Mondays, Birthdays, and Trifles

Ugh. It’s Monday, and Mondays are hard. People are cranky, the commute takes even longer than usual, and on the nicest day of the year so far, you have to work inside. It’s a tragedy, but luckily I have something that will cheer you up! (Especially if you love chocolate and/or peanut butter.) Consider this post your Monday Madness pick-me-up.

First, I need to give you all some context. In the regular world, there are birthday parties. In my world, there are Budenkamp birthday parties, a mash-up of two families that celebrate everything together. We’ve known each other for two decades, and in that time have thrown several legendary parties. We all love eating, drinking, telling stories, and playing with small dogs (there are now four altogether). Today is Daniel’s birthday, so last night we celebrated with a Budenkamp birthday party.

There was 2 kinds of lasagna, a gourmet salad, plenty of drinks, two small pups, an energetic toddler, Grandma Betty, and eleven adults present at the party.

Oh, and a peanut butter hot fudge brownie trifle.


This is not a close up of a sepia-colored tie-dye shirt. It is a drizzle of hot fudge and peanut butter over homemade whipped cream.

The great thing about trifles is that they aren’t meant to look perfect, like cute little cupcakes or perfectly-frosted cookies. Actually, in Budenkamp birthday party history, they are considered a “happy mistake”. One fateful birthday, my mom attempted to make an elaborately layered cake. It fell to pieces. It was absolutely ruined. It was the beginning of a tradition of un-done birthday desserts. She salvaged the crumbled cake in a trifle dish, and we were all amazed; The Cake That Got Away transformed into The Trifle of the Year.

The flavors and ingredients vary from birthday to birthday; we’ve had chocolate mint trifles, angle food cake and berry trifles, chocolate caramel trifles, and of course, peanut butter hot fudge brownie.



The key to making a good trifle (or at least a good-looking one!) is displaying the layers. You want the layers to show off every ingredient, and if you have a trifle bowl or other clear dish, it’s easier to do. Use a rubber spatula to spread the ingredients evenly and make sure they touch the edge of the dish so that every layer is visible. In this particular trifle, the layers (starting at the bottom) consisted of:


Trifles, when served, are not very pretty. You scoop the dessert out, and it falls apart. That is okay. Embrace the sugary chaos. It’s Monday- let your dessert reflect the craziness of your life, and then eat it.

You’ll feel slightly diabetic, but much better.

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Happy Monday to the rest of the world!


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