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Banana Pudding with Meringue — December 31, 2014

Banana Pudding with Meringue

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

1 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

8 Tbsp. Cornstarch

1 Tsp. Fine Salt

9 Cups Whole Milk

12 large Egg Yolks, lightly beaten

12 Tbsp. Unsalted butter cut into small pieces

8 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Place a mesh strainer over a 4-cup measuring cup or bowl with a spout and set aside.

  • Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until incorporated. While constantly whisking, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks and remaining milk.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking often, until the pudding begins to thicken and just starts to bubble. Since this is such a big amount, it took me about 20 min. Yes, it is boring and hard as heck to stand in one spot for that long but I promise (Pinky swear even) it is worth it!  Reason #485 I have a TV in my kitchen
  •  Reduce the heat to medium low and switch to a rubber spatula. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the pudding makes visible ribbons when drizzled over the surface.  Yes, you have permission to play with your food at this point.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is melted and completely incorporated. Pour the pudding through the prepared strainer into a good sized mixing bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator until set.  All the recipes say a few hours but in reality, I would suggest overnight.  If you are making this for a Saturday get together, I would suggest doing the pudding on a Thursday PM after work.

Now, get some wine and relax….  You have just now made Homemade Vanilla pudding.  Who does that these days with all the hustle and bustle going on in the world ?

Personally, I like all desserts the next day.  It gives the food a time to “marry” and all the flavors blend in in my opinion.  So, you can either finish this step the day of or in my opinion the night before.

Besides, you have to worry about looking cute right?

Start by layering your serving dish. I personally like the trifle bowls for stuff like this.

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Layer the pudding, then your vanilla wafers, then your bananas.  I tried to stand some up on the side so you could see the definite layering on the outside of the bowl.  Keep repeating the layering until you are to the top.

Now, apparently, banana pudding usually has cool whip on top.  Me? I have never heard of such a thing.  Actually, when my grandma started getting older, she would take short cuts with her cooking.  Adding cool whip on her Banana pudding was one of them.  Personally, I didn’t like it and would say I was full if it had cool whip.  My husband said he had never had banana pudding any other way…. especially with a Meringue.

Maybe his family didn’t know how to make one???  Just Joking 🙂

I can’t talk any noise cause I tried to make one once ten years ago and it was a disaster.  But, my mom is gone and so is my grandma so someone has to step up to the plate right?

Of course, I googled a recipe.  Here is the one I did for the pudding.  I am use to a very high meringue.  I mean, I am from Texas so we like everything big here.  I like to think of a meringue as the desserts hair and I did grow up in the 80s.

No, this isn’t me. I just googled 80s hairstyles and my hair was very similar to this one.  I wonder if she used Vavoom hair spray and got her bangs that high with a toothbrush also….

80s hair

So, long story short, I doubled the recipe.

http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-meringue-topping-34403

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I love my kitchen aid! It is so ADHD friendly!  You can walk off and basically forget about it.  I think that is the secret here … be patient!  Perfection takes time.

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Now, me being in a hurry when making this I totally forgot to “Pin” the Meringue I made.  For my next pudding, I made another one and it was not near as good or fluffy.  There was way too much sugar!  But, I have also heard humidity does have a part to play when you make a meringue.  HHHHMMM, maybe I will google that real fast to see if the rumors are true.

After it is light and fluffy, just spoon it on the pudding.  Don’t make it flat and smooth…  make it big and proud!

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Then, put in the oven.  That’s it!  If you do decide to make it the night before, your meringue may fall a little but will still taste good.  So, if you want it extra high,   you can wait until the last minute for that part.

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I do honestly think my grandma was smiling down at my meringue saying, “Well, its’ about time”.

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Meringue:

4 Egg Whites

8 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla extract

Pudding Mixture

Box Vanilla wafers – and no off brands allowed.  There are some things you can’t skimp on

About 4 or five bananas

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

1 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

8 Tbsp. Cornstarch

1 Tsp. Fine Salt

9 Cups Whole Milk

12 large Egg Yolks, lightly beaten

12 Tbsp. Unsalted butter cut into small pieces

8 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

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My First College game —

My First College game

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When you live in Texas, there are lots of things to do on weekends but between August and February the most important thing is football.  To me, this is nothing but an excuse to throw a party. I have no clue about rules and Wot Knot but I do get very interested in people watching at the games.  I love watching the crazies in the stands yelling and screaming over a dang ball.  The big schools here are A&M and UT.  I have always heard the stories and have known alumni there who still go crazy and travel constantly for these games but have never had the opportunity to go to a game.  Last I looked, tickets are approximately $100 a piece.  Well, I can go to Walmart and People watch for free.

