Monday, October 29, 2012

postheadericon Best Banana Pudding

I hope all of my East Coast friends are staying safe with Sandy bearing down.  

I had a great weekend; I actually went on a solo getaway to bustling Whitewater, Wisconsin.  I stayed in a lovely bed & breakfast called the Hamilton House.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it, as well as nearby Staller Winery.  

Before I left, I made this tremendous banana pudding.  Bill hosted his sister for their annual Halloween scary movie night; this was a yummy treat for them while I was gone.  

I would love to say I made this recipe up myself, but this is actually a tried and true Paul Dean recipe.  This takes very little time to make and who doesn't have a few bananas hanging around?  Give it a try!

Best Banana Pudding
from Paula Dean

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies (I could only find Christmas ones?!?)
6 bananas, sliced
2 c milk (I used skim, which worked fine)
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container of frozen whipped topping or sweetened whipped cream.  

Using the cookies from one bag, line the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.  Layer the bananas on top. 

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix.  Whisk until well combined and smooth.  In a second bowl, combined the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together until smooth.  Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.  Then add this mixture to the pudding mixture.  Pour over the cookies and bananas.  Cover with the remaining cookies.  Refrigerate.  

I prefer to make this the night before I intend to serve it, as then the cookies have softened and absorbed the filling.  

Sharing this recipe here: 

This Week's Cravings @ Mom's Crazy Cooking

Back for Seconds Social @ Back for Seconds
Wednesday Whatsits @ White Lights on Wednesdays
Link Party @ Bloom Designs Online
Live.Laugh.{Linky.} Thursday @ Live.Laugh.Rowe.
The 36th Avenue
Western Warmth
Foodie Friends Friday 
Pity Party @ 30 Handmade Days

Until next time, 

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hello All...I am hosting a link party today!  I hope all is well and thank you so much for your support!  Link up a recipe...even if you don't have a blog!  It is really fun!


Good evening, everyone! Welcome to Marvelous Mondays week 17! I hope you all have had a great weekend. This week's co-hosts are:

Julie from This Gal Cooks (HOST)
Tess from The Framed Lady
Leslie from Violet Imperfection
Sara from Milwaukee Kitchen

Be sure to stop by these wonderful blogs and say hello! We cannot wait to see what you have to share this week! Did you miss last week's features? Have no fear; you can check them out right here!
If you are interested in co-hosting, please contact me ( and let me know when you would like to co-host.)


1. A follow of your hosts via Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Blog Lovin, Facebook or RSS Feed is greatly appreciated. 
2  Check out your fellow bloggers' projects. Leave them some wonderful comments to let them know that you stopped by.
3. Link up your recipes, crafts or DIY projects. No giveaways or shops, please.
4. Grab a button. It's not mandatory but it helps get the word out about the party.
Sunday, October 21, 2012

postheadericon Adults Only Pumpkin Whiskey Cake


A few weeks ago, I ordered a new cookbook, Booze Cakes

That's right, a cookbook featuring desserts infused with alcohol!  It is a great cookbook and I enjoyed deciding which recipe from the cookbook to share with you today.  

The recipe I chose, the Black Jack Praline Cake, sounds great, but it features mashed sweet potatoes.  Given the season, I tried making it with pumpkin.  I really think you will like this recipe and this cookbook! 

Adults Only Pumpkin Whiskey Cake
adapted from the cookbook, Booze Cakes

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/4 cup sour-mash whiskey
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup pecans, roasted and chopped

Buttery Whiskey Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 c sour-mash whiskey

Grease and flour a 9-inch loaf pan.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While the oven is warming, place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and roast them in the warming oven for approximately eight minutes.  Chop the pecans coarsely after removing them from the oven. Set them aside.

Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs.  Add the flour and baking powder and mix until combined.  Mix in the whiskey, pumpkin, pie spice, nutmeg and nuts.  Pour batter into the loaf pan.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients into a small sauce pan.  Bring to a slow boil and remove from heat.  The sauce can be poured over the loaf or drizzled on to individual pieces.  I chose a little bit of both. And yes, you can taste the whiskey!  Yum! 

