Thursday, October 06, 2022

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce


I stopped making the traditional thanksgiving pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving a few years ago. They just got too boring and you can only do so much to a pie to change it up.  I wanted something that when I told my guests to save room for dessert, they really would save room.  They know now that I am going to bring out my warm pumpkin bread pudding covered in delicious hot caramel sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

1 loaf day old Challah Bread (or French or Italian), torn into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 15-ounce pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Place bread pieces in baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, half and half, pumpkin, sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.  If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own. You can find the recipe below.

Slowly pour the custard batter over the bread pieces in the baking dish. Push bread down into the sauce to make sure it is completely covered.  Allow to sit and soak up the sauce for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.  While the bread pudding is baking, make the sauce unless you are going to use a jar of store bought.

Caramel Sauce (or use Caramel Ice Cream Topping or sauce)

1 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar, packed

In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar; bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens, for about 5 minutes; pour over bread pudding before serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a real treat!

NOTE:   You can make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice with the following:

2 teaspoons cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
Combine and store in airtight container.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Apple Raisin Bread


It's apple season and I can't think of a better way to use apples then homemade bread.  This is one of the first recipes I make when fall arrives. I like to make up a few loaves and freeze them as I start to prepare for hibernation during the winter months. I have big plans for this bread this winter. I plan to bring it out of the freezer and make apple toast! I plan to slice it and make some delicious French toast with butter and syrup. Nothing goes better with cheese than apples and this bread makes excellent grilled cheese sandwiches!  See why I love this bread?  It's so easy to make, so good and so versatile!

Apple Raisin Bread

2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
1 teaspoon sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups all -purpose flour (or more)
1 1/2 cup apples, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons corn meal

In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup water and sugar; set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, honey, oil, salt and remaining water; mix well. Stir in yeast mixture. Gradually add enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down and turn over in bowl. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the apples, raisins and lemon juice. Divide dough into three parts; knead a third of the apple mixture into each part. 

Shape each into a round flat ball. Place each in a greased 8-in. round baking pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Sugar topping

1 egg, beaten
¼ cup sugar

Brush each loaf with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped.  Makes 3 small round loaves.

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Apple Raisin French Toast


Remember my Apple Raisin Bread?  This morning I decided to get a loaf  out of the freezer and slice it up to make French toast.  Not any French toast.  The kind of French toast my Mom made when I was growing up.  There was no baked French toast with custard at my house.  She would get out her largest skillet and slice some homemade bread and fry it up.  Nice thick slices with lots of butter and maple syrup.  So, that’s what we have here.  My Apple Raisin Bread, sliced thick and fried up in my Mom’s old cast iron skillet.  Still the same as I remember. Buttery and sweet and delicious!

Apple Raisin French Toast

thick slices of my Apple Raisin bread (type apple raisin bread in the search box)
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Real maple syrup, warmed 

Whisk eggs until well blended. Add vanilla and pour into a shallow bowl. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, allowing bread to soak up some of the mixture.

Melt butter in a large skillet or flat griddle on medium high heat. Add as many slices of bread onto the skillet as will fit at a time. Sprinkle with cinnamon and fry until brown on both sides, flipping the bread when necessary. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.

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Monday, October 03, 2022

Loaded Sweet Apple Rings











Now and then you decide to eat a little lighter and healthier. So you try to come up with ideas that work but don’t scream out the word DIET.  Still has to be good enough that you want a snack for breakfast or afternoon before dinner or while watching TV.

I love this snack.  Not only are they sweet and delicious, they fill you up and keep you full all day.  Apples are good… they’re healthy.  So is peanut butter right?  Lots of protein?  And coconut…isn’t that a vegetable?  Could be if it works.  And we have to have something from the dairy group…. maybe some milk chocolate?  












So here is my version of a healthy snack from the four food groups  and I love them!  I like them more than any cookie I’ve ever made.  These are absolutely delicious and full of fiber which makes them so filling.  Try them. You’ll think twice about making cookies!

Loaded Sweet Apple Rings

2 medium red delicious apples

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Core your apples so that you have perfect apple rings…all seeds removed.  You can core before the apple is sliced or afterwards.












Slice your apple into rings (as thin or thick as you want them). Pat them dry with a paper towel. 












Spread chunky peanut butter evenly over apple slices. Top with a sprinkling of the white chocolate chips. Sprinkle some coconut over the apple slices. Add on some white chocolate chips. 















Serve immediately and enjoy!



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