This week has been an interesting week to say the least. My husband has been taking vacation and staying home with the kids while I go to our church to volunteer. Definitely a reversal of roles, but he’s been keeping the girls busy by taking them all over the place, even a three mile trek one day. That’s a lot for little three year old legs!
I’ve been busy at our church, sorting through piles of items donated for our garage sale benefiting a school in Haiti. I’ve been coming home tired and dirty. So it’s a miracle that I have any Pinterest projects to show for myself!
A couple few weeks ago I tried a recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny for some amazing beef short ribs. I thought I would try another of her recipes for a Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream, which she posted over at the Food Mentalist. While the flavor of the finished dish was good, I had a couple issues with the preparation, mainly the addition of a flour after most of the sauce was made. Against my better judgment I followed the directions and was left with some gummy flour lumps in the sauce, not so cool. The girls didn’t like the dinner at all, I did, but I’m not sure I would make it again as is. That same night I had to process an entire flat of raspberries and few pounds of peaches. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t had to wait for my husband to get home from a much needed man date with his brother. I was completely our of jars and he had to make a late night trip for them on his way home. Let’s just say my head didn’t hit the pillow until 2am, but I did have 4 pints of chocolate raspberry sauce and 5 pints of natural fruit raspberry peach amaretto spread. Yum!
So you know those taco cups from my last post? Yeah, I made them again this week. They’re just so tasty, plus I still had some won ton wrappers that needed to be used up. I did try something new, a Mexican stuffed pepper with quinoa and black beans. I thought it was delicious, the kids frowned on it (they’re three, what do they know!) and my husband thought it was good until he realized it had quinoa in it. I’ve been trying to sneak it in his diet more, but the texture always gives itself away to him. Despite my family’s oppositions, I thought it was a great vegetarian, low carb dish.
The last thing I was able to squeeze in this week was a banana pudding for a crowd. I only pull this one out when I know there is going to be a lot of people there to eat it! I must admit that I’m not the biggest fan of bananas. Then last summer when my husband and I went to NYC we went to Magnolia bakery, famed for it’s cupcakes. I don’t even remember what I ordered on our first visit, I do remember ordering my husband a slice of banana cream pie. He gave me a bite and I about died it was so good. Later on our second and third visits we opted for the banana pudding which they just scoop into pint containers. Anything that is made and served from a huge rubbermaid container that I would store things in under my bed is a win in my book. They must go through pounds of stuff. Once we returned back home, I immediately hit google up for the recipe, found it and pinned it. I was shocked by how easy it was. Not to mention, the real secret to a good banana pudding is using a vanilla pudding base and fresh bananas. Never depend on your banana flavor from an artificially flavored powder!
Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding
Serves a lot or 12 really hungry people
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cups ice cold water
- 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!) I buy two boxes, you will need them!
- 4 cups sliced ripe bananas I don’t bother measuring. I just cut them up as I need them, it helps prevent premature browning.
In your mixer or using a hand mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover with plastic wrap, keeping it flush with the pudding to prevent a skin and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. You really need to let the pudding set. If you’re a gambler, you can refrigerate for 15 minutes and then put in the freezer for 15 minutes and then use.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. I opt for a big round rubbermaid container. It’s not as pretty, but I’m usually transporting this to a big event. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas(I just slice these as I go) and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (or slap that lid on) and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours – or up to 8 hours – before serving. The pudding does need the 4 hours. I tried to rush it and the cookies weren’t all the way tender. After 8 hours the bananas start to brown, making them a little unsightly, but most people won’t care. They’ll be too busy stuffing their faces, seriously, they will.