Friday, May 30, 2014

Not Yo' Momma's Banana Pudding

First of all, this recipe is one for the books.  So go ahead, get your recipe card.....I'll wait here. 
Ok, did you get it? Good.  You won't be disappointed. 
I have been hoarding this little recipe for years.  I love it when I make something and people ask for the recipe (and that happens EVERY time I make this!)!!  
It is a Paula Deen original. (Let me just state for the record that I am not a fan of what she did. I do not endorse that type of behavior or language and I do not think it is ok. However, she can cook. So, I continue making the banana pudding.).
With all of that out of the way, I bring you........
(and I promise that it's not like your mom's, it is way better!!) 
Gather your ingredients.  You will need:
~ 2 packages of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies
~ 1 Block of Cream Cheese (at room temp)
~ 1 (5oz.) box of instant French Vanilla Pudding (I can't ever find that size so I just get two small boxes and use 1 1/2 of those)
~ 2 cups milk
~ 1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
~ 1 (12 oz) container Whipped Topping
~ 4-5 bananas, sliced
1. Line your 9x13 pan with one layer of cookies.
Feel free to eat the broken ones (there is always at least one)!
2. In a bowl, combine the milk (not the condensed milk) and pudding mix. Blend well.
***I like to use less milk. I normally only use about 1 1/2 cups, it makes it a little thicker***
3. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.  Fold (GENTLY) the whipped topping into this bowl.
4. Add cream cheese mixture to pudding mixture and blend well. Be careful not to take too much air out of the whipped topping.
5. Now, this is where my recipe differs from the original a bit. Paula tells us to layer bananas on the cookies and pour pudding over. That is not what I do. 
I sandwich the bananas in the pudding. So the layers will look like this:
Bottom: Cookies
1st: Pudding
2nd: Bananas
3rd: Pudding
Top: Cookies
I do this so that the bananas don't brown as quickly, but you can do the layers however you want.
So, add the pudding, put the banana layer on, cover completely with the rest of the pudding and then, last but not least, add the final layer of cookies on the top.
You really need to refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating.  I like to make mine the night before I need it, that way the cookies have softened up a bit.
I am not going to say, "I hope you enjoy this recipe" like I normally do, because I already know you are going to LOVE it!! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Little Things

So many times in life we don't take the time to enjoy the little things. We walk right out the door in the morning, coffee in hand, and go straight to the car. There is no stopping to breathe in the fresh air or "smell the roses". I came across a pin the other day that immediately made me smile. As I read each line, it really made me think about all of the little things that I take for granted every day.  I really want to share with you some of the things that make me happy on a daily basis.  It is so important to be happy with your genuinely love it, and I DO!  Enjoy some of MY favorite things and please share some of yours with me!

I especially love #1 (I hate when it is storming or raining and I have to get up, that is the worst), #14 (I don't have a messy house, however, there are those times that you can hear all those little crumbs being sucked up, that's my favorite) and #15 (I know it is 2014 and most people don't take the time to hang their sheets out to dry anymore, but I have a HUGE screened in back porch and when I can, I hang my sheets out there to dry as often as possible. That smell, is the BEST!)
There are times that I think about situations and smile.  This picture was from one of our many vacations last year. We were in Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, about to go crabbing and we were both singing some old, dumb song as loud as we could.  I smile every single time I look at this.
Rain. I don't usually like it when it rains.  I have naturally curly hair....extremely curly.....and when it rains, my hair shrinks up to my neckline. So funny, but I have learned to actually enjoy the rain and not think about the "beauty" consequences!  I took this picture one day on a gloomy, rainy afternoon. 
Fishing!  I know some of you won't understand me on this one, but we fish all the time.  I can honestly say that some of those times have been better than others (but that's life, right?).  I love to look at pictures and things we get from our fishing trips.  It is those memories, good or bad, that make all of the fishing stories amazing! 
This guy....he is my baby!  He lays like this every morning when we get up.  He is a little on the lazy side and doesn't get up until around noon, but he is worth making the bed around! 
The outdoors.  As I mentioned before, we LOVE to fish.  Being outside, whether we are fishing, hiking or riding is the best feeling! 
These two are my most favorite beings in all the world!  They literally make my world go 'round! 
I know we all take little things for granted sometimes, but I just wanted to share with you a few of my favorites!  What are your favorite things?  Everyone is different and I would love to hear about some of the things that make you smile :) 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pineapple-Cheddar Casserole

  Let me go ahead and warn you that this is one of the BEST casseroles I've ever had!

OK...unless you've had this, I know what you're thinking...
"Pineapples and cheese?! Ewww!"
Am I right?

Well, you couldn't be more wrong!  Honestly, I thought the same thing when I was asked to try it!

It's amazing and I'm not sure why!  One of the greatest things about it is how easy it is, and if you've been following my blog, you know I love easy recipes!  Really, the hardest part is measuring out the few ingredients it takes to make it. 

