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Sundays with Joy/Coconut Banana Cream Pie

Coconut Banana Cream Pie

Whoa, I’ve been gone a month!   It won’t be that long before the next recipe either.  It has been photographed and completely eaten already but before I post it, I need to catch up a bit on my Sundays with Joy posts as well.  The thing is, I’d been keeping up with the baking aspects of Sundays with Joy, I just hadn’t blogged about it. Yet…

I remember this particular Sunday fondly.  We had some friends over.  I say “we” but three more kids, one for each of mine, is not really for me.  Except when you take into account that I don’t get many requests for attention on those days.  Requests for food yes (oh man, 6 kids/1 cantaloupe/5 minutes!) but attention no.  It is actually great for the days that I have a Sundays with Joy to make.  I get time in my kitchen to focus on a recipe (kids are EVERYWHERE else!), lots of little people to eat it, and happy worn out kids by the end of the day.  What’s not to love?

Coconut Banana Cream Pie

I added chocolate ganache to the bottom of the pie and a layer of bananas before I filled it but used bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet and ultimately that was just too dark for some of the kids’ tastes.  I didn’t like that I smeared my chocolate after drizzling it over the whipped cream and I think my pie would have looked loads prettier if I hadn’t but no biggie.  I loved the coconut in it and both flavors went great together.  This was simply a lovely recipe that I was glad to not have many leftovers of because I, like my grandma before me, am a sucker for a banana cream pie.  If you’d like the recipe please buy Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

My GeekyLinks for this week reveal a bit about my childhood.  My mother used to work in a Hallmark store when I was very young and so ended up buying us and herself lots and lots and lots of ornaments over the course of her lifetime.  I buy some every year but not anything as close to what my mom used to buy.  Still, I will ALWAYS buy a few Hallmark ornaments especially as over the years they break out the cool stuff (yeah, I want Wicket so what?).  They’ve even revealed some cool stuff for 2014!

Coconut Banana Cream Pie1

Late to the New Year’s Party (Top 5 Recipes of 2012)

In between the Christmas aftermath and my son’s birthday four days later and New Year’s Eve two days after that, you can imagine the last week being VERY busy.  We were going to do a smallish Chuck E Cheese thing for my son with cake at the house after and then that turned into not doing anything and then that evolved to a big party at our home.  Whatever.  I have three kids worth of Christmas presents to put away and a house to finish organizing today.  Luckily I have stayed away from my computer and I do have most of the stuff done but today is the last day and I am organizing the garage and making the comprehensive grocery store list for food prep and cupcake making tomorrow.

While I may not have been writing anything I have certainly been reading a few blogs here and there.  I am late with my Sundays with Joy for last week.  I have baked Mommom’s Chocolate Bourbon Spiked Banana Bread and it is FANTASTIC!  I can’t get my son to stop eating it.  I just haven’t had the time to take pictures or the time I have is after the son has gone down.  This Sunday is our last week off for our holiday schedule and I shouldn’t have much of a problem getting it to you by then.  I also missed posting on New Year’s when everyone posts their tops for the year.  That was something I really wanted to do.

I do have a disclaimer though.  These are the top posts FROM 2012.  My top post for the year was actually from 2011, back when my pictures were yucky.  Let’s keep it interesting and go backwards shall we…?

5. Cream Cheese Wontons

Cream Cheese Wontons-NerdyBaker

Now I am not a fan of remaking things that I have made for my previous Oscar “parties” but this one was SUCH a hit with my friends, I may not have a choice.  Also, if you are a fan of Pick Up Stix Cream Cheese Wontons I have cracked the code people!  I have cracked the code!!!

4. Nutella Banana Cream Pie

Nutella Banana Cream Pie-NerdyBaker

Do I really have to go into it?

3. Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Wontons

Apple Cream Cheese Wontons-NerdyBaker

This was my attempt at making a sweet version of the Cream Cheese Wontons, and it worked so well it beat out the savory one in views.  Don’t forget the caramel dipping sauce!  Is it bad that next time I make them, I want to fry them?

2. Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Chocolate Cake Chocolate Whipped Cream

This came with just wanting to make a cake one day.  The family called for a short notice get together so I changed the whipped cream to chocolate whipped cream and I couldn’t have been happier.  I would LOVE to make this again just to get prettier pictures of it…and then EAT ALL THE CAKE!

1. Tea, Earl Grey, Cupcakes with Lemon Scented Whipped Cream

Earl Grey

Proving that the Wheatons win at everything, my #1 post for this year is something I made for Anne Wheaton and other humans that like to order their tea with the line “Tea, Earl Grey, hot” made famous by my FAVORITE (deal with it, Justin!) Captain Picard during the show run of Star Trek: TNG.  Along with the batter from Joy’s Avocado Pound Cake this batter (although I know I shouldn’t encourage it) wins the award for most likely to disappear before baking.

For my GeekyLinks today, we will keep with the Wheaton theme.  This was tweeted by Ryan Wheaton the other day and I thought it was pretty cool, a Back to the Future/Doctor Who mash-up.  The next is about how Wil Wheaton’s Web show brings people togetherTableTop, his You Tube show on the Geek and Sundry channel.  I rewatched the Ticket to Ride episode with my 9 year old the other day (yay for You Tube on the Wii!) and when THAT PART happens (if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean) the kid was in stitches!  Plus it was a game she loves on my iPod touch and that we play together when we can.  I still have yet to buy it in non digital form.

