Birthday Pie

I think I've mentioned my childhood neighbor, Mrs. B, before... she was my inspiration to start entering cooking contests.

When I was a kid I remember being her guinea pig and taste testing different versions of the same recipe and I would have to give my opinion in detail as to why I preferred one over the other. She is an awesome cook. She won contests all the time and back then the prizes were stoves and refrigerators so her garage was literally full of new appliances. She put ads in the paper, sold them and used the money to go on exotic vacations. She's a character. 81 years old and going strong.

Anyway, I didn't really like birthday cake as a kid. What a really wanted each year was a Mrs. B's coconut cream pie. It was the bomb. So she'd make me that each year and I'd get a meatball pizza from Brother's Four. Sheer kid heaven.

(left to right) Mrs. B., my Dad, and me (9 years old) licking the candles stuck in my Coconut Cream Birthday Pie

The other day I had this incredible craving for coconut cream pie... alas Jello does not make a SF coconut cream version. I decided to make my own. This rocks! Not quite Mrs. B's pie but a pretty good alternative.

Shelly's Coconut Cream Pie Pudding

1 Vanilla Sugar-Free Pudding Cup
1 teaspoon Sugar-Free Coconut Torani Syrup
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Coconut, toasted

Toast unsweetened coconut (available at health food stores, organic markets or online) on a cookie sheet in a 350 oven for a few minutes till golden stirring every minute or so. Set aside to cool. Store cooled, extra coconut in a Tupperware. Unsweetened coconut tastes so much better and waaaaay more coco-nutty then that sweetened shredded stuff we are used to.

Mix SF syrup and toasted coconut into a pudding cup. Empty into a glass parfait dish and sprinkle with additional toasted coconut. I sometimes sprinkle a few walnuts on top. If you want to be really good you could throw a spoon of vanilla protein powder in.

Voila. An easy, super yummy (and for me nostalgic) weight loss surgery friendly dessert.