This smells heavenly in the kitchen as it is baking and would be a new thing to bring to your adults-only Halloween parties this coming weekend.  

Linking here: 

Scrumptious Sunday @ Addicted to Recipes

Bouquet of Talent @ Life on Lakeshore Drive

Marvelous Mondays @ This Gal Cooks

Mix it Up Mondays @ Flour Me With Love

See Ya In the Gumbo @ Ms. enPlace

Tuesday Talent Show @ Chef In Training

Crazy Sweet Tuesday @ Crazy For Crust

Uncommonly Yours @ Uncommon Designs

Back for Seconds Social @ Back for Seconds

Whatcha' Whipped Up Wednesday @ DJ's Sugar Shack

White Lights on Wednesday

Back for Seconds Social

Live Laugh {Linky} @ Live.Laugh.Rowe

Pumpkin Patch Blog Hop @ Juggling Act Mama

Bloom Designs Online

Weekend Warmth @ Western Warmth

Foodie Friends Friday

Linky Party @ 30 Handmade Days

Until next time,


**I want to disclose that if you choose to buy this cookbook for your collection, and use the links provided in this blog, I will receive compensation for your purchase.** 
Sunday, October 14, 2012

postheadericon Eat Yer Veggies Beer Cheese Soup

This week, the Packers played Sunday night. This gave me the perfect opportunity for soup night!  I love a good beer cheese soup, but I also wanted to get some veggies.  

I took a recipe from my favorite website, Taste of Home, and adapted it based on the vegetables I had on hand.  The cream cheese really gives the soup an interesting, tangy flavor.    

Eat Yer Veggies Beer Cheese Soup
adapted from

3 small yellow potatoes, diced

3 tablespoons butter
2 cups diced onions
5 stalks celery, diced

1 red pepper, diced
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour

1 bottle beer
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Place the potatoes in a microwave-proof bowl and cover with water.  Microwave on high for ten minutes.  Drain the potatoes.  

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Saute the onion, celery and butter until softened.  Add the potatoes, peppers and chicken broth.  In a small cup, whisk together the water and flour.  Add the water/flour mixture to the soup.  Bring the soup back to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes.  

After time has passed and the soup has thickened slightly, add the beer and cheeses.  Stir until the cheese has melted.  

Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with green onion, additional shredded cheese or even bacon! 

Although really any beer would probably work for this recipe, I used a bottle of Fat Tire beer from New Belgium brewing.  

This will be a yummy, but chunky soup.  If you are interested in a smoother soup, you could blend part of the soup and it would still taste great.  

Linking up here:

Pity Party @ 30 Handmade Days

Scrumptious Sunday @ Addicted to Recipes

Bouquet of Talent @ Life on Lakeshore Drive

Marvelous Mondays @ This Gal Cooks

Martha Mondays @ Watch Out, Martha

Mix it up Monday @ Flour Me With Love

See Ya In The Gumbo @ Ms. enPlace

Crazy Sweet Tuesday @ Crazy for Crust

Must Try Monday @ White Lights on Wednesday

Tuesday Talent Show @ Chef in Training

Carole's Chatter

Back for Seconds Social

Live. Laugh. (Linky.) @ Live.Laugh.Rowe

Weekend Warmth @ Western Warmth

Foodie Friends Friday

Friday, October 12, 2012

postheadericon Cheese Review - Saint Loup Bleu de Chevre

While I was in Cincinnati for BloggyCon, I visited the mother ship...Jungle Jim's!  If you have never been, please get is a food lover's paradise.  I would have taken pictures, but Jim discourages it :)

Jungle Jim's has a wonderful cheese selection, categorized by country of origin and cheese type.  I couldn't resist - I bought several cheeses to try.  Here is one of the favorites of the cheeses I tried...

