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Recession Proof Baking Tips

bananawhip.JPGAnother great use for bananas is making a banana whip, so creamy that it could easily sub in for ice cream.    Mix three mashed bananas with 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice, and cook until it boils over a medium flame.  Chill in the fridge and then fold in a cup of whipped cream.  You can chill it and eat it like a pudding, or put in the freezer for a banana “ice cream” like I did.  It’s super thick and rich, and can be dressed up with some warm peanut butter on top.

There’s no shortage of blueberries in  summer and they can be used to make so many wonderful desserts.   They’re great in muffins and tarts, and apparently they’re great for blueberry pudding too.  We found this recipe for Maine Blueberry Pudding from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  Cook 3 cups of blueberries with 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water for ten minutes.  Butter six slices of white bread and sprinkle with cinnamon. Layer the bread in a buttered loaf pan with the blueberry mixture, with the bread as a top layer.  Cover with plastic wrap, and weigh down with another loaf pan of the same size.  Refrigerate overnight.  Breakfast is a vibrant, purple bread pudding that requires no baking and little time or money.

smoresbanana.JPGIf you love s’mores in summer, we found a creative riff on the
traditional dessert.  I love using bananas in recipes — they’re not
only inexpensive, but also add great texture and flavor to desserts. 
As a s’more girl, I didn’t think this classic could get better, but I
gave this recipe for baked bananas a try and it was excellent.  Its not
the prettiest to look at, but it  It comes out like a traditional
s’more (gooey and bubbling,) but with added sweetness and silkiness
from the banana.  Make a slit in the peel of a ripe but firm banana,
and fill with a handful of marshmallows and another of chocolate
chips.  Wrap in foil, and place in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.  

Chocolate and vanilla pudding are those trend-proof desserts that never get old.  Sure, you can buy it at the grocery store, but homemade pudding is so much better.  I’ve found a great and easy recipe for homemade blanc mange (French for “creamy vanilla”).  The best part is that it can just as easily be used for chocolate pudding too. Scald 2 cups of milk in a double boiler, and then add a mixture of 3 tbsp. cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup cold milk.  Keep cooking and stirring the mixture over a medium flame until it begins to get really thick.  Let cool, add a teaspoon of vanilla, and refrigerate for a few hours.  When you take it out, you’ll have a rich vanilla pudding that is lighter and fluffier than the store version.  For the chocolate pudding, add 2 oz. of unsweetened chocolate to the scalded milk, melt, and continue as directed. 

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