Not your mother’s bread pudding

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I know I made bread pudding not very long ago….wait for it…but I love it so much I wanted to create it again after seeing a Food Network chef create a spin off.  If double chocolate bread pudding was a Frankenstein of standard bread pudding it would be Frankenstein’s wife because it’s beautiful and full of spice.  I didn’t know how it would turn out but something said it would be another smash hit with the crowd I serve.  No I don’t know the calorie count nor do I care because it is a dessert and desserts should be unfettered in the area of dietary constraints.   Take your standard pudding and give it an overhaul of croissants and raisin bread with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, fill it with chocolate chips and chocolate syrup and place a large dollop of homemade bourbon whipped cream on the hood which gives you a bread pudding hot rod.  I took a thirteen by nine pan with me to dinner and brought home two servings left so that shows I judged right and did not make anyone sick.  This dish is going on my go to desserts list for any occasion.

Cost: $24

Serving size: 20 depending on how big the servings are

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 loaf cinnamon-raisin bread, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 6 croissants, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 to 6 scrapes of fresh nutmeg, on a rasp
  • 1 1/2 quarts milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate syrup (recommended: Hershey’s)
  • Kosher salt
  • Bourbon Whipped Cream

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/double-chocolate-bread-pudding-with-bourbon-whipped-cream-recipe/index.html

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World Class Guacamole

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Ok ok I know this is a late post and no reason for it.  I am also sorry for the bad picture, I guess we enjoyed the dish way too much!  Father’s Day came and past us like a ship in the night.  I wanted to do cook for my dear old dad on his day.  My sister was nice enough to open up her house for a barbeque and did all of the cooking.  I know that my guacamole has been a big hit no matter where I have served it but I wanted to put another spin on it.  I know chipotle is all the rage or was a few years ago but wanted to try it anyways.  I bought all the ingredients for the dish but made the mistake of buying the avocados the day of which I am finding is a big no no because I got stuck with rock hard produce.  The best way to buy avocados is a few days in advance of your event, put them in a paper bag and put them by bananas which accelerates the ripening process.  So I have all the goods to make this dish but had to improvise.  I used an ice cream scoop to mash up the avocados as best as I could and added the rest of the ingredients.  Another tip is add the chipotle and blue cheese in small increments because there is nothing you can do when the flavor gets overly bold and no one wants to touch the dish.  I found using blue cheese crumbles gives a better punch than blue cheese dressing.  The guacamole was a big hit with my family but it’s always hard to tell with family and friends if they are being kind or it’s really good.

Ingredients:

4-5 Avocados

1 bundle of cilantro

1 tomato

1 package of blue cheese crumbles

1 large handful of bacon bits

1 lime

1 large pour of chipotle hot sauce

1 bundle of green onions

1 garlic clove

Cost: Twenty bucks give or take depending on deals

Serving size: 10-20 people

Cook time: It’s all prep work which takes ten minutes or so depending on how fast you can dice.

In hog heaven

ImageHunting has been a passion of mine for the past two years.  I thought hunters were an odd group of people who sat in trees and shot deer.  Now that I hunt I get where my fellow sportsman are coming from.  I got a chance last weekend to attend a wild pig field dressing class. I took the class with twenty four others and all were excited to get their hands dirty.  I took the class to get hands on experience of how to break down a wild pig after I dispatched it.  We broke down two pigs weighing around eighty to hundred pounds apiece.  We started with skinning a pig that was hanging snout up.  The pig was quickly skinned and gutted after we received instruction on how to operate skinning knives.  I got a chance to skin from the back down and my hands were covered with blood.  After we broke the pig down, we went to find the wild pig out in the brush to learn to field dress it.  Someone pointed out the dead black hairy sow in the manzanita bushes.  The instructor taught us how to hoist the pig up using a branch and gun sling.  We took it down and field dressed the sow amongst the brush.  The hardest part was to get the sow on her back and not to get dirt on the freshly cut hide.  The sow was broken down to hide and carcass and the hide was packed out by a boy scout in our group.  The whole class was such a great experience from dissection, shot placement, anatomy and I got to come home with a pound of wild pig flank and a pound of roast.  I got to see first-hand on how meat is processed which will affect my choices in the grocery store.  Stay tuned for recipes on how to cook these pieces of game meat.

