# pioneer day banana pudding

Yesterday was Utah’s Pioneer Day—a state-wide holiday celebrating Mormons’ independence and arrival into Salt Lake City after being shunned/banned/forced from their previous home in Illinois.

I mentioned it last year, but this is a BIG. DEAL. around here. Much bigger than, say, our nation’s independence celebration earlier this month, which felt a tad ho-hum in these parts.

Non-LDS folk like us lovingly refer to the day off as “Pie and Beer Day.” It looks like the entire nation is picking up on this, though. At least the Today Show is trying to capitalize on it. #weird

Like last year, we slept through all of our city’s festivities. Well, not really. Joe played a show and I did work at home, but we did sleep in.

And…like last year, we headed over to Chris and Chilali’s place to not only gather with friends, but to also celebrate their house turning the big 1-0-0. Houses totally deserve birthday parties too.

And…like last year, I made my favorite banana pudding for the party, but UNLIKE last year, I remembered to take photos.

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God bless Paula Deen.

Did you know Paula hardly ever used a stand mixer on her show, opting for a hand-held most of the time? When asked about it, she said “I do what I know.” So, of course, I use a hand-held mixer when making her recipes. Do what you know, people.

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Decadent!

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Paula uses Chessmen cookies in hers—which are buttery and delicious and all purty when lined up, but I’m an old fashioned girl at heart and love using Nilla Wafers. It doesn’t really matter what you use though, because the pudding totally steals the entire show.

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This would be equally gorgeous as layers piled high in a trifle dish. You could even pair this pudding with other fruit and pieces of pound cake. #gearsturning

I know I’ve claimed that several desserts are my favorite summer treat (ice cream…yes, lemon mousse….done, anything that doesn’t require an oven….absolutely), but this one wins for nostalgic and southern factors alone.

Here’s the recipe again for those that missed it last time.

Banana Pudding

Paula Deen’s Pioneer Day Banana Pudding

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies (or one box Nilla Wafers)
6 to 8 medium bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding (make sure you don’t grab just one 3.4 oz box!)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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