Dirt Pudding

Dirt Pudding

Happy Monday, everyone!

If your weekend weather was as nice as it was here in Madison, then I hope you were able to get out and enjoy it! I was able to be outside quite a bit (my pink red face is proof of that!). To start it off, I had the fun opportunity of helping out at a kids road race on the UW campus bright and early on Saturday morning. A couple things about this:

1) I’ve never been on the set-up/tear-down side of a race before. Whew! Even for a small kids race, it was quite the production! I have so much more appreciation now for all the work that goes into just the day-of work, not to mention all the planning beforehand that goes into races.

2) It was so cute to see the kids all decked out in their running “outfits” and their pure, genuine excitement for the race. They may have been cute, but these kids were definitely legit! I think they’d give me a run for my money.

Philip and I spent the rest of the day together, mostly outside of our home…which is my excuse for not noticing this change in our dining room wall art until well into the evening.

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Lettuce…Turnip…the Beet. Get it? For some reason (maybe it has to do with my love for food and nutrition), but this phrase just makes me smile and I’ve been obsessed over it for quite awhile.

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Months ago I talked about wanting a t-shirt made with this saying on it (which my sister-in-law has graciously volunteered to do!), but had no idea my sneaky husband was planning on doing this the whole time. None. Zilch. Nada. He never ceases to surprise me!

I previously had these up on the walls, which I also really loved. Philip somehow took these, did a little Photoshopping magic, and turned them into something any dietitian would want to have in her kitchen. The colors match our kitchen perfectly and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out. Didn’t he do an awesome job, you guys?!

I’m keeping things balanced here on RD in the Midwest and giving you a perfect, summery dessert today to go along with the “health” foods I’ve posted recently.  A family member, not to mention any names, (cough my father-in-law cough) suggested that I should keep the desserts coming (and maybe implied having a few less “health foods”). :)

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I’ll be honest, most of you seem to agree and like my dessert posts. I love me my desserts, too, just in moderation (to find out more about the core of my blog, check out my 5 guidelines). I’ll keep trying to, shall we say, stretch you a little bit from what you’d normally try (Roasted Beet and Farro Salad anyone?), but just when you think I’ve gone a little overboard, I’ll always bring in some old favorites and, of course, desserts to balance everything out—gotta keep the father-in-law happy, right? ;)

And today, my dessert-loving friends, is a happy day for you all! It’s a classic. It’s delicious. It’s Midwest through and through. And it’s perfect for summer. Dirt Pudding is a childhood favorite of mine and I can’t let summer slip by without making it. It’s so perfect for summer because it doesn’t use any heat. No stovetop. No oven. Not even a grill. It’s simple to whip together and perfect for a picnic or potluck, which was my original intent for this pudding.

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Our church has bi-weekly picnics that are so much fun. Over the years in all of my picnic-going, I’ve learned foods with color-appeal or old favorites are going to be your real winners. My mom was notorious for trying new things at potlucks…only to be left with all of it but the scoop she took herself at the potluck. People eat with their eyes or go for something they’re familiar with—Dirt Pudding is definitely something people recognize and, even if they don’t, once they see the crushed Oreos, they’re going to want to try it.

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If you liked my Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies, then you’ll love this pudding. It’s those cookies, in pudding form. It’s essentially cookies n’ cream pudding…only better. It’s fluffy, creamy, and, dare I say, dreamy. I purposely didn’t use a food processor to grind up the Oreos because I like the bigger bits throughout the pudding. If you prefer finer crumbs, then a food processor would be perfect. In terms of time, though, I don’t think the food processor saves you much. Plus, the rolling pin allows you to release any built up aggression. :)

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Just to make it a tinge healthier (since I can’t leave well enough alone), I did what most health-conscious people would probably do anyway—I used reduced-fat cream cheese (sometimes seen as Neufchatel…the word nobody can pronounce) and light Cool Whip. My only recommendation: Don’t go for fat-free versions of foods. The ingredient list only gets longer and weirder and something has to be added in to replace all that fat…usually sugar. I mean, really, does anybody want to eat cheese with no fat?

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So if you’re looking for a recipe easy enough for the kids to help you with, something to take to a party, or just want a cool and refreshing dessert to have around for a little something sweet, you better get working on this Dirt Pudding. It’s fun to divide the pudding into individual dessert cups for dinner parties like I did for these pictures, or just put it all in a big bowl for when you’re headed to your next potluck. Don’t be expecting to bring any home—this is not a courtesy-scoop kind of item. :)

Dirt Pudding

Serves a crowd

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-oz) pkg reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 (3.4-oz) pkgs vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 (8-oz) container Lite Cool Whip
  • 1 (14.3 oz) pkg Oreos

Directions:

  1. Beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add the butter and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and pudding together.
  3. Add the pudding mixture to the cream cheese mixture; beat until smooth.
  4. Fold in the Cool Whip until combined.
  5. Place all Oreos in a gallon-sized ZipLoc freezer bag and crush to desired crumbs with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Alternatively, place Oreos in a food processor and pulse.
  6. Reserve 1 cup of the cookie crumbs for the topping. Stir the rest of the cookie crumbs into the pudding mixture. Sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbs on top and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

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