Bread pudding is one of my favorite throw-together, quick and easy recipes. If you have at least these three items on hand, you can make the base pudding: bread (preferably day old and dry), eggs, and milk or heavy cream. It’s also a great go-to because it works for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. It just depends on the extra ingredients you throw in: sweet for breakfast or dessert, savory for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Plus, prep time is ten minutes or less. How great and versatile is that? (more…)

Bread pudding duo sm

Broccoli, ham and cheddar (top) and pear-cranberry bread (bottom) puddings

Who doesn’t love bread pudding? It is warm, comforting, inexpensive and incredibly easy to prepare. It also makes for a great last-minute or make-ahead brunch or dessert dish, as you can have the ingredients prepped in no time and either throw it together and pop it right into the oven, or let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and bake it off in the morning.

With the following basic base recipe for bread pudding, you’re free to experiment with all sorts of sweet and/or savory combinations. I’ve also listed recipes for both a sweet and a savory bread pudding using the base recipe. I usually use French or Cuban bread, but if you’re feeling extra naughty (and not counting calories) challah bread and croissants make a great substitute. Heck, I’ve seen Paula Deen use a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts in her bread pudding!

The base recipe for bread pudding is all about the ratio and simple math. For a basic custard base, you’ll want to use a 2 to 1, milk to egg ratio. A large egg is about 2 ounces, so for every egg you use, you’ll need 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of milk. (And the ratio is the exact opposite if you’re ever making a quiche.) Instead of using just milk, sometimes I’ll do half milk and half heavy cream for a richer custard base. But if all of this math is too much for you, just follow my recipe below.
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Brunch is my favorite part of the weekend — I love making it and I especially love eating it (also because it gives me an excuse to drink a Bloody Mary before noon). Combining two meals into one is a genius idea because you can have your breakfast-type items (eggs, waffles, etc.) and more substantial lunch- or dinner-type dishes.

I’m always trying out fun new places for brunch or coming up with recipes for it. This brunch dish is one I came up with that combines two of my favorite cuisines: Southern and Southwestern. Shrimp and grits are a staple dish of the coastal South, and flavors like ancho and poblano are hallmarks of Southwestern cuisine.

The recipes for this dish require a little time and effort but are definitely worth the end result! I suggest serving it with sauteed spinach or collard greens to give some nice green color to the dish — I like to spike my greens with tequila while they’re cooking for a Southwestern/Mexican twist.
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frittata

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, no matter the time. For this recipe, my inspiration was the wonderful produce available this time of year and my deep affection for egg-based breakfast/brunch foods. I hit up my local produce stand, then got in the kitchen and got my frittata on!

This frittata recipe is super simple, even easier then making an omelet and without all the flipping and fuss. I love the array of colorful vegetables that are now available at the produce stands and just about all of them would be great in this dish. I used almost every color in the rainbow in my frittata: a yellow tomato, red cubanelle pepper (comparable to a bell pepper, but a bit sweeter), verdent spinach and arugula, and red (actually, purple) onion. (more…)

cornmeal_pancakes

Having seen tons of pictures of delicious-looking pancakes last week on my food porn sites, it put me in the mood to make some. I am not a fan of plain ol’ regular pancakes, though, because I find them to be dry, dull, flavorless and only good as a vehicle for syrup.

Whilst looking in my pantry for inspiration, I spotted my neglected (but not expired) box of yellow cornmeal. Ta-da! Thus the cornmeal pancake idea was born and executed. They are a heartier, more substantial version of a regular buttermilk pancake, with a texture similar to buckwheat pancakes. They’re also pretty filling, so a few go a long way.

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