Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Move over boxed pudding there’s a new gal in town.

This southern belle is a cookie lover’s dream.

With warm custard… toasted meringue…

…crunchy wafers and banana slices in between.

It’s the best banana pudding ever!




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Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

1 (12 oz.) package vanilla wafers
5 ripe bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Layer bottom of medium size baking dish or oven-save bowl (about 2 qt.) with about 1/3 cookies, or enough to cover bottom, and 1/2 the banana slices. Repeat with cookies and banana slices to equal two layers. (If you prefer more pudding and less crunch, skip the second center layer of wafers.)

2. Whisk together milk and next 4 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 15 minutes or until pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over vanilla wafers and bananas in dish.

3. Prepare Meringue: Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pudding, sealing edges of bowl.

Bake at 325* for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately, or let cool completely (about 30 minutes), and cover and chill 1 hour.

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Brown-Sugar Balsamic Strawberry Sauce



This sweet and tart strawberry sauce is amazing! The balsamic brings out the berries naturally tantalizing flavors and the brown sugar caramelizes the syrup as it reduces while cooking. But what’s truly amazing is how fresh the chunky sauce tastes even after simmering.


We enjoyed the thick berries and warm syrup poured over vanilla bean ice cream. I paired my sundae with a scoop of frozen pineapple yogurt which knocked my socks off. It’s just the best homemade strawberry sauce ever! But this sauce has skills and would be just as divine over brownies a la mode, as a compote in fruit crepes, and drizzled over pancakes and waffles.  It’s saucy perfection!image

Brown-Sugar Balsamic Strawberry Sauce

2 pounds fresh, hulled strawberries, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp balsamic glaze (1 cup balsamic plus 1 tbsp white or brown sugar boiled and reduced by half. Makes 8 tbsp.)

In medium saucepan over high heat, bring strawberries and brown sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and mash berries until broken up but still chunky. Let cool for 30 minutes. Then stir in 4 tablespoons of balsamic glaze. Serve sauce over ice cream.

So good! More please. 🙂


Key Lime & Lemon Cake

Key Lime & Lemon Cake

This lemony-lime cake is mouthwatering with a delightful, creamy citrus frosting and a sprinkling of lime zest for the finishing touch.

Key Lime Cake #3

My sons raved about its decadent tart-sweetness after I served a thin slice to them. They usually prefer anything chocolate, so I was pleasantly surprised when they asked for another helping. I enjoyed a few slices myself. So good!



Key Lime & Lemon Cake

1 boxed Lemon Supreme Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh lime juice or bottled key lime juice
1/3 cup water
Key lime frosting recipe below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two round cake pans. Line bottom in wax paper to fit if you like. With electric mixer, blend all ingredients scraping sides until incorporated. Pour into  pans and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly brown and done. Allow to cool completely.  Use butter knife and easily loosen cake from pan, sliding spatula underneath slowly to loosen. Put cake plate on top and turn upside down to remove each cake.

First cake will be upside down. Brush away extra crumbs and layer frosting liberally across top. Add second cake on top by easily flipping upward and move into place. Fold more frosting on top and allow to fall over the sides. Once cake is covered completely with frosting sprinkle lime zest over top. Refrigerate before serving.

Creamy Key Lime Frosting
1 cup softened butter
1 – 8 oz box Neufchâtel Cream Cheese or regular cream cheese
1-1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice or bottled key lime juice
Grated lime zest

With electric mixer, whip all ingredients except for lime zest until creamy. Refrigerate to keep firm until ready to use.


Baked S’mores


I found this recipe on Pinterest from Dessert For Two and just knew they would be yummy! I’m a sucker for anything marshmallowy or chocolaty and this dessert dish is both. Use a mini size cast-iron skillet if you only need to feed a few people and cut the ingredients in half. Baked s’mores are really fun to make and perfect for small gatherings and kid’s overnighters. Be sure to serve while warm as they harden like rock candy after about an hour.


Baked Smores

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
About 18 regular size marshmallows
graham crackers for dipping

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In medium cast-iron skillet pour in chocolate chips. Snip marshmallows in half and place on top. Bake 8-10 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown. Scoop with graham crackers.


Easy Peach Raspberry Crisp


This fruit crisp was a hit at my nephew’s recent graduation party. To serve more guests than usual for an event like this, I doubled all the ingredients and used a larger pan, but only needed one box of cake mix to cover the top before baking. For potlucks and dish-to-pass events, bake in an aluminum pan and when the dessert is gone just throw it away. Because some guests may have nut allergies I left the pecans out.

Easy Peach Raspberry Crisp

1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches in syrup, undrained
1 medium fresh peach, peeled and sliced in thin wedges
1 package yellow or butter pecan cake mix (regular size)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup pecans (optional)

Arrange peaches and raspberries in an ungreased 13″ x 9″ baking dish or aluminum pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over top. Drizzle with butter; sprinkle with pecans if you like.

Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

It is midweek and muggy so the two boys, my niece and I will hit the mall to catch a matinee movie and graze the food court. I’m feeling a little Target-ish so we may swing by there, too.  A good day to just go with the flow…


Fresh Homemade Blueberry Pie

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The ultimate fresh blueberry pie. I have been making this special fruit pie for my family for about 8 years now. It’s so easy to make. This recipe calls for 3 pints of fresh blueberries; half are cooked in a saucepan on the stovetop, for just a few minutes, and the rest of the whole berries Continue reading

Mexican Fried Ice Cream

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I recently shared an ice cream dish with my family similar to this one when we were out of town. We loved the cold creaminess of the ice cream mixed with the sweet cinnamon crunch outer shell. In fact we enjoyed it so much we ordered a second one. This dessert is a marvelous Continue reading

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