Lemon Bread Pudding

Lemon Bread Pudding 21

Here’s yet another recipe for trying to get rid of the massive amount of lemon pudding/curd I have left. Also a recipe for dealing with a lazy breakfast when you still have weird leftovers from the holidays. Here I have some of my pudding, half a panettone (my favourite fruity egg bread), some cream, and some eggs.

Lemon Bread Pudding 1

Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter up a baking dish.

Lemon Bread Pudding 2

Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and whisk ’em up.

Lemon Bread Pudding 3

Pour in a dollop or two of the cream, and add some vanilla and some pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon or whatever) and give it a beating.

Lemon Bread Pudding 4

Grab your panettone. Inhale the gorgeous fruity aroma.

Lemon Bread Pudding 6

Then rip it to shreds and drop some of the bits into the baking dish. Add a few dollops of pudding.

Lemon Bread Pudding 7

Then add some more panettone. And more dollops of pudding.

Lemon Bread Pudding 8

Then when you’re done/you’ve filled the dish, pour your eggy/cream mixture all over the whole thing.

Lemon Bread Pudding 10

Let it soak in for a minute.

Lemon Bread Pudding 11

Then pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the middle is solid. If it starts to brown too much on the top while you’re waiting for the interior to solidify then cover it up to keep it from burning.

Lemon Bread Pudding 12

Let it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven so that you don’t burn your face off.

Lemon Bread Pudding 16

Then serve for breakfast with a bit of maple syrup or some whipped cream!

Lemon Bread Pudding 17

Advertisements

Wingin’ It Wednesday: Experiments in Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese 13

I’m trying to change up the way that I make food that I know is crappy for me. I figure if I make it well, with conscious effort to be precise, then it somehow makes it less crappy. Early on in our relationship, the Pie schooled me on the correct way to make a grilled cheese sandwich, and today I’m going to start playing with it to see if I can’t jazz it up a little bit. Today I’m going to add some tomatoes to the mix. Because tomato/cheese sandwiches are a favourite of mine.

Grilled Cheese 1

So we start with our bread. The Pie prefers a solid white Texas toast or thick-sliced sandwich bread to be his base. Everyone has their own preferences of course, but I do like how light and crispy white bread gets when you grill it, and it’s pretty much the only time we eat white bread so we figure that’s okay. Next, sparingly cover one side of each slice of your bread with margarine. This is the only time (aside from making those margarine cookies) that we use oleo in the house. Normally it’s butter, but we find the butter tends to burn too quickly in this particular case.

Grilled Cheese 2

Make sure to go right to the edges with your margarine. And don’t add too much – this is already a grease pile of a snack so you don’t want to overdo it. This is also why you don’t put margarine on BOTH sides of the bread. That’s too much.

Grilled Cheese 3

Now you can plop one of the slices of bread, spread-side down, on your warm griddle (medium heat is best), and add your cheese slices. We like to use high quality old Canadian cheddar. Because really it’s the best.

Grilled Cheese 4

I also had some cheese curds in the fridge so I added those as an experiment.

Grilled Cheese 5

Then I added on my slices of tomato. I think it helps if your tomato is at room temperature so it doesn’t interfere with the melting of the cheese.

Grilled Cheese 6

Then my second slice of bread and more cheese. I need the cheese on the second slice to melt enough to stay in place when I flip it down over the tomatoes.

Grilled Cheese 7

Of course when I flipped all the cheese curds fell out into the pan. But then I got some warm fried cheese curds, which were great. Like mini haloumi.

Grilled Cheese 8

And now you cook it long enough for everything inside to get gooey. Some people like their cheese only lightly grilled.

Grilled Cheese 9

Others, like myself, prefer a tougher exterior.

Grilled Cheese 10

Serve with a glass of milk and some pickles on the side. Always. How do you do YOUR grilled cheese? Next time, I’m going to try avocados!

Grilled Cheese 11

Spicy Fried Eggs: In the Woods

Spicy Fried Eggs in the woods 9

This quick hot lunch is adapted from a breakfast I found in The Camping Cookbook, and it sure beats a soggy sandwich any day.

Finely chop up 1 large onion and sauté it in 2 tablespoons olive oil until translucent. Sorry for the blur: it was such a dark and gloomy camping trip.

