Monday, March 14, 2011

Strawberries and Bananas - musing foodie style!

Fruits and veggies - one of the 4 basic food groups. Just keep that in mind as these recipes unfold. Last week I mentioned chairing a week-long teacher appreciation event at my sons' school. Tuesday of last week was a catered treat, made by yours truly. I had wayyyy too much fun concocting the menu - picking out delicious treats that make my mouth water and my knees turn weak just thinking about them. Here is a sampling of what I fixed...

My first order of the day was strawberries, nice healthy juicey red ripe sweetness. I left a few plain for the less adventurous non-chocolate lovers (is there reallly such a thing as a non-chocolate lover?) and I covered the rest in chocolate. Take a gaze at the beauty and wonderment of that platter of chocolate covered strawberries. Inhale. Exhale. Now that is deliciousness. They disappeared in a New York minute!

In staying with my fruit theme, I also made Strawberry Pochettes. A cream cheese pastry cookie filled with Strawberry Preserves. They were funky good fun and disappeared almost as fast as those chocolate covered berries up there. My healthy proud of myself. HA!

I moved on to bananas. A potasium fest - so good for you! Especially when you put them in a Carmel Banana Pie! The recipe for this extremely rich dessert follows...

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust (trust me honey, there is a huge difference between homemade and store bought)
1.5 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup melted butter
3-4 T. granulated sugar

Combine crushed crackers, melted butter and sugar into a bowl, mush into your pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Allow to cool as you make the rest of the recipe.

Banana Pie Filling
3 ripe bananas (not banana bread ripe, you don't want total mush)
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
3 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a glass pyrex dish and set that in a larger pyrex dish filled with water - we're creating a water bath here so it doesn't burn. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for an hour.

This makes a delicious homemade carmel. Allow this to cool. Don't be tempted to take a bite of this carmel right out of the oven, your tastebuds will be burned from your tongue forever more.

Slice your bananas and layer them evenly on the graham cracker crust. I had enough for 2 banana layers in a 9x13 pyrex.

Spoon the carmel over this.

You're almost done! Make whipped cream. Not out of the can, we're talking genuine creamy billows of fluffy dreaminess. Pop your mixing bowl and whisk attachement in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to chill. Once you're ready for this step, pour the whipping cream into the chilled bowl and your cream will whip to perfection. Choose a high speed and once it's to a stiff peak consistency, add in the powdered sugar, blend that in for a few seconds until it's well incorporated and then slather it all over the carmel layer.

Pop the whole thing into the refrigerator until you're ready to feast. I made this the day before it was served and the result was sublime. It's rich, so plan on serving small portions. Some versions of this recipe call for a chopped toffee bar or chocolate curls to be added for garnish. There is already so much rich flavor and sweetness going on, I opted out of the additional sugar coma. After all, SOMEONE has to make strides towards healthy eating, right? :)

Have a delicious day and we'll chat soon!