Everyday Desserts

By this point, y’all are familiar with how much I’m continuing to eat in order to grow & sustain these babies. A lot. Still something every two-three hours.

The weather here has been in the 80s for the last couple of weeks. So now not only am I looking hugely pregnant, I’m also looking sweaty. But the one one of the great things about warm weather & spring/summer is that fruit will soon be in season locally! Bring on the NC strawberries, blueberries, & peaches!

And while bananas aren’t grown local, I didn’t get the childhood nickname of Suzanna Banana by coincidence!

Fruit is by far my favorite go to when I’m hungry. Add COOL WHIP whipped topping, and even the most basic fruit becomes a special, exciting, delicious snack or dessert.

Top plain white cake with strawberries & COOL WHIP, BOOM, you’ve got Strawberry Shortcake. Perfect for Easter weekend when our fresh strawberries should be coming out.

But my all time favorite dessert is banana pudding. {if any of y’all try to call me Suzanna Banana though, it’s on.} Since I eat dessert every night now, & since Target had both bananas & COOL WHIP on sale this past week, I took advantage and whipped up this banana pudding for the weekend. This recipe makes a lot. Like feed-a-family-reunion, take-to-church-pot-luck, perfect-for-girls-beach-weekend lot. Or, you know, feed-Suz-&-her-growing-babies lot. 🙂

I’ve shared this recipe before but it’s been a while, and it’s my favorite & also one of the easiest Banana Pudding recipes I’ve ever made. I swear the reason for it’s awesomeness~ COOL WHIP. I used two small containers of COOL WHIP this time & it made the pudding part so moist & light. The recipe is from my friend Kim’s Mississippi Momma. You can’t beat a southern lady’s recipes y’all!

Homemade Banana Pudding
1 large pkg instant vanilla pudding
2 c cold milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 container COOL WHIP, slightly thawed
4-5 bananas. sliced thin
1 box Nilla Wafers

Make pudding as directed on package: Using wire wisk, mix pudding into cold milk for 2 minutes in large bowl.
Continuing whisking while pouring in condensed milk then COOL WHIP.

{ingredients; adding the good stuff}

In 2+ qt container, place layer of wafers, then thinly sliced bananas. Top that with pudding mixture. Continue to layer until all gone. Enjoy!

{1.5 qt full; COOL WHIP containers make great banana pudding holders}

And for some reason you have COOL WHIP & bananas left over, throw them in a dish with strawberries & blueberries & call that breakfast! Happy spring & summer eating!

Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Baby Shower Punch

I mentioned in the VA Babies Shower post that I’d snagged the recipe to the delicious punch they served.

It was so good that I agreed when they offered us to take home the rest of it in a pitcher & while the rest of my family enjoyed cocktails that evening, I drank the heck out of the punch!

2 32 oz bottles of apple juice, chilled

2 12 oz cans from cranberry juice concentrate

2 c & 1 tbsp orange juice

3 liters ginger ale

In large punch bowl, combine apple, cranberry & orange juices. Stir until dissolved/combined then slowly pour in the ginger ale.

The original recipe Mom’s friend Jan gave me said to cut up an apple and float the slices on top. Instead, they sliced oranges and floated those on top. The oranges were really delicious later too {think eating the fruit from pj punch from college days minus the liquor}.

Jan also has a note that says if you wanted to make it alcoholic, the use champagne instead of ginger ale! That would be great for bridal shower or if you wanted to make two for a baby shower.

Food for the Family {Sunday Brunch Edition}

Hope everyone had a very happy Valentine’s day! We kept things low key but enjoyed a great night together.

On to feeding my gathered family last Sunday morning. The shower began at 2p, so I wanted to have something fairly hardy yet easy for brunch Sunday. I think by now y’all have realized I don’t eat {& thus don’t cook} pork or beef. So that takes out a lot of breakfast casseroles.

I turned to the Pioneer Woman in hopes she could help me out. Seriously, you can never go wrong with a PW recipe ~ she has yet to fail me. My family & I LOVED her Sleepin’ in Omelette casserole. It was easy for my mom, Nana & I to assemble Saturday night & cooked up beautifully Sunday morning.

Onion Rolls {she says use 6 but 5 was more than enough for my 9×13 pan}
1 c grated cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 & 1/2 sticks of butter
10 eggs
2 c milk
1 tsp chopped chives {Suz fail ~ I didn’t have this!}
1/2 tsp dry mustard {another Suz fail so we used spicy brown liquid mustard}
1/2 tsp salt
a dash of cayenne pepper

Nana & I crumbled the onion rolls on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. We topped the bread with the cheddar cheese, crumbled cream cheese on top of that & then Nana thinly cut up the butter on top that all that.

Mom mixed the remaining ingredients in a bowl & I photographed while she poured it over the top of the dish trying to spread the egg mixture throughout. We covered it with foil & placed it in the frig over night.

