Friday, May 11, 2012

Banana Cream Pie in a Jar

 I was experimenting in the kitchen yesterday because well, that's what I do for fun at my house.  lol  I came up with an idea and to see if it worked I gave it to a friend for her Mother's day gift.  Well, not only did she and her children love it, but she declared it "Meth-in-a-Jar".  So I guess the stuff is pretty addicting  ;)  In all seriousness though, it's so easy, so delicious, and makes the most amazingly fluffy and nummy dessert it the world.  Shove it all in a pint mason jar and you can take it anywhere!  Have I convinced you enough to try it?  If not here's a picture of someone who was eating it....
Licked it Clean!

So now have I convinced you that you must try this RIGHT NOW?!  Well, okay.  Then I guess you'll need the recipe....

3-6 bananas
2 small boxes of instant Vanilla pudding
4 cups of milk
1 cube of butter
1 plastic package of Graham crackers (just one of the pre packaged ones you get out of the actual box)
15 Vanilla Wafers
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 handful of shredded sweetened coconut
3-6 spoonfuls Powdered sugar
5 pint size mason jars
2 Tbs. Lemon Juice

In a mixing bowl whisk your 2 boxes of pudding with all of your milk and then put in the fridge.
In a mixing bowl smash up your vanilla wafers, and graham crackers until really fine.  (I used a potato masher, but you can also use your food processor)
Throw in your handful of coconut and toss with your hands until it's well mixed.
Pour in you butter and mix together until everything is coated and when you pinch it, it sticks together.
Put a handful of the cracker mixture into the bottom of each mason jar and press down firmly with your hand.  Set aside.

With a double boiler (or a bowl over a pot of boiling water) melt your chocolate chips.  I used about 3/4 of the bag. 

When your chocolate is melted drizzle on top of the graham cracker crust until it's covered.  Then put those in the fridge to harden.
With an electric mixer whip 1 cup of your Heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Add in 2 Tbs. powdered sugar.  Set the rest of the cream back in the fridge (you will use it later)

Pull your pudding out of the fridge because at this point it will be set.  Slowly fold in your whipped cream into the pudding until well combined.  Put back in the fridge.

When your chocolate has hardened, pull out your mason jars, pudding, and bananas.  Cut your bananas into slices and very lightly brush them with lemon juice (helps them to not turn brown).

On top of the chocolate in your mason jar put 1/2 of a cut up banana in.  Then put a massive scoop of the pudding mixture and then the other 1/2 of the banana slices.  This is how you layer it.  So, it goes 1. crust 2. chocolate 3. banana slices 4. pudding 5. banana slices and 6th will be more whipped cream.

After you have them filled put back in the fridge and whip the remaining cream.  Add 3-4 Tbs. powdered sugar and then put a dollup of whipped cream on top of each mason jar treat.  Put your lid on and it's finished.

Now as you can see, I had leftovers so I made 6 mini cupcake size of these too.  How you do that is 1.crust 2. chocolate 3. 1 banana slice 4. pudding 5. top with a banana slice.  No matter what you do or how you layer, you're going to LOVE this treat!  Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Money Saving Chili

I made this last night for my family and it's sooooo delicious and sooo easy!  SO I hope you like it as much as us.

In your crock pot throw in:
1 lb ground beef (mine was frozen)
1 14oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning
1 jar of your favorite Salsa
1 sweet potato cut into chunks
1 jar Navy Beans rinsed and drained
1 can Kidney beans rinsed and drained
10oz of Frozen corn or 1 can corn drained
1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
A Palmful of dried Oregano and Basil
a dollup of sour cream (optional) 

Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours.  Now since you put that beef in frozen, every hour go and stir it and break it up so it cooks all the way through.  I stirred my chili every hour for 6 hours and it turned out perfect!   Serve with your favorite corn bread and handful of sharp cheddar cheese.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Meringue Swirl Cookies

The theme for this month in my mind anyway, is Mother's and Color's.  That being said, I wanted to give you a cookie that would be colorful, bright, and delicious, and double as a great gift for your Mom on Mother's Day.  Done up in a darling package with all the ribbons and bows to go along with it and you could do it!  Sounds easy enough right?

Well I know giving food as gifts is one of my most favorite things to give because I can package it super cute.  It's also one of my favorite gifts to receive.  It always means a lot to me when someone has taken time from their busy schedule and made me a treat to enjoy.  I just think that is so thoughtful.  It's like getting dinner from a friend, it's so nice, unexpected, and means so much to my heart.

