Banana Pudding Recipe

Banana Pudding Recipe

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 58 vanilla wafers (about 8 ounces), divided
  • 4 large ripe bananas, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In an ungreased 8-in.-square baking dish, layer 25 vanilla wafers, half of the banana slices and half of the pudding. Repeat layers.
  4. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, crush remaining wafers and sprinkle over top.

Nutritional Facts
1 serving equals 302 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 80 mg cholesterol, 206 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein.

Originally published as Banana Pudding in Taste of Home June/July 2013

Never-Fail Scalloped Potatoes

Never-Fail Scalloped Potatoes

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1-3/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 5 medium)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. In a small nonstick skillet, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until blended.
    Place half of the potatoes in a 1-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray; layer with half of the onion and cheese sauce. Repeat layers.
  2. Cover and bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly and potatoes are tender.

Nutritional Facts
about 3/4 cup equals 196 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 530 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.
Originally published as Never-Fail Scalloped Potatoes in Healthy Cooking February/March 2009, p51

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

Photo from Taste of Home©

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 salmon fillet (2-1/2 pounds)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the brown sugar, butter and honey until melted. Remove from the heat; whisk in the oil, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Place salmon in a large foil-lined baking pan; spoon brown sugar mixture over salmon. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Nutritional Facts
4 ounces cooked salmon equals 295 calories, 18 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 84 mg cholesterol, 403 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 28 g protein.

Originally published as Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon in Taste of Home December/January 2009, p69

Bunny Butt Cookie Recipe from Pillsbury™

Get the children involved by asking them to assemble and decorate their bunny.  You might want to get extra marshmallows for any little taste testers.

Yield: 22 Servings

Bunny Butt Cookies

These fun cookies will make a Hopp-y Easter for you and your family. Find the recipe here.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 container (12 oz) fluffy white whipped ready-to-spread frosting
  • Pink gel food color, if desired
  • 22 miniature marshmallows
  • Assorted size candy sprinkles

Directions: 

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, knead cookie dough and flour with hands until well mixed.
  2. Reshape dough into 9×1 1/2-inch log.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.Remove plastic wrap. Cut cookie dough into 33 slices. Cut 11 slices into 4 equal wedges; shape each wedge into ovals for bunny feet. Place cookie dough slices and bunny feet on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  5. In medium microwavable bowl, stir frosting and 1 to 3 drops pink food color until well blended. Microwave uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until soft but not translucent.
  6. To make bunny butt, frost 1 whole cookie slice and 2 bunny feet with frosting. Place bunny feet on bottom of cookie as shown in photo. Place 1 marshmallow in center of each cookie for tail. Decorate bunny paws with candy sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cookie slices and bunny feet.

Tips

  • To add ears to your bunny, place candy-coated almonds or jelly beans at top of each cookie.
  • You can bake and freeze cookies up to 2 months ahead.

Spring Cheesecake Cake (raspberry, lemon & orange)

Click here for a delightful recipe from the “I am Baker” blog.

Spring Cheesecake Cake (raspberry, lemon and orange)

Find this recipe and more on the I am Baker blog. (Photo by Amanda Rettke)

Spring Cheesecake Cake (raspberry, lemon & orange)

Ingredients:

Raspberry Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) McCormick® Raspberry Extract
  • 2 drops McCormick® Red food coloring

Lemon Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract

Orange Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
  • 1 drop McCormick® Red food coloring
  • 1 drop McCormick® Yellow food coloring

White Sheet Cake

  • 1 cup (230g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (285g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons (15-25 grams) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)

Instructions:

Raspberry Cheesecake

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer fixed with paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and egg and beat on medium speed until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
    Scrape down sides of mixer bowl.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add in extract and food coloring.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan (grease and/or butter pan then line with parchment paper) and then pour the filling into the pan.
  4. Bake until cheesecake is set, 18-24 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven or 350 degrees in a regular oven. (Cheesecake can be slightly golden but not brown)
  5. Set the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling cake.

Lemon Cheesecake

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer fixed with paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and egg and beat on medium speed until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
    Scrape down sides of mixer bowl.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add in extract.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan (grease and/or butter pan then line with parchment paper) and then pour the filling into the pan.
  4. Bake until cheesecake is set, 18-24 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven or 350 degrees in a regular oven. (Cheesecake can be slightly golden but not brown)
  5. Set the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling cake.

Orange Cheesecake

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer fixed with paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and egg and beat on medium speed until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
    Scrape down sides of mixer bowl.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add in extract and food coloring.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan (grease and/or butter pan then line with parchment paper) and then pour the filling into the pan.
  4. Bake until cheesecake is set, 18-24 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven or 350 degrees in a regular oven. (Cheesecake can be slightly golden but not brown)
  5. Set the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before assembling cake.

White Sheet Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Prepare a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan by spraying with non-stick spray then lining with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the sugar on medium speed and beat until fluffy and light in color, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  5. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in vanilla and then sour cream. (scrape bowl if necessary)
    Mix for 1-2 minutes on medium speed or until ingredients are fully incorporated.
  6. With mixer on low speed, pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Now pour in half of the milk.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan using a small offset spatula. (be sure it is nice and level!)
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Place in freezer until ready to assemble cake.

