Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer Fruit Trifle and Cowboy Music

Are you enjoying this summer? I hope so, because it's slipping away!

Jan here, with a great summertime recipe.

One advantage to having adult children is that sometimes they find that perfect person to marry and bring into the family!

Our oldest son, Jacob, married Katie in February, and her love of cooking has fit so well into our family! She gave me permission to share the recipe she brought to our church picnic last week, and I thought it was so delicious - perfectly smooth and cool for a summer meal!

Summer Fruit Trifle


2  8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 tubs frozen whipped topped (Cool Whip)
2 cups strawberries
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries

In large bowl, mix softened cream cheese and whipped topping together. In another bowl, mix the fruit together - gently!

In a trifle dish or other serving dish, make layers of fruit and filling (about 3 layers of each), ending with a layer of fruit. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours before serving.

Isn't that easy? And it was SO GOOD!!! 

And Katie used sugar free whipped topping, which made the recipe a little easier on the calorie punch.

You could also use real whipped cream, of course!

While you're enjoying your trifle, let's move on to other fun stuff. I'm sure you realize by now that I am in love with the Black Hills. After almost seven years, we still thank our Lord every day for bringing us here!

Saturday night we spent the evening with a bunch of folks who are deep in their own love affairs with the Hills!

That's our daughter, Carrie, on the bass, playing with the classic country group, Aces & Eights. This summer they're headlining monthly shows at the Black Hills Opry. The concerts are played in the historic Homestake Opera House.

The Opera House deserves an entire blog post of its own, but you'll just have to head to their website to get the scoop - Historic Homestake Opera House

There are better videos on Youtube where you can listen to Aces & Eights, but this one includes Carrie. It's from "Deadwood Days" earlier this summer when they opened for Sawyer Brown. Yes, THE Deadwood. Check out the Aces and Eights Youtube channel for more of their music -

On Saturday, Aces & Eights was joined by some guests. One was Paul Larson. This guy is a cowboy who retired from the Rodeo Circuit after qualifying and competing in the Worlds Finals Rodeo in the team roping event. He has made his home in the Black Hills, keeping busy with cowboying for neighbors, custom carpentry, and singing in shows like this one. 

For a sample of his music, head over to his website,, and scroll down to the mp3 samples. His song, "Home" is my favorite. True Black Hills cowboy imagery. *sigh* I love this song...and of course, I bought the CD. :)

The other guests - and the reason why we chose Saturday to head up to Lead for the concert - were Allen and Jill Kirkham.

You may know them better as Meg Brummer's parents!

Yes, Meg comes from cowboy music loving stock. :)

Allen and Jill on stage at the Black Hills Opry

Head over to Reverb Nation to learn more about their music and listen to some samples -

Or just listen to this classic cowboy song from their "Ghost Towns" CD - 

Or this one by Dan Seals, sung by Allen and Jill at the Western Music Association Friday Night Opry- -

Needless to say, we had a wonderful time.

So what do you think about Cowboy Tunes and Western Music?

When I listen to it, it tugs me toward writing another cowboy story....

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:


  1. First, I love Carrie's musical talents. She's amazing, and I've always remembered when you messaged her the jazz version of Megan Trainors "All About That Bass"... and I could totally see Carrie doing that!

    And every time I hear "Back in the Saddle Again", I think of Sleepless in Seattle... how I loved that movie, and the young Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan... and his new foray into dating... They played this song for that scene, and it's always made me smile.

    I have an older sister who loves old country. She features it on her Nascar blog, and Meg's parents reminded me of that. What a wonderful post... and the trifle sounds amazing! Thank you, Katie!

    1. Isn't the variety of music we can enjoy fabulous? Sometimes I get so tired of the music in department stores and malls these days - I know the younger crowd likes it, but it sounds just like muzak to me. Remember those days?

      But thanks to great radio stations and places like Spotify, Pandora, and Youtube, we can enjoy classical, jazz, western, folk, hymns...whatever we choose.

      You'll have to try this recipe - super easy and so delicious!

  2. Okay -- that summer trifle sounds divine!!!! Refreshing and pretty and scrumptious. And I love the samplings of music you includes -- woohoo -- your daughter is famous!!!!! I love the cello. I had a friend in high school who played the cello and I loved to listen to her practice. Even scales sound beautiful. Tough instrument to lug around on the bus though. :-)

    1. Yup, Carrie and her bass are famous. :) She has had some great playing experiences, backing up Kansas for a concert/video, and the next year the orchestra played with Judy Collins. She's played at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and in schools in Costa Rica. But now? I think she's pretty happy living in the Black Hills and playing local gigs and in the Black Hills symphony. :)

  3. Oh Jan you do a much better job at describing a recipe! Things have to be simple otherwise when someone asks me how I made something I won't be able to tell them. In my mind a recipe is a guide hehe. Jacob sometimes partly jokws that he married me for my cooking and dogs! Far from the truth, but they definitely had a hand in it.

    1. "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." :)

  4. Wow, Jan, I feel like I got a whole day's worth of entertainment capped off by a luscious dessert. Thanks to Katie for sharing.

    I love that wedding picture - so much sheer joy!

    1. You know how many wedding pictures a photographer takes, right? But this one is my favorite!!

  5. Jan, you had me at cream cheese and Cool Whip. I MUST try this. Like, now. Yum!

    Due to technical difficulties, aka poor cell/internet service, I was not able to watch any of the videos. Cowboy music is fun, though a little goes a long way for me. However, I do love country music, so bring on the cowboys.

  6. Jan!! I haven't checked Yankee Belle in a few days and missed this one until now. So much fun!! :)

  7. I somehow missed it, too!! What a fun post! Thanks, Jan.