Spicy Fried Eggs in the woods 2

While that’s going on, finely chop up as well 1 red pepper, 2 large tomatoes and a garlic clove or two (I roasted some garlic before I left so I brought it along and mashed it in).

Spicy Fried Eggs in the woods 3

Add that to the pan as well as 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (the Pie is mad for chili flakes, so I may have added extra).

Spicy Fried Eggs in the woods 4

Season that with salt and pepper, then cover and let that simmer for about 10 minutes, until you have a lovely sort of almost-sauce. Dig a few holes in the sauce and crack in 2 or more eggs. Cover the pan and let that cook for about 5 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.

Spicy Fried Eggs in the woods 5

Spicy Fried Eggs in the woods 6

We served ours with a bit of grated cheese on top, and a roll of bread on the side and it was a super satisfying lunch!

Spicy Fried Eggs in the woods 8

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 20

Another French toast casserole?  ANOTHER one?

Frankly?  Yes.  They’re good.  And they’re easy.  Did I mention they were good?  And easy?

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 19

I thought this one from Chef in Training would appeal to the bread loving members of the Pie’s family for their special housewarming brunch last weekend.  I adapted it a little, of course, as I am wont to do.  The easiness of the recipe was especially important, given that our bedroom at the time looked like this:

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 16

So while our housewarming party didn’t show our house at its best, at least the food was good.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 24

So start with some bread.  The recipe maker likes to use 12 slices of Texas Toast, but I used a small loaf of crusty French bread that I had left out to get a bit stale.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 1

Cut the bread into cubes.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 2

Take a 8oz / 250g package of plain cream cheese and cut that into cubes as well.  I found it was easiest to slice it into chunks and then pull the chunks apart with my fingers.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 3

Grab yourself as well 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (the original recipe called for 1 cup but you know me).

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 6

Now, crack 12 eggs into a bowl.  Give them a good whisking.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 4

Add 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 2 cups cream to the eggs.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 5

Ready for assembly?  Generously butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and line the bottom with half your bread cubes.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 7

Evenly distribute the blueberries and cream cheese chunks on top of that.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 8

Then finish off with the rest of the bread.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 10

Carefully pour the egg mixture over the entire top of the casserole.  Or don’t do it carefully and spill it everywhere — it’s your choice, really.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 11

Gently squish the bread bits down so they absorb the eggy stuff.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 12

Cover the baking dish with foil and shove it in the fridge overnight.

Why not start on the blueberry syrup? You can make this syrup ahead of time and reheat it, or right before serving.

In a medium-sized pot, dump 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch.  Heat on medium, stirring frequently, until smooth and thick.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 13

Add in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and continue to cook, stirring, for another 10 minutes, until the blueberries have all burst and the sauce is thick and purple.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 14

Tip in 1 tablespoon butter and stir that until it’s all melted.  You are now ready to serve the syrup.  If you’re going to make this the day before, let it cool completely before just putting the whole pot in the fridge.  That way it’s easier to reheat it the next day.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 15

To bake the French toast, preheat your oven to 350°F.  Leave the foil on the dish and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes.  Serve with syrup and enjoy!

Overnight Blueberry French Toast 22

Fast Toast Friday: Baked Egg and Cheese

Fast Toast Friday 9

Here’s a quickie breakfast for you.  Preheat your oven to 375°F and take a slice (or four) of your favourite bread.

Fast Toast Friday 1

Use a knife to score a square in the slice, cutting about halfway through — not all the way through.

Fast Toast Friday 2

Use your fingers or the knife to flatten the bread inside the square, making a frame of the outer edge.

Fast Toast Friday 3

Four little toasties.

Fast Toast Friday 4

Scoop your toasties onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and carefully crack an egg into the flattened square of each slice. The frame keeps the egg from spilling everywhere.

Fast Toast Friday 5

Grate up some cheese (this is a mix of havarti and cheddar) and sprinkle it around the frame of the bread.

Fast Toast Friday 6

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the egg is cooked to your liking.  Garnish with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve with the rest of your breakfast.  Yum!

Fast Toast Friday 7

Spicy Chicken Salad (Sandwich)

Spicy Chicken Salad 14

Now, while nothing can really top my chicken salad that can change your opinions on chicken salad, some other versions come close (especially when I make them).  I had defrosted three chicken thighs with the intention of doing something else with them, and then I didn’t. So I had three pieces of raw chicken in my fridge that needed cooking — and soon.