Pineapple Cheddar Casserole

2 cans pineapple, drained with liquid reserved - one can pineapple chunks and one can tidbits
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup and 1 tsp flour
4tbsp pineapple juice
2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese (please don't use pre-shredded, it has a lot of preservatives)
2/3 cup melted butter
1 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl until all flour and sugar have been completely mixed together.

2. Lightly butter a 11x7 casserole dish and pour your mixture in.  Make sure the pineapple chunks and tidbits are spread around evenly. 

3. Spread crushed crackers on the top. At this point you have 2 options, you can cover and refrigerate or you can go ahead and bake.

4. Bake for 40 minutes, uncovered, or until golden brown on top.


This is delicious!  It is a little sweet, a little cheesy and a lot of yummy!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Creamy Italian Chicken

I love the smell of an easy dinner in the crock pot, don't you? If you do, this post is for you. 

This is about as easy as it gets. 

You only need 4 ingredients:

* 2 pounds of chicken breasts
* 1 Italian seasoning packet (the dry mix)
* 1 can cream of chicken soup
* 1 (8oz) block of cream cheese

1. Turn your crock pot on low and add all ingredients except chicken.
Let this sit for about 20 minutes so the cream cheese gets soft, then whisk together until it is as smooth as possible.

2. Add chicken and cover with cream cheese mixture.

3. Cook on low for about 5 hours.

4. Serve over rice.

And that's it! This was so good that I only had enough left over to make one of us lunch for the next day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chocolate Pudding Frosting

Oh-my-goodness, y'all! This frosting is RIDICULOUS!

(And by ridiculous, I mean good!)

It's so simple, and so yummy! 

Ingredients needed:

- 1 (5.9oz) box of Instant Chocolate Pudding
- 1 (16oz) container of whipped topping
- milk

1.) In a large bowl, mix pudding packet with HALF of the milk called for on the package directions. Whisk until pudding mixture is thick (about 2 minutes).

2.) Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.

I ended up using about 3/4 of the whipped topping. Just eyeball it....tasting it works well too!

3. Refrigerate your frosting for at least an hour. This should give you time to bake and cool your cake or cupcakes.

I whipped up my favorite chocolate cake (I'll share this recipe on a different post!) and slathered a good amount between my cake layers, then frosted the entire cake!

I must say this is, by far, not one of my prettiest cakes! It is great for a quick and yummy weeknight dessert though!

I had NO complaints on the appearance, only compliments of how absolutely wonderful it tasted!

Please make sure you keep it in the refrigerator when not serving it. With the milk and the whipped topping, this is important!

You can use any flavor pudding and I'm sure it will turn out just as amazing!

I will definitely be making this with vanilla and banana pudding! The possibilities are endless! 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Apple Dump Cake Fail

OK, let's be honest. We've all had one of those awful moments known as a "Pinterest Fail" and this, my friends, was one of mine.

It was supposed to be simple. And good. 

I thought it was right up my alley this night. Ivy loves anything with apples and I just wanted something sweet, so Apple Dump Cake it was.

The recipe and directions are about as easy as it gets. 
-1 yellow cake mix
-1 stick of butter
-4 apples, sliced

I don't like crunchy apples, so I decided to soften them in a pan with a little cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top.

I sprayed a pan with Pam and poured the apples in the bottom.

Then, as directed, poured the DRY cake mix on top. 
This is where I started to feel like it wasn't going to end well.


Next I melted a stick of butter and poured that on top of the dry cake mix.

The directions say to bake for 25-30 mins at 350. 

As you can see, I left mine in longer. It didn't look done to me and smelled like pure butter....very unappetizing. I didn't even taste it. So sad. 

Does anyone know what I did wrong? I even went back and looked up different Apple Dump Cake recipes and they're all pretty much the same. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chicken and Gravy

Well....what a whirlwind the past couple weeks have  been!  I super love the holidays and look forward to it all year long, however, I'm kinda glad it's over! I've spent weeks getting everything together for all of the goodies that I make for friends and family.  Sadly, I didn't take that many pictures of it. (This whole blogging thing is a lot of fun, but I must admit, I dont always think of taking pics when I'm busy in the kitchen.....oops! I will have to work on that!)

On to the recipe!

This is chicken and gravy. Yum. 

Very easy....even the worst cooks can do this! The recipe comes from good ol Pinterest.


What you'll need:

2 lbs chicken breast (this was 5 breasts for me)
2 packages of chicken gravy mix
1 (10oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 cups water
 Fresh cracked Pepper to taste

Mix the soup, water, pepper and gravy pouches together. (Try to get this mixture as smooth as possible. Use a whisk.)

Clean chicken and put in the bottom of the crock pot.

Pour the gravy/soup mixture over the chicken.

Cook on low for 4 hours.

I used 2 forks and shredded my chicken a bit when it was finished cooking.

We had ours over rice (yes, on a paper plate....I despise doing dishes) with a little hot sauce and some green beans! 

So easy, but very yummy! With all of this cold weather, a little comfort food is so nice!