On Sunday, one of Christopher’s football buddies came to church with us and then came to have lunch with us. He’s a great kid. So polite and sweet and funny. Christopher once again spurned my culinary creativity and asked for cheeseburgers and chips. What? Okay. It’s an easy meal and you never know how much these football boys are going to eat. My moose eats a LOT!
I went shopping Saturday for all of the meal components and even got up early Sunday morning to make caramelized onions. Both of my children believe that hamburgers without caramelized onions are inedible. Elizabeth helped me slice three huge Vidalia onions into thin rings and I started to cook them. The way I do it – low and slow – takes almost two hours, but it’s worth it because it really lets those sugars develop. I knew we were in for a treat when slicing the onions didn’t make us cry. That usually means a really sweet onion, which makes for awesome caramelized onions. The slices barely fit into my biggest skillet. Unfortunately that cooked down to less than a cup of caramelized onions. So sad.
The first snafu occurred when I went out to start the grill. No propane. Ugh! Please do not comment with your opinions of propane vs. charcoal. It really didn’t matter because I didn’t have charcoal either!
I went to Plan B, which was smoking the patties in Michael’s electric smoker. After some difficulty in getting it heated (I’ve never done it when he wasn’t around to fix my errors), I finally got the burger patties cooked. This actually turned out to be a great Plan B because the burgers were delicious!
After lunch, the boys settled in to play football on XBox rather than to watch a real live game on t.v. Michael had some work to do on a project. Elizabeth settled in to annoy the boys – just her brother. His friend wasn’t annoyed. He has LOTS of siblings, so I think our house was a welcomed quiet spot for him.
I had made dessert while the onions were cooking, so I sliced it and served it. It is something new I came up with, and it was a BIG hit!
Remember the banana pudding recipe I posted a few weeks ago? I just made a chocolate version. Instead of vanilla wafers, I used Oreos. Instead of vanilla pudding, I used chocolate. I left out the bananas. And I added crushed toffee bars to the pudding mixture and to the top. I served it to the kids in the living room. It was well-received by my family of chocoholics. Christopher’s friend loved it, too. He’s the only one of the kids who actually got up and took his plate to the sink.
I love him.
My own children finished their desserts and had to be reminded to put their plates in the kitchen. Three times.
But I digress.
If you’re a chocolate lover, this may become your new go-to recipe. It makes a lot, too, so it would be great to take somewhere!
Chocolate Crunch Pudding
- 2 3.4-ounce boxes of chocolate fudge instant pudding
- 2 1/2 cups of milk
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
- 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12-ounce tub of Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 bag of Oreos (or other cream-filled chocolate cookie)
- 2 bags of Heath bits
Line a 13X9 baking dish with Oreos. Set aside.
Combine the cream cheese and condensed milk using a whisk or hand mixer. In a quart-sized jar, combine the milk and pudding mix, screw on the lid tightly and shake for 2 minutes. Add the pudding to the cream cheese mixture. Stir in a bag of Heath bits. Fold in the Cool Whip.
Pour over the Oreos, being careful not to move them. Spread evenly. Top with the second bag of Heath bits.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Well Duh #1: You can just use plain instant chocolate pudding if you can’t find chocolate fudge.
Well Duh #2: The longer you refrigerate this, the softer the cookies will become. We didn’t let them get very soft! I imagine it would be wonderful with even softer cookies!
Well Duh #3: You could top the Oreos with sliced strawberries, but ONLY if they are really sweet. There are certain times of the year when strawberries are a little too tart. That would ruin this dessert.
Well Duh #4: You could top the Oreos with cherry pie filling, creating sort of a Black Forest kind of thing. That’s on my list for next time!
Well Duh #5: If you don’t have a quart jar to shake the pudding mix and milk in, just combine them in a bowl and whisk for about two minutes. Same thing.
Christopher’s friend went with him to choir practice and then to life group. When Michael went to pick them up and to take the friend home, I sent him a couple more burgers for the road. We really enjoyed his visit. At the table at lunch, Christopher said, “Next time you come, we’ll watch Rudy.” (Rudy is an all-time favorite movie in this household.) His friend looked up from the huge burgers I had made to his specifications, smiled, and said, “When can I come back? Because I could get used to this!”
That’s the best compliment a visitor could ever pay us!