Fancy Bread Pudding

In the realm of versatile desserts, bread pudding takes the cake. (Do you see what I did there?)  Its main purpose is usually to serve as a dessert, but it could also just as easily be a breakfast or bunch menu item. Its sweet, but not too sweet. I mean, it’s practically french toast, if you think about it.

See what I mean? Versatile.

Bread pudding

Bread pudding

I have a secret to tell. Before today, I’ve never had bread pudding. I know. It’s a disgraceful secret. You can probably blame my parents for that one. But no more do I have to live a life of bread pudding lies.

The inspiration to make this recipe came from a super lazy weekend watching episode after episode of the Food Network on my super cozy couch. One episode was Ina Garten making…wait for it… bread pudding. This episode was inspiring enough to get my lazy butt off  the couch and to the store. THAT’S how delicious this looked.

Panettone

Panettone

The key to this recipe is the bread. You can really use any loaf of bread, but this recipe called for Panettone. Never heard of it? You know around the holidays when the grocery stores stack weird yellow boxes all around the bakery area? And you’re all like “What’s with all of this boxed bread? Who buys that?” THAT’S Panettone! And actually, it’s considered cake. And it’s delicious. It’s like a slightly sweet raisin cake.

On another note completely unrelated to decribing what Panettone tastes like, I have a behind the “food-blogging scenes” picture to share with you.

My helper

My helper

That’s Senna. She was helping me out.

Sorry, back to bread pudding.

You can serve this with caramel sauce, or if you really wanted to impress, a whiskey caramel sauce. Or you could serve it a dab of fresh whipped cream. Or what the hell, even ice cream. The options are practically endless.

Panettone Bread Pudding

Panettone Bread Pudding

This is how it should look when it comes out of the oven. Or something like this. There’s really no judgement here.

If you wanted to get really fancy, you could toss some chopped pecans on top before you bake it.

Enjoy and Happy Bread Pudding-ing

Fancy Bread Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 box of Panettone (original flavor)
  • Butter for greasing
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 5 cups half & half
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp Almond extract
  • ½ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut the loaf of bread into 1 inch cubes and spread on a cookie sheet and toast or 10 minutes
  3. While the bread is toasting, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half and half and both extracts
  4. Once the bread is toasted, place cubes in a greased baking dish (I used a 9x12) and pour the custard mix over the bread. Allow bread to soak for 10 minutes
  5. Place the baking dish full of pudding inside of another dish, then pour hot tap water in the outer dish. For this I used a cookie sheet with higher lips or this step. The water needs to be halfway up the pudding dish.
  6. Tent both dishes with aluminum foil (make sure the foil doesn't touch the pudding) and poke a few holes in it. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake or 40 more minutes. The pudding will be golden brown and slightly jiggly when done.
Notes
Don't freak out about the water step. I didn't have a bigger baking dish to put my pudding dish inside of. A cookie sheet with lips worked just fine. Full disclaimer, I did get water everywhere.

 

99 Excuses

You guys. It’s been SO long. And guess what? I have 99 reasons why I haven’t blogged in 6 months. They range from WE BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE to I stubbed my toe. All excuses are true, but unfortunately they are just that. Excuses. Speaking of the new house, do you want to see a picture of it? Ok good, ’cause here it is.

New house

New house

I like to think of it as “a diamond in the rough.” It’s little gem that may or may not need a bit of polishing. And some landscaping. And some gutters.  Here are some fun facts about our new house:

  • It has 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
  • It’s 10 miles from my work and 4 miles from Chris’s
  • The neighborhood is about 40 years old and it’s quiet and quaint and perfect
  • And the best for last…. It has 4 peach trees, 1 blooming pear tree, 1 nectarine tree and 2 figs!!!

Here’s a shot of the inside

Inside house

Inside house

That’s Tipsey, mid-yawn. She probably just woke up from a nap.

