Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Pina Colada Bread Pudding

I've always loved bread pudding. It’s the epitome of comfort food and from way back, as far as I can remember, I used to love all the different ways my Mom made it.  Lately I was wondering how to make it summery and tropical.  I decided to experiment with some tropical things like coconut milk and fresh coconut and pineapple and cherries. 

That’s when I thought, “wait a minute…this is starting to sound like a tropical drink!  A Pina Colada as a matter of fact, and so I call this dessert my Pina Colada Bread Pudding.  I think you’ll like it’s crusty golden top, custard-like inside filled with bits of cherries, coconut and crunch almonds covered in a smooth vanilla sauce.

Pina Colada Bread Pudding

1 large loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
2 cups half and half (half whole milk and half cream)
5 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup diced cherries (maraschino)
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
½ cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a 9 x 9 square baking dish with non- stick spray. 

Remove the crust from the bread if desired and cut into 1 inch squares. Place cubes in a large bowl and set aside.

In another large bowl mix the half and half, the coconut milk, the beaten eggs, the crushed pineapple, the diced cherries, and the coconut until combined. 

Make sure you stir well as the coconut can sometimes clump at the bottom. Pour your milk mixture over the bread you set aside in the large bowl.  Mix with wooden spoon to make sure the bread gets coated.  Set aside for 10 minutes.

Pour the bread mixture in your prepared dish and using a wooden spoon or spatula, spread it out and then smooth it flat on top.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about an 70-90 minutes or until center is set.  

Allow to cool slightly while you make your sauce.

Vanilla Sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add butter to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat until melted. Pour in milk and stir until blended.

Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl until blended.  Add this mixture to your heated milk and whisk together well. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to whisk the sauce until it begins to thicken. 

Add vanilla and continue to stir until sauce is thick and creamy.  Pour over bread pudding, sprinkle with sliced almonds, and serve warm.  Add more sauce over each portion before serving.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Cheesy Bacon Pinwheels


These are so simple to make you’ll find yourself making them instead of a grilled cheese sandwiches!  I love these wonderful little bites filled with three different cheeses and delicious bacon.  I can put these out for a party and they are gone within seconds!  This is a keeper my friends. 

Cheesy Bacon Pinwheels

1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
3 green onions chopped
6 slices bacon crisp cooked & finely chopped
1/2 cup cheddar shredded
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk egg and water in small bowl and set aside. 
If frozen, thaw puff pastry at room temperature until easy to handle.  Unfold onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to close the seems and smooth out.

Combine green onions, bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, Monterrey Jack and garlic powder in medium bowl. Top the puffed pastry with cheese, bacon and onion mixture.

Starting with the short side closest to you; roll up like a jelly roll as tight as you can. 

Cut into 1" pieces. Lay flat on lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture on sides and top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.



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Sausage Breakfast Casserole

I’ve never met a breakfast casserole that I didn’t like. This one is from 
my Mom’s collection of recipes.  I can remember her making this the 
night before Christmas and then baking it in the oven while everyone 
opened up presents.  This one might be my favorite because of the 
memories it brings.

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

1 lb roll of sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
4 cups day old cubed bread
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese; shredded
2 (12-oz) evaporated milk
10 large eggs; lightly beaten
1 medium onion; diced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Lay bread in the baking dish and 
sprinkle with cheese. 

In a medium bowl, mix evaporated milk, beaten eggs, dry mustard, 
onion powder, diced onion and salt and pepper.

Pour evenly over bread cubes and cheese. Next, sprinkle the top with 
crumbled sausage.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake:  Remove casserole from refrigerator and add 
remaining cup of cheese on top.  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until 
cheese is golden brown.Preheat oven to 325° degrees.

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Cheesy Potato Skins with Bacon

Cheesy Potato Skins with Bacon

6 russet potatoes
10-12 slices bacon, cooked & chopped...
2 cups shredded cheddar or colby cheese
1 cup butter, melted
scallions (green onions), chopped
sour cream or ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash & dry potatoes, pierce with fork. Rub olive oil all over the potato and sprinkle with course salt. Bake in the oven for about an hour or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out potato into a large bowl. Don't scrape too deep as you want to leave some potato in the shell. Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place potato skins onto baking sheet with the open side face down. Brush entire skin with melted butter and put back in the oven to bake for another 15 minutes or so. 

You want the skins to be crispy. After about 15 minutes of baking, turn the skins over and fill with cheese and bacon. Then bake for another 5 or 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove and sprinkle with scallions and more bacon bits and then top with sour cream or ranch dressing or whatever you like.

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