The week of my 41st Bday,  my friend called and asked if I wanted to go with them to an Aggie game.  Well, of course I was extremely excited. I was finally getting to go!  Imediately after, I had to go plan my outfit. I got on the weather app on my phone and just my luck…………..  RAIN!!!!!  I was thinking of backing out.  Who wants to sit in the rain for four hours watching a sport you don’t even understand. Besides, with all the rain, nobody will probably even go and then I won’t be able to people watch.  Then, my other personality reminded me of how I had just turned 41 and that was the first time I had even been invited to an Aggie game.  It was then I realized at this rate, I would be 82 the next time I got an invite.  So, I grabbed four hoodies, wore thermals under my jeans and

headed to Needville to meet my friend.  Woo Hoo Aggie game here I come!20141115_160607

When we finally got to the game we had to park at the mall. They had shuttles driving everyone to the stadium.  We had to park quite a ways off but hey, we need a work out right???  It was already drizzing but we didn’t have to worry about our sexy ponchos just yet. The shuttle dropped us off and we herded out towards the stadium trying our best to hold out a little longer before getting out the ponchos.  Finally, my friends pulled off to the side and we all put our newly bought accessories.

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Once we got to the ticket line, we stood rammed up like cattle once again.  My friend’s husband tried giving us our tickets early in the line but she was very persistent he keep them until the very end.

Was she answering for all of us or did she know that definitely Collette was going to lose hers and she didn’t want to take the chance?  

Approximately 6 feet from where they took our tickets, he handed us our tickets.  Somewhere from that point to where we got to the ticket man, guess who lost theirs?  Yep!!!  That’s me!!!!  Of course I was too embarrassed to say anything.

OMG!  Where am I going to hang out in the rain while they’re watching the game? Did I lose it when I decided to take selfie #25 of Jacey and I in our ponchos or when I took off my third hoodie because I was too hot?  Crap!!!  How do I tell them I already lost them? 

The line is inching closer and closer.

Okay, Collette, time to put your big girl panties on and tell them what an idiot you are……….. 

“Jacey,  Jacey, (Ugh I don’t want Darren to hear) ”

“Excuse me, Miss… Did you drop a ticket by chance? ”

“OMG… You are the bomb. I was going to have to sit in the rain while my friends watched the game!!

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Of course, Jacey laughed at me and said she knew one of us would probably lose our ticket.

The game was about to start so we decided to go the stair route.  This is where I totally regret not working out for the past oooohhhhh, month in a half!  Finally, we get to our level.  It was the opening of the game so of course we were those annoying people who stood in front of the people who were there on time.

I am really sorry sir. But I am 41 and this is my first game. Oh BTW, can you take a picture of me and my other “country” friends?

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The Opening Ceremony was really awesome!!!!  To be a student here must be an awesome experience!

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I have videos but don’t know how to upload those quite yet.  I am an immature to this blogging thing if you haven’t figured it out yet.

Who am I kidding?  Hahahaha! Like there was even a second thought in your head.

We get to our seats and Darren notices someone is in our places.  After about 20 min.  they figured out we were on the wrong side.

Oops, sorry once again!

By the time it is raining harder and our toes are frozen.  We kept ourselves amused by watching the student section and of course the drunk guy sitting in front of us. Oh, and there was the guy who had so much to drink prior to the game, he kept passing.  After half time, we decided to leave.  The Aggies weren’t doing so well at this point and the rain wasn’t letting up. Plus, my drunk friend left.

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We ended up at Chuy’s to finish watching the game and have a beer in the heat!  Besides, it was my friends’ 40th Bday. We had to celebrate somehow.

Even though it rained and was freezing, I am very glad I went and finally got to be part of the Texas Football sensation.  I now see what the big deal is about attending the games.  I still don’t see the big deal about football but the school pride is what it is all about !

Pozole —

Pozole

This past Friday I went grocery shopping and had the following meals in mind to cook for the week…

Gumbo

Fried fish, Mac and Cheese, and Homemade Fries

Tamale Pie

Sausage and Potatoes

Chicken and Dumplings

I did get the Fried Fish meal done.  My daughter was coming for a visit and that was her request.  So, of course because I was obligated, all of that got done.  I even made a homemade cheesecake as well. After standing in the kitchen for five hours straight I was done.  The rest would have to wait.

Sunday, I had plans to go visit my dearest friend, Pappa.  He isn’t my Pappa by blood but I do think it is safe to say he is my best friend.  He knows everything about me and I am confident he still loves me dearly.  He gives me advice and doesn’t judge me nor anyone in the situation who I may be having differences with.  Unfortunately, he cancelled on me. I was ready with his Christmas gift in hand and ready for our road trip.  Thank God I called to make sure he was awake before I drove the hour to Boling, TX.  He id he wasn’t feeling up to company and for me to just go home.  Some people may find his harshness rude but that is how we talk to one another.  We respect it.  Plus, he is 93 years old.  I mean I think he has an excuse.

I should’ve turned around and went home to clean the house or at least to wrap all the Christmas presents that are covering the floor in the formal living room. But, that isn’t me.  Nope!  I had to find something else to do.  I considered many things..  going to store and getting stuff for Crawfish Etoufeee, going to see a chick flick alone, and going home to clean.  Then I saw the new nail place was open. It is called the Texas Nail Bar.  So, I had to check it out.  I mean, Santa does want me to have pretty toes for Christmas right?  So, I decided to go get my toes done and then stop by HEB and get stuff to make Pozole.  I was having an overwhelming craving for Mexican food.  We went way over our budget for Christmas so to catch up, we are not going out to eat.  It has been 8 days.  Anyone who knows us knows that is a big deal for us (third world problems).

