|The annual Easter sugar fix awaits!|
When I was a kid I almost always gave up either candy, chocolate, ice cream, or dessert for Lent. After I got older it was often all of the above! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love sugar and understands what a monumental sacrifice this was (is). My dad did not subscribe to the “It’s okay to indulge on Sundays” camp either. I GAVE IT UP. And for sugar-less me, Lent somehow time-warped into a seemingly six-month long tribulation rather than the traditional 40 days that others adhere to. I think that’s a big reason why I still look so forward to Easter! After many imaginary months of deprivation and daydreaming about chocolate bunnies and coconut cream pie, I would finally get my sugar fix. This banana pudding is still one of my very favorite Easter desserts. It’s a little different than the labor-intensive old-style recipe of my childhood with the lightly browned meringue on top. It may not look quite as pretty, but it’s much easier and I like it even better!
|photo courtesy of Flickr creative commons|
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 ½ cups whipped and sweetened heavy cream (or 12 oz container of cool whip)
6 oz. cream cheese
2 cups whole milk (or 2%)
1 (5 oz) box of instant vanilla pudding
6 to 8 sliced bananas
Nilla wafers or other wafer or shortbread-type cookies
Shredded coconut, optional.
Additional crushed cookies, optional
Line the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan with a layer of cookies. Place a layer of bananas over the cookies. Combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using an electric mixer or blender. In another bowl, mix the cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Stir the cream cheese mixture into the pudding mix and stir until well blended. Pour half the mixture over the cookies and bananas. Add another layer of cookies and bananas. Pour the remaining mixture over all. Top with coconut and crushed cookies if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the last dozen years or so, I have hosted Easter dinner at my house. It’s nice to be home after a morning filled with church and egg-hunting. The kids are usually jacked up on sugar from the baskets they found at 6:30 AM (which is much earlier than they ever rise on a typical weekend). Over the years, I’ve cooked hams and turkeys, mashed potatoes and cheesy potatoes, and (of course) my mom’s favorite bunny cake. But this year, we’ve decided to do Easter brunch instead, so bring on the breakfast food! My kids love anything with eggs and bacon, making this meal a piece of cake. I Googled and I searched Pinterest until I found the yummiest-looking egg casserole around, and I think I found it!
Over-Night Cheesy Bacon and Broccoli Bake
(Courtesy of Pillsbury.com)
(Courtesy of Pillsbury.com)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup cooked bacon (crumbled)
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk; stir in garlic, salt, pepper flakes and cheese. Add broccoli and bacon to baking dish, spreading evenly. Pour egg mixture on top, gently stirring mixture to distribute. Cover and refrigerate about 8 hours or overnight. Uncover; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until just set and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
What are you cooking this weekend? Or what did you cook yesterday for Passover? Share, share, share!