This is a picture of our living area. It’s got a TON of natural sunlight, which makes for PERFECT food photography. In fact, we’ve got a lot of natural sunlight in pretty much the entire house. We’ve also done a lot of work to it since we made the purchase. And when I say we’ve done a ton of work, I mean Chris has done a ton of work. A few things include ripping out the wet bar and turning it into an entertainment center, installing a dishwasher and an above-stove microwave, building a motorized gate for the driveway, painting and then more painting. Because before we painted it looked like this.

Swamp Water Green

Swamp Water Green

I didn’t love this color because it reminded me too much of boogers. Oh, and we found the old paint cans in the garage. The name of the paint color was “Swamp Water Green.” I kid you not; I couldn’t make that up. Who paints their house Swamp Water Green? I did the majority of the painting with some help from a few kind folks (thanks mom and dad!) It took approximately 1.75 years. Or maybe it was 3 weeks. I can’t remember.

Currently, we Chris is knee deep in project “install a bathtub.” Because for some reason our house didn’t have one. Weird.

And just in case you were curious about some of my other excuses as to why I haven’t blogged in 6 months, here’s a sneak peek at just a few:

  • We bought a house, moved and unpacked. For months.
  • A squirrel ate ALL of my pears. I was devastated and it took several weeks for me to get over this event.
  • I cut all of my hair off. This was also very devastating
  • My laptop’s hard drive crashed
  • We had a housewarming party
  • I lost misplaced my memory card for my camera in the move (SHHH don’t tell Chris!)
  • I painted the house. And painted. And painted more. And then I was done… but I wasn’t really done.
  • Our good friends also bought a house… with a pool.
  • I went on a trip to see my best friend in Colorado
  • Chris raced motorcycles and I watched. He’s fast. It scares me.
Chris, at his race in Hallet, OK

Chris, at his race in Hallet, OK

I promise to blog more. I’ve got some GREAT recipes coming up and I’m super excited to eat share them with you! Stay tuned!

xo

Mo

 

Simple Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Hello again.

Are you a breakfast lover? I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned this, but I LOVE breakfast. It’s my second favorite thing in the world. I could eat breakfast foods all day long. Breakfast for dinner? Best invention ever.

My first favorite thing in the world is sugar. So this breakfast combo is like gold in my house.

No, those little black things on the cinnamon rolls are not bugs. They are raisins, thank you very much. Because I like-ish raisins in my cinnamon rolls. And pecans too. And Sugar. SUGAR! SSSSUUGGAARRRR!!!!

Maybe I should lay off a tad on the sugar. They say it’s bad for you.

But who is “they” anyway? And what do they know? That’s my two cents.

Cinnamon rolls 2

Cinnamon rolls 2

Here’s another picture. You can’t see any of the bugs raisins in this picture.

These babies are so moist (a friend told me I can’t use the word moist anymore because 90% percent of the population hates that word. I don’t know why) not dry. Ugh, that’s a terrible synonym for moist.

Sorry for the rant, back to the cinnamon rolls. These guys take a little time to come together, but it’s worth it. I took them to a party on New Years Eve and they were a hit. Then I made them again the next day, because I can, and ended up having waaaaaay too many cinnamon rolls. Wait! What? Too many cinnamon rolls? There’s no such thing!

