Cooking 101 - Coconut-Banana Cream Pie

For our Easter feasting, my mom (visiting me from Arizona) created this delectable dessert from an old cookbook in my collection. She thought it sounded good and we decided to try it out. WOW!!! This pie blows Marie Callender out of the WATER! You've got to try this! Nothing says SPRINGTIME like this cool, creamy pie!

I've got a variation at the bottom of the recipe of what I'll do differently next time.

3 c. flaked coconut
7 T. butter

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
3 c. light cream
4 egg yolks, beaten
2 t. vanilla
2 large, firm bananas

CRUST: In skillet, saute coconut in butter until golden. Press all but 2 Tbsp. into bottom and sides of a greased 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.

FILLING: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add egg yolks slowly. Cook 2 minutes more. Add vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Slice bananas in bottom of crust. Cover with cream mixture. Chill 2 hours. Top with bananas, whipped cream, and reserved coconut.

VARIATION: Use a pre-made shortbread or graham cracker crust. To get the intense coconut flavor, add toasted coconut into the custard mixture since it won't be in the crust. If you're cutting calories, (like that matters here) toast the coconut on a cookie sheet in your oven at 425 degrees instead of using butter.


Summertime Swap - April 28th

What better way to kick off summer than with a NEW apron?!

We had so much fun with the last swap and I still have emails coming in with ladies who want to join in our next swap, so get ready for another one!

Tell all of your friends - the more the better!!!

The dates:
April 28th-May 5th, Sign up
June 9th Mail Deadline


1.) Starting April 28th - May 5th, send me an email abbywelker(at)yahoo(dot)com with:

Address (very IMPORTANT)
Blog Address (if you have one)
Please specify if there is a color you can't live with
Please specify if you're willing to ship internationally

Your name does me no good if I don't have your address!
Also-check your Bulk or Junk folders in case you don't get a reply from me. You might have to add my email address to your address book so your program won't delete my emails to you.


2.) Apron must be HAND MADE and have:
Summer Theme
At least 1 pocket
Include a fun story or information about yourself and anything else you want like a recipe, cookbook, etc.

3.) BE CREATIVE! The rest is up to you - use your imagination!

4.) Aprons MUST be in the mail no later than June 9th. That gives everybody 4 weeks to sew.


When will I know who my swap buddy is?
It's going to take a week for all of the names to roll in, and then another day or two for me to compile them into a swap list.

HELP! I don't know where to start! Where can I get some inspiration?
Go to my "Aprons" link section on this blog and you'll find several websites with all kinds of designs.

When can I start my apron?
Any time you want! Start today if you know you want to participate.

When can I mail my apron?
Any time after you get your swap buddy's name and address - NO LATER THAN JUNE 9TH.

Does my apron have to be fancy? Where can I find an easy pattern?
NO! Your apron should be whatever you'd like it to be. Here are some easy apron instructions and here are some easier instructions if you don't know what to do. You can also purchase patterns at a craft store or online shop.

What if I bail and decide not to make or send an apron?
That would be a huge bummer for the person waiting for your apron. Don't commit to the swap if you don't think you'll actually do it! If you have to, go to an online boutique (some are listed on this site) and buy one if you get overwhelmed.

And...I've got friends in low places. Don't make me come after you! (just kidding - but seriously, folks.)

Will I know the person who I am swapping with?
No - I hope not. I randomly swap names and I pay attention to people who might live in the same area. The idea is to send and receive something from someone you don't know.


Chocolate & Berries

So check it out...I got this batch of GARGANTUAN strawberries! This bad boy is as big as my hand!!! So now I'm thinking...hmmm...how can I make these berries even better?

PERFECT! Honestly, it doesn't get any better than this, folks. Heaven on earth. (now where's the fudge sauce...)


My Apron Swap Apron

This ADORABLE apron came in the mail last week and I was absolutely blown away!!! It was created by the amazing Sarah Z. and this apron couldn't be more fitting to my personality!!! You can't really tell, but the fabrics are seersucker, which gives this a great texture. I am in love with cherries, red gingham, all things green, so Sarah - YOU ROCK. Ironically, I just purchased a bunch of cherry fabric very similar to this, so that's funny to me.

Isn't this apron cute? Doesn't it make you want to go into the kitchen and make some jam?! Too bad I'm feeling lazy...


EVERY baby needs something stylish to spit up on, don't you think?!

Every mom wishes she had dozens of these beautiful puke-wipers because they're SO handy, you use about a hundred a day, and moms just might actually enjoy a 3:00 a.m. feeding with some of these! (okay, I'm stretching that one...)

A friend of mine asked if I would sew up some burp cloths for her new baby girl coming soon and I agreed - as long as she brought over something yummy to munch on. She bought all of the fabric and cloth diapers, I just did the sewing. Here's what she brought, too! YUM!

