You Gotha Try This Banana Pudding, Pt. 3 of a Family Food Saga

0

banana pudding 4

Banana Pudding. There’s a hundred recipes out there, each one claiming to be the best. How do you determine which is the best? Easy, it’s the one you grew up on. See, it is not about the taste when it comes to banana pudding (unless you find yourself face to face with a bowl made by someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing), banana pudding is about memories.

I come from a big family. BIG. Not only do we breed like bunnies but once you become friends with someone in the family, you become family. There’s no getting out either. Kind of like the mafia but with less violence.

With a big family and the merging with other families comes many variations of banana pudding. To me each one is good. One does stand out above the rest but for the sake of family peace I will not name names. Over the years I have learned these recipes and have combined the best of each one to make…‘You Gotha Taste This Banana Pudding’. I’m sure the name won’t catch on but I think once you try this banana pudding recipe you just might be hooked.

You Gotha Taste this Banana Pudding

Ingredients:

Bananas

Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla instant pudding, 2 small boxes

2 ½ cups milk

1 small tub of cool whip, thawed

½ small can of condensed milk about 7 ounces.

2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl mix the 2 boxes of pudding with 2 ½ cups milk. I use a hand mixer. Once mixed add condensed milk (you can use the whole can but your banana pudding will be way to sweet) along with the vanilla extract. Beat until it has a smooth pudding consistency and has started to thicken up slightly. Gently fold on the cool whip. I put my pudding mixture in fridge until I’m ready to assemble.

Just the pudding and milk

Just the pudding and milk

With cool whip added

With cool whip added

While you’re pudding mixture is chilling out in the fridge, take a handful of vanilla wafers, place them into a Ziploc bag, and seal it.

4

Find a weapon, I use a hammer with a dishrag or small hand towel laid over the bag (this prevents the hammer from tearing open the bag). Now beat the wafers. Beat them until they are vanilla crumbs. This will be the topping.

Beating the wafers. Ignore my chipped nail polish

Beat the wafers. Chipped nail polish is optional.

wafers to crumbs

wafers to crumbs

Slice your bananas. The amount depends pretty much on what you have on hand. I usually have a lot since my dad is always coming by with a bag of bananas he found on sale. I swear that man has not met a banana he didn’t like.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

Once the bananas are sliced it’s time to get assembling. A pretty bowl or casserole dish is what you need.

Line the bottom of your bowl/dish with vanilla wafers. Spoon half of your pudding mixture over wafers. Add a layer of bananas. Repeat.

7

 

Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Now the top is up to you. Some people line the top with whole wafers while others sprinkle the top with wafers crumbs. There are even those who lay down another layer of wafers, cover with a layer of just plain cool whip then sprinkle wafer crumbs. No wrong choice here. Cover with foil and allow to sit in the fridge a few hours.

10

An important note: if you are making this dish for a get together you must make a small bowl of banana pudding and put in fridge. Why? Because if it’s like my family gatherings you’re not going to get any of it unless you do this.

Cover with foil and let chill in fridge for a few hours.

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

banana pudding 3

banana pudding 2

banana pudding 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

I Need a Little Cheese Ball part 2 of a Family Food Saga

1

1

Today I am trying out my Aunt Anita Little’s cheese ball recipe. She has been making this for as long as I can remember. Every family gathering has to have this. No exceptions. She was happy to share her recipe with me.

This recipe makes one decent sized cheese ball:

Anita Little Cheese Ball Ingredients:

1 small box of Velveeta cheese block
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
Crushed pecans or crushed Ritz crackers (enough to roll ball in)

Cube your Velveeta cheese and place in bowl to soften. Lay out cream cheese to soften also. This will take a few hours.
Once softened. Put cream cheese in bowl with cheese. Take a fork and begin mashing the two ingredients together along with the garlic powder. Anita Little (because you can say Anita without the Little) informed me that I could try using a hand mixer but it won’t work to well, the beaters will just get seized up in cheese. She said work those arm muscles, work them long and work them hard. (okay she didn’t say that part, just something like it)
After working up a sweat and your ingredients are now one with each other. Shape your mixture into a ball. Anita Little suggests wearing a pair of non-powdered gloves for this step. Once the ball has taken shape roll it in the pecans or crackers until ball is coated well. Set in fridge to chill.

Serve with crackers.

Great for any gatherings or functions. Or after tasting this cheese ball you may want to just hoard it for yourself. Hoarding it is totally acceptable, I won’t judge.
cheeseball 5

Yes there are many different cheese ball recipes on Pinterest, I could try them but why? This to me is the perfect cheese ball.

