Cherry Vanilla Coke Poke Cake #CookoutWeek

Every good cookout needs a fun dessert – and this is my new favorite.

Cherry Vanilla Coke just reminds me of summer so I was smitten when I saw this cake. It really does capture the flavors nicely. It was my first time making a poke cake, but I have to say I’m hooked. It was so moist! I made this a day ahead and it was perfect on the day of our cookout.

I also loved how easy this was to put together. I always plan ambitious menus for our cookouts so having something this easy was a definite bonus!

CherryVanillaCokePokeCake

Cherry Vanilla Coke Poke Cake
(from The Recipe Critic)
Makes 1 9×13″ cake

1 French vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
1 large box cherry flavored Jello
12 oz. Coca Cola
1/2 cup cold water
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Chocolate sprinkles and maraschino cherries, for topping

Prepare the cake according to package directions. Once baked, let cool for 15 minutes and then use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes about 1 inch apart all over the cake.

In a bowl, combine the Jello mix, coke and water. Whisk until dissolved and then pour slowly over the cake, filling up the holes as much as possible. Refrigerate for at least half hour.

After the cake is chilled, combine the pudding mix and milk. Whisk until thoroughly combined then stir in vanilla. Fold in the whipped topping and then ice the cake. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When ready to serve, top with sprinkles and cherries.

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Grilled Italian Sausages with Sweet and Sour Peppers and Onions #CookoutWeek

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for weeks because I wanted to save it for #CookoutWeek – I’m so sorry I’ve been holding out on you guys. But, I’ve officially found my favorite way to grill up sausage.

In the past, I’ve always sort of failed at sausages on the grill. It would sound like such a good idea and then they’d end up undercooked on the inside or overcooked on the outside – or both. Braising them on the grill and then just transferring them to direct heat at the end eliminates all of that – and it’s absolutely delicious.

I had picked up these sausages on a whim at the farmer’s market and they were hands down the best impulse purchase I’ve made in a long time. I already can’t wait to make these again!

Sausage and Peppers

Grilled Italian Sausages with Sweet and Sour Peppers and Onions
(from Serious Eats)
Serves 4

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 sweet Italian sausage links
Rolls, for serving

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the sliced peppers and onions and toss to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes – until softened and browning. Stir in vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Light one side of a grill and allow to preheat for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the peppers and onions to a 10″ disposable aluminum pan. Push the sausages into the pepper mixture.

Place the tray on the heated side of the grill until simmering. Move to the non-heated side and close grill. Cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes, flipping the sausages halfway through.

Use tongs to remove the sausages from the peppers and onto the hot side of the grill. Cook, turning often, until browned – about three more minutes.

Serve sausages in rolls, topped with peppers and onions.

Grilled Italian Sausages