Thursday, September 16, 2010

Banana Caramel Pie

Boy, have we been busy! Is busy the right word? I just know that I've been working a lot this past week and Hector has jumped right back into Young Life, full swing.

Let's see... I worked last Monday and Tuesday, then Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then crazily picked up a fourth shift on Monday. In the NNICU, we have really busy summers.. Not sure why, but babies tend to be born sicker and earlier in the summer time. All those babies conceived in the cold winter months...that, plus often little-to-no prenatal care--just tend to be born too early in the summer months. (And as this is my first year and summer in the NNICU, this is hearsay, not experience I'm writing about.) However, this summer we have been particularly slow... Having around 60 babies at any given time. Well, summer came late for us this year. Within the last few weeks, our baby population has grown well into the 90s. This leaves our unit short on nurses every night...which leaves us nurses opportunities to pick up extra shifts, above our commitment. That said, four shifts in a row darn near killed me. I'm assuming it's because I'm pregnant and very tired all the time, because I asked some nurse friends before I signed up for it.. They all said, "Oh, yeah, the fourth night is just like whatever."

So, I've had two glorious nights off and I'm going back in tonight, then off for three. :)

Signing up for that fourth shift on Monday resulted in me missing the first night of Club with Young Life here. I was really excited to go... Young Life is Hector's life--I really wanted to see him in his element. And we're new here this year, so I'm excited to see him grow with the other leaders and mostly, the kids here. I know God has something wonderful in store for him here.

We needed to cook some good food and hang out together, so we decided on Chicken Tortilla Soup. I didn't take pictures of the making of this meal, but it was incredibly easy and 10x as delicious. From start to finish it took about 1 hour. So worth it! Try it, I'm serious! Chicken Tortilla Soup

Earlier in the day, we crafted Hector's favorite dessert - Banana Caramel Pie. I don't remember, but I believe this is a Pampered Chef recipe from my Mom.

Here are the ingredients:
1 deep dish pie crust in foil pan (usually Pillsbury, in your grocer's freezer)
*24 caramel candies, unwrapped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
2 medium bananas
1 package (5.1 oz) vanilla instant pudding
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 package (8 oz) cool whip

*May substitute a jar of caramel topping for the caramel candies.

Bake the pie crust according to the instructions on the package (around 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes). Make sure you prick the dough with a fork before baking.

Place caramel and 2 T milk in a microwavable dish. Microwave covered on high for 1.5-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until candies are smoothly melted. Pour the caramel over the crust, save 2 T for drizzling on top later.

Set aside 2 T of pecans, sprinkle the rest over the caramel. Slice 1 1/2 bananas and arrange over pecans. (Refrigerate the remaining banana to garnish with later.)

Combine the remaining 1 cup of milk, pudding mix and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Fold in half of the cool whip.

Spread over the bananas, pecans and caramel. Dollop or spread the rest of the cool whip on top of pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Just before serving, slice the remaining banana and arrange on top. Drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with pecans. Taa-daaaa!
Perfection, every time!

So, it was a perfect Date Night for us last night. :) We topped it all off with laying very still on the couch and feeling the baby move. It's such a wonderful feeling! I'm so glad Hector can feel him kicking too... I think it makes it all the more real for him. :) I feel our son moving a lot nowadays. Especially early in the morning, when I'm still and quiet. I love it! Tomorrow, we'll be 23 weeks. Can you believe it? I can't... I swear we just found out yesterday.

I had a really cute idea for his initials to hang in his nursery... So we bought the stuff yesterday. We've already had to totally change it once.. because I didn't think it all the way through. But, I think it is still going to be super cute. I'll post pictures as soon as it's finished!

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