Banana pudding holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the first things I made with my husband when we were dating. It’s incredibly easy to make and there is almost no way to make it not taste delicious.
That’s why when I was assigned Wendy from “A Day in the Life on the Farm” for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, my decision was easy. Wendy and her husband Frank are retired police officers that escaped the city and live on a 12-acre farm. She made this pudding for brunch after Christmas which reminded me that it’s a great crowd pleaser. It fit the bill perfectly for my brother-in-law’s girlfriend that was visiting from out of town for a dinner party at our place.
It’s impossible not to like banana pudding! It’s absolutely delicious. To elevate it a little bit more I drizzled some salted caramel sauce on top. I served these in highball glasses as dessert. I can also attest to the fact that they are good in the morning because I ate all the leftovers for breakfast the next day — Wendy was smart serving this at brunch!
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I got fellow Nicole from i am a honey bee. Nicole lives in Boston and has a cute daughter, boston terrier, and bunny. She also likes scrapbooking when not making delicious meals.
I recently got a slow cooker and have been trying to think what to make with it. Honestly, I leave the slow-cooking to my husband since he works from home and will be the one preparing it. He took a look at Nicole’s blog and decided right away on this barbeque-style pork tenderloin.
We served this pork drizzled with the liquid remaining in the pot along with some spinach and curried quinoa. This pork was a tiny bit dry but adding sauce cured it immediately. The tenderloin pulled apart effortlessly and we quickly ate the leftovers on sandwiches later in the week.
It also held up great when packed for a bento lunch. Like I do with pasta and sometimes rice, I sprinkled a little water on the pork when re-heating so that it wouldn’t dry out. And of course I was sure to drizzle some extra ‘juice’ in when I was packing it up the night before.
Check out Nicole’s blog for other great posts, including homemade cheez-its, slow cooker roast chicken, biscoff muddy buddies, s’mores chex mix, and everything bagel pretzel bites.
We make pizza a lot, so I was excited when I was paired up The Spiffy Cookie for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Erin, a constant cooker and baker has 39 pizza recipes. 39!! I thought we loved pizza, but she puts us to shame. I had trouble choosing between her recipes, especially since, like me, her favorite food group is dessert! But the pizza kept calling my name and I just had to make her Spinach Pizza Dough.
This pizza dough came together quite easily but I didn’t make it right away. Since I made it a day in advance, I put it in the fridge to proof overnight. Since we like our pizza considerably thinner than how Erin prepared hers, this dough actually makes 3 pretty large pizzas.
We topped the pizza with some of our favorite toppings: red onions, chianti salami, pesto, sambal, garlic, and some peppercorn cheese. We even used the remaining spinach top top it off. That means this pizza has an entire six ounce bag of spinach in it!
If you’re hungry for pizza now, you can check out Erin’s pizza category, including Pizza Quesadilla (which I make all the time now!), Stromboli, and Christmas Wreath Pizza Ring.
Nothing reminds me of the holidays more than spiced cookies. For this special Secret Recipe Club Cookie Carnival round-up for the winter, I was paired up with Cindy from Hun… What’s for Dinner?, a stay at home to 2 children. It was pretty much a no brainer when I saw her recipe for Ginger Molasses Cookies, a perfect way to take the edge off on a chilly day. My favorite way to eat these cookies are after they’ve been warmed over the a cup of tea — soft and chewy center with crispier outer edges.
These cookies bake uniformly and are pretty to look at with the crackly tops. Since we like our cookies on the softer side, we baked them for only 10 minutes and set them to cool on parchment paper. The molasses in these cookies keeps them soft for days after baking. My husband baked these for me one evening and I brought them into work 4 or 5 days later and they were still very soft and flavorful. This is also the first cookie I’ve heard of that used oil instead of butter; how these would bake into cookies seemed like a mystery to me.
For October’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired up with Nora from Natural Noshing. Nora is about the same age as me and has “a passion for nutrition and eating natural, real food — nothing too fussy, over-processed or complicated.” The fact that she avoids gluten and limits her sugar intake seemed a bit daunting at first (I am, after all, a carb-avore that loves sweets), but my worries went away when I started perusing her recipes.
Between Almond Joy / Mounds Pancakes, Chicken Vindaloo, Fire Roasted Chicken Enchiladas with Squash and Red Peppers, Kickin Cashew Chicken, Red Thai Tofu Curry, Pineapple Upside Down Cake for One, and Spicy Kabocha Soup, I’ve bookmarked quite a few recipes to try out later.
One of our comfort foods during while were were dating was Kung Pao Tofu from a local Chinese restaurant. Because of this, it wasn’t hard for my husband to decide on this dish as his SRC pick. Not only did he pick this dish, but he also made it for us one day while we were working from home together.
This recipe won’t solve your craving for Chinese take-out style because it is much lighter and less greasy. It tastes fresher, especially with the crunch of the red bell peppers. Since the dish is relatively easy and quick to make, next time I’d like to try boosting up the spice as well as swapping the chicken for tofu.