Monday, June 24, 2013

Banana Dessert

Hi all! As requested here is the banana dessert that we brought to Sharon's yesterday.

1 package vanilla wafers
1 stick of butter, melted
1 8-ounce cream cheese                                      
1 cup powdered sugar      
1 large cartoon cool whip
Bananas, as many as desired (I used two, but my bananas were kind of small)
2 small packages of instant banana pudding
Milk (as much as needed to make the pudding)

Crush the whole package of vanilla wafers and put in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. (I crush the cookies by putting them in a zip bag and hitting the bag with a rolling pin. It gets out a lot of frustration :) If you have a food processor you could use that instead.) Mix in melted butter and pat into the bottom of the pan. In a bowl combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and half of the cool whip. Spread over the crust. Next put a layer of sliced bananas. Make the pudding as directed on the box and pour over the banana slices. Finally spread the remaining cool whip on top. Put in the fridge until the pudding is set. 

Here is the original chocolate recipe that the banana recipe was adapted from.

One Der Ful Dessert or Dream Pie

1 cup flour                                                                  
½ cup (1 stick) margarine, melted
1-2 tablespoons pecans, finely chopped (optional)                
1 8-ounce cream cheese                                      
1 cup powdered sugar      
1 large cartoon cool whip
1 large package chocolate instant pudding       
1 large package vanilla instant pudding
4 cups milk                                                                  

Combine flour, margarine, and nuts.  Press into a cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Cool thoroughly.  Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and half of the cool whip.  Spread over cooled crust.  Mix puddings with milk.  Beat at low speed for one minute.  Spread over cream cheese mixture.  Top with remaining cool whip.  Garnish with shredded Hershey bar if so desired.

Variations:  This can be made with any flavored instant pudding.  Also instead of the pudding layer you can put raspberries in Danish dessert.  It is delicious.  

This can also be made in 2 9-inch pie pans.  The only difference is you divide everything in half.  

I actually don't like the crust recipe in the chocolate dream pie so I usually make a graham cracker crust. My mom said she tried this recipe with pistachio pudding a few weeks ago and loved it. I hope you enjoy the three recipes in one :)

I just realized I don't have any pictures for this post. Since this is a pie recipe here's my favorite picture from Ty's pie eating contest.

This is what I want to do sometimes on those hot summer days when I make dream pie.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

DC Cupcakes anyone?

Last DC post! We don't have Internet at our house yet so I'm posting while I can at my mom's house and have Internet access.

If anyone has ever heard of the TV show DC Cupcakes, it's located in Georgetown, just outside of Washington, DC, and we went there the last day of our trip. Everyone raves about DC Cupcakes, probably because it's on a TV show... but can I share a secret? When I was in Georgetown last year, the locals told us that their cupcakes are okay but there is actually another cupcake shop in Georgetown that serves "much better cupcakes." Don't tell any DC Cupcake fans... but it's true. I've tried both and can attest to it. :) They don't even look like fancy pants cupcakes. They look like normal cupcakes with cute frosting. However, it was very fun to go there and they were good cupcakes (but I can see Shae the cupcake queen creating MUCH more stellar cupcakes). I snapped some fun pics of DC cupcake shop and thought I'd share them since this is our food blog! May it inspire some good cupcake baking!

This is my personal favorite picture from the shop... a totally BLING Kitchen Aid! Um... yes please?! Super cute and yet fully functional. Maybe some of you will want to add some bling to your Kichen Aids? 

Happy baking!

Love, Kris

Dinner Brought to You By...