While I was getting my nails done, I found the recipe below.  It sounded easy enough.  Then, once in HEB, I saw the second one I have posted below.  I was thinking hers may be more authentic AND it gave the chance to use Pork and Chicken.  But, when I got to looking at the process of cooking, it didn’t elaborate on how to cook the pork. I need details people!!! No offense of course!

So, as usual, that is when I decided to combine the two and take what I like from both sides.  I liked that hers was obviously more volume but that the one from Food network went into detail as to how to cook the pork. I am putting the two links at the bottom so you can have a choice as to who you want to follow.  Of course, no exact precision is necessary. Just different revisions.

Pork

1 – 3.5 pound Pork butt

1 – chicken

3 large cans hominy

12 gloves garlic

kosher salt

cumin – probably about 1/4 cup to cover the pork butt

vegetable oil

2 onions

3 tbsp. Mexican oregano

4 bay leafs

Pepper Paste:

5 Dried Ancho peppers

7 Dried guajillo peppers

1 onion

4 crushed garlic cloves

5 cloves

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

Diced avocado, shredded cabbage, diced onion, quartered limes, and fresh cilantro

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Bring your chicken to boil in a large stew pot

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While that is boiling, make your paste. I used a lot more than what they said to. Thank God I did also because I ended up making a huge pot and it needed the entire batch. I basically doubled their recipes.

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Cut the tops off all your peppers and take the seeds out.  Cover with water and bring to boil, about 30 to 45 min.  I added all the other spices the last 15 min. and let them all simmer as well.  Quite frankly, I was tired of waiting and wanted to clean off my island.  As I am writing this though I did realize I forgot two things. I forgot the veggie oil and probably more importantly, I forgot to strain after I blended the puree.  I don’t think this affects the taste but it does help avoid pieces of pepper getting stuck in your teeth.

While your peppers are brewing and your chicken is boiling, take this opportunity to cut all your garlic and onion.

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OH! Don’t forget to add quite a bit of salt to your chicken and its’ broth while it is boiling

Take your butt pork and cover with salt and cumin – now you will see why I didn’t put a measurement.  Make sure to cover it entirely.

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Once you have everything chopped, I would take this time to clean your kitchen because you’re basically home free!  It is all up to the stove from here on… almost !

Heat another pot and put your veggie oil along with your onions.  Then add about five or six more cloves of garlic.  After these are done, take out so you can brown your pork.

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Oh yea. I forgot…. I did put some celery in their as well.  I had it left over and was cleaning out the fridge while cooking this so I threw my bag in there as well. Probably two stalks if you wanna be just like me (don’t worry. Everyone does Hahaha )

Brown your pork butt on all sides, about four min. per side. Mine had quite a bit of fat on it so I had to cut it down quite a bit.

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When I got to this point, I was kind of at a halt cause my chicken was still not done.  So, I cleaned the kitchen and emptied out the dishwasher.

I took my chicken out of the water to start cooling.  Then, I got my huge Magnalite roasting pan and put on the stove.

 Did I just Name call???  Yes, I did! Well, it is my prized possession in my kitchen I have to admit. I have had LeCreuset before as well and I prefer Magnalite any day! Plus, this was the last thing my momma ever gave me. I will cherish it forever!

I poured the chicken broth into the pan and added half of the

blended paste and stirred.

 

Then once the pork cooked down some, I cut it into four pieces and put in the pot as well and covered to boil for about an hour.

Once the chicken was cool, I added the chicken as well then tasted the mixture for spices needed or more pepper paste.  It was almost perfect but I added more pepper paste and four bay leaves. Then I covered it and left.  After two hours, I tasted it again and decided what the hell…. throw all the pepper paste in their.  So, I did and added half a thing of cilantro and my Mexican oregano.  I closed the lid and let it simmer another hour.  Right before, I asked Greg if he would shred the pork pieces so we could eat.  He wasn’t impressed with helping but oh well.

 

Once he did that, I put some raw tortillas I had gotten on a skillet and browned each of us two of them.

I also had avocado, quartered limes, and more cilantro to top it with.  Yes I like it with the cabbage but nobody else does and quite frankly I was ready to chill with the rest of the family by this point. Why dirty the cabinet or another knife?

This is awesome Hangover food too!  Not that I ever have one or ever will 🙂

Here are the links to the recipes I went by:

 

I liked the version from Food Network because it used Pork.  I have only had Pozole one time and it only had Pork in it.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/posole-rojo-recipe.html

http://www.patismexicantable.com/2014/01/red-pozole-with-traditional-garnishes/

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.patismexicantable.com%2F2014%2F01%2Fred-pozole-with-traditional-garnishes%2F&ei=b0CkVIe_CsuqyATXu4KoAw&usg=AFQjCNGIrsIf8gODnsEMp4mnURhDeFI3ag&bvm=bv.82001339,d.aWw