Okay now that I have shared the recipe with you I will share my experience of making one.
cheese ball 1
I cubed my Velveeta which turned out to be pretty easy and painless.
cheeseball 2
cheeseball 3
Then the wait for the items to soften began. Tick tock, one hour, tick tock, two hours. FYI: this is not something you can throw together last minute.
With my trusty fork I began mashing everything together. It was a workout you might just want to throw in the towel but don’t after you work it several tough minutes mixing gets easier.
cheeseball 4
Once I had my cheese mixture done I put on a pair of plastic gloves and jumped right in. I saw immediately why Anita Little suggested gloves. Oh what a mess it could have been without them. There was a lot of cheese mixture, instead of 1 huge cheese ball I made 3 smaller ones. The first two I rolled in crushed pecans the third in crushed Ritz crackers. Into the fridge it went to chill out.
cheeseball 6
cheeseball 7

It was great. Too great. Now I’m sitting here typing this with some serious heartburn. It was worth it though. Oh so worth it.

Mother’s Day Cake and Skeletons

1
Strawberry Cloud Cake in a canning jar

Strawberry Cloud Cake in a canning jar

Happy Mother’s Day! Just spent time with the family. I must confess I did get a little jealous while they were here. The girls gave all their attention to Skelly. It still was a great mother’s day.

Miss K wanted to sit on Skelly's lap. it was funny and oh so cute. Miss S was content to lay her head on his shoulder.

Miss K wanted to sit on Skelly’s lap. it was funny and oh so cute. Miss S was content to lay her head on his shoulder.

I did have to bake my own cake. The husband nor the daughter bake so it was up to me to bake the cake. I decided to make a cake I saw on Pinterest. This cake is usually made with blueberry pie filling but I wanted to try strawberry pie filling. It is an easy cake to make. You can use a Bundt pan or a 9×13 pan. I used my Bundt pan. Not one of the pins gave a name to this cake so I named mine Strawberry Cloud.

Strawberry Cloud Cake

1 box of Angel Food cake mix
1 22 oz. can strawberry pie filling (any flavor pie filling will work)

In a large bowl mix by hand the two ingredients. That’s it. No water, no eggs, nothing else.

Pour into your greased pan. Now some pins say ungreased pan. First I’m not sure that is an actual word, second I have bake an angel food cake in a pan that wasn’t greased. Trust me you don’t want to clean out that pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch on top.

I was in a experimental mood so I also baked some of the batter in a small canning jar and a ramekin. I have been wanting to try baking a cake in a canning jar. Plus I wanted to see how well this would bake up in a ramekin incase I ever wanted to make this as one serving dessert for parties.

Cake ingredients

All three baked up nicely. I did worry about the glass shattering but it was a okay. This is a damn good cake. I had me a piece with some whip cream. Yummy. I did not share this with Skelly, he hogged my time with the girls so he wasn’t getting any of my cake.

I hope this day that we honor mothers was a good one for you.

single strawberry cloud

Yes there is a big piece cut out of the back. I couldn't wait.

Yes there is a big piece cut out of the back. I couldn’t wait.

Great Balls of Sausage. Part 1 of a Family Food Saga

4

sausage balls 3

My family loves food. Especially the food at family gatherings. Over the next few months I will share with you the must have foods at these gatherings. Some will be ones I tweaked using recipes from Pinterest. The rest will be the exact recipes my family uses because some recipes are perfect and need no tweaking

Here is the list of my family favorites:
Sausage balls. A must have yet there is never enough. These things go fast.

Watergate salad. Not a salad at all just plain awesome dessert. This is the one I usually make unless I’m experimenting with a new recipe.

Shirley’s pineapple cake. My mom has been making this cake forever. People fight over this cake, I’m talking family feuds. She usually makes 2 of these. If she would start making 3 maybe I could bring some home for once. (That is a hint mom). I’m not sure if it has an official name. we just call it Shirley’s cake, well I call it Mom’s cake.

Anita’s cheese ball. We have this at family holidays. Weddings. Baby showers. Parties. Basically anytime we can think of an excuse to have Anita make one.

Sandra’s Spinach dip. A great dip even the spinach haters love. If Sandra neglects to make it for a gathering people get mad. MAD.