I see these burp cloths being sold EVERYWHERE and they're so easy to do. You could make a dozen of these in an hour.

First of all, a word about my crazy-ugly (crugly) green mat. It is SUCH an eyesore but I want you to sear it into your corneas because you NEED to use a grid in order to get all of your cutting straight. Center the tops and sides of your fabrics at the same time. If your fabric doesn't fit, fold it in half.

Start by measuring the width of where the diaper is layered. These diapers were about 6 inches, so I figured 1/2 inch on both sides and 2 inches on the bottom of extra fabric would do the trick.

Cut a 7" x 20" strip of fabric. You could probably fold a yard in half and get two strips out of that one cut.

Iron about 1/4 inch on both sides.

(Check out the CRUGLY mat! It's been very well loved...)

Center the strip directly in the middle of the diaper, making sure your top edges are centered on both ends.

Press the top edges 1/4", fold over the top of the burp cloth, press and pin.

After making a couple of these ahead of time, I discovered that it's easier to stitch the top overlapping folds first before anything else.

Stitch close to the edge, about 1/8 of an inch.

After you've got the top two overlaps stitched, start at the top of one edge, stitch all the way down, close to the edge, and then do the other side.

AND THAT'S IT! You could do an entire pack of burp cloths in about 30 minutes!

These look so cute all folded up so nice. Come up with some creative packaging and you'll have the best baby shower gift ever!

VARIATION: Covering one side
Same concept, only we're going to cover the back of the cloth completely for a different look.

Measure 2 inches all the way around your burp cloth, cut to fit.

Make sure your lines are STRAIGHT!

Press about 1 inch all the way around.

Take one of your diapers, make and sew a center strip WITHOUT the top overlapping. You can leave that raw because you're going to cover it.

Center the diaper on your backing, fold, press, and pin all the way around.

It really is so much easier to iron as you fold and pin.

Just tuck in the corners and overlap them - nothing fancy here. We're talking spit-up, ladies!

So this is how I did mine - you can do yours any way you want. I started at one corner at the very top, backstitched it in place, stitching close to the edge of the fold, all the way down to the bottom of the next corner, backstitch, and cut the thread.

Start again for each corner. Otherwise, you'll have openings where each corner overlapped and I'm not about to hand-stitch those shut since this is a BURP CLOTH.

Now I hope to see every mom with a few of these!


Mystery Apron Solved

(this cartoon is completely irrelevant to my posting, other than it's funny and I feel like I can relate...)

WHEW - that was a close one. I FINALLY figured out why I received a 2nd "mystery apron" and now I don't have to feel guilty wearing it...and I can finally sleep at night.

Apparently when I sent in my late entry to the "Sassy Apron Swap", I had no idea that I made it in time and was assigned a partner! I never heard from anyone (that email problem I had earlier) and my name never appeared on the swap list, so I figured that I was too late and moved on with my own swap! So there's been this poor girl WAITING for an apron that I have no idea I'm supposed to be sending!

Thank goodness I've got a couple of extra aprons waiting to go to a new home - so I'll get one of those off in the mail on Monday. I love it that nothing can be SIMPLE in my life - there's always something...


WHEW! It's Done!

It's DONE and in the MAIL! Yahoo, baby! And, as you can guess, my favorite part about the apron is the little rhinestone button! Every girl should feel like a bejeweled queen in the kitchen!!!

And my apron comes complete with a matching headband as mentioned before.

If My Life Were a Musical...

Okay, so I'm killing some time here for just a second because I just got done with an awesome workout and I always think of weird, random things while jamming to my tunes. (here's a peek inside my strange brain...)

While sweating and pounding it out, I was thinking, "If my life were a musical, what songs would I pick?" The music would have to be some sort of reflection my life and personality and such.

The musical would have to be short (I can't stand things that drag out), colorful, and have some soft moments here and there.

So, in no particular order, and probably missing a few important songs, here are some that I'd definitely use for my story: (and...there WOULD be a disco ball in my musical)

Theme Song: "What a Feeling" by Ilene Cara - the DJ Bobo mix

"Celebration" - Kool and the Gang
"Good Times" - Chic
"Dancing Queen" - Abba - done by Mix Master Chris
"Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees
"Learning to Fly" - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
"Life is a Highway" - Tom Cochrane
"Flies On the Butter" - Wynonna
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" - Cyndi Lauper
"Small Town Girl" - Kellie Pickler
"Colorful" - Rocco DeLuca & the Burden

and the closing:
"Meyer: Short Trip Home" - Meyer (from Smart Symphonies)

Humor me here - What's YOUR theme song?!

Okay, enough fiddling around. Back to work. I have to get my apron in the mail!!!