Eat This: Banana Bread Pudding

So, I’m giving you fair warning. If you’re the sort that is easily tempted by sweets. By banana. By pudding. Close.your.browser.now. Otherwise, it is a near guarantee that you will be spending the next hour or so in the kitchen working on creating what has got to be the world’s best banana pudding ever. That is, if you have enough bananas.

Roasted Banana Pudding

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 box Nilla wafers, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  • Place all four bananas into a baking dish. Put in a cool oven and turn the temperature on to 350 degrees (no need to preheat). After 20 minutes, remove two of the bananas. Leave the other two bananas in for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Cool all the bananas. Peel the two that had been cooked longer and mash.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and salt.
  • Bring 2 cups milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir often and watch closely to avoid a boil over.
  • Remove the milk from the heat and whisk a bit at a time (about 1/2 cup) into the egg mixture. You must do this slowly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  • Wash out the saucepan. I know it seems silly, do it anyways.
  • Put the milk/egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until it thickens. Remove from heat.
  • Stir vanilla and 2 tbsp. unsalted butter into the pudding.
  • Set aside about 15 wafers.
  • In an 8×8 baking/serving dish, spread a layer of Nilla wafers and slice one of the remaining roasted bananas.
  • Top with 1/2 of the pudding and spread flat with the spatula.
  • Add another layer of Nilla wafers and slice the last remaining roasted banana.
  • Top with the remaining pudding and spread flat.
  • Chill. Chill. Chill. At least a few hours.
  • Just before serving crush the fifteen reserved wafers and mix them together with the 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tbsp. melted butter.
  • Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pudding and serve.

Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

While I haven’t tried it yet, I imagine this would be a lovely pudding without the Nilla wafers or topping. Especially with the lack of added sugar, it would make a perfect treat for the toddler set.

I see a handful of bananas sitting in a bowl on my counter, if the two-year-old doesn’t eat them all before I get a chance, perhaps I’ll give it a go and report back. I’m not terribly optimistic. Bananas don’t last long around here, much to the chagrin of this banana baked good loving person.

Share

Eat This: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Friday is a day for celebration around here. And in our house that has meant just one thing, Pizza on Friday. (oh the cuteness when little Ewan runs around screaming this as loudly as he can on Friday morning)

We’ve been having pizza on Friday, homemade most weeks, since we moved back to the States nearly two years ago. It’s been fun eating and experimenting week-by-week.

With the arrival of Summer, we’ve come to add another element to our weekly celebration.

Ice cream. Homemade ice cream. (Not to worry, we usually have a salad or some other veg to accommodate an otherwise unhealthy meal)

We’ve had a mango sherbet, beer cardamom, and this past week, a strawberry cheesecake version of my own devising.

I’m telling you about it today so that you can get out and get the ingredients to start your own ice cream Friday. Once you see the pictures, I know you’ll want to.

See, I told you. And the picture doesn’t lie. It really is that good.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Directions

  • Start by slicing the strawberries into a bowl.
  • Add the 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla. Stir.
  • Put the strawberries in the refrigerator and wait at least an hour before proceeding (the strawberries need a little time to make some juice).
  • In a medium-sized bowl, put the softened cream cheese. Now, if you’re like me and don’t want to wait for the cheese to soften you can put it in the microwave to speed it along. About 25 seconds did the trick for me.
  • Mix the softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar together.
  • Slowly add in the whipping cream. Stirring with each small addition to prevent lumps of cream cheese from forming.
  • Do the same with the milk as you did with the whipping cream.
  • Grab those strawberries and pour the juice from them into your ice cream mixture.
  • Once you have the mixture all set to go, put it inside your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions.
  • You’ll probably have to put the ice cream into the freezer to harden a bit. When you’re ready to serve, scoop some of the ice cream into a small dish and top with the fresh strawberries and any leftover sauce.

