Treat Them Well

Wondering why I insist on baking with so many disasters?   It’s not masochism; it’s my way of ensuring the ingredients are what I don’t mind my kids ingesting.   Plus I do get some fabulous results.  My mother’s birthday is a week after my son’s and they both fall around Thanksgiving.  Mum was visiting my brother in California for Thanksgiving so I promised to make her birthday dinner upon her return.   The dinner, a grilled Moroccan leg of lamb with Moroccan spices was enjoyed by everyone but my mother (because of the grilled part), was similar to the lamb my husband made for our potluck dinner over the summer.  But she loved the pie I made for her.  I took the banana cream pie I created the crust for, altered it slightly and added a layer of strawberry chiffon to the top. Plus only the crust is actually baked.    

So, if you’ve read my blog you know I am into feeding my children healthier options but try not to go overboard especially on attempting to be perfect.  I realize the balance that I desire so that my kids have healthier options while trying to keep our psyches in check.    That said, many people are surprised that I let my kids have the occasional junk food and also that I let them have cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc.  I keep the junk to a minimum and what I care about most is the ingredients in those treats. 

That’s why I’ll often make desserts so they don’t have the stuff I do avoid (pesticides, growth hormones and artificial colors).  I haven’t had to worry about weight issues with my kids or me (yes, I put on more than the freshman 15 when I went away to university, but it dropped quickly when I returned to eating better foods) so that’s one reason why I don’t deny them treats.  I do insist they eat their main course before getting dessert and I try to limit snacking, but I’m not a tyrant about it.  I believe that in healthy eating and keeping active keep people naturally fit.  So go ahead, have and serve your desserts, just remember they’re treats. 

This pie is not for the faint of heart.  It is full of cream, but oh so delicious.  It also takes some time to make the banana filling layer but don’t rush and you’ll be rewarded later. Heavenly.

Banana Strawberry Cream Pie


2 1/2 cups Banana Nut Cheerios

2 1/2 cups Strawberry Yogurt Cheerios

1 stick butter, melted

In food processor chop the cheerios until crumbs.  While processor on, pour in melted butter through spout until well mixed.  Press into pie plate and bake for 8 minutes at 350F.  Set aside to cool.

Banana Filling

Find here. Once poured into pie crust, let set in fridge while you prepare the strawberry chiffon.

Strawberry Chiffon

12 oz frozen strawberries (organic)

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups cream, whipped

2 tsp gelatin

2 Tbsp cold water

In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp cold water.  Let sit.  Whip cream and set aside.  Over medium high heat cook strawberries until they’re starting to break down. Use potato masher to puree.  Strain seeds out.  Pour into a metal bowl and place bowl into a cold water bath then whisk in gelatin and fold in whipped cream.  Chill for 10 minutes then using a spatula spread strawberry chiffon layer onto the top of the banana layer. Serve or chill until ready to serve.

My kids were so excited about this during and after its creation.  My mother loved it and I had some left over for when a good friend visited the following day.  It was a hit with all and a perfect treat.

  If you notice— pie plate was a sauté pan.  I had the triple layer pumpkin pies in my only other two.


My kids and I love smoothies and I make them all the time.  They are so good— as in, for you and taste!  I use frozen fruit so there’s no need to add ice and the berries are always organic.  I often put in a fresh ripe (or even over-ripe) banana or two, yogurt and juice, but I make them all different ways/combinations (endless combinations, really).  Sometimes I use coconut water or milk, sometimes vanilla yogurt or a berry kafir milk but whatever combination I use they’re easy and delicious. 

  Today’s Smoothie

In a blender mix:

  • half pack (about 1 cup) frozen mango pieces
  • half a pack (about 1 cup) mixed frozen berries (blue, black, rasp) and cherries
  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla drinkable organic yogurt
  • 3/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1 cup of all natural 100% pomegranate juice blend (pom, apple, grape, aronia berry)

Looking at the side of the blender you will want to have the liquids be about 1/2 way up the frozen fruit (anything less will be hard to blend and too frozen).  If you put the largest frozen pieces on the bottom and the banana on top, it helps the process. 

Blend on high until the top of the mixture is pulled underneath and all is smooth.   Serve.  Enjoy.


(Honey makes a nice additional ingredient and if local can help manage seasonal allergies.)

Some fruit/juice combinations:

Strawberries, blueberries and banana with orange juice and fruit punch

Mango, blueberries and banana with pineapple juice and coconut milk/water (Mango-Blueberry Colada)

Cherry and blackberry with cranberry juice

Accidental Baker

As I’ve mentioned before I’m not much of a baker, but I seem to be doing my fair share lately.  I attribute some of it to getyourbakeon!, some to actually finding out how easy it is to bake delicious artisanal bread, and some to my natural curiosity when it comes to creating things that I think would go well together.  I often cook this way too, occasionally it’s because I like certain combinations of flavors or that I’ve had some dish in a restaurant and I try to replicate it — even if it’s not the exact ingredients, it often doesn’t matter because it usually works out well.  

I recently bought the kids Banana Cheerios thinking they’d like it, but they don’t.  So, what to do with the box?  Throw it away?  Then two days ago I figured out what I would  do with it.  I had a party to go to yesterday and needed to bring something.  I had some overripe bananas and decided to make banana cream pie with the Banana Cheerios as the crust.  I had never seen or read about using them, just thought they’d make a good one.  I looked up some recipes for graham cracker crusts and other cookie crusts, so I got the general idea of what to do. 

The filling isn’t as easy as pie, but if you have some time and an instant read thermometer(I suggest you get one if you don’t— best way to figure out if your chicken or steak is done), it’s doable.   I found some recipes (Icebox Pies by Lauren Chattman was my main source) and then adjusted them to my preference. 

         Banana Cream Pie  

  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 2 tsp of gelatin (about 2/3 packet)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla (separated into two 1 teaspoon portions)
  • 5 cups Banana Cheerios
  • 1 stick butter, melted

For the crust, preheat oven to 375F.  In a Cuisinart, use regular metal blade to chop the cheerios until they are small crumbs.  Add the melted butter and 1 tsp of vanilla.  They should be mixed until they stick when pressed together.  Pour mixture into pie plate and press to edges.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl dissolve the gelatin in water (sprinkle on top or stir in, it works either way), set aside.  Whip cream and when stiff, put in fridge for use later.  In a double boiler (metal bowl over couple of inches of boiling water) whisk the eggs and sugar together (temper) until they reach 160 F.  Remove from heat and beat in gelatin— mix for several minutes until creamy and fairly cool.  Stir in bananas, salt and 1 tsp vanilla.  Fold in 2/3 of the whipped cream. Pour into cooled crust.  Chill in fridge for an hour then use the remaining whipped cream to spread on top.

I made the bread again and also turned a failed blueberry mousse into ice cream. 


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