Summer Fruits Bread Pudding

A great summer recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth on a hot summer day!  The best way to ensure an absolutely perfect dessert is to use top of the line food prep machines.

Summer Fruits Bread Pudding
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf unsliced bread
  • 2 c. strawberries
  • 2 c. blackberries
  • 2 c. plums
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ - ½ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange, raspberry, or almond liqueur (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, no higher than 200°F.
  2. Slice your bread thickly. You can use white bread, challah, cinnamon bread, Hawaiian bread, brioche or any bread other than aggressively savory types such as sourdough, rye or whole wheat.
  3. Lay your bread slices out on a baking sheet. You may need more than one baking sheet. Place the bread in the oven & let it sit for 20 minutes. Turn the slices over & let the bread sit for another 20 minutes. This dries out the bread, allowing it to soak up the fruit juices without becoming soggy. You can also lay the bread out on sheets & let it sit on the counter overnight to air dry.
  4. While the bread is drying, wash all of your fruit & drain it well.
  5. Pull the tops off the strawberries. Slice the strawberries thickly.
  6. Slice the plums & discard the pits.
  7. Place the strawberries, plums & blueberries into a large saucepan. Add the orange, raspberry or almond liqueur for a richer dessert, if you like. Gently stir in the sugar & cinnamon. Heat the mixture to a simmer & let it cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the raspberries & remove the fruit from the heat.
  9. Cut the crusts off the bread.
  10. Line your casserole dish with cling wrap, making sure that at least 2″ overhangs the edge. You may need to lay one sheet across the width & one across the length.
  11. Press half of the ‘crustless’ bread slices into the bottom of the casserole dish. Arrange them with the edges overlapping so that they make a complete crust.
  12. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the fruit out of its bowl & into the casserole dish on top of the bread. Keep the leftover juices, because you’ll use them later.
  13. Arrange the other half of the bread loaf on top of the fruit. Press it down firmly.
  14. Cover the bread completely with cling wrap. Place a plate that fits just inside of the casseroles dish on top of the cling wrap. Weight it down with two or three small cans of soup or a large can of tomatoes. Refrigerate the pudding for 8 hours or overnight.
  15. Take the pudding out of the refrigerator & remove the cans and cling wrap. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate & remove the cling wrap. Pour the reserved juices over the pudding & sprinkle just enough sugar on top to lightly coat it.
  16. Cut the pudding into wedges & serve it with whipped cream & fresh mint for a garnish.

Photo Courtesy of Susanne Nilsson

Festive Recipe Ideas

Vegan Sugar Cookies by Renee on FlickrThe holidays are a time when you choose a variety of ways to celebrate your family and what you have been given in life. One small way you might choose to do that is by preparing a hearty meal with treats to match. You probably also decorate your home with festive ornaments. Well, why not meld the two together and make your treats decorative too? The easiest foods to make festive are desserts, though you can implement the idea in other ways too.

A simple and tasty chocolate snowman shaped cake is easy to make and highly festive. Best with Dutch cocoa, you can use coconut flakes to create the coating. You can use black licorice sticks for the arms, black licorice drops for the eyes and peppermints for buttons with gum drops on top. For the mouth, you can use a piece of red shoestring style licorice. Fruit leather makes a great decorative scarf.

Alternatively, or in addition to, you can create a Christmas tree cake with equal festivity. By creating individual cake squares, you can stack these to create a tree-like shape with green frosting and other colored frostings to your liking. You can use candies for ornaments and smaller cake squares decorated with colored frosting to make presents under the tree.

Gingerbread houses are a classic way of creating decorative treats. However, there are more creative ways to make artistic gingerbread treats. One less known design is the gingerbread lantern, created by four rectangular pieces of gingerbread connected by frosting. You can cut holes in the pieces to let the light out, such as stars or hearts. Once settled, you can place candles inside these and use them as actual lanterns.

Another creative design is the gingerbread train. You have a great amount of creative license with this, in that there is room to decide how intricate you want to get with the design. However, there is a minimum amount of intricacy involved. The frosting is used for piping and a combination of circular and rectangular gingerbread cookies create the body. You can use candies, licorice and frosting to decorate it anyway you like. Gum drops work well to top the train while licorice works well for the pistons. You can also decide how long you want to make the train.

If you are looking to go more gourmet than flashy, you can make chocolate espresso snowballs with fair trade coffee. Using cocoa, pecans and sugar you can have a treat both decedent and decorative. There are plenty of ways to brighten up holiday cheer just with culinary creativity.

Easy Monkey Bread

Kitty Says: Do not cut the bread! It’ll pull apart easily.

Easy Monkey Bread
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3- 12 oz. pkgs biscuit dough, refrigerated
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • ½ c. margarine
  • 1 c. brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ½ c. raisins
  • ½ c. walnuts, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a bunt or tube pan.
  2. Mix sugar & cinnamon in a large resealable plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6-8 biscuit pieces in the mixture. Arrange the pieces in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle each layer with raisins & optional nuts. Continue the process until all biscuit pieces are coated & placed in the pan.
  4. In a small pot, over medium heat, melt the margarine with the brown sugar. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over biscuits.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven & let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto serving dish/platter.

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker Recipes on Flickr.

Gary’s Favorite Clam Chowder

Chowdah by Kim Jones on FlickrGary Says: A great recipe for classic, New England style clam chowder on a cold day!

Gary’s Favorite Clam Chowder
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Soups
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 13 oz. clams, minced (2 cans; reserve juice)
  • 1 c. yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 c. celery, diced
  • 2-1/2 c. potatoes, diced
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c. butter
  • 1 qt. half & half
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium to large saucepan combine onions, celery & potatoes. Pour clam juice over vegetables. Add enough water to barely cover vegetables. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium & simmer until potatoes are tender (approximately 20 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt butter. When melted, add flour, blend & cook for 2 minutes. Add half & half & cook, stirring until smooth & creamy. Drain vegetables, reserving liquid. Return vegetables to saucepan. Add clams & sauce mixture. Heat thoroughly (add reserved cooking liquid to make consistency to your taste.

Photo Courtesy of Kim Jones on Flickr

Gary’s Pioneer Pancakes

Gary Says: You can substitute buttermilk for the evaporated milk & lemon juice & zest.

Gary's Pioneer Pancakes
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. cake flour
  • 1 tbsp cake flour, reserved
  • 1½ c. evaporated milk
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • butter
  • maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Heat griddle or skillet over medium to low heat. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, & sugar.
  2. In another bowl, combine evaporated milk, lemon juice, & lemon zest. Let rest for 4-5 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, & melted butter. Lightly stir to blend.
  3. Gently combine wet & dry ingredients (wet into dry). Stir to blend ingredients. Add more milk if batter seems too thick. Do not make too thin of a batter.
  4. Melt a dab of butter on heated skillet/griddle. Drop batter by ¼ cups & cook until golden (approximately 1-2 minutes per side). Serve with softened butter & syrup of choice.

 

Photo Courtesy of Dvortygirl on Flickr