easy dinner (even if I don’t get around to putting the curried chick peas in the slow cooker). Here’s what on the menu at Chez Carol:

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.

menu plan monday: snowy spring edition

You wouldn’t know it from the way it looks outside, but it’s the first full day of spring today! We have some snow out there that is actually starting to accumulate — yikes! Maybe that trip to the library and CVS will have to be put off until tomorrow. Anyway, it’s a short cooking week for me. I only need to plan through Thursday. That shouldn’t be too hard to do 😉

  • Sunday: Chinese take-out
  • Monday: Spaghetti with marinara, hot sausages & meatballs, tossed salad
  • Tuesday: Cheeseburgers, fries, steamed broccoli & caulifower
  • Wednesday: Margarita chicken, black beans and rice, pico de gallo
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: no cooking
  • Saturday: no cooking

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.


I am soooo tired. In fact tonight I fell asleep around 8:30 while watching TV! I missed The Office, which probably wasn’t new anyway. Is that show about the guy with the IT degree who goes to India to run a call center still on? (I think it was an IT degree anyway). I haven’t seen commercials for it in a while. It was not even vaguely funny (which should mean it was can celled, but probably means it’s actually a hit). Anyway, clearly I’m rambling and I should just hit the hay. I just realize that I haven’t been posting much this week aside from those deals, and thought I should check in. I will try to write a more interesting post tomorrow. This weekend I can let you know how the Pinewood Derby goes.

erin go braugh

I hope you all had a fun St. Patrick’s Day. I totally spaced and didn’t do anything special, aside from making potato soup. That’s vaguely Irish, right? No, I forgot to color the milk green,  I did not set out a leprechaun trap, and I didn’t make corned beef. Total mom FAIL! Oh well. Maybe I should have included some kind of riddle in the boys’ lunches at least… something like why buy gold when you can find it at the end of the rainbow? Or I could have let them have Lucky Charms for a snack (of course I forgot that I had a box until just now). Oh well. We’re not Irish, so it’s not a big deal. I just wish I had had my act together this week.