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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sweet Tooth Salvation

I am not one of those chocholics...I like my sweets to have some complexity to them. Don't get me wrong, I love my Snickers, and my Dove (converted from Hershey's when I got married...try it & you will, too), but I'd rather create desserts these days. Funny how I'm just noticing that 3 of the 4 desserts I'm going to post feature bananas, peanut butter, or both! I have come to understand that this is strictly from osmosis: my children could live on banana-peanut butter (and so could their mom and dad!)...

Discovered this little gem on the Food Network web site. It's down-home, but gets classed up with the cookies for looks, and taste... I brought it to a casual New Year's Eve party and it was a huge hit (makes enough for a small party)...
  1. Line a 13x9 dish with 1 bag Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies
  2. Layer 7 sliced bananas on top
  3. Blend 2 cups milk & 1 (5 oz.) box instant French Vanilla Pudding mix
  4. In another bowl, blend 1 (8 oz.) package softened cream cheese & 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk, until smooth
  5. Fold 1 (12 oz.) container of thawed whipped topping into cream cheese mixture
  6. Add that to the pudding mixture until smooth
  7. Pour over the cookies/bananas, then cover with 2nd bag of Chessmen
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve


This one comes from Southern Living magazine (Jill loves the articles about the homes...I dig the recipes). Nutter Butters are my all-time fave cookie, and my family's undying love affair with the union of bananas & peanut butter is now well-documented. Hence, this no-brainer that would make Elvis sit up in his grave (or wherever he is)... I got the kids involved when I made this one (licking the bowl is always good incentive to help with mixing duties)...

  1. Combine 3 cups milk, 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour in a large saucepan, whisking constantly until thickened (up to 20 min.)
  2. Remove from heat; add 2 tbsp. butter & 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  3. Refrigerate, and let stand, but stir occasionally for about 30 minutes (*you could also put it in an 'ice bath' on the countertop)
  4. Cut 6 ripe bananas into thin slices; break 1 package Nutter Butters into thirds
  5. When thoroughly chilled, spoon half pudding mixture into a 3-qt. bowl (clear glass is better!)
  6. Top with bananas & cookies
  7. Repeat steps 5-6
  8. Top with 2 cups whipped cream (I used Cool Whip)
  9. Cover & chill

The best thing about this is, like most leftovers, this dessert seemed to get better as the days went on. It's pretty sweet, so a little goes a long way. Do what I say, not what I do: enjoy in (relatively) small portions!!


After being diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes a few years ago, I knew my life as a dessert lover was going to change. Luckily, I am learning how to enjoy everything I used to, albeit in moderation. Still, I went on a vision quest for desserts that could fill the void, if there ever was one to be filled. This is taken from the folks at South Beach Diet (which, FYI, is synonymous with a diabetic dietary lifestyle). I found this clever and creative, and the taste didn't disappoint...

  1. Nuke a sugar-free fudgcicle for about :15 to soften it
  2. Scrape it into a small bowl
  3. Add 2 tbsp. peanut butter & 2 tbsp. light Cool Whip
  4. Mix together until swirled (or swirl together until mixed)... Devour.

Simple, right?


OK, last (for now) but not least... a new-fangled, fun way to enjoy your All-American treat of milk & cookies. This comes from a kiddie cookbook Jill bought me for Hanukkah (Southern Living Kids Cookbook), and is the #1 request from my soon-to-be 6-year-old, Jason. He and his little sis, Lindsey, love helping out with this one...

  1. Crush 3 whole graham cracker sheets in a zip-loc freezer bag (kids LOVE that part!)
  2. Sprinkle a heaping spoonful of crumbs in bottom of 6 (1 cup) glasses or container (we used juice glasses)
  3. Dip 1 chocolate chip cookie in milk (about :10) to soften. Place cookie on top of crumbs. Repeat for other 5 glasses
  4. Spread 1/4 cup Cool Whip on top of each cookie
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 two more times
  6. Crumble last 2 cookies (you'll need 20 total) and sprinkle evenly over each glass
  7. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours (although I can speak from experience that they taste great after just a little while, too!)

Off to go fix dinner. Leftovers tonight. Made a dynamite ground beef dish last night that I'll be sharing soon...

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