Category Archives: Lane’s Favorite Things

Banana Pudding Reminds Me Of Granny

Magnolia’s Famous Banana Pudding reminds me of Granny. At each family gathering of our large extended family, Granny (my great-grandmother) would whip up a large pans of banana pudding. This happens to be one of my favorite desserts (next to King Cake and McKenzie’s cinnamon rolls)! A few weeks ago a friend came by to watch a movie and sip on red wine. When she pulled out banana pudding from her bag I immediately thought of Granny and felt a tiny bit of New Orleans here with me in Chicago.

I have the fondest of memories growing up in my great-grandmother’s house. That’s right, she raised me! I didn’t go to daycare or two-year old preschool. I grew up in a house with plenty of other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We picked vegetables in the garden with Papa, sat around her kitchen table everyday for lunch with our grandparents, aunts and uncles, played outside in the yard and were yelled at my Uncle Medric (Granny’s cranky old brother who lived next year). Have you seen the movie, “Grumpy Old Men”? Yes, that’s exactly what it was like spending our days next door to Uncle Medric!

The best memories I have of Granny all go back to being in the kitchen. She made the best white beans, chicken stew and every other down home dish that you could think of. Her recipes were not fat free, but they were made with plenty of love. The only picture that I have of Granny in our house is proudly displayed on the side of our refrigerator as inspiration and a reminder that we all add a bit of love to our recipes. I have one of her aprons that I keep in my kitchen draw and hope that one day I can pass that along to a daughter or daughter-in-law who shares the same passion for bringing love to her family at the dinner table.

Here’s the recipe for Magnolia’s Famous Banana Pudding that I made this weekend for my family. I hope it brings a little happiness to your table!

Magnolia’s Famous Banana Pudding

One 14-ounce can sweetend condensed milk

1 1/2 cups ice cold cater

One 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)

3 cups heavy cream

One 12-ounce box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions)

4 cups sliced ripe bananas

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5 quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping in necessary, the one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refirigerator for 4 hours – or up to 8 hours, but no longer! – before serving.

Serves 12-15

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Go Green On St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. (Let’s clarify that. I love all holidays, but I really like St. Patty’s day a lot!) Irish spirit is exaggerated here in Chicago with the dyeing of the Chicago river and the endless sea of green clothing marching through the Loop today. I’ve hand my handmade St. Patty’s day wreath on my front door for weeks now and it seems that most Chicagoans have already gone green for St. Patrick’s Day too. As much as I love celebrating holidays, we’re going green in a different way today with these eco-friendly tips for MomMe!

1. Hand me downs are hot – Who needs to buy new clothing or toys when sites like thredUP and Swapmamas are exploding. Check out Spark Box and Toygaroo (think Netflix for toys). Go green by trading, bartering or swapping clothes and toys baby outgrows for new ones!

2. Go glass – With hip slip-proof silicone covers from companies such as BornFree, Dr. Brown’s and Coddlelife, using glass bottles has never been easier. And, no more worries about exposing your little one to BPA. Going glass knocks out two birds with one stone.

3. Nix the paper towels: Bring in a little flair in your kitchen by using dish cloths instead of paper towels. Treat yourself to luxurious, soft towels that you can display on your kitchen counter in place of that paper towel holder. Floursack Towels and Dish Cloths by Now Designs are some of my favorite. They durable, large enough to clean up spills and wash well.

4. No plastic bags: In Santa Monica, where my partner Rachel lives, plastic bags are outlawed! Stores only use paper bags or ask you to supply your own reusable totes to haul your groceries. We already use reusable tote bags and I love them. My favorite is my LL Bean Boat and Tote bag. I use it for everything from weekly grocery store runs to an overnight bag for quick weekend trips. It’s versatile, amazing and has a lifetime warranty from LL Bean!

We hope you have a Happy St. Patty’s day tomorrow and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Baby’s Veggie Mac & Cheese

Veggie Mac & Cheese

2 ½ cup cauliflower

1c broccoli

1c whole wheat elbow macaroni

6 tbsp cheddar cheese grated

6 tbsp gruyere cheese grated

½ c whole milk

½ tbsp flour

Boil pasta, drain and let cool. Steam cauliflower and broccoli. Set aside. Heat milk in a saucepan until it simmers. Add flour until it thickens then add cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese until melted. Combine all ingredients in a dish and mix well. Let cool and puree.