Simple Cinnamon Rolls
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 12-15
Ingredients
  • 2 c milk
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 4½ c all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • ½ c butter
  • 1 c cinnamon sugar mix
  • ½ c chopped pecans
  • ½ c raisins
  • FOR THE ICING
  • 1 lb powdered sugar (1/2 bag)
  • ¼ c milk
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs strong coffee
Instructions
  1. Heat milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a sauce pan on the stove. Don't bring to a boil. once warm, and the sugar is dissolved, pour in to a mixing bowl and allow to cool to luke warm. Once luke warm add the package of yeast. Let sit for a minute.
  2. Add 4 cups of the flour and mix until combined. Cover w/ a dish rag and place in a warm area (I put it in my microwave) for an hour.
  3. After an hour add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and ½ c flour. Combine.
  4. Divide the dough in to two balls and roll one of the balls out on the flowered surface (I rolled out two 10" x 17" rectangles)
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  6. Melt the butter and pour half of it (1/4 c) on to the dough. Spread around evenly with your fingertips. Evenly sprinkle on half of the cinnamon sugar mixture (1/2 c) ¼ c of the chopped pecans and ¼ c of the raisins
  7. Roll the dough lengthwise until you've got one long, skinny cinnamon roll log.
  8. Cut log in to 1½" thick slices and place in a buttered baking pan. Leave a little room between each roll so they can properly rise. (Repeat steps w/ second ball of dough)
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven until just starting to turn golden
  10. FOR THE ICING
  11. Combine powdered sugar, milk, butter and coffee in a bowl and combine. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls

 

Lindsay’s Handbag Chicken

Lindsay's Handbag chicken

Lindsay’s Handbag chicken

Happy New Year! I’m only a few days late. Are you resolutioning? Because if you are, this is the perfect recipe for you.

If you are not, this is still the perfect recipe for you. Because it’s delicious.

I can’t take credit for this recipe, obviously, it’s titled Lindsay’s handbag chicken. Lindsay is an old co-worker and friend of mine. We try to get together about once a month to gossip about work and the Bachelor. Last time she hosted dinner, she made this dish. It’s called handbag chicken because she really loves handbags  you literally cook the chicken in a little foil bag. Which looks like a handbag. Sort of.

The recipe is perfect for a fast and healthy week night dinner, or to serve to guests. You can jazz it up with some shaved Parmesan cheese and a side of whole wheat pasta (which is how Lindsay served it) or you can leave off the carbs and enjoy a nice, healthy, protein rich dinner. I prefer the extra cheese and carbs, however.

And because I’m such a nice, generous person, I’ve decided to include step-by-step photos.

Chicken step 1

Chicken step 1

This is step one. Okay, it’s actually like step 3, but I didn’t feel like taking pictures of chopping vegetables. So, once you’ve chopped your vegetables and preheated you oven to 375 degrees, you lay down a piece on foil on a cookie sheet and drizzle some olive oil on top.

Chicken step 2

Chicken step 2

Step two- Lay the chicken down on top of the olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. Or whatever seasoning you like. Garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper are great ideas! Pretty easy, huh?

 

Chicken step 3

Chicken step 3

Now on to step three. Slather that baby in pesto. You can use store bought, or if you’re feeling really motivated, you can make your own. I have a recipe for that too.

Chicken step 4

Chicken step 4

Step four-  pile on the veggies. You can literally use any vegetables you want. Lindsay served hers with zucchini and tomatoes. I went ahead and added yellow squash. You could do bell peppers, onions, jalapenos… Whatever your healthy heart desires.

Chicken step 5

Chicken step 5

Ok so step 5 is a little out of order. Repeat steps 1-4 three more times then you’ve got this picture. Just fold everything up in the foil. This is the handbag. Lindsay’s handbags were way cuter.

Then step 6 is to place the handbags in a 375 degree oven and wait 20 minutes. In the meantime, feel free to let out the barking dogs, paint your nails, or guzzle down a glass of wine. Or all 3.

I didn’t take a picture of this step, because this step is booooring.

And here’s the final product!

Chicken final

Chicken final

Alright, I know this step looks a lot like step 4. But it’s not, I promise you. This is a picture of fully cooked pesto chicken and perfectly steamed veggies.

Was that easy or what? This also packages really well to take for lunches during the week. If you take your lunch, that is.