Cathy’s broccoli cheese casserole. This is always the last thing to arrive at our gatherings. Usually after everyone’s plate is made but we all make a dash for it when it does arrive. Why is it always last you ask? Because Cathy is always late for gatherings. I tell everyone if the party is at 3 tell Cathy it is at 2 and she might make it on time. No one listens to me.

Okay let’s start this series off with sausage balls. It’s a simple recipe but one that can go downhill quick if something is slightly off. When cousin Crystal makes them they are always perfect. The rest of us don’t succeed in perfect a lot with these. Usually the balls end up too dry. I decided to hit Pinterest to find a fool proof sausage ball recipe. You know what? I succeeded.

I did not get pictures of the process. My hands were covered in sausage gunk. I did not want to risk getting anything gunky on my camera. The husband would kill me, it was a gift from him. I think it was more of a bribe. His way of saying, here go pursue your photography hobby and leave me alone to watch football, racing, wrestling or the movie Gladiator for the millionth time. FYI: no matter what he watches it ends up the same way. Him asleep on the couch. Funny how he always knows when I get ready to change the channel. He sits up like a launched rocket while loudly declaring, “Stop! I’m watching that!”

Now that I got off topic let’s get back to the sausage balls. One simple ingredient added to the recipe is all it takes to prevent the dreaded dry sausage ball. Cream cheese. Thank you Pinterest pinners!

SAUSAGE BALLS

Ingredients:
1 lb. mild or hot sausage
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese. Softened.
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix with a stand up mixer with the bread hook. Or if you’re like me and can’t afford a stand up mixer just dive in with your hands. Washed hands hopefully. Mix, squeeze, roll, fold. Get everything mixed well. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until brown.
These were tasty and not dry. I did not make these for a family gathering I just wanted to test out this recipe. What I ended up doing with all these sausage balls was dividing them up in several baggies and over the next few mornings the husband and I would just grab a bag as we headed out the door to work.

Thank you for joining me on part 1 of the family food saga. I will add other parts as I am able to get family members to part with their recipes. Hopefully they won’t hold out on me too long.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

 

What the Peep? Cake

2

bunny3
It is apparently cake baking week here at the crypt. I’ve been baking cupcakes or cakes everyday this week. Family gatherings, birthdays and tomorrow, Easter dinner.

A year ago I hosted a baby shower for my daughter who was expecting her first child. We had peep smores at the shower. So for Ms. Kaylei’s first birthday I suggested we peep out the cupcakes. My daughter agreed, which was a good thing since I had just bought a ton of peeps to try out the peep cake I saw on Pinterest. I had a lot of peeps. It was a peep invasion here at the crypt. So today I’m going to kill two peeps with one post.

The peep cake pin caught my attention for the simple fact. I LOVE PEEPS! I have never met a peep I didn’t love. This cake actually had peeps mixed in with the batter. Holy Peeps in a cake, Batman! I was excited to try to make this cake. I followed the pin to the website that had the full instructions.
The instructions used a spring form pan. I don’t have one so I used two round cake pans. FYI: if you have the spring form pan, use it. Before we go any further I must tell you. This cake was delicious. Mine did not turn out as pretty as the picture on the pin but I was able to live with that. I’m sure using the spring form pan would have changed the outcome of my cake. Guess maybe I need to invest in one.

To see the instructions I followed please visit the original site for Peepza Rustica. Here is my journey I took along with my peeps.

Peeps Inside the Cake Instructions:
Ingredients
Your favorite white cake box mix or white cake recipe
About 2 dozen peeps. A variety of colors.

Heat oven to your cake recipe/box instructions. Prepare your pan.
Mix your batter. Again follow the recipe/box instructions.

Now get your peeps chop those little guys up, show no mercy. The original recipe has you chopping the peeps into tiny pieces. Mine were bigger, mainly because those things are sticky. The more you chop the more marshmallow insides are exposed and the more stickier things get. I was not a happy peep slayer when things got sticky.

Butchered peeps

Butchered peeps

If using a spring form pan: Once the peeps are chopped. Pour enough batter into your prepared pan to just cover bottom. Cover batter with your half your peep parts. Layer in more batter. Layer in rest of peeps, cover with rest of batter.

If using two round pans: Once peeps are butchered. Cover bottom of each prepared pan with a thin layer of batter. Split your peep parts into half. Layer one half in one pan the rest in the other. Cover each peep layer with rest of batter.