... Mount Vernon! All during our trip to DC I kept waiting for a fun treat or unique meal we might find in DC... However, I remembered after a few days of meals that when you travel as part of a tour group, you eat what I like to call "bulk meals" where the food is predetermined for you and as a result needs to be very general so everyone likes something. Which is great, don't get me wrong. I have just been left without something fun to share from DC! 
Well then it hits me that I totally missed an opportunity to share something unique and I'm kicking myself! We visited the GORGEOUS Mount Vernon, George Washington's home and peanut soup is a famous Mount Vernon dish. If you're not a fan of a "peanut butter" taste with actual peanuts in the soup then probably you'll want to pass, but it's a fun, 18th century dish to pass along if anyone is interested! Here is a link to a recipe:

Mount Vernon Colonial Peanut and Chestnut Soup

However, on our last night of the trip, we went to a fancy restaurant called "McCormick and Shmick's" right on National Harbor and had a fancy meal that I had to post pics of since I had nothing to show so far! This is the dish Jordon ordered - "Parmesan Crusted Flounder with Butter Garlic Sauce." Anything that starts with "Parmesan Crusted" is definitely going to be good, and this is coming from a non-seafood girl! For the record, Flounder is surprisingly mild for those of you interested in trying new fish.

Last thing I wanted to post that seemed so appropriate for this kitchen/creation themed blog.... JULIA CHILD'S KITCHEN!! Ever since seeing the movie "Julie and Julia" in 2009 I have made it a personal goal to make at least ONE Julia Child dish in my lifetime. I love cooking and baking new things - it gives me such a sense of accomplishment to create something delicious with my hands (probably because my drawing/painting/other artistic skills seriously lack) so to create something from Julia Child would be a HUGE sense of accomplishment. I'll definitely blog that when it happens... Anyway, seeing her Cambridge, MA kitchen in the American History Smithsonian was SO awesome and I was totally geeking out. I took better pictures with my actual camera but couldn't find the cord to transfer those pictures to my computer so I only have this picture I took with my phone. It's definitely NOT the best picture - there are SO many cooking gadgets in her kitchen (I was practically drooling) and this picture only captures SOME of them. However, notice the KitchenAid in the left-side of the pic. :) She has scales (of course, Julia Child had scales to measure her food) and many, many other gadgets that would be SO fun to use! In celebration of seeing her kitchen in the museum, Jord and I rented Julie and Julia last night and watched it for our date night. LOVED it! It does use the F word so when Julia and her husband are in their room sitting on the bed talking SKIP THE SCENE! It's about an hour into the movie or so. Just FYI. Okay last thing and I'll be done with this post. I learned from the movie that Julia actually had the counters in her kitchen (as seen in the pic) made higher because she was so tall and that way she didn't have to stoop over her counters when she cooked. In the movie you can see how awkward this was for her when she is chopping onions in their house in France. So without further ado... (a less than preferable picture of) Julia Child's kitchen!!!

As Julia would say...

"Bon Appetit!"


Monday, June 17, 2013

We have been eating a lot of salads lately. I think it helps that fruit and veggies have been on sale. For our wedding we received a salad spinner (see below).
It was one of those gifts that you plaster a smile to your face and think when am I ever going to use this. It has only taken me a little over three years to use it regularly. We've found that you can get a head of lettuce for 99 cents this time of year. I simply cut up the lettuce throw it in my salad spinner with some water and spin it a few times. I have clean lettuce that will last us a week. You get a lot more lettuce than a bag of lettuce. If you put a paper towel or two in with the lettuce it keeps it fresh longer (a wonderful hint I got from pinterest).
That was a long way to say that we tried a new salad dressing recipe that we love! It only has five ingredients two of which are salt and pepper. It is a raspberry vinegarette that I found in "Worldwide Ward Cookbook: Secret Recipes."

2 Tbsp. red raspberry jam (with seeds)
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. walnut oil or olive oil
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
In a small bowl whisk all of the ingredients together. Pour over salad.

