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I usually give up sweets for Lent, the period of roughly 40 days and nights leading up to Easter when Jesus was tempted while he was fasting in the desert. I like all sorts of sweet things and giving them up for over 6 weeks is not an easy task. In the tradition of most European cultures, not just here where I am in Germany, the Lenten season is ushered in by lots of indulging before the fasting begins. This time of the year, just prior to the beginning of Lent, is referred to here as Karneval and is even considered by some to be the 5th season. There has been a lot of partying going on here this past week, in and around the city of Cologne and it is all Karneval related. People have been dressing up in elaborate costumes, dancing, singing, eating a lot of festive foods and of course drinking lots of beer! Karneval is taken very seriously here and is an important time of the year for most people living in this part of Germany.

Here are a few of the the tasty things I made this past weekend to celebrate Karneval and to satisfy my sweet tooth before the start of Lent. I decided to make two cream pies, banana cream and chocolate cream and of course lots of whipped cream for the top! Since these pies call for only egg yolks in the custard I had a lot of egg whites left over. My favorite quiche recipe uses mostly egg whites so I opted to make this crustless quiche for dinner and it was certainly a delicious byproduct of our dessert indulgence this past weekend!

Banana Cream Pie recipe* via Cooking for Seven

Banana Cream Pie

*The Pie Crust I used for both recipes is here

Chocolate Cream Pie recipe* via Cooking for Seven

Chocolate Cream Pie

*I used 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate and only 1 cup of sugar

Broccoli and Cheese Crustless Quiche recipe via Vegetarian Times

Broccoli and Cheese Crustless Quiche