Lindsay's Handbag Chicken
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ½ cup pesto (store bought or homemade)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lay out 4 pieces of foil, drizzle 1 tbs of olive oil on each piece. The foil should be roughly 14" long
  3. Place one chicken breast on each piece of oil and season with salt and pepper (or whatever seasoning you'd like to use)
  4. Top each chicken breast with 2 tbs of pesto then pile on the sliced vegetables
  5. Wrap up into a "handbag" and cook in the oven 20-25 minutes (if your chicken breasts are bigger, they'll need to cook longer)

 

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

Hi. It’s been a while, I know. Don’t be mad at me, please? I have a really good excuse. Are you ready? I lost my lap top charger. Ok, you’re right. That’s actually a really pathetic excuse. And it’s only partially true. The real reason I haven’t blogged in what seems like 9,587, 832 years is because I got caught up dealing with life.

Since we last spoke I’ve:

  • Survived an ice storm
  • Met the Pioneer Woman
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving
  • Watched a lot of Dallas Cowboy football
  • Started house hunting
  • Celebrated Christmas
  • Bought a new car
  • Taught my dog how to “shake”
  • Mastered several recipes

So, that’s great new for you guys! I’ve got some really spectacular dishes coming your way.

Now, let’s talk about this stew. It’s the epitome of cold weather food. Oh my gosh, it’s good. On a cold, lazy, gloomy day it’s absolute perfection. My stew turned out rather thick, so I served it over egg noodles and was very pleased. You could serve with crusty bread as well.

How do you feel about recipes with a lengthy ingredient list? Keep an open mind when you take a glance at this ingredient list. Every single ingredient is important, especially the spices. The spices are what make this stew perfection.

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut in to 1" chunks
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1½ tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbs applesauce (optional, if you don't have it, don't worry about it)
  • 9 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced in to 1" cubes
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • ½ c water
  • Egg noodles or crusty bread for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Heat a large dutch oven on medium high heat with 1 tbs olive oil. Brown ½ of the pork. Once brown, remove and heat 2nd tbs of olive oil and repeat. Set pork aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add 3rd tbs of olive oil. Sautee onions, 3-4 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, tomato paste and spices (through red pepper flakes.) Cook for about a minute, then add vinegar, applesauce, tomatoes (with juice), butternut squash cubes, chicken broth, water and pork and bring to a boil.
  4. Place lid on dutch oven and transfer to oven. Cook 2 hours, or until pork is tender. Serve with egg noodles and bask in its glory. Yum!
Notes
My pork shoulder had a LOT of fat on it, WAY more than I was comfortable cooking with. I shaved a ton of fat off before I diced it up. If you don't have time, just spoon the fat off the top once the stew is done.

 

Jalapeno and Cheddar Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Guess what? It’s almost Thanksgiving. Isn’t that exciting news? What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? I always enjoy watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. When I was a girl my mom would put it on for me, I’m sure to keep me out of her hair while she ran around like a wild goose, preparing for a big meal. I also (mostly) enjoy watching football. I say mostly because the Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving and I only enjoy watching when they win. But of course, as a foodie, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is that food. Duh. I can’t say that I’ve got a favorite Thanksgiving dish, I enjoy all of it. Well. That’s a lie. I guess my favorite part is that pie. Pecan. Apple. Pumpkin. I love pie.

What do these corn muffins have to do with Thanksgiving? Well, nothing really. Except I’m sure they’d make a great addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Or to your chili. Or soup. Or as a snack. Well, you get the picture.

Corn Muffins 2

Corn Muffins 2

Look at those beautiful muffins. They’re so golden brown and warm and cheesy. I love cheese. Actually, I love a lot of things. But cheese is one of my favorites.

Is your family the kind of family that eats cornbread stuffing? Because if they are, I’d bet these would make a fabulous corn bread stuffing. Hint Hint. Nudge nudge.

There muffins are perfect, but if you’ve got little ones who don’t take to spice it would be okay to leave the jalapeno peppers out. I guess. <Cue pouty music>

Jalapeno and Cheddar Corn Muffins
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ c cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 4 tbs butter (softened)
  • 1 can creamed corn
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until mix is well combined
  3. Pour mix into a well greased 12-muffin muffin tin and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Notes
If you don't have buttermilk, just use regular milk and add 1 tbs of lemon juice to it.