Easy, No Fail, Crowd Pleasing Recipes!

It has felt really good to be back in the kitchen after 10 days of eating out. On Wednesday night, we had a cookout with our small group from church. I was responsible for bringing the baked beans... so I used this recipe from my mom:

Baked Beans

4 slices bacon
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 can (28oz) baked beans
1 small can lima beans
1 can kidney beans
2 T. wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T. mustard

Fry bacon, ground beef, and chopped onion until brown. Add all other ingredients. Mix well! Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

This recipe is so easy and got rave reviews from everyone who tried it! It would be great for any cookout or just served with a side salad and cornbread. Mmmmm.

On Friday night, we grilled out with our dear friends, the Crawfords. I brought a cobb salad and Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding. This recipe takes a little while to prepare, but is pretty much impossible to mess up. Every single morsel will be devoured. That's a promise.

*I have found that it is easiest to start the recipe before you go to bed, then finish the rest the next morning...

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding

One 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
One 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
One 12 oz box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
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 the 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 if necessary, then one-third of the bananas, then one-third of the pudding mixture. 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 refrigerator for 4 hours- or up to 8 hours, but no longer!- before serving.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to go with these recipes.. you'll just have to take my word that they are delicious! Let me know if you try them and how they turn out :)

Happy Cooking!

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