Bake according to recipe/box instructions or until an inserted a toothpick or fork comes out clean.

pre bake and bake

I cooled my two little cakes. Once cooled I turned them out. Before I could layer them atop one another the top layer fell apart. What the peep? The cake is just so fragile when you divide it in between two pans. I then understood why the spring form pan was used. So forgive my pictures of the little slices I was able to save.

slice 1
So you see it wasn’t a pretty sight. Oh my, it tasted so good. So incredibly good. The cake did not even need frosting. I don’t think I will make this cake again. Mainly for the fact chopping those peeps up is pretty sticky business. I just can’t convey how sticky of a mess it was.

Peep Topped Cupcakes Instructions:

Bake your cupcakes. I made chocolate.
Frost the cupcakes.
Add your colored sugar or sprinkles. (optional)
Now pop a peep on top of each cupcake.
The chick peeps you just have to place on top of cupcake and push down slightly.
The bunny peeps, you need to make an indention in the icing in center of cupcake and hope the bunny stays upright when you place it on the cupcake.

Ain't no party like a Peep party!

Ain’t no party like a Peep party!

Party time with my peeps!

Party time with my peeps!

Kaylei grabbed a cupcake with a bunny on top. Crammed the cupcake into her face. When she pulled the cupcake away there was the bunny peep sticking out of her mouth. She is such a cute peep slayer. The other kids loved the peep cupcakes also. What’s not to love? An awesome cupcake with a marshmallow peep on top. Life just doesn’t get any better.

The poor peep. He didn't stand a chance.

The poor peep. He didn’t stand a chance.

I hope you try adding peeps to your next cake. Either inside your cake or placed on top as a decoration. I’m sure you and others will enjoy the amazing peep/cake combo!

Thanks for joining me on a Pinteresting peep adventure!

Candied Pecans

1

pecans3
Two years ago I found a pin for candied pecans, I made several batches to give as Christmas gifts to family and friends. To go off point a moment, why say family and friends? Don’t friends before all is said and done become family? Okay back to the pecans.

Thankfully I wrote the recipe down because for some reason I no longer have that pin, pinned. I have found a few pins/recipes similar it over the years but most are more involved, but have the same outcome. Why use more steps if you don’t have too? So here is the recipe. I have also made candied almonds and peanuts with this recipe.

Candied Pecans

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pecan halves

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt, mix; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water and vanilla extract. Add your cinnamon/sugar mixture, stir. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula, making sure they are all moistened.
4. Pour the coated pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pecans can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. (but they will be long gone by then).

These things should be called candied crack. They are that good.

I box these up with some chocolate covered pretzels, some fudge, cookies and a few other goodies to give as gifts for the holidays.
pecans4

Duck, Duck, Baby Shower

0

I am helping my demonic offspring plan Ms. K’s first birthday party.  Wow it’s been almost a year since we were graced with a granddaughter.  I have been trying to teach her the important things in life, for example: when chewing on a severed hand it is not polite to use the hand to hit people.  She also likes to push the hand along the floor like it’s a toy car.

Helping to plan Ms Ks birthday party reminded me of the baby shower I threw for my daughter. She choose rubber ducks for the theme. I have this thing for rubber ducky’s. I love them. If you take a tour through my home, every room you enter is decorated in dark and evil things. But go into the bathroom and…bam. Bright yellow walls, rubber ducks lurking about everywhere and a rubber duck shower curtain. Surprising huh? So I was pretty darn excited about that shower.

Pinterest, Amazon, and the dangerous mind contained in my skull came up with the following.

SAMSUNG

Ducks ducks and more ducks

Ducks ducks and more ducks

ducky

Stuffed ducks came from Amazon, Wal-Mart and Dollar General. Now not all were ducks, some were little chicks. It was close to Easter so chicks were everywhere. We made them work.  Ducky gift box with bag, rubber ducks, blue rocks and glass bowls came from dollar store.

Ducky S’mores (take home treat for guest)

Yes I know the peeps are chicks but I had a stern talk with them. After our talk they were okay with being ducks for the day.

To make the Ducky S’mores you need:

Marshmallow Peeps

Graham crackers

Small Hershey bars

Small clear treat bags

Ribbon and printed cards for decoration.

Ducky (no longer chick) S'mores

Ducky (no longer chick) S’mores

I would tell you how they tasted but everyone snatched them up before I had a chance to get one.  Actually, half way through the baby shower I had to run to the kitchen and assemble more.

That day was a great day. The demon I birthed was soon to birth her own. Yes little Ms. K is a little demon, I have pictures to prove it. You can look at those eyes and see she is plotting evil things.

Little Ms. K plotting evil.

Little Ms. K plotting evil.