Sunday morning, I baked it covered on 350 {even though PW says 325} for 45 min then removed the foil & baked uncovered for another 15 minutes.

I remembered my friend Emilee Beth had brought an awesome hash brown casserole to our last girls’ night sleepover & thankfully she & the recipe orginator Alison shared it with me. & it would only be fair that I share it here right? {& so I remember it too!}

Hash Brown Casserole aka Cheesy Potatoes

32 oz bag frozen hash browns {diced or grated}, slightly thawed
10 oz grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c onion, diced
2 c sour cream {we used 1 c light & 1 c regular}
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c butter, melted
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together {except for the potatoes & a little extra cheese}. Then add the potatoes & mix thoroughly. Spray a 9×13 pan generously with Pam & pour in the potato mixture.

At this point Saturday night, we tossed the casserole into the frig wrapped well with foil. Sunday morning, I added a little extra cheese on the top of the casserole & baked it at 350 degrees for an hour. I did 45 minutes covered & uncovered for the last 15 minutes.

Nana & Jason’s mom cooked up some bacon {the first I’d ever purchased} for my meat-loving family. We served the casseroles & bacon with a pretty fruit salad {thanks Costco} to which I’d added blueberries & strawberries. I’d forgotten to buy oj but had sparkling pomegrante juice {from Trader Joe’s} along with coffee & sodas. I’m pretty sure we were all members of the clean plate club & some {me!} went back for seconds!

T Marzetti’s Simply Dressed

You can tell form the photo above that these are simply gorgeous dressings. Each one is made with all natural, fresh ingredients~ like you can look at the ingredients section & you can actually read & know what they are! There are no MSGs, trans fats, preservatives or artificial flavors. For my celiac friends, all these dressings are gluten free.

I really had a hard time choosing which one I wanted to try. I walked into the store hungry {always my down fall} & was happily overwhelmed by all the lovely Simply Dressed choices. I couldn’t narrow it down between the Strawberry Poppyseed & the Pomegrante. All the Simply Dressed were on sale last week at my local grocery store & I had the free coupon {thanks Marzetti}, so I brought both home with me.

According to my how-to-grow-big-healthy triplets book, I’m supposed to eat at least five servings of veggies now. I have a hard time getting there. Fruit though, I love! So I thought with both of these dressing options, I could fruit & veggie up salads. I’m trying to incorporate more salads at lunch, as sides with dinner or evening snacks. Because really, doesn’t a good salad dressing make you want salad more than a boring one?!

Sunday night, I took basic bag salad, added fresh mushrooms, sliced red pepper, strawberries, candied pecans & croutons & topped it with the Strawberry Poppyseed dressing. If I’d had some feta or Parmesan cheese to toss in the salad, it would have been divine, but it was a pretty amazing salad as is.

Love a super cold dressing on top of a pretty salad.

The dressing flavor is the perfect mix of tangy & sweet. Not too heavy. Not too light. Perfectly complimented the strawberries in my salad & the poppy seeds so yummy. The dressing showed up perfectly in my bowl without being overwhelming or MIA.

Of course this pregnant chick chose the dressings that stood out most to me but kinda sorta not my husband’s favorites. I think he’d have rather I’d brought home the Ranch or Blue Cheese. I think he’d have liked the Greek Feta or Caesar too. Next grocery store run I’ll try one of those as these Simply Dressed really are my new favorites.

I think the Champagne dressing would be a great way to spice up a sandwich wrap. I’d love to try the Feta one for dipping carrots. I think the Ginger one would make a great chicken marinade. What other ideas or ways do you incorporate salad dressings or Simply Dressed dressings in your meal plans?

You can read more about the other choices as well as pick up some recipe ideas on the Marzetti Simply Dressed site. You can find them in the refrigerated produce section of your local store.

I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Clever Girls Collective to host a Marzetti Simply Dressed review. They provided me with product to test myself and compensation for my time. However, my opinions are entirely my own.

April’s Peach Cobbler

Third food post in a week! Y’all are in luck because this is another good one. I’m calling this April’s Peach Cobbler since April made it today for the office where I’ve been this week. I begged demanded asked nicely for this recipe as I was still shoving my last bite in my mouth. It’s another three ingredient recipe that will definitely be an easy crowd pleaser. I even snuck into the office kitchen as it was cooling to take a photo to share!

Sweet Peach


2 cans peach pie filling
1 box butter yellow cake mix {I think she used Duncan Hines}
1 stick butter, melted

Spread cans of filling across the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Top with cake mix. Top with melted butter. Bake on 350 for about an hour. Enjoy with family & friends {or nom on the deliciousness all yourself}.

Close up side view. Are you hungry yet?!

April also told me these fun tips to mix it up. She will sometimes do 1 can of peach pie filling & one can of apple pie filling &/or add craisins in the mix. She also said if you don’t like the top to have some crunchy pieces, add more butter. I liked the mix of crunchy & soft how it was today.