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Saturday, November 21, 2015


The last couple of weeks we have really started to feel the chill in the air in Utah.  My favorite thing (and the only thing!) about cold weather arriving is that it means soup season is in full swing.  I love soup and could eat some version of it every day all year and never tire of it.  We usually eat it a couple times a week at our house when it's chilly outside and it's usually received pretty well by the kiddos.

Soup is great because it is usually pretty quick to throw together and can hang out in the crock pot while you taxi everyone everywhere all day.  When you return it's hot and ready for you and the kids don't have to wait forever for dinner to be ready. 

Minestrone (1) OSSS

This minestrone is a perfectly hearty soup that is totally adaptable to your tastes.  It also packs a good punch nutritionally since it is filled veggies and beans.  

Head over to Or So She Says, where we are sharing, to get the printable recipe.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cinnamon Banana Cream Pie

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I would be no friend if I didn't share this amazing pie recipe with you.  When I start to think about Thanksgiving dinner, I'm really concerned about me being able to eat some dark meat turkey, yummy rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy and pie, specifically this pie. Cinnamon Banana Cream Pie! Seriously, it's my very favorite pie! And I like pie! 

This pie has kind of a fun story about how it came to be.  My husband and I had some friends over for games one night, and Mark, our friend, was telling us about his favorite Cold Stone ice cream creation. It was sweet cream (or vanilla ice cream) with cinnamon, bananas and graham crackers mixed into it.  As soon as he described it I couldn't get it out of my head. That's how I am when it come to food.  So the next week when my husband and I had a date night, guess where we went???? Cold Stone! You guessed it! :) And that was the flavor of ice cream we shared! It was seriously good.  Now since I'm already a banana cream pie lover, I immediately decided that this was how I'd try making my next banana cream pie.  We made it a few weeks later for my daughters 1st birthday, naturally, we invited Mark and his family over to celebrate the birthday and enjoy the pie I created from his awesome ice cream inspiration!  Everyone loved it. Even the birthday girl, she seriously snarfed it up.  

Ain't she cute!!!!


Since our first time making this pie (almost exactly 1 year ago), we've made it no less than 6 times.  We've shared it with guests each time, and everyone has given this 5 stars!  It will definitely be making an appearance at Thanksgiving this year, just like it did last year.   I hope it can make it to your Thanksgiving table too!  It's definitely a crowd please for the kiddos and adults! Also, just in case you wondered, I have made this with a regular pie crust too, and it was also delicious. Since my husband and I have had both the graham cracker crust and the regular pie crust, we had to vote which was our favorite. In case you are interested, the graham cracker won us over! However when it comes to plain banana cream pie, I'd have to vote for a regular pie crust. 

Besides this pie tasting out-of-this-world good, it's also pretty quick to whip up. You can make it in about 30 minutes. Just prepare it ahead of time so that it can have at least 2 hours to chill.  It keeps well overnight too, as long as you don't sleep walk and eat it in your sleep. :) 

Here are a few pictures that show how this pie is made and assembled. Enjoy!

The Crust
1.  Mix the graham crakers, sugar, and cinnamon. 
2. Add the butter and mix well
3. Press it into a pie dish (I like to wear a disposable glove to easy clean up)
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes
Making the Cinnamon Pudding
1. Heat milk over medium heat until it boils lightly
2. Mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt
3. Add the cream to the sugar mixture
4. Whisk in an egg
5. Gradually add the heated milk to the egg/sugar mixture and whisk quickly
6. Return to the sauce pan and cook til it simmers + 1 more mintue
Assembling the Pie
1. Spread a small amount of pudding over the bottom of the crust
2. Top with sliced bananas
3. Cover the bananas with the remaining pudding and smooth the top
4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours
5. Top with whipped cream
6. Serve and enjoy!

Pretty easy, eh? Now you're all set and ready to make some pie! (printable recipe below)

Have fun! 


Cinnamon Banana Cream Pie

Yield: 1 (9 inch) pie, serves 8

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup white sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Cinnamon Pudding and Banana Filling:
1 ⅓ cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
½ cup sugar
3 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
about 1-2 ripe bananas, depending on the size, cut in half or quarters and sliced
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons white sugar
extra graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar and cinnamon.  Pour in melted butter, and mix to combine. Reserve ¼ cup of the crust mixture for garnishing the top of the pie before serving. Press the 1 ¾ cup of crust mixture into a 9 inch pie dish and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly brown. Don’t over bake or it will be crumbly.
2. While crust is baking, prepare cinnamon pudding filling.  In a large sauce pan, heat 1 ⅓ cups of milk to a light boil, stirring frequently.  While heating, in a heat proof mixing bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and sea salt; whisk until no lumps remain. Gradually add the cup of cream while whisking and whisk until no lumps remain, then whisk in the egg until smooth. Once the milk is boiling, slowly add it to the cornstarch/sugar mixture in your heat proof bowl, whisking vigorously the whole time.
3. Return the mixture to the sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with whisk or silicone spatula (take care to whisk quickly to avoid lumps of cooked egg in the puddin). Once it comes to a simmer, cook it for one minute (this will cook the egg and cornstarch fully). You will see large bubbles pop on the surface of the pudding and it will be very thick (workout for those arms). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
4. If you didn’t whisk quickly, you can run the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps of egg that remain. Dump about ½-3/4  cup or so of pudding on the bottom of the crust and spread it across the bottom and just slightly up the sides, then place as much sliced banana as you desire on top of the pudding. Top with the remaining pudding, and spread it even, taking care to make sure the bananas are fully covered. The bottom layer of pudding and the top seal the bananas in nice so they don’t brown. Once they are exposed to air they will brown. Cover the top of the pie with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the pudding (helps it stay soft and moist), and refrigerate until chilled through, about 2 hours+.
5. When you are ready to serve - whip 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 teaspoons of sugar until soft peaks form. Spread or dollop the whipped cream on top of the pie or each pie slice. Top with additional cinnamon sprinkles and graham cracker crumbs if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Source:

Created by Lu, inspired by a good friend, Mark Anderson. (filling adapted from Mel’s Vanilla Pudding recipe.) Originally posted on Eighteen25.

With Thanksgiving around the corner - you might be interested in some of my other favorite pies and an awesome pie video tutorial.