Spicy Chicken Salad 12

I roasted the thighs (45 minutes at 350°F) the night before with some cajun spices sprinkled over top.

Spicy Chicken Salad 1

Then I dismantled them by removing the bones and chopped them into small pieces.

Spicy Chicken Salad 7

I grabbed a knob of fresh ginger and cut off a bit about the size of a loonie.

Spicy Chicken Salad 2

Peeled it and sliced off paper-thin slices.

Spicy Chicken Salad 3

Which I then minced.

Spicy Chicken Salad 4

Sliced up some green onions.

Spicy Chicken Salad 5

Tossed the ginger and the onions in a bowl with some cajun seasoning, curry powder, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

Spicy Chicken Salad 6

Added the chicken.

Spicy Chicken Salad 8

Then a generous helping of mayonnaise (everyone’s preference for how much is different so I’ll leave that to you) and a vigorous stirring.

Spicy Chicken Salad 9

I decided to put some in a sandwich, so I made a nice cucumber base …

Spicy Chicken Salad 10

… and topped the salad with some chopped tomato and grated cheese left over from a taco night in recent history.  Waste not …

Spicy Chicken Salad 11

It was a GOOD sandwich.  Hit the spot perfectly.

Spicy Chicken Salad 13

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffing

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 25

We made this for our Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations, but maybe the next time you cook up a turkey (say, for American Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or various other turkey-related feast days), you could try this stuff(ing) out.  You can make it all the day before and chuck it together at the last minute, which is awesome for big dinners.  It’s also the kind of stuffing that doesn’t actually go into the bird, so you can feed it to vegetarians, too!

Start with your bread.  You can buy bags of pre-cut, pre-toasted bread chunks specifically for making stuffing, but I kind of like to make them myself, because I can decide what kind of bread I’m going to use in my stuffing.  Here I used a loaf of Italian sourdough.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 1

I ripped each slice up into bite-sized chunks and spread them out across two baking sheets.  Shove them in your oven and bake them at 350°F until they’re dried out and lightly toasted, about 12 minutes.  Make sure to stir them occasionally.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 2

Dice up about a pound of fresh mushrooms.  The wilder the better.  Unfortunately all we had around were some oyster and regular white mushrooms, but feel free to experiment.  You should have about 9 cups diced mushrooms when you’re done.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 8

Chop up as well 2 large onions, so you’re left with about 3 cups chopped onions in total.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 7

And while you’re at it, go to town on 4-5 stalks celery, ending up with about 2 cups chopped celery in total.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 6

Find yourself some herbs.  These were all growing in our fall garden: sage, parsley, and thyme.  I thought about adding some rosemary to add to the “Scarborough Fair”-ness of the whole thing but managed to restrain myself.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 4

Chop up a couple bunches of each.  You can never have too many fresh herbs in your stuffing, so just go with what feels right.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 9

Dump 1/4 cup of butter and a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a large skillet and melt over medium heat.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 10

Plop in your mushrooms and sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper.  Sauté those suckers until they’re all squishy and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Dump them in a large bowl for now.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 12

Slide another 1/2 cup butter into that skillet and let that melt.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 14

Add in your onions and celery and cook, stirring, until the veggies are tender, probably 12 minutes or so.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 15

Sprinkle in your herbs and cook for another minute.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 16

Then plop in a whole package (5oz) fresh baby spinach.  Toss in the skillet (maybe use a lid) until the leaves are just wilted.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 17

Chuck all that stuff into the bowl with the mushrooms.  If you’re making this ahead of time, this is where you stop.  Let the stuff cool, cover it, and bung it in the fridge overnight.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 19

When you’re ready to get this on the go, preheat your oven to 350ºF and butter a large casserole dish or 9″ x 13″ baking pan.  Whisk 2 eggs and some salt and pepper in a bowl.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 20

Pour in 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (you may need more if you find it dry) and stir that around.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 21

Toss your bread bits with your vegetable mix and pour your broth/egg stuff over top, stirring to make sure it makes it all the way through.

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 23

Jam that into your baking dish and bake without covering until it’s brown and crusty on top, about an hour.  Let it stand a few minutes before serving (like, take it out when you start to carve up your bird and you’re set).

Mushroom Spinach Stuffing 26