Southern Comfort in a dish

 

 

I can only remember my mom making bread pudding a few times when I was a kid but when she did it was quite a treat.  My mom made her bread pudding with raisins instead of a tart new aged spin off called Craisins.  Bread pudding represents comfort food but southern comfort to be exact, a poor man’s dessert of white bread, egg, sugar, cinnamon, milk, and butter…no Paula I did not use your recipe.  I wanted to create this dish just as a proof of concept and said that I have made it but an event at church popped up so I got the chance to serve it to the church body.  I am glad I only made an eight inch pan of the pudding because it was a mediocre hit since I was up against some big hitters like chocolate covered strawberries and brownies.  I had left overs from that night so more for me and the next morning I had a chilled slice with a cup of coffee which actually pairs well together…hint hint Starbucks.  I am happy with how this pudding turned out and will definitely make it again.

 

Ingredients

  • 6 slices day-old bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Break bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. If desired, sprinkle with raisins.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/bread-pudding-ii/

 

Price

Craisins: $2.00

One loaf of white bread: $1.00

Total: $3.00

I had the rest of the ingredients.

 

Dark and Stormy

I am not much of a mixed drink kinda guy, I prefer dark beer but I was hanging out with a friend a few nights ago and he suggested we make dark and stormies.  I picked up some dark rum, ginger beer, and limes which I later found out makes a party in your mouth!  We eyeballed the ratio so the drinks looked lighter than the pictures you will find on the internet.  I made a food blog no no and forgot to take a picture so I am providing a link to another site for the photo and recipe.  A dark and stormy has become one of my favorite mixed drinks because it has a sweet front note and spicy after taste.  I think this cocktail would make a great summer beverage just like my second favorite a mint julep..shhh I know they are kind of girly.

Dark and Stormy recipe

  • 5oz ginger beer
  • 2oz dark rum
  • ice in highball glass
  • sliced lime for garnish

The poor man’s hotdog

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I am not even going to post the steps to make wild mustard because it was a disaster.  I am not putting blame on wild mustard; I am putting blame on myself for rushing the process and not researching enough. You can make mustard from the black mustard that grows wild but in the right season and only harvest the seeds which might be darn impossible. My whole plan for this post was a poor man’s hot dog therefore he would make his own mustard from what he has around him.  I have been reading up on foraging and thought this would be a good idea since we have a ton of this invasive species around us…thanks Father Junipero Serra.   The process and buying a few things was not worth it in time or money.  I could have bought a bottle of mustard for the same price or cheaper than the store brand of apple vinegar.  I thought about not posting this disaster because it was a failure but this blog is an adventure in cooking and failing is part of that.  I would not serve this veil concoction to my worst enemy.  I have had wheat grass a few times and it tastes like chocolate compared to this gruel.  It’s very rare that I get heart burn but this “mustard” did it instantly.  I promise I will have something edible on my next post so stay tuned.

Blackened Mahi Mahi with Mango Chutney

 

 

Cooking for yourself is not the most interesting thing to do after work but I was inspired to create something new and on the fly.  I had a few Mahi Mahi steaks defrosting as the main protein so I decided to create chutney which I have never done.  I bought a Totapuri mango at the store because it was cheaper than your standard mango and I figured it was still going to work for my dish.  I blackened the Mahi Mahi on a searing pan for a few minutes and added a tablespoon of butter to the pan.  I would not suggest adding butter to this dish if your kitchen does not have good ventilation or your health conscience…yeah looking at you Paula.  The chutney is basically just a diced mango mixed with a dash of cayenne pepper, dash of fennel, and dash of bacon bites..yes I said bacon bites.  I did not use a recipe and just made up the ingredients as I cooked, thanks cooking shows!

Ingredients:

  • Mahi Mahi
  • one mango
  • bacon bites
  • Fennel
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Butter

Cost: 75 cents for the mango and everything else I had

Yield: one fancy fillet of fish