Whipped Cream
Place your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes.
In stand mixer, whisk whipped cream for 1-2 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients and beat just until stiff peaks form. (If you need a more stable whipped cream add in meringue powder. If using immediately, you can omit the meringue powder.) Chill until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups (480 ml) whipped cream.
To Assemble Cake

  1. Make sure cheesecakes and white sheet cake are chilled. Place clean 8-inch pan on top of sheet cake and run a sharp paring knife around the edge. You now have a perfect 8-inch round white cake disc. Do this again so you have 2 total.
  2. Remove chilled orange cheesecake from pan and set on cake stand. (this is a thin cheesecake and when very chilled, can be easily popped out of the lined cake pan. You can also use a spring-form pan)
    Place one 8-inch white cake on top.
  3. Remove lemon cheesecake from pan and gently place on top of white cake.
  4. Place other 8-inch white cake on top of lemon cheesecake.
  5. Remove raspberry cheesecake from pan and gentle place on top of white cake.
  6. Cover cake in chilled whipped cream and serve. (You can refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.)
Photo by Amanda Rettke

Check out the I am Baker blog.  (Photo by Amanda Rettke)

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Farro, Cherry Tomato, and Asparagus Casserole

Farro, Cherry Tomato, and Asparagus Casserole

Create this vegetarian dish for your Easter meal.

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup main dish servings, or eight 1/2-cup side dish servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups pearled farro or farro, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, shredded
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 6 ounces fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Grease or oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add farro; stir to coat. Add stock, salt, and pepper. Return to boiling; Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes for pearled farro (or up to 45 minutes for regular farro) or until tender.
  2. Remove farro from heat. Stir in carrots, tomatoes, and 1/3 cup basil. Cover; let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrape farro mixture into prepared casserole dish; spread into a thin layer. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, cream, and cheese. Pour egg mixture over farro mixture; stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs and parsley; sprinkle over farro and egg mixture. Place asparagus spears in a crisscross pattern over the top of the dish. Lightly coat the asparagus and crumb mixture with olive oil cooking spray.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes.
  6. To serve, sprinkle with fresh basil.

From the Test Kitchen

Nutrition Facts (Farro, Cherry Tomato, and Asparagus Casserole)

Per serving: 586 kcal cal., 24 g fat (10 g sat. fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 9 g monounsatured fat), 223 mg chol., 745 mg sodium, 63 g carb., 7 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 27 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

April Fool’s Trivia Answers

April Fool's Day 20151. Where is the earliest recorded association between April 1st and foolishness found?

In the Canterbury Stories (1392) by Geoffrey Chaucer.

2. If a fellow is fooled by a pretty girl what is his fate?

He will end up married to her, or at least will enjoy a healthy friendship with the lass.

3. On April Fools’ Day, 2009, travel site Expedia offered exclusive flights to this highly what desired space destination?

Mars

4. According to a CareerBuilder.com survey, what percent of workers say they have either initiated or been on the receiving end of a workplace April Fools’ Day prank?

32 percent

5. What do children in certain areas of Belgium do on April Fool’s Day?

Children lock out their parents or teachers and only let them in if they promise to give them sweets.

6. What author wrote, “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and leave no doubt;”  and “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”  and  “The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year?”          Mark Twain

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. " - Mark Twain
7. What late 1980s April Fool’s Day joke about a futuristic technological advance ultimately became a reality?

A British television Saturday morning kids’ program ran an April Fool hoax about a device named Chippy (a “chippy” is a common term for a fish and chips takeway). The claim was that this new type of walkman could hold hundreds of songs on a microchip, thus rendering CDs and radio obsolete. Fast forward to the 2000s, and MP3 players…

8. On April 1, 1946 what happened when a pacific island population didn’t believe a weather warning, thinking it was an April Fool’s hoax?

A powerful tsunami killed scores of unsuspecting people.
9. What hoax did the Dutch television news once report?

That the famous Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked and even mourning people contacted the television studio.

Worth1000.com April Fool's photo

This Worth1000.com award winning photo from hank101 would have been a great accompaniment to the April Fool’s story.

10. In Scotland, an April fool is called an April _gowk__ — Scottish for ___cuckoo_______, which is an emblem of ____simpletons_________.

11. c. In 1983, Joseph Boskin, professor emeritus of American humor at Boston University, spun the false tale of Constantine for an Associated Press reporter writing about April Fool’s Day. The news agency was not pleased. (No one really knows how April Fool’s Day started, but a. and b. are both historical theories.)

12. b. Orson WellesWar of the Worlds broadcast did take place, but it was on Halloween, and it was intended as a radio show, not a prank.

Orson Welles

Orson Welles scared many during his live Halloween radio show , H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.”

13. True. How does the BBC take people in every year? Spaghetti trees in 1957, Smell-a-vision in 1965, Big Ben in 1980 (the famous clock never did go digital). See the BBC’s trickery at the Museum of Hoaxes.

14. c. The Granite Mountain Vault isn’t a safe house for high-ranking officials during a national disaster (at least that we know of ….)

The poor infielder, who almost caught the ball only to have it rebound and remove several of his teeth, was Joe Sprinz. This Wikipedia page has names of those killed in the Molasses Disaster. And if you want your memorabilia sent to the moon, go to LunarLegacy.

15. b. Sorry to break it to you: You’ll never see that $1,000 from Bill Gates.  According to Snopes.com, fabric softener sheets can leave a waxy buildup on the lint filter in your dryer. Who knew? But a quick wash in warm, soapy water should take care of it.

Happy April Fool’s Day – Coloring Page

Color the Court Jester. For find more information about April Fool’s Day, click here.

Color the jester.  The earliest recorded reference to April Fools' Day was in "Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1392.

The earliest recorded reference to April Fools’ Day was in “Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1392.