Pumpkin Maple Breakfast Bread Pudding (with Maple Butter)

8 Jul

Pumpkin Maple Breakfast Bread Pudding

On Mondays at my church there is a box of bread that’s been donated from a local bakery. The bread arrives already one day old, and since my son brought it home one day, it joined another – uneaten- loaf of bread on the counter. What to do? Well bread pudding of course! I also needed to have a filling breakfast for the boys and a sleepover friend, so it made sense to make a breakfast version of bread pudding.

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

1 loaf white bread – two or more days old

6 eggs

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin

1/4 pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup milk (we used 1%)

Maple Butter Ingredients:

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup butter, cut into tbsp size chunks

Instructions:

Note: prepare the night before baking

  1. Cube bread into 1 inch squares and press into 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. In blender, stir together eggs, pumpkin, syrup, spices, and milk.
  3. Pour over bread in baking dish and press bread into custard mixture.
  4. Cover and refrigerate over night.
  5. The next morning, remove baking dish while oven pre-heats to 350 degrees F.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 30-45 or until bread pudding is set in the middle.
  7. Take baking dish out to cool slightly and prepare Maple Butter.

Instructions for Maple Butter:

  1. Heat maple syrup on med. in small saucepan.
  2. Whisk in butter, incorporating one Tbsp at a time.

Finish:

  1. Cut bread pudding into 6 rectangles, then diagonally into 12 pieces.
  2. Pour Maple Butter evenly over top.

I’m out of the pumpkin puree I made from the fresh farmers market pumpkins I bought last season so next time I’ll try it with butternut squash. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did.

Soma

Chicken and Bok Choy Thai Curry Soup

21 May

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. What you’ve missed is a lot of darn good food…and I’m sorry you’ve missed it. I’m going to make an effort to share my food journey with you more frequently.

I have a friend over on this rainy day and soup sounded good… and not the standby tomato soup and grilled cheese (although a classic is a classic). Instead we wanted something savory, tangy, and oh so good for us. The result is this recipe that serves 8, so invite some friends over. Please enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Thai green curry paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium, organic chicken broth
  • 6 baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt + to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, fresh ground
  • grated zest and juice of 1 1/2 regular lime (not Thai, they are smaller)
  • 4 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp chopped, fresh basil
Instructions:
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add scallions, garlic, ginger, curry paste, cumin, and coriander; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 minute.
  3. Salt and pepper chicken breast.
  4. Add broth and chicken breast to pot. Braise chicken for approximately 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
  5. Remove chicken and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Add bok choy to the pot on low heat. Allow to wilt and stir in. 2-3 minutes.
  7. Shred chicken with two forks and return to pot.
  8. Add lime zest, lime juice to broth. Remove soup from heat and stir in fresh mint.
This recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
Like you soup a little creamier? Add 1/4 cup of pureed, white beans.
I also put about a 1/4 cup of brown rice at the bottom of mine for a little more rib sticking action.

Chicken Mulligatawny (Slow Cooker)

26 Feb

There seem to be as many Mulligatawny recipes are there are cooks in India. I used to make one for my family years ago that we loved, but darn it all if I can’t find the recipe. Seriously! In an effort to recreate this Anglo-Indian soup I’ve taken components from primarily this recipe and this recipe, and combined them with veggies that my mom integrates into her dishes when she cooks for me. I love that the crock pot does the flavor combining for me, but I can still pull it together in the afternoon and have a delicious meal by dinnertime. It works to pop in the crock pot before you go to work for dinner as well, if you have a warm setting on your pot. When I eat it I feel like my mom is by my side. Never a bad thing.

Mulligatawny, or “pepper water” is one of the original fusion foods. The story goes like this.

During the time when the British colonized India, a General had taken over the former Maharajah’s palace. He wanted to hold  ‘proper’ dinner for military big wigs and other British hot shots. He instructed the cook (Indian) in the dinner plans and included a soup course. What to do? The cook had no idea what a soup was because it was not common to Indian cuisine at the time. Not wanting to loose his job (or worse!) he did some research and stumbled upon this “soup.” Essentially, he thinned down curry and/or a lentil dish with stock and added more veggies. Voila! Soup!

The mulligatawny must have gone over well with the big wigs because the dish has blossomed in our cuisine today.

Note: about the precooking

  • Why would I precook ingredients before putting them in the slow-cooker? The answer is simple; precooking allows the food to develop more flavor. It is absolutely necessary? Well, no…but the flavor will be a little different than I envisioned…but who am I anyway?

Note: about adding a dried red pepper

  • As is this recipe has some kick, but if you like your food with more fire, include a dried red pepper in the crock pot in the last hour. Pepper water ye shall have.

