Recipe: Banana Pudding

If you follow me on facebook then you know I’ve been thinking about banana pudding for a while now…

My husband loves banana pudding. It took nine years of marriage for him to tell me this, mind you, but it turns out banana pudding is his favorite.

I think he didn’t tell me earlier because he was ashamed. Back home in the NW, and even in DC, it was rare to find banana pudding listed on the  menu of a respectable eatery.

But here in the south, loving banana pudding is nothing to be ashamed of. They serve it as a dessert at nearly every locally owned Ma’ n’Pa restaurant here. It’s about as common as sweet tea.

This, apparently, gave my husband the courage he needed to finally come out of his Banana Pudding closet. Well, that and having an unexpected surgery last week. Comfort food to the rescue!

Banana pudding is just one notch above Rice Crispy Treats in terms of complexity. Still, I spent a long time researching the different recipes and combining the best parts of the best recipes to create my own.  I was so serious about it that I even bought three different brands of Vanilla Wafer cookies to do a blind taste-test with the kiddo and husband to see what wafers actually taste better. (The Winner? Nilla. By a landslide. This is one thing that the generics and other brands don’t even come close to, so it is actually worth the price of buying namebrand).

Need a creative and practical way to store, serve and transport it? Try putting the banana pudding in mason jars instead of a giant bowl.

If there’s a banana pudding recipe you have that you think is better than anything else you’ve ever tried, send it my way! I think my recipe is good, really good, but I want to find The Best.

INGREDIENTS:

1 8oz pkg Cream Cheese

1 14 z can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 5oz pkg INSTANT Vanilla Pudding (spring for the name brand)

3 cups ICE Cold Milk (whole or skim)

1 tsp Vanilla extract (real, not artificial)

1/2 to 1 tsp Banana extract (don’t over do it!)

1 8oz container Frozen Whipped Topping, THAWED

1 12oz pkg Nilla Wafers

6 Bananas, sliced

a tsp of cocoa powder or a 1/8 cup chocolate shavings (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Add banana extract.  Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.
  2. Line the bottom of large bowl with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers.Then layer again with wafers and bananas. Continue until you’ve used them all except for a handful of wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping and crumble the remaining wafers and sprinkle on top.OPTIONAL: sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings on top.Chill for 3 hours.

Day 309 on the Farm: You say ‘Alpaca,’ I say ‘Lawn Mower’

Who needs a John Deere when you have a John Alpaca?

Got something new to look at in the pasture today…y’know, something more G-rated. Because my goats are too busy humping each other to actually eat the grass in the pasture, we had to bring in reinforcements. Meet our new lawnmowers!

Three alpacas.

Two white, one medium brown.

Asher

This is Asher, our brown one. Asher is my favorite.

This is Anikos and High and Mighty…

Yep. His name is High And Mighty.

Obviously, we didn’t name him.

All three are rescues.

The goats’ world is about to be rocked.

All three are also in-tact males…which makes our pasture quite the boys club.

The goats weren’t sure what to think. When we walked the Alpacas in to the pasture the little horny dudes froze and starred them down. You could cut the “WTF” with a knife.

WhatTheFu…

It.Was.AWESOME.

Then something fascinating happened. All of Neighbor Delford’s cattle came running to the fence to meet their new neighbors. Then the neighborhood horses ran for their fence to get a good look at the Alpacas.

It was a scene straight out of a Disney movie.

“Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!?!?!”

The goats, however, were still completely freaked out. They stood back and watched as the alpacas got to work doing their job…y’know, eating the grass.

Asher introduces himself to the goats

Maybe we can be friends?

Nope. Not yet. You’re, like, 10x my size.

Alpacas had no time for this funny business. They got right to work.