Thursday, February 20, 2014

Banana Cream Dessert Shooters

I was trying to figure out a fun simple dessert to make for Valentine's day. I was thinking about doing a cake or a pie but there is no way that my husband and I could eat it by ourselves. So, I was looking on Pinterest, where everyone goes to get ideas, right? I came across a chocolate dessert shooter, but I didn't have any of the ingredients. As I was looking in my cupboard I found that I had a banana cream pudding box and I went from there to create my own simple dessert shooter.

Makes 8 servings

1 box banana cream pudding and pie filling
milk- for pudding mix
vanilla wafers
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or defrosted cool whip

You will want to make this dessert in some sort of see through cup. I didn't have any small glass cups so I went to Smart and Final and I bought a bag of plastic wine glasses. I think they made the dessert look really fancy. 

Follow the instructions on the box to make the pudding. Let it set.

Take a a handful of vanilla wafers and place them in a plastic zip lock bag. I like to double up the bag in case the first one tears.

Get all of the air out of the bags and then use a rolling pin to create vanilla wafer crumbs. If you are using heavy whipping cream, pour about 1/2 cup into a large bowl. Beat on high until the whipping cream becomes stiff.

Then, you are ready to layer. First, place pudding into the cup, then vanilla wafer crumbs, then whipping cream, then vanilla wafer crumbs, pudding, and whipping cream. After the first time it becomes simple. To top it off place a vanilla wafer on top.Easy enough right? It was the perfect single serve dessert to top off our Valentine's day.

The day after Valentine's day my little family drove to the sand dunes to meet up with my parents. Since this dessert made 8, I took the other 6 with me to give to my parents and friends that were going to be there. They loved them.

We also had a blast enjoying the sand dunes! Jackson has now officially been introduced. He loved the sound of the cars starting their engines. He's got a pretty cool grandpa.

What better place to finish off Valentine's weekend than the place where Tyrone first told me he loved me? It only seems fitting.

My Valentine's

If you are wondering, yes. I am wearing a Harry Potter shirt. I am not ashamed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Homemade Bread Bowls with Potato Soup

I came across a homemade bread bowl recipe on Pretty Providence and I have been wanting to try it for a while. Well, now that fall has come and gone, I finally decided to make them. The recipe came from Tastes Better From Scratch

Bread bowls:
2 cups + 4 Tbsp warm water
2 packages of active dry yeast (about 2 Tbsp)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl add warm water and sprinkle in yeast. Set aside to “proof” or get foamy, about 10 minutes.  Add melted butter, sugar and salt and mix until combined.  Gradually add flour.  Knead with your mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. (you could do this by hand if you weren’t using a mixer, but it may get a little tiring!). Place in a large greased bowl. Cover, place in warm place and allow to rise until doubled, (about 45 minutes). After first rise punch dough down and form into 6 equal sized balls.  Place dough balls on a greased cookie sheet and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let rise once more for about 20-30 minutes. DO NOT touch the dough at all during this time. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool and then cut off the top, remove some of the bread from the inside and fill with your favorite soup! 

This recipe makes 6 bread bowls.
I used two bread bowls for dinner and froze the other four for the next time I need them. 

These rolls are really moist and delicious. When I  was scooping out the middle, I really had to hold myself back from eating it all. The center is the best part!

I made potato soup to go with the bread bowls, but there are so many options. This potato soup recipe came from my brother's cooking class in high school. As you can see, this recipe has gotten quite a bit of  use. I keep it in a plastic sheet protector now. At one point in college, the top right corner actually caught on fire because it was a little to close to the stove. I also thought the recipe was a good place to practice my signature, apparently.

Cream of Potato soup:
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 Tbsp dried onion
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups hot milk (2 minutes in the microwave)
grated cheese for garnish

Peel and cut up the potatoes into small cubes. Put in small pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes and cook (boil) for 10 minutes or until tender.

Drain the cooked potatoes in the colander and then return them to the small pot. Mash slightly with the potato masher.

In the medium pot melt the margarine on medium heat. Add the onion, salt, celery salt, and pepper. Stir with wire whisk. Add the flour and stir until the flour is absorbed into the margarine mixture.

When the butter begins to melt, put the milk in the microwave. Once the flour gets absorbed into the margarine mixture, if the milk isn't ready, it burns really easily and then you have to start over. This is the hardest part. I would also recommend having the spices and flour already measured out before this step to make it easier.  

Add the hot milk (milk should be heated in microwave for 2 min.) and turn the heat up to medium high or high. Stir constantly with the wire whisk until the milk boils and starts to thicken. Remove from the heat.

Add the potatoes to the milk mixture and stir until well mixed. Serve with cheese on top if desired.