Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bread Pudding (Large Batch) with Sarah's Cinnamon Syrup

Well, I kept stashing away stale bread, bread duds (my husband doesn't like the breadmaker bread),  a few hotdog buns and some breakfast bread with dried fruit my Mom gave me and some burnt toast in the freezer.

While searching through the freezers to see what was actually in there, I found I had a half dozen different bags of bread stashed away! Meijer, our local grocery store is finally carrying their own line of organic bread, among other things, but it is not taking off as well as it should and I forget to check the date in the store... so a loaf usually only lasts a couple days before it doesn't taste fresh anymore. Even a couple days before the date. Which, is fine, I'd hate to think they filled it with tons of preservatives anyway. So, in the freezer these quarter loaves go.

Today I pulled them all out, chopped them up into bite sized pieces and found I had 30 cups worth! So, I did some searches online. I wanted one with lots of fruit and eggs and little sugar. Honey, molasses fine. I found this one:
and this one:
and some others, and then kinda did my own thing. Of course. :)

So, I had a dozen eggs I needed to use up, put that in a bowl with almost 2 cups of organic milk, 2 cups of organic coffee, 2 cups of plain organic yogurt, 1/2 cup of molasses, 1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup of raw, organic cane sugar, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, about 1 Tablespoon each (give or take) of freshly ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. I grind them in my coffee grinder. I don't know how fresh the nutmeg was because I was able to press down on it with my knife and split it apart to get it in my grinder. 1 heaping spoonful of ground ginger. I would have used fresh, but wanted to use up my store bought stuff. :) 4 black peppercorns, and 4 cloves freshly ground.

1 also got the zest from 3 smaller grapefruits since I didn't have any oranges. I used about a teaspoon of almond extract since my homemade vanilla is still infusing. :)

I ran everything (but the bread) through my blender and poured it out evenly over the bread crumbs which I put into 4 separate casserole dishes. I then blended about 4 cups of fruit in my blender, an apple, 3 stalks of rhubarb, 3 grapefruits. I then poured about a cup over each casserole dish. I then sprinkled some raisins into each dish. I mixed everything thoroughly with a spoon.

I baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes wrapped with aluminum foil and then took the foil off and let it go for another ten minutes or so til somewhat crisp.

Tried some with maple syrup - okay. Tried some with my niece Sarah's Cinnamon Syrup - awesome!!!

Sarah's Cinnamon Syrup (Simple syrup with cinnamon): 

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of raw cane sugar
  • 5 cinnamon sticks, ground
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer approximately 30 min­utes. Stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Keep stirring. Sarah: "It takes forever Auntie Katie". You're doing good Sarah, keep stirring. :)  Let cool. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Couscous Red Curry but not quite - so good! Vegetarian.

Well, I finally broke down and bought some CousCous - Whole Wheat at Trader Joe's, 16oz for $1.99 I believe. I've never made anything with it before and this was great!! :) So, what to do with it??

We had a phenomenal Guam Curry meal at an impromptu meal with our new friends at and decided I had to try to duplicate it. It didn't happen this time, but we still loved it!

First I prepared the couscous immediately regretting it as it only took 5 minutes to mix equal parts water and couscous and boil... I did squash a garlic clove and put it in there too.

I chopped and sauteed an onion in EVOO for a few minutes, added 8 cloves of minced garlic and a small chunk of minced ginger and minced tumeric.  I then sliced up some carrots and celery and threw that in. I added most of this to the couscous in the other pot. I left some in, added some more EVOO and sauteed 3 banana peppers and 2 Jalepeno peppers, then put those in the couscous pot and stirred it all up.

I then put some butter in the pan and sauteed some mini portabella mushrooms. Put that in the couscous.

Poured about a cup of organic milk into the frying pan. I would have used coconut milk if I had it, or put coconut in if I had it, but I didn't. So I splashed some coconut oil in the couscous. Didn't notice the coconut flavour tho... I ran a few chili de arbol peppers through my coffee grinder. This is how I make my chili powder. Put that in the milk. I also ran some cumin seed through the coffee grinder, about a tablespoon or so. Probably a little more than that actually. We use medicinal quantities of our herbs and spices in case you didn't notice! :)

So, I slowly stirred the spices through the milk and added a bit of cottage cheese to see if it would thicken it up. It didn't, but we were also very hungry, so I didn't wait for it to melt either... I added 2 tablespoons of organic ketchup. One of these days I'll can tomato paste and have the ability to grab that off the shelf. Yesterday was not that day though! :) I added a 1/4 tsp of white pepper. I probably should have added more ginger and garlic, but I didn't.  I didn't add cilantro either as I just chopped it up and put it in just before I served it. I also didn't use shrimp paste, fish sauce or soy sauce, or lime juice. I was going to use soy sauce, but I forgot. Just as well as we're trying to stay away from soy. I did add some lemon zest though. We definitely missed not having Lemongrass!!!

So, I mixed everything together, and added some cilantro and feta cheese on top - incredible! The jalepenos were kinda hot for my taste, but my husband gladly ate them for me.

Inexpensive, good and healthy! He said I definitely need to make this again. :)