Banana Cream Pie Bars

 

I never thought I would be addicted to anything as much as I’m addicted to my bubblegum chapstick in this moment in time.

Now that my lips have been charred a permanent fire-engine red from the sun, I have been slapping this on like clockwork.

Yesterday my adorable boyfriend and I went to Santa Cruz for the day.

There were lots of pictures taken, memories made, laughs laughed, yada yada. Okay, how am I supposed to not be totally pissed that he managed to escape the day with a mere pink nose and I came home looking more like a lobster than the former Hayley who left the house pale as a ghost?

I made an effort–like I do everyday, to preserve my milky white skin–to slather on as much SPF before leaving the house as humanly possible.

I’m one of those obsessive freaks who buys the SPF 100+ to ensure I’m as white as possible all year round. And because hello, obviously the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 100 is going to be great.

Okay, so I read awhile ago there’s a negligible difference. Whatever.

It’s a mental thing, alright?

So anyways. I thoroughly coated myself, prepared for the sunny day ahead, while my boyfriend took the “well I applied SPF last week, so it still counts, right?” approach and didn’t bother.

And I got burned.

Seriously?

This is why I don’t go outside. The sun hates me and I’m allergic to its devilishly ironic ways of operation.

Despite having an amazing day checking out different beaches, eating an AWESOME lunch at Burger, and exploring tidepools with our Nikons, I was totally pooped when I came home.

And in the 10 hours between getting home, sleeping and waking up, my pink skin seemingly morphed into sea creature territory.

It’s awful.

The sun has a way of seriously sucking the life out of you, leaving you a soulless, exhausted zombie that’s been burnt to a crisp.

I’m 100% sure I could be a human slip-n-slide with how seriously shellacked my skin is, slick with after-sun lotion and a heaping dose of aloe vera.

I’m shiny, people.

As if being ridiculously red weren’t bad enough, I look like a Guido with how freakin’ glistening I am.

And have you ever noticed, getting mad when you’re sun-burned is a feat in itself? Actually, scratch that–doing anything when you’re burned is a challenge. Like walking your dog, because moving your stiffened legs is like learning to walk again; or asking your boyfriend to get you an iced venti unsweetened, no water black tea from Starbucks because you don’t want them seeing Rudolph on his day off, what with your freakishly red shnauz.

I feel like the Heat Meiser. Every move I make is amplified by the intense burning sensation touching every square inch of my body.

I really don’t know any other words to describe this burn except ‘ouch.’

I mean, as I’m writing this, my head is half-way inside the freezer. And all my bags of frozen peas (which are none, because my family hates peas so I’m using a bag of frozen coconut) have defrosted on top of my flaming legs.

Jessie even told me he could toast a marshmallow on my legs. Guess that solves the whole BBQ being out-of-commission issue in my household. I’d wager I could fit about 4 patties per leg, what do you think?

It just makes me think the sun is so overrated. I mean, frolicking around outside seems fun until you actually do it. Then you’re sweating, you have to squint because it’s too damn bright, you get a headache from the exhausting heat, and even doing simple tasks like blinking seem like manual labor done against gunpoint.

NOT. WORTH IT.

And while the beach was fun, the weather was gorgeous and the day trip with Jessie was everything I could have asked for, I’m going to use my sun allergy excuse for awhile, at least until I turn back to my natural Casper-white legs and can invest in some kind of sun-repelling hazmat suit to wear outside to protect myself from the grueling heat.

Also, I think making and eating an entire pan of these banana cream pie bars will be a good option in keeping me indoors and protecting me from the heat.

They’re also cold, which helps with the whole I’m-melting thing.

Whether or not you’re burned (and god I hope you aren’t, fellow lobsters) you should make these. They’re chilly, refreshing, and perfect for a hot summer day… or a (hot) summer day–only because you prefer not to know the temp outside and would rather hole yourself up inside your air conditioned household while watching America’s Next Top Model reruns.

It’s really hard living with sun allergies, isn’t it?

Banana Cream Pie Bars *adapted from Stephanie Ashcraft’s 101 Things to do with a Cake Mix book

1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
2 small boxes sugar free/fat free banana instant pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
2 medium bananas, thinly sliced
1 tub fat-free or low-fat Cool Whip topping, thawed

1. For Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, melted butter and the egg with a spoon until completely incorporated, forming a soft dough. Gently press dough into the greased pan and bake, approximately 14-18 minutes or until lightly golden. Use a spoon to pat out the air bubbles, if any, to form a flatter crust. Let cool completely.
2. For Filling: Once crust has cooled, top the crust with the sliced bananas in an even layer. In a large bowl and using a wire whisk, whisk together the 2 boxes banana cream pudding mix and the 3 cups cold milk together for about 2 minutes. Evenly pour mixture on top of bananas and crust and spread to cover completely. Chill in fridge for about 3-4 hours or until banana cream mixture is firm. Top with thawed whipped topping. Store covered in fridge.

I cannot get over how good this is.

Light, refreshing and so reminiscent of banana cream pie.

And I am IN LOVE with the crust. Cake-y, chewy, soft and absolutely delicious. Genius.

With a minimal bake time (so your house won’t heat up from the oven being on!) and lots of yummy banana flavor, these bars will transport you from your sun-burned, exiled to the couch status to a tropical, shady island resort… or something like that.

Happy Eating!

xo, Hayley

 

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