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 :)