Okay, so this cookie is a cookie that I saw in my Living Magazine this month.  I saw it, made it, and about died at how easy and delicious it truly was.  So now I am giving the recipe to all of you, so you can enjoy it as much as I did!

3 Large Egg Whites, room temp.
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract or the seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
Large Pinch of Salt
Large Pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 tsp. freshly ground orange zest
Gel-Paste Food Coloring in Orange or Yellow

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

Combine egge whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl.  Add Vanilla.  Set bowl over a pot of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm.  About 3 minutes.  Add salt and cream or tartar.

Remove from heat and beat with an electric hand mixer until stiff, glossy, peaks form and the meringue is mostly cooled.  About 7 minutes.  Beat in zest.

Using a small paint brush, brush 3 strokes of the gel paste food coloring lengthwise in a pastry bag.  Have the pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip (I use Ateco #805).  Fill the bag with meringue and pipe in a circular motion until 1 3/4 inch circular shapes.  Pipe them on cookie sheets lined with pastry paper 2 inches a part.  To finish the swirl, apply less pressure and swirl the tip in a circular motion.

Bake meringues until crisp on the outside but still soft and moist in the middle, about 1 hour and 15 min.  Remove from oven and immediately place on a cooling rack.  Don't package until completely cooled.

Essentials ALL Kitchens should Have

There are a few basic ingredients that you should always have because if you do, you can make literally anything!  So I have come up with a list to arm your kitchen with to make your baking and cooking life MUCH easier!

We're going to start with Cooking Supplies
1. Plastic Storage Bags  2. Pot for Steaming  3. Something to Puree with  4. Colander  5. Cutting Board  
6. Peeler 7. Chef's Knife  8. Paring Knife  9. Sauce Pots  10. 8 Quart Pot  11. Wooden Spoons
12. Measuring Utinsels 13. Timer 14. Rubber Spatula 15. Kitchen Scissors  16. Box Grater  17. Masher
18. Waxed Paper  19. Whisk  20. Mixing Bowls  21. Ice Cream Scoop  22. Baking Dishes  23. Loaf Pan
24. Muffin Pans  25. Skillet  26. Pie Dish  27. 9in cake pan  28. cookie sheets  29. Electric Mixer
30. Paper Baking Cups  31. Cooling Rack

Pantry Packing
1. Salt  2. Pepper  3. Allspice  4. Dried Basil  5. Dried Oregano  6. Dried Parsley  7. Chili Powder
8. Cinnamon  9. Ground Cloves  10. Ground Cumin  11. Onion Powder  12. Garlic Powder  13. Nutmeg
14. Sweet Paprika  15. Pumpkin Pie Spice  16. Dried Tyme  17. Whole Wheat Bread 18. Brown Rice
19. Couscous  20. Pasta (all types)  21. No Bake Lasagna Noodles  22. Tortillas

Whole Wheat Flour  2. All Purpose Flour  3. Granulated Sugar  4. Powdered Sugar 5. Oats (quick cooking and old fashioned)  6. Light and Dark Brown Sugar  7. Baking Chocolate  8. Semi Sweet Chips
9. Cocoa 10. Molasses 11. Pure Vanilla 12. Pure Lemon Extract 13. Applesauce 14. Cornstartch
15. Dried apricots, prunes, and cherries 16. Chopped Pecans and Walnuts 17. Canola Oil
18. Baking Soda 19. Baking Powder 20. Cake Mixes-Chocolate, Yellow, Vanilla, White, and Brownie
21. Instant Pancake Mix 22. Graham Crackers 23. Marshmallows

In Your Cupboard
1. Olive Oil 2. Pam 3. Peanut Butter 4. Chicken Broth 5. Beef Broth 6. Chicken Stock 7. Canned Tomatoes  8. Chickpeas Canned 9. Canned Beets 10. Navy Beans 11. Kidney Beans 12. Solid Pumpkin Canned 13. Crushed Pineapple 14. Pasta Sauce 15. Unsweetened Coconut 16. Bread Crumbs
17. Balsamic Vinegar 18. Soy Sauce 19. Worcestershire Sauce 20. Pure Maple Syrup 21. Honey
22. Ketchup 22. Onions 23. Garlic

So now that I have got you started, stay packed up on your favorite meats and you can make anything!  This is a great shopping list if you are just starting to cook!  Now get that Flirty Apron and START COOKING!