Banana-Fudge Pudding Pops

I am paying homage to one of my favorite treats off the ice cream truck: The Fudge Bomb Pop. I have not seen it anywhere for a long time, though it still shows up on the bomb pop’s website. I took a recipe for homemade pudding pops and adapted it to fit my craving for this yummy treat! If you have not had one before, it’s basically a fudgesicle with a creamy banana flavored layer.

This comes together so easily and you’ll be able to make any flavor combinations you like! All you need is instant pudding mix, milk, and Cool Whip…plus either a popsicle mold or small cups and popsicle sticks. My popsicle mold is junk (note to self: get new one.) because the pops barely make it out of the molds alive. Usually the stick pops out leaving the treat stuck in the mold, unless I run it under water melting the whole thing! All I had on hand were 5 oz. paper cups and plastic spoons so that’s what I used. My pudding pop above would have been a whole lot prettier had the molds behaved. Oh well…who cares how it looks? It’s yummy regardless. Make some and see for yourself!

Banana Fudge Pudding Pops (adapted from Kraft’s Pudding Pops)
1 package (3-4 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding Mix
1 package (3-4 oz.) JELL-O Banana Cream Instant Pudding Mix
4 cups milk (I wouldn’t use skim milk for this…I used 1%, but 2% is fine also)
1-2 cups* Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping (see note)

*Note: If you want a more flavorful pop, use 1/2 cup Cool Whip per flavor. If you want a creamier pop, use 1 cup Cool Whip per flavor. I used 1 cup per flavor because I miss JELL-O pudding pops and love the creamier texture, but I know I missed out on a little bit of the banana and fudge flavor because of this!

Get two medium sized bowls. In one bowl, add the chocolate fudge pudding mix and 2 cups milk. Whisk together until well combined. In another bowl, add the banana cream pudding mix and 2 cups milk. Whisk together until well combined. To each flavor, add in either 1/2 cup or 1 cup Cool Whip. (See note above.) Stir each to combine so you don’t see any white streaks from the Cool Whip. Spoon into your popsicle molds or cups, but alternate the flavors to make layers. I used two different spoons for this. Put your sticks, plastic spoons, or the other part of your mold in the pops and freeze for about 5 hours. (To remove, you might have to run a little warm water on the outside of your cup or mold to get it out.) Enjoy!

So, did you like the Fudge Bomb Pop, too? What was/is your favorite treat off the ice cream truck? (I sometimes would deviate and get the Screwball…)

Zipper Ring Tutorial

I love big statement rings, especially ones you can make yourself. This zipper ring is so easy to make and I think it came out great. You need very little supplies and you don’t need to know how to make jewelry. Give it a try!

The only materials you need are:
A ring base (I found a pack of them at Jo-Ann Stores)
A small piece of black felt
A 9″ metal zipper. (You’ll get 2 rings from the zipper, so if you have a second ring base you can make 2!) I used a black, all purpose one with silver teeth that I found at Jo-Ann’s as well. It had a little sticker on it that said “coats”.

You will also need scissors and a glue gun.

The first step to making this ring is to unzip the zipper and cut off the bottom with your scissors to separate the two pieces.

Now trim off the fabric as close to the metal zipper as possible.

You may need to snip even closer a second time once you remove the fabric. Hold one end of the zipper with one hand and take your other hand and pull down from top to bottom to remove any frays. Start coiling the zipper, making sure the beginning is nice and tight.

As you coil the rest, hold the coil flat with your thumb and forefinger. As you coil, keep it close with some tension, but not as tight as when you began. If it’s too tight, the coil will not stay flat.

Once you get to the last row, apply a thin line of glue with your glue gun to the last 1/2 inch. Make sure you don’t glop it on or it will show and be hard to get off the zipper teeth. If your coil keeps coming apart at this step, you can glue at intervals but make sure you only use thin glue applications that won’t show. Sorry that pic is so blurry!

When your zipper coil is finished, cut out a circle from the felt that is a little smaller than the coil. Glue the felt onto the underside of your zipper coil with your glue gun. Now glue it to your ring base and you are finished!

See how easy that was? You can totally do this.

Any questions, please feel free to ask!

BBQ Meatloaf Muffins

These little meatloaves are so moist and packed with barbecue flavor that I’m sure you’re going to love them! Baking them up in a muffin tin makes this meal come together quickly – perfect for those weekday dinners when you don’t have a lot of time. This recipe was inspired by one I found by Rachael Ray. When I went to make these last year, I was missing some of the ingredients so I had to wing it. I think these came out tastier and have been making them this way ever since! I am not even a fan of meatloaf (unless I get an end piece, bacon is involved, and use a lot of ketchup) and hubby normally hates meatloaf — but we loves these!

You need two bowls: a large one for the meat mixture and a medium one to make the sauce. Combine the meatloaf ingredients in the large bowl, mix the sauce ingredients in the smaller bowl, and then mix in HALF the sauce to the meat mixture. Fill your muffin tins and spoon the rest of the sauce over the meatloaf muffins.

Bake and enjoy!

BBQ Meatloaf Muffins
1 1/4 lbs. ground beef
1/2 of a large, sweet onion (like Vidalia), chopped
2 tablespoons BBQ seasoning (like McCormick Grill Mates)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
Splash of milk (about 1/4 cup)
3 handfuls of plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mild picante sauce

(Preheat oven to 400 degrees)
1. Mix together the beef, chopped onion, BBQ seasoning, salt, pepper, egg, milk, and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Using your hands work best!
2. In a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and picante sauce.
3. Mix in half of the sauce with the meat mixture, reserving the rest of the sauce. Combine well, but do not over-mix.
4. Grease the cups of your muffin tin with a little olive oil or spray lightly with cooking spray. Distribute the meatloaf mixture evenly among the muffin cups, and then spoon the reserved sauce over each muffin. (You may have a little sauce leftover…)
5.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.

Note: I get 12 meatloaf muffins when I fill the muffin tin. The meat doesn’t come up past the top of the “cup”. The sauce will bubble a little while the meatloaves are baking so if you fill them higher it might get messy in there. If you happen to have a little more meat than 1 1/4 lbs., just use a second muffin tin for the extra ones.