Monthly Archives: June 2012

Banana Cream Pie, Mmm Mmm Mmm

This has got to be the easiest, most delicious summer dessert ever. My husband isn’t a huge dessert person (especially ones that don’t involve chocolate), but he requests this at least a few times every summer. Plus, it’s a huge hit with my daughter, who asked for “mo nana pie peese” after dinner tonight. (See, it’s so good, it’s inspires full sentences from 21-month-olds!)

Banana Cream Pie

1 package Banana Cream Jell-O Pudding

2 cups milk

2 ripe bananas

1 Nilla Wafer crust

1 tub of Cool Whip

*To make this healthier, I buy the sugar free, fat free pudding mix, use skim milk and buy fat free Cool Whip. I also occasionally make my own Nilla Wafer crust using the reduced fat cookies and light butter.

Add milk to pudding mix and whisk for two minutes. Allow to set in the refrigerator for a few minutes. When the pudding has set, add about two cups of the Cool Whip to the pudding and mix well. Place a layer of sliced bananas on the bottom of the crust, and then top with a layer of the pudding. Alternate bananas and pudding until you reach the top of the crust. Top the entire pie with more Cool Whip, and you’re done!


Great Vintage Furniture Finds

I stumbled upon this amazing web site, Fabulous Finds, while searching for a vintage cabinet/future bathroom vanity (have I mentioned that we’re renovating our master bathroom, finishing our basement, and getting our roof replaced ALL AT ONCE? Oy).

Anyway, Sharon, the site owner, collects vintage and antique furniture pieces that she offers for fantastic prices. She’s based locally in the DC area and holds “open house” barn sales several times a year. You can also make an appointment to check out her stuff in person. A few of my favorites. . .

How great would that giraffe chair look with a bright, glossy coat of red or green paint?! I would snatch it up in a second if I had anywhere to actually use it. And that pale blue dresser would be adorable in a nursery!

If you’re in the market for some vintage pieces to round out your home, definitely pay this site a visit!

My Favorite Summer Side

This bean salad is a huge hit with my family, and it’s just not summertime without it. This dish is packed with fiber, iron, and protein, so you can feel good about your kids asking for seconds—because they will!

Summer Bean Salad

1 can fat free reduced sodium black beans

1 can chickpeas

1 can fat free reduced sodium kidney beans

2 cups shelled edamame (I use the frozen variety)

1 small tomato (you can also use roasted red peppers if you have any), chopped

1 avocado, diced

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 lime

Salt and pepper

Drain and rinse the three canned beans and place them, along with the edamame, in a large bowl. Add the tomato, garlic, olive oil, cilantro, and avocado. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the avocado to help keep it from browning. Mix everything thoroughly, and salt and pepper to taste.

I Survived the Big Bad Dentist

Olivia had her first dentist appointment this week, and I’m happy to report that we survived! Granted, she had a teensy little meltdown when the dentist tried to look at her teeth, but we powered through. If I could sum up the visit in a word, it would be. . . informative. I know, right? Probably not what you were expecting. I know the words running through my mind were more like stressful, traumatizing, awful. . .something along those lines. But I was shocked by just how much I learned. Some interesting tidbits that might help other new parents:

  • The first visit is usually just an exam, no cleaning. You will appreciate this—trust me. And I say usually because it does depend on the age of the child and the condition of the teeth.
  • Beware of thumb sucking. Olivia has sucked her thumb since she was born, but our pediatrician said it wasn’t a cause for concern until she was around 3 or 4 years old. Not so, according to our dentist. Olivia has a vigorous suck reflex, which means her top teeth are already showing signs of malocclusion, meaning her teeth are starting to push outward.  How hard a child sucks her thumb is much more impactful on her dental development than how long she sucks her thumb. Our dentist suggested helping her break the habit immediately. Yay.
  • There are several suggested ways of helping your child break the thumb sucking habit, including Mavala, the bitter liquid you can paint on to stop nail biting and thumb sucking; a ThumbGuard™, which is a plastic apparatus that fits over the thumb so that the child cannot form a suction; and taping the thumb to the hand at night using medical tape. I am sure you can imagine how excited we are to start this fun process.
  • Taking iron supplements, such as ferrous sulfate drops for anemia, can cause teeth to look gray or even black. I expressed some concern over the fact that I thought Olivia’s top two teeth looked a little gray. The dentist immediately asked if she had taken or was currently taking iron and confirmed after the exam that that was the cause. This was news to me since I had asked our pediatrician about this very thing a couple of months ago, and she had no idea what could be the cause. Seems like something they should give parents a heads up about. . .
  • Pay attention to the ingredients in your child’s toothpaste. Some training toothpastes are full of artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives. Given that most kids under age two swallow the toothpaste, you might want to think twice about what they’re ingesting. We use Aquafresh’s Training Toothpaste, which uses natural fruit flavors and no artificial colors or preservatives. Earth’s Best by Jason also makes a great toddler toothpaste that our dentist recommended.
  • Help prepare your child for the dentist by reading to them or even letting them accompany you to a cleaning to see what it’s all about. I blogged about some great children’s books about going to the dentist in this post.
  • Brush your child’s teeth every single day, even if it means you have to pin them down screaming to do it. Okay, so you might not have to go to those extremes, but it’s a necessary evil and one they’re more likely to get used to if you do it every day as part of your normal routine. What’s working for us at the moment is singing the Sesame Street song while we brush.

Overall, the dentist appointment wasn’t as bad as I expected. But I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune in six months when we go back for Olivia’s first cleaning. Dun Dun DUN!