Note: arrowroot and white beans for thickening

  • Arrowroot is gentler on the tummy than flour, but if you don’t have Arrowroot, go with the flour.
  • I like to avoid the high fat that comes from cream and coconut milk. It’s also hard on my tummy (my tummy is high maintenance). Instead, I use blended white beans for thickening which adds fiber and lots of amazing flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium scallion(s)
  • 2 cup(s) Carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalk(s) celery, with leaves if possible, chopped (large)
  • 4 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp ginger root, grated
  • 4 oz mushroom(s), 1/6ths
  • 3 breast(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 Tbsp ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 large tomato(es), chopped
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked string beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup(s) mango chutney (any respectable fancy grocery store will have it)
  • 4 cup(s) organic chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup(s) canned white beans with liquid
  • 1/3 cup(s) water
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, large dice
  • 1 item(s) red bell pepper(s)
  • one dried red pepper (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat pan and add olive oil. Chop and drop your veggies as follows in the next step. The precooking can be done the night before if you prefer.
  2. Chop white and green parts of scallion, add carrots, celery (with leaves), garlic, ginger, and mushrooms. Stir just enough that veggies don’t stick, but you’re trying to get a nice brown color on them (that’s called caramelization…sounds good, yes?).
  3. While veggies are cooking, cut chicken into bite sized pieces and put in a bowl. Mix cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper, and arrowroot powder in a bowl. Sprinkle over chicken and toss to coat.
  4. Add chicken to pan with veggies and brown all over.
  5. Put chicken and veggies into crockpot along with chicken stock, tomatoes, string beans, and chutney.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. After this point, uncover and stir in zucchini, red bell pepper, dried red pepper (optional), and the beans blended smooth with the water. Cover and cook on high for 45 mins to 1 hour.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy a heart and stomach-warming treat. This recipe makes 6 generous servings and is about 7 WW points plus each.

The Best Burger Ever? – Hmmm

30 Jan

 

From the Allrecipes website.

Using an iPod app my youngest son found a recipe for The Best Burger Ever. He was very excited for me to try it. I used an indoor grill pan and reduced the amount of oats a little. I also cut the recipe to 1 lb of meat and made 4 huge burgers. Making only 6 patties out of 2 lbs of meat is a little “Super Size Me” for my taste.

 

My oldest loved it because it tasted like a meatloaf on a bun. I’m sorry to say the burger did not live up to its name for me. First, I’m not fond of using processed soup mix and so much filler. It was certainly moist and flavorful, but didn’t have a distinct flavor profile.

I promised my older son I’d fiddle with the recipe until it met both of our tastes. I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.

Have you had a recipe you thought was the “Best Burger Ever?” What was in it?

Curried Fancy Nuts (Slow Cooker)

23 Jan

Warm, spicy nuts–I love them…crave them even. So do you, just admit it. Who has time to babysit an appetizer that’s so quick to burn in the oven, though? This version of spiced mix nuts tastes best just a few minutes after cooling from the crock pot. Bring them as hostess gifts or for your next potluck and all your guests will crave warm, spicy nuts for days. Yes, yes, I get the double entendre – now let’s move on.

Ingredients: (This makes a batch for a party. Cut in half for a smaller group.)

  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted (no, these aren’t good for you, but you’re not eating the whole batch either…)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 2 large pinches of Stevia, or a Tbsp of Agave syrup
  • 2 lbs fancy, mixed nuts, raw and unsalted. (I like a combo of almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews.)

Instructions:

  1. Mix everything together in the slow cooker. Stir to coat thoroughly.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  3. Turn to high, uncover, and cook another 1-1 1/2 hours.
  4. Serve warm or cold as a snack.

This recipe makes about 6 cups of nuts. Perfect for gift giving.

Options:

  • I ran out of cumin (gasp!) right before a fondue party, so I substituted chili powder for the cumin and omitted the turmeric.
  • Once cooled, stir in some unsweetened, dried blueberries or cranberries.
  • Try stirring in some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Beef and Veggie Spanish Style Rice (Slow Cooker)

15 Jan

I can’t believe I was craving a casserole type of thing. But it happened. I wanted something warm and comforting and cooked together in a crock pot. Rice has always comforted me and I started to think. What if I could have a Spanish style stuffed pepper without having to stuff the pepper? Enter this delicious recipe. Now, I must tell you that I normally don’t like to eat leftovers day after day. I think when my husband tried to take one of the measured portions of this dish for his lunch I popped a vein. Bad girl, my mom would say, didn’t I teach you how to share? Make and share this dish with people around you and they’ll love you for it. The recipe makes 6 servings after all.

Yes, mom, I did share..though not as willingly as I should have.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Vadalia onion, small dice
  • 1 large yellow pepper, small dice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 lb raw, extra lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp Salsa seasoning (I like Tastefully Simple’s all natural version) – Taco Seasoning will work too.
  • 1/2 Tbsp seasoned salt (Big surprise, I like Tastefully Simple’s version)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 canned Jalapeno or chopped fresh. (If you want more heat, add more pepper.)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup canned, organic, tomato sauce
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups water
  • Tortilla chips, crushed, for topping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions:

  1. Add oil to hot pan and saute onions and yellow pepper.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until no pink remains.
  3. Add spices and seasonings and cooking until fragrant (about 1 min.)
  4. Put everything in a crock pot, stir, and cook on high for 3-4  hours.