I didn't have red wine vinegar so I just used regular white vinegar. I also didn't add the salt or pepper. I imagine it would taste even better if you had the red wine vinegar. I used this salad dressing on a salad that had lettuce, grapes, strawberries, and left over grilled chicken. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
I'm sorry this is getting so lengthy. I have one more thing to share. I tried a new recipe for breakfast on Father's Day. Here's the link: 

The recipe is for french toast roll ups. It is a fun twist on french toast. I liked that you dip the roll ups in syrup. I don't know about anyone else kids, but Taylor will eat just about anything if she can dip it. I like to make a recipe the way it appears the first time I make it (unless I don't have all the ingredients then I improvise) and then play how would I do this differently. I think with the roll ups I would try different things in the roll like flavored cream cheese or Nutella. I would also skip the peanut butter because it made the roll slightly dry. Other than getting your fingers covered in cinnamon and sugar this was a great recipe!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Lately I feel like we are in a big-time recipe rut...we seem to make the same thing over and over again! Then Heather sent me a recipe for an orange chicken that she tried on Pinterest, and I got excited to try something new!  I thought that this would be a good way for us to stay in touch (I am not going to name names, but I have heard that living far away from loved ones year, after year after 7 years can stink!) Anyways... I recently stumbled across the Pioneer Woman's blog and I got excited to try some of her recipes, I also have several Pinterest recipes that I need to try out and I thought that this would be a fun way to make us try new things every once in a while and share what we liked or didn't like!  I was thinking that I would try something new at least twice a month (every other Thursday or something.) If we rotated and had 3 of us try something one week and then the other 3 the next week we would have 3 new recipes each week and 12 new ones each month, but we would each only have to make 2 new things a month so that we wouldn't be overwhelmed. If you don't have time, or if you don't want to one week that's fine!  If you did a craft and would rather show that instead of a recipe that's fine!  If you never want to do this and think it's a waste of time... you guessed it, that's fine!  I will start us off.... (are you all so excited that you can't stand it, drum roll please...)
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (from Pioneer Woman)

You can click on that link (I hope that it works, if not... Keri I will need your help my friend) and she has great pictures to go with the recipe.  I have never tasted, bought or used roasted red peppers before, but I actually really liked this recipe.  It was fun to try something new and the kids didn't mind it, because it was red and looked like spaghetti sauce to them anyways.  I  just used a tiny splash of cream and you could have gone without it.  I didn't even use exact measurements because I had a few green onion left, there wasn't much garlic left in the can that I had in the fridge, and I used basil (dry) instead of whatever herb she used and I only used half of the jar of peppers so that I could make it twice and it still turned out yummy.  I also used whole wheat pasta and the 2nd time that I made it (that's right, it was a 2 timer for me!) I chopped up chicken with it.  Tonight Ryan is at Prom for those graduating.  The youth are out of town for youth conference, we don't live by family and anyone else that I would trust with my offspring are out of town... so Ryan went STAG!  I am home in my polka dot pajamas (thank you for them, Sharon!) I microwaved some hotdogs for the kids, but was not super excited about that prospect for my dinner so I made a small batch of this tonight.  Since I don't have a food processor, I use this bad boy which is an imitation Magic Bullet that I got at jcpenny for like 20 bucks. I took a picture of what the peppers look like, because I had no clue what I was looking for when I bought them, I also thought you might enjoy a picture of my children's fantastic meal.  I also thought that I would share this little gem with you that I found at Costco (actually my mom found it at Costco and sent it to us in a package, and we loved it so we went to our Costco to buy it and they don't sell it...stupid Iowa... just kidding Shirley we love Iowa!) Point of the story... since you guys live in Utah, and if you would like a little treat, this was delicious and our favorite flavor was the original caramel corn! See, even if you don't have a recipe to share you can share something else!  Maybe you will be going on a cool trip to DC (ahem... Kristi...) and you find a delicious street vendor treat, or snap a great picture that you want to share!  I typed this really fast, because I want to get downstairs and watch a show... any show that I want on the DVR because I NEVER get to do that!  (so no judging with spelling or grammar!) I will email you the password so that you can all post (just make sure to sign your name at the end so we know who posted what.) Make sure to leave comments if you try a recipe and if you like it or didn't like it.  It won't hurt my feelings if you don't like something that I liked, because trust me... I didn't make up the recipe and I surely won't be making any of them up in the near future! Love you all!