Super delicious, right?! Yeah, I told you it would be…

Share

Eat This: Faux Milkshake

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of smoothies. Usually the smoothies are green around here because that seems to be the simplest way to make sure that we all get a little more veg in our day.

But sometimes, especially during a heat wave, you want a smoothie that’s a little less green and a little more faux-milkshake.

This smoothie is the answer.

Faux Milkshake

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter (peanut butter would work)
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

  • Put it all into a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Add more milk if it is too thick for your liking.

The best review I can give you is that it passes the toddler test. No super-sneaky vegetables in this one, but still chock full of the good stuff that’ll help keep you going until dinner time comes around.

Oh, it totally gives awesome mustaches too. So, what are you waiting for? Bet you have everything you need right in your kitchen . . .

Share

Eat This: Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart

I love quiche. Love it. I think it is one of the world’s most perfect foods. Given my love for it, you’d think I’d make it all the time. Right?!

Wrong.

You see, I have this thing about pie crusts. My dad and my mother-in-law both make amazing pie crusts. Amazing. Flaky. Perfect. And mine, well, they are never quite as good.

And it’s a lot of work to make a pie crust that just never quite lives up.

This tart is my solution. It is sort of quichey without any of the work associated with a pie crust. Try it. You’ll like it.

Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart

A quichey solution for those adverse (or just too lazy) for crusts.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pizza dough (I used 1 pound of Whole Wheat Dough using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method)
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Let the pizza dough rise, as indicated in the instructions.
  • Slice the bacon into small pieces. In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat cook the bacon.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan and add the sliced onions. (Don’t you dare dump out those drippings!)
  • Cook the onions slowly, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown and caramelize.
  • Remove the onions from the pan.
  • Roll out the pizza dough and place it into the pie plate.
  • Scramble the eggs with the milk. Stir in the bacon, onions and cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pizza dough shell.
  • Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Raise temperature to 375 and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
  • Check the tart, from time-to-time, for doneness by inserting a knife into the center. When the knife comes out clean, it’s done!

Share

Plan B

Today was one of those days. So much work, yet so little progress.

A handful of boxes were packed, leaving the house seeming so.very.cluttered. I can handle dirt and dust, but clutter is enough to drive me crazy.

Phone calls were made, trying to figure out why it is taking well over a month to get our washing machine fixed. Despite a good 45 minutes spent talking to multiple different people, it still remains a mystery.

A quiche was planned for dinner and right from the get-go it was ill-fated. Ewan was underfoot in our tiny galley kitchen (two weeks until a bigger kitchen!!!), the oven was preheating making our steamy apartment even hotter, and the crust just wasn’t cooperating, despite following Virginia’s tried-and-tested recipe.

I threw in the towel, literally, and knew that I had to come up with a Plan B. And, based on the rumblings in that pregnant tummy of mine and the cries from the babe now on my back, I knew I didn’t have long.

A quick glance in the freezer and through the recipe box and the day, well dinner at least, was saved.

My standby pancake recipe with strawberry sauce.

Plan B Pancakes

In the morning or as a dinner, these pancakes do double duty. If you like your pancakes plain, this recipe can’t be beat, the vanilla and cinnamon add just enough flavor to keep them interesting without the usual accompaniments. But if you’re feeling extra fancy (or your day has been particularly crappy), top them with strawberry sauce like we did.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Milk (dairy, soy or rice), until desired consistency

Directions

  • In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and oil and mix lightly.
  • Add milk, slowly, stirring in between additions until your batter is of desired consistency. We like pancakes on the thin side around here, so we add more milk. If you like yours thick and fluffy, add less.
  • Cook on the griddle.
  • Top with strawberry sauce, butter and maple syrup, or enjoy them plain. It’s up to you!

So, if you find yourself at that pre-dinner hour in a bit of a jam like I was, whip up a batch of pancakes to save the day. Dare I say that I think my Plan B was even better than the quiche would have been. Yes, I do think that one thing went right today.

Share