Beef and Veggie Spanish Style Rice calculates to 8 PointsPlus (TM). It’s worth every point as the dish tastes better the next day, and the day after…and the day after…

 

I Can Make Hash for Breakfast Out of Anything!

9 Jan

It appears this statement is true. What is hash but some carbs, meat, and an egg piled on top of each other? I choose not to use potatoes and have used asparagus in the past. Yesterday morning, I finely chopped some sweet onion, garlic, and carrot. After sauteing, I looked in the fridge for some meat. I prefer natural, lean meats, but today all I had was a leftover beef brat.

What the heck? I chopped it finely as well and mixed it all in. Once the meat and veggies began to caramelize, I cracked a farm fresh egg over the top. Sorry grocery shoppers, in my opinion, unless you use Eggland’s Best eggs or farm eggs, you are wasting calories. The typical eggs taste horrible.

Anyway, I made a well in the meat and veggie deliciousness and cracked the egg right in it. A little salt, pepper, and some slow and low cooking time and I had a sumptuous runny yoke and softly cooked egg whites over a pop of flavor from meat and carbs.

Voila! Hash for breakfast.

What do you have in your fridge and how can you turn it into a satisfying breakfast of hash and eggs?

See my recipe for Asparagus Hash here. If you want a fully vegetarian version, use Portobello mushrooms for the robust texture you’d get from meat.

2010 in review

2 Jan

Thanks for a wonderful “first year.” These stats aren’t bad considering I started blogging at the beginning of September. Thanks again for all your support!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 35 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 110 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 107mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was September 11th with 142 views. The most popular post that day was Cooking Demo Pictures.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, linkedin.com, en.wordpress.com, mail.yahoo.com, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for chicken chili, yumyummum.wordpress.com, mama ghanouj, chicken sausage recipes, and soma jurgensen food blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Cooking Demo Pictures September 2010

2

About Yummy Mummy August 2010
3 comments

3

How did you? September 2010

4

Chicken Apple Sausage Rolls with Apple Dijon Reduction October 2010

5

Soulful Chicken Bowl October 2010
2 comments

Avocado-Tomato Salsa in a Hurry

31 Dec

I recently read an article about the large amounts of fat and chemicals in guacamole spice packets. Combined with sour cream, the classic Mexican dip, can add way too many fat calories. Besides the nutrition news, the spice packets simple cover up the creamy, full flavored taste of the avocado. This quick and easy “salsa” version of guacamole disappears as quickly as you can make it. With specs of red from tomato, slight tang from sweet onion, and a warming background of spices that enhance, rather than cover up, the rich flavors blend beautifully for a festive dip. Perfect for the winter holidays with it’s red and green, don’t shy away from this color combination in food. Red and green live across from each other on the color wheel, making them complimentary colors. Bringing complimentary colors together in your food will give it a festive flair any time of year. 2-4 servings (unless you have me over and then you can make up one whole recipe just for me).

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced sweet yellow or red onion
  • 1 large tomato1 pinch and 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch and 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced cilantro

Optional: this recipe is a bit tart (how I like it) and a bit mild (how my husband likes it). To balance the tartness you can add a pinch or two of sugar. For a bit more kick, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.

Instructions:

  1. Cube the flesh of the avocado: slice lengthwise around the avocado cutting through to the pit. Split the avocado open and smack your knife into the center of the pit. Turn the knife to remove the pit. Score the flesh through to the skin lengthwise and crosswise. Use a spoon to scoop the cubed avocado into a bowl.
  2. Squeeze half the lime over the avocado in the bowl. This is for flavor and to prevent the avocado from browning.
  3. Put the minced onion in a small bowl and squeeze the remaining half lime over it. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the dip.
  4. Seed the tomato: cut tomato in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and the flesh inside that does not ring the skin. Slice the tomato into strips from the inside (reduces slipping). Cut into small squares the size of the the avocado pieces. Add it to the bowl of avocado. 
  5. Measure out the 1/8 tsp of each salt and pepper, the 1/4 tsp of each garlic powder and cumin, and mince and add the cilantro in the bowl with the avocado and tomato. Add the minced cilantro to the bowl as well. 
  6. Stir together and adjust seasoning, including optional ingredients, as needed.

Voila! A delicious, filling, and healthful dip. Now you know the only fats in the dip are the healthy kind. I hope you enjoyed the step by step picture format. Let me know how you like it.

A Classy Christmas Cocktail (via ) Yummy Mummy

13 Dec

I’m not a mixologist, but I love me a cocktail. This one is in line with my tastes: fruity, bubbly, with a bit of bite.

Soma

A Classy Christmas Cocktail I have been searching for the perfect holiday cocktail, but without any luck. Everything is either too fatty, creamy, or pepperminty. I wanted something crisp, refreshing and modern, that would be appropriate at a casual get-together, as well as an elegant soiree.  Fortunately, I met Brian Stewart, mixologist at Soho House, L.A., who helped me create the perfect classy Christmas cocktail: The Partridge in a Pear Tree. I served the delicious conco … Read More

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