Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Banana Pudding

Rachel decided to make her boyfriend a wonderfu dessert for his birthday this past Sunday.  It was her first try with this dish...no help from mom, and it looked fantastic. 

She used my Pampered Chef batter bowl to put the pudding in.  It withstands the heat of the oven for the meringue to brown and has a tight-fitting lid to store the leftovers in the fridge.

Way to go Rachel!!!

1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
Dash Salt
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 (14 oz.) can fat free condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sliced bananas, divided
45 vanilla wafers
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine flour and salt in medium saucepan.  Gradually stir in low-fat and condensed milk and yolks, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes or until thickened.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Arrange 1 cup banana slices in a 2-quart baking dish.

Spoon 1/3 pudding mixture over bananas; top with 15 vanilla wafers.  Repeat layers once; top with remaining bananas and pudding. 

Arrange remaining 15 wafers around inside edge of dish.   Gently push wafers into pudding.

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy.  Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved (2-4 minutes).

Spread meringue over pudding, sealing to edge of dish.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flour Sack Towels.....a Great Find!

This past weekend I visited the Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville, Georgia. I don’t garden, but there was still plenty to see and do from the garden tours, flower show, ladies’ tea, and the festival market.

You can see a few of my pictures from the festival here and my article at Douglasville Patch leading up to the festival along with a link to the festival site here.

I picked up these wonderful flour sack towels at the market from Jazzy Arts and artist Robert Rodenberger. Give his site a look-see here. I love his colors and simple lines.

The information he encloses with his flour sack towels states: The flour sack towel is a legendary and essential tool of the kitchen. They're called flour sack towels because the tightly woven cotton fabric was used to hold flour from the mid 1800s through the 1950s and then repurposed into towels, bedding and clothing by resourceful women.

They are used for many culinary purposes such as drying dishes, soaking up spills, microwave cooking, keeping salad fresh for hours, lining bread baskets, polishing and drying glassware without streaking, dusting, etc.

Flour sack towels are very soft and lint free, extremely absorbent, and they launder amazingly well. Any imperfections are unique characteristics of the handmade towel and truely get better with every use. Those towels are eco-friendly and are 100% American made.

Growing up I can remember sleeping on my grandmother's flour sack sheets. They were so soft.....

I can't wait to use my new....old towels!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Suddenly......When You Need a Little Salad

So….it’s been a long and hot day full of lots to do, and the time approaches to prepare dinner.

What do you do?

Sometimes I rely on one of those boxed pasta meals like Suddenly Salad to help me along. I add some fresh veggies and a little chicken. Dinner is then just a pot of boiling water away.

First, I prepare the pasta per the box directions. While it’s cooking I slice up a green and red pepper.

I open a can of diced tomatoes and dump them into a colander. I rinse them well, and let them drain. I chop half an onion, slice a bunch of green onions and then I add a teaspoon of minced garlic.

I dump in the diced tomatoes and chop up some fresh broccoli and cauliflower.

I stir the veggies up with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and by this time the pasta is done. I drain it……and rinse it with cool water.

I dump the pasta in with the veggies along with some chopped chicken. I use the bagged chicken you can find at the store from Tyson or Perdue.

Stir well. Pair with some Tuscan Garlic bread toast and a nice glass of white wine and you have an instant dinner without getting the kitchen too hot!

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