By Joyce Lavene
I admit that I'm not the greatest cook even when I have a lot of time. I worked as a short-order cook for about three months once in my youth and it seems to have scarred me for life.
Even when it's a dish that is supposed to take a while, I look for shortcuts (cheats as the gamers call them).
So when I'm on a deadline (oh boy, am I on a deadline right now), I do the fastest, easiest things I can find.
Then it happens: BIRTHDAY PARTY! I need a birthday cake.
Lucky for me that my loved ones know me well so I can whip up something like you see here and get away with it!
Not that this Strawberry Jumble (my name) isn't delicious. It's even sugar-free for my diabetic family members. I don't think that's too bad.
Anyway, all you need is a box of sugar-free, yellow Pillsbury Cake mix. Make it according to the directions (egg, oil, water) as I am at this very minute.
Wash, cut off heads and slice three quarts of strawberries. It helps to do this in the spring when it's strawberry season.
You'll also need three containers of Cool Whip, defrosted.
Mix the cake and bake it. When it cools, break it into small chunks in a large bowl. Add the strawberries and whipped cream. Stir until mixed well (but not mushy) and add a birthday candle!
Voila! It's delicious and some people may even think you put thought into it.
I hate to leave you but I have an uncooperative book due by Friday. I'm getting my hands around the characters throats. I don't dare let go.
Joyce Lavene writes award-winning, best-selling mystery fiction with her husband, Jim, as themselves, J.J. Cook and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin,