Homemade Banana Pudding

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This homemade banana pudding recipe is from my Oma.  She makes the most amazing desserts and this recipe is certainly no exception.  Trying her homemade banana pudding might make you gag at the thought of ever having the boxed stuff again.  :)  The title is a bit deceiving, however.  The more accurate description of this recipe is actually “homemade vanilla pudding with bananas.”  There isn’t any fake banana flavoring in this pudding (thank goodness…we don’t want pudding that tastes like a banana Runt, do we?).   :)

You can, of course, make this in a large bowl and layer it (Nilla wafers, bananas, pudding, repeat), but I thought it would be fun to use these small Ball jars for individual portions.


Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe:

4 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2/3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
Dash of salt
Mini Nilla Wafers
Sliced Bananas
Ball Half Pint Wide-Mouth Jars


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1.  Mix all of the ingredients (except the Nilla wafers and bananas) together in a pot and cook over medium heat until thickened.  Stir continuously.  I mixed my eggs in a small bowl to make it easier to stir within the mixture.

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2.  Once the mixture has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, remove from heat.  Fill your sink with water, add some ice, and let it cool before layer it in your bowl/jar.

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3.  If using the jars to layer your pudding, put your mini Nilla wafers on the outside of the jar (they fit perfectly on the edges of this size jar).  Then add bananas and pudding.

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This recipe can also be used as the base of coconut cream pie.  Half the recipe, then mix in 1 cup of coconut at the end for your coconut filling.  Top with whipped cream and a little baked coconut.  :)

Yum!  Be sure to check out more of our family’s favorite recipes!  


Homemade Afterbite (anti-itch salve for mosquito bites)

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  I do not always remember to put mosquito repellent on the boys every time they step outside, so we inevitably have some mosquito bites around here.  After Bite has been a lifesaver this summer.  Unfortunately, however, I left ours at the lake on our recent trip and didn’t want to make a special trip to the store.  So we made our own homemade afterbite (based on the ingredients listed)! Much to my surprise, this stuff really does work!  It has been used and approved by everyone in the household as a remedy for helping to ease the irritating itch of a pesky mosquito bite.  :)   Here’s what you’ll need:  baking soda, tea tree oil, and water.   IMG 9150 300x450 Homemade Afterbite (anti itch salve for mosquito bites) IMG 9157 500x333 Homemade Afterbite (anti itch salve for mosquito bites)

 1.  Mix baking soda and water until it is the preferred consistency.  I used 5 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water.

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2.  Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the mixture (I used 1/8 teaspoon and it is a little bit too strong).  Store in a closed container.

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 3.  Rub a little bit of the salve onto your child’s mosquito bites to help relieve the itch!


 And there you have it!  Be sure to check out our homemade mosquito spray as well!  


Green Smoothie Muffins

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Green Smoothies are all the rage right now.  But try as I might, I just don’t like smoothies…no matter what color they are.  :)  I recently had a whole bunch of extra spinach and three over ripe bananas that needed eaten that day or else it would all need to be tossed.  I ran across a recipe for Green Smoothie Muffins (original recipe found here) and decided to give it a shot.  They are delicious and sooooo moist!   They taste like a banana bread dessert…all while getting a good dose of spinach!

Everyone in our family loved them.  The recipe makes around 15-16 muffins and they were gone within a 48 hour time frame.  Little Brother ate at least four of them in one day (and that’s saying something because he is currently the pickiest eater in the world).

*Update*:  I made these with honey and coconut instead of the sugar and canola oil in an effort to make them even healthier.  They turned out great and were just a teensy bit less sweet than the original recipe.  Please see the substitutions in green below.


Recipe for Green Smoothie Muffins (printable recipe here)

3 ripe (or overripe) bananas
8 strawberries
2 cups of raw baby spinach, packed down as much as possible
1 1/2 cups King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 cups sugar (or 3/4 cup honey plus 1/4 cup extra flour)
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil (or coconut oil)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Makes 15-16 Muffins.  Approximately 140 calories per muffin.


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1.  Add your bananas to your food processor or blender.  I have the Ninja and love it.

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2.  Cut the stems off of the strawberries


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3.  Grab your spinach…Sam’s Club sells these giant tubs of spinach for cheap!


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4.  Pack the spinach into your measuring cup as much as possible.


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5.  Blend together.


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The boys loved helping with this step (even with his shirt on backwards).  :)


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 6.  In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, egg, oil, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.


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 7.  Mix together.  It should be coarse and crumbly at this point.



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8.  Add the fruit/veggie puree.


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 9.  Mix together well.



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10.  Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners (or grease if you don’t have any liners like me) and add the batter until it is about 2/3 full.   Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean.



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Now go make some…you won’t be sorry!




An energy snack for nursing moms…and everyone else

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As a nursing mother, there are two things that I desperately need:  enough milk to feed my baby and enough energy to take care of all three kiddos.  This recipe kills two birds with one delicious stone!  These “booby bites” (which my husband hilariously coined) will help boost lactation while providing lots of protein and vitamins as well…and did I mention they are delicious?

I recently read that the combination of oatmeal, flaxseed, and Brewer’s Yeast can help boost a nursing mother’s milk supply.  I have seen recipes for “lactation cookies” around the web that include these ingredients in a delicious treat.  However, I also read that the benefits of Brewer’s Yeast (including the vitamins) can be decreased through the cooking process.  So instead of making cookies that must be baked in the oven, I decided to make some energy bites (modified from this recipe).   Since Brewer’s Yeast is a good source of Vitamin B, this would be a great treat for the whole family…not just for a nursing mom!


Here is the recipe for our “Booby Bites” (…and yes, I feel a little strange just typing that!)

1 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup of honey
1/2 tablespoon Brewer’s Yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


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1.  Combine the dry ingredients first:  oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips, Brewer’s Yeast, and flax seed.


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 2.  Add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla and turn your mixer on low (or stir together).


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3.  Refrigerate mixture for at least one hour.


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**Please note:  Brewer’s Yeast is safe for most people, but please consult your doctor prior to including it in your diet.  You can find more information about it here.  The content in this post is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

Rolo Cookies

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These cookies are simply amazing.  I got the recipe several years ago from my husband’s aunt, who brought them to all the family functions.  They were always a huge hit!  They do require a little bit of effort, but they are oh-so-worth it!

Below is the recipe.  Or you download the printable recipe.


2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup softened butter/margarine (2 sticks)
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. pecans
48 rolos (9 oz. package)


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1.  Mix flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

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2.  Soften the butter in the microwave (or bring it to room temperature by leaving it on the counter for an hour or two).

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3.  Combine the butter (I softened it a little too much, the sugar, and the brown sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.

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4.  Add the dry ingredients.

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5.  Meanwhile, use your food processor (I have a Ninja and love it) and finely job the cup of pecans.  Add 1/2 of the pecans (1/2 cup) into the cookie batter.  Stir.

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6.  Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and the remaining pecans in a bowl.

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7.  Unwrap the rolos from their foil, if necessary.  Using a cookie scooper, scoop out the cookie dough and place the rolo in the center.  Pat the dough over the top so that the rolo is fully encased in the cookie dough.

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8.  Roll each ball in the sugar and pecan mixture.

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9.  Place on a cookie sheet…

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…and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

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Inside, the rolo has melted into chocolatey, caramely deliciousness.

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Run!  Go get the ingredients you need for these heavenly gifts.  And you might want to pick up some pants in the next size, while you’re at it.  :)