Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just Call Me Paula. As in Deen.

I have always loved celebrating birthdays...especially my own (ha)! But Brandon's birthday is a close second, and we always celebrate big. 

My parents always outdid themselves when it came to birthdays growing up (and honestly still do) and I love carrying that tradition into my own family. My dad always made us pancakes in the shape of our age, we opened presents at the breakfast table, my mom made our favorite meal (on a plate that said, "This Is Your Day! Celebrate!") and the day was all about us. 

So I wanted to do the same for Brandon's birthday. 

I woke the birthday boy up with pumpkin coffee cake -- complete with a candle! -- and coffee, and walked into the room singing "Happy Birthday" ridiculously off-key. Since Brandon's birthday is in December, it drives him nuts when people combine his birthday and Christmas gifts and/or when his birthday gifts are wrapped in Christmas paper. So, I really do make a big effort to separate his birthday and Christmas. In fact, his gift from me was wrapped in a multi-colored paper and not anywhere near the Christmas tree. :)

I got him Assassin's Creed {yes, my husband plays video games...ugh!}, his parents got him a gift card to Macy's to buy the new dress shoes he wants and my parents got him a Baylor golf polo, a Baylor T-shirt and a Starbucks gift card. 

PS: How many times can you say "Christmas" in one paragraph?! Sheesh!

He requested a huge dinner (pork tenderloin, sauteed squash, wild rice, mashed potatoes and rolls, because I'm sure you were just dying to know) and I made his mom's homemade banana pudding. WITH HOMEMADE MERINGUE. 

Holy crap, y'all. This was seriously the hardest dish I've ever made in my life, but it was so yummy. {Recipe below} 

The birthday boy, who said to me that night after I made a snippy comment to him, "Brittany, you almost made it 12 hours without saying anything rude to me." Ha!!! 

Banana Pudding
Mississippi Cookbook

3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
4 eggs
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 box vanilla wafers
5-6 medium, ripe bananas, sliced 

1. Combine 1/2 c. sugar, flour and salt in the top of a double boiler. Mix in 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks. Stir in milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, stirring constantly until thickened {about 5 minutes}. 

2. Remove from heat; add vanilla. 

3. Line bottom and sides of a 1 1/2-qt. casserole dish with vanilla wafers {I used a trifle dish}.

4. Layer: pudding, sliced bananas, vanilla wafers (twice). 

5. Beat remaining 3 egg whites until stiff but not dry; gradually add remaining 1/4 c. sugar and beat mixture until it forms stiff peaks {about 10 minutes}. 

6. Pile on top of pudding mixture, covering the entire surface. 

7. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm. 


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