What's better than hanging out with friends, eating a lot of food that's bad for you, drinking a lot of stuff that's not much better, and putting out grease fires on the grill from the fatty hamburger patties? Not a whole helluva lot.
Unless of course, you also get to eat birthday cake, that's a bonus. The lady at the bakery did a wonderful job with Al's cake. She didn't have the Grim Reaper I originally wanted, so she put everything else she had on the cake. It's a little over kill, but that's what's fun about birthday cakes. Here's a picture:
The best part was everyone running around with black teeth from the frosting.
I got some great tips and food ideas from you guys, so I'm going to return the favor by giving you the recipe for the party favorite, Chocolate Trifle.
This never fails. I've heard that chocolate is an aphrodisiac, and it must be because I had a lot of people telling me they loved me Saturday night. And no, I don't think it was the beer and/or scotch talking. They were telling me that as they were licking the chocolate off their plates.
So, here's how it's done. You'll need:
1 package brownie mix
1/2 cup of Kahlua
1 large carton of Cool Whip
3 small packages of Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 bag of Heath toffee bits (or you can break up 6 Heath/Skor bars)
Put the Cool Whip in the fridge the day before you need it. You want it soft enough that it is easy to spread.
Bake your favorite brownies. While they are still warm, poke holes all over and pour 1/2 cup of Kahlua over them. (I forgot to do this but no one seemed to notice, so it's optional).
Make up 3 packages of Instant Chocolate Pudding. Don't chill, just mix it up. I usually do this in stages and transfer to a big bowl because it's just easier to mix them one at a time.
Get out the toffee bits and prepare to assemble!
In a trifle dish (or a bowl, a trifle dish is just prettier because you can see the layers), layer as follows:
1/3 of the brownies
1/3 of the total pudding
1/3 of the Cool Whip
A big ol' handful of Heath toffee bits
Do this 3 times (you may have pudding, Cool Whip, and Heath bits left over--that's the cook's serving). (Tip: Put the brownies and the pudding around the edge first so that it's easily seen, then fill in the center. But for the Cool Whip, I think it works easier to put a huge blob in the center and push it to the edge with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula.) End with the Cool Whip and toffee sprinkled on top. Chill in the fridge. Tip: So that you don't lose any toffee or Cool Whip to the plastic wrap, stick toothpicks around the top so that the wrap rests on the toothpicks and not on the top of the trifle.
Decadent and delicious.