NOTE: I’ve also made this recipe with spinach and it turned out wonderful!

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Beef Casserole For Baby

H-Man loved the beef casserole I made yesterday during my baby food making frenzy. Here’s the recipe! Be sure to let us know if you try it and your little one loves it.

Beef Casserole

11 ounces beef stew meat

1 onion

2 carrots

3 small potatoes

1 stalk celery

¾ cup mushrooms

½ tsp garlic

1 ¾ cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place all ingredients in an oven safe baking dish, cover, and bake for 3.5 hours. Let cool and puree.

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Baby Food Frenzy

It is a scary sight in my freezer when I only have 2 cubes of homemade baby food left. I have been procrastinating restocking my freezer to watch the Superbowl, go to dinner parties, watch the Academy Awards, watch the Grammy Awards and last night to watch Revenge. It had to end after H-Man had a banana and applesauce for breakfast the second day in a row. Mommy guilt is incredibly motivating, but we’ll save that topic for another post.

Rather than spend my coveted baby nap time on Pinterest, I was a short order cook who cranked out an insane amount of homemade baby food this morning. We have enough food to feed a normal baby for at least two months. Not H-Man, though. He is a food monster. I think he eats as much as a toddler on a normal day. And, what’s this about formula intake decreasing over time? We haven’t seen any sign of that happening anytime soon.

We’re on our second nap of the day now and H-Man’s food is cooled and is pureed. Here’s the first recipe I made:

Sweet Potato & Lamb Casserole

14 oz lamb

4 green onioins (diced)

2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)

2 medium tomatoes (diced and liquid drained)

1 cup chicken stock

Rosemary (to taste)

Parsley (to taste)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients in an oven safe dish. Cover and bake until boiling. Lower heat to 300 degrees and bake for one hour. Let cool and puree.

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Crochet Cuties

When I first heard about crocheting, I immediately associated it with an old woman in a rocking chair. This is not so. Young and fashionable MomMes are joining this trend and opening shops on Etsy. Lacey McClure is a recent college and nursing school graduate (and MomMe to be) who was looking for a hobby to entertain her outside of work. She always liked crafts and already knew how to sew. She thought that sewing was limited, but opened up to crocheting after seeing inspiring photos of classic but fashionable designs.

Lacey began crocheting baby gifts for friends and family (I can attest that her baby sweaters and cardigans are amazing. If there isn’t one currently listed in her Etsy shop, you should contact her for a custom order). Through word of mouth she was receiving order requests from Baton Rouge and New Orleans. In January of 2011 Lacey decided to open her Etsy shop and has been busy crocheting since then. Club MomMe appreciates handmade and thoughtful items. And, let’s not kid ourselves, we love Etsy! This is why we decided to feature Lacey on Club MomMe this week.

Her handmade crochet items are perfect for newborn pictures and special occasions. Be sure to check out Lacey’s Etsy shop and participate in the giveaway on Club MomMe’s website!

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Teething Tantrums

All of my MomMe friends warned me about the terrible twos. Not once did I hear about teething or how your angel baby monster baby will test your patience to the limits of outer space. Heck, I can’t even get mine to eat solid food right now! Yes, a chunky monkey of a baby who ate three adult-sized portions a day for the past two months is refusing solids, whining constantly, and drooling like a St. Bernard. This, my friends, is the joyous world of teething.

What can you do to remedy the pains of teething? Stock up on coffee, it’s the worst when a new MomMe runs out of caffeine, grab a glass of vino and try to relax. What about baby? This MomMe uses a combination of Hyland’s teething tablets, acetaminophen, cold teething rings, and the Munchkin mesh feeder for frozen fruit. Lastly, my favorite, Chewbeads! Ladies these are a must have for every fashionista MomMe out there!

This amazing product is my new favorite for teething. I was tired of H-Man pulling on my necklaces and breaking them. When I discovered this product I instantly fell in love with it! Chewbeads are teething necklaces designed for the stylish MomMe but to be used by baby. They are 100% silicone and contain no BPA, PVC, phthalates, cadmium, or lead. H-Man loves pulling and chewing on my Hudson (pictured to the left) and Jane Chewbeads. Share this post and drop a hint to Da-Da. Valentine’s day is just around the corner!

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