Thanksgiving and Birthdays, Triumphs, and Failures

This year, I didn’t really get to make desserts for Thanksgiving.  Which bummed me out but my family says that some people don’t cook so they can at least buy (!) and bring a dessert, whatever.  So I was not happy.  I really like the recipe I use for pumpkin pie and I was kinda bummed I didn’t get to make it this year especially since I was planning on making my own crust.  Then, I decided not to make one of my usual appetizers this year and my aunt wasn’t happy.  I love and usually make these Mini Pumpkin Tarts and I make chocolate ones too but I hate that I can’t fill the cups until right before we have to leave because if they sit too long they will become soggy.  Granted, there usually aren’t that many left to get soggy but I just wanted to try some new things.  So, even though I didn’t get to bake desserts I was still in charge of sweet appetizers, rolls and I did make some savory appetizers too.

I would have to say that my biggest triumph were the rolls!  O my goodness, so yummy, so perfect, I couldn’t believe that they came out of my kitchen!  I think I am going to write a post about them though, so no link yet.  Sorry, just a preview picture.

I made Bacon Pops as one of my savory appetizers.  These tasted great but were kinda messy to make, at least getting them into balls.  If I had a scoop that was half the size of my cookie scoop, it would have been way easier.  I thought that the sticks they use on the website were too big.  I just used toothpicks and it worked out fine.  I also didn’t use the apple slices to serve them because I didn’t want to have to deal with browning.  It is bacon, cheese, and basil, how much yummier and simpler could it get?  Easy to make ahead too, which is important when making lots of things.  I also made Broccoli Bites.  I added a little more seasoning to these and actually I think I added a bit too much.  I also had to add an extra egg because otherwise they would not have stuck together.  I would like to perfect these.  Overall, really easy to make though.

Pumpkin Pie Cookie with Brown Butter Icing.  This was after Thanksgiving and other cookies had been stacked on top of it.

Now on to the sweets!  I made Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing from Brown Eyed Baker.  There is a reason that these cookies are all over the internet.  They were like eating pumpkin muffin tops with the best icing in the world.  They are originally from Martha Stewart and the brown butter icing is DIVINE.  I had almost two tablespoons left after frosting all of the cookies (and it makes A LOT of cookies) and it was all I could do not to spoon it in my mouth.  One thing though, is I had to make these twice.  Both times I made them they needed more flour.  So if you make them, keep that in mind.  I also made, apple pie cookies from Smitten Kitchen.  These were a lot of effort but I really thought the overall effect was awesome and now I really want to try this crust in a pie.  It was crazy flaky and wonderful.  I also made some cream cheese cookies that I didn’t really like, I thought they tasted just like a regular sugar cookie so I am looking to adapt that recipe and maybe post about it.  I think a good cream cheese cookie would be worth it.

Apple Pie Cookie

We have three birthdays in our family from November 26 to December 1.  My brother didn’t come down so we didn’t celebrate his, so instead of something chocolatey I am sure he would have picked, I made my Mexican Chocolate Cookies.  I had to make these as extra, partly because my family was mad that I shared the whole first batch with my in-laws and they wanted some and partly because I made cheesecake and banana cream pie and not everyone is a fan.  First of all, quite simply if you are making any cheesecake other than Mixed Berry Cheesecake by Ina Garten, I don’t know what is wrong with you.  I actually didn’t put the berries on top this time, I made a caramel but I should’ve made the berries.  Every other time I have made this I do make the berries and everyone loves them on top.  At some point my oven shut off and so I had to wing it as to baking time to finish it but I actually think this is the best it has ever come out.  (Sorry, no picture!) That was for my Aunt.  For my Grandma, who is a big Banana Cream Pie fan, I made Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache & Salted Caramel Sauce.  O yeah, I loved it!  My Grandmother loved it.  I thought the pastry cream came out so well.  I had to make the caramel twice but I got it to work.  But the stupid (yes, I said stupid!) graham cracker crust fell apart!  The pie looked great and tasted great too but you just couldn’t cut a slice of it, dangit!  I do think it could have stayed chilled longer but I don’t think that was the whole problem.  It just really chapped my hide that the most difficult elements of the recipe I got right, but the simplest was a failure.  I would have posted it, I think, if it had worked completely.

Whether I make this pie again, I don’t know, but I WILL make this pastry cream again!

I am happy to show you that even though I might not post as often as I should, I am still baking quite a bit, it is just that sometimes I forget to take pictures, truly.  I am sorry and I will try my hardest to do better.  It is all about time management and that is something I have never been good at, plus being a procrastinator doesn’t help.

My GeekyLink today is like the biggest news of the day, or it should be.  NASA’s Kepler Confirms Its First Planet In Habitable Zone, this is so awesome and the fact that there are about fifty more or so that they have left to confirm that might be out there as well is just super cool.  If you think that is too “out there” for you, just be glad it wasn’t Ancient Aliens!  Dang, I can’t watch (or at least I shouldn’t watch) it.  There is so much crazy stuff on that show and I LOVE it.

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