Saint Loup Bleu de Chevre

The Saint Loup Cheese Company is a traditional creamery located in the Poitou Charentes region of France.  This area is actually known for its goat cheese and butter. It is also known for cognac, truffles and regional salt.  As this area is on the Atlantic, it is also known for its fresh seafood.  I am still learning how this information influences the taste of the cheese...hang in there while I learn more and share it with you!

The bleu goat cheese I chose for my cheese tasting was one of the best I have ever had.  Seriously.  It was so creamy, it was almost spreadable.   Melt in your mouth.

This bleu is not for crumbling over a salad, this is for savoring the tangy flavor that is inherent in a creamy bleu such as this.  I hope you can find it at your local cheese shop...if not, take a trip to the Jungle in Cincinnati!

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

postheadericon Cowgirl Chef's Salty Caramel Sauce

Wow, this is a crazy-good cookbook.  I love the premise...a Texas girl moves to France for love.  She soon finds herself cooking to pass the day and begins teaching others her Tex-Mex favorites!  Ellise Pierce is the Cowgirl Chef and her cookbook is a mix of traditional Southern dishes as well as French favorites, like a tart made with jalapeno pimento cheese!

To introduce you to this cookbook, I made her Salty Caramel Sauce.  I drizzled this on my quinoa pudding recipe from earlier this week.  Mmmmm....

Salty Caramel Sauce
from the Cowgirl Chef cookbook

1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 stick of butter
3/4 c sour cream
1 t sea salt

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat to medium to high heat.  DO NOT STIR, but cook for 10-15 minutes.  The mixture will boil/bubble rapidly, so make sure to keep watching it. The mixture will then look liked cracked ice, then get foamy, and then brown.  Remove from heat and add the butter, sour cream and salt.  Mix well and transfer to a glass or ceramic (not metal) bowl to cool.

It worked well for me to place the pan back on the burner after I had added to butter, etc., to make sure to get the sauce nice and smooth.

As I posted about on Sunday night, this sauce would be great on quinoa (or rice) pudding, ice cream, or as  an apple dip! 

The result is heavenly!

Linking Up Here:

Until next time,


**In full disclosure, if you happen to purchase this cookbook through the link mentioned in this post, I will receive a small financial kickback from Amazon.  Enjoy!  **
Sunday, October 7, 2012

postheadericon Quinoa Pudding

Quinoa Pudding

I love trying new desserts, especially when they are even remotely healthy.  I heard a news story this week about arsenic levels in rice.  I really enjoy rice and cook it often.  

I am a HUGE fan of Lundberg Family Farms rice.  In full disclosure, I have won a few free items from Lundberg, but this is because I love their products and watch their website closely.  Lundberg has created a section of their website devoted to answering consumer questions regarding this issue. I suggest you check it out if you have questions regarding the safety of rice.  

Today, I am making  a recipe where rice is traditionally used, but giving it a new twist.  If rice pudding is good, quinoa pudding must be better, right?  So here is the recipe!  You will notice the photos feature a caramel sauce on the pudding; I will post this recipe later in the week! 

Quinoa Pudding
adapted from

3 c skim milk
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 c water
1/4 t cinnamon
1 c quinoa, well rinsed

Combine milk, vanilla, sugar, salt, water and cinnamon in a covered saucepan.  Bring to a boil and add the quinoa.  

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the quinoa in a semi-covered pan (just a little bit vented) for 30 minutes.  

Cool and pour into parfait or other glasses.  Makes four servings.  

This is a yummy, warm treat for a fall day.  

Linking here: 

Western Warmth

Thirty Handmade Days

Addicted to Recipes

Marvelous Mondays@This Gal Cooks

Mix it Up Monday@Flour Me With Love

Ms. enPlace

This Week's Cravings@Mom's Crazy Cooking

Trick or Treat Tuesday@InsideBruCrew Life

Tuesday Talent Show@Chef In Training

Crazy Sweet Tuesday@Crazy for Crust

Wednesday Whatsits@White Lights on Wednesday

Live Laugh (Linky)@Live.Laugh.Rowe

Weekend Warmth

Foodie Friends Friday

Back For Seconds

Until next time, 



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