Some callin me a sinner / some callin me a winner
I'm callin you to dinner / And you know exactly what I mean
Better than Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
photo from Crepes of Wrath
My girl Sydney over at Crepes of Wrath recently posted this incredible dupe recipe for Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding, which I knew would be a big hit with my banana-lovin husband. This recipe has banana, vanilla pudding, nilla wafers, and homemade whipped cream. What could be better?
I don't think I have to tell you that this turned out to be the best dessert I have ever prepared. Ever. Also I toasted some pine nuts and sprinkled them with crushed nilla wafers on top.
Sydney says in her blog entry that this dish reaches its peak around 30 hours after you fix it and she's right. I actually fixed this on a Sunday and Nick and I worked on it all week long. If you decide to fix this Katie-style and add the Nutella, I'd recommend letting it sit out on the counter just a little before you serve it--the Nutella can chill a bit too hard.
I mean...right? Can you even read the words 'bacon and egg risotto' without immediately wanting to bust out the arborio? This recipe also comes from Crepes of Wrath, and it is incredible. It's a classic risotto, created by simmering uncooked arborio (or carnaroli) rice, meat, and/or veggies in chicken stock, which is added in painstakingly small amounts as you stir and stir and stir. Risotto is all about the timing, so I had to stage everything before I started cooking. Lanier and Phineas approve:
Risotto is always a test of patience and this one is no exception. But it's worth it! The raw egg yolk on top makes for a very impressive presentation. Pro tip: do yourself a favor and actually use the low-sodium chicken broth, because 5+ cups of regular chicken broth has soooooo much salt. I had to learn this the hard and salty way. But other than the salt extravaganza, this turned out really amazing. I'd love to bring it to a brunch sometime but it totally worked as a dinner entree too.
I didn't get a picture, so here's the one from Smitten Kitchen.
Lanier recently taught me to make eggy cups--some tomato sauce, some cheese, an an egg baked in a little ramekin. When I saw this recipe for an Israeli dish called shakshuka on Smitten Kitchen, I thought I'll be damned if that's not just a big Israeli eggy cup. And I was right. It's basically just tomato sauce (with cumin! That's what gives it that ~spicy and exotic~ flavor) and cheese and eggs. This recipe is everything a good staple recipe should be--easy, cheap, and readily made with items most people keep in stock. I'll definitely be making this again.
I hate being a slave to recipes, but I hate it even more when I stray with confidence only to ruin what I'm fixing. This panzanella looks pretty good, right? Homemade bread cubed and sauteed, mixed with diced veggies and fresh mozzarella cheese? I used Ina Garten's recipe as a guide but basically did my own thing, which worked out fine until the part where I made the dressing, right after I took this photo. Who has champagne vinegar sitting around their house, anyway? Sounds expensive. I used balsalmic vinegar instead. WHOOPS. My gorgeous bread salad turned into a blackened mess. It was delicious but it was so ugly. This reminds me of the time Big Jeffie came over for dinner in grad school and I purpled up the tilapia with a devil-may-care glug of red wine. He graciously ate it anyway.
Doesn't it look like I spent more than twelve seconds making this? I didn't.
This isn't a recipe so much as it is a broad and helpful Southern dessert-preparation concept handed down from the lovely Ashley at A Boyce Blog: you can mix stuff with Cool Whip and dump it in a graham cracker pie crust and it will basically always be delicious. Just dump a container of Cool Whip and some yogurt of any flavor (between two and four cups) in a bowl, mix it up, and dump it in a graham-cracker pie crust. I used strawberry, peach, and lemon yogurt, but really the possibilities are endless.
Stick it in the fridge for an hour so it can set--or stick it in the freezer for a more ice-creamy consistency. If you're feeling fancy, you can slice some strawberries on top. I've heard this pie works beautifully with frozen lemonade concentrate instead of yogurt. Since you don't have to bake anything or really have to do anything other than operate a spoon and a bowl, this would be a great recipe to fix with kids.
So what have y'all been fixin recently?