There are some things that are fairly universally liked. For example – Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, Steel Magnolias, Jon Hamm, newborn baby smell, and Nutella. Right now, I’m thoroughly enjoying the latter two.
Binks and I are now enjoying our newest addition to the family, Isaiah. He looks a little like this right now.
He is perfect. (Better pictures to come later.)
And, here is my Nutella.
And it is perfect.
When I saw this, I knew I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving dessert. And, let me tell you, over the pies and through the moon, this dessert went quick! We barely had any left overs. And what we had, we enjoyed!
And it worked perfectly for the family gathering. It wasn’t overly sweet so the parental units were able to enjoy without feeling they were going to into a diabetic coma and the younger adults were able to enjoy Nutella at its finest and most comforting. I could totally make this and eat this for brunch any day. Perhaps Christmas morning.
And it could not have been easier to make.
Nutella Bread Pudding
adapted from here
- 1/2 package of 1-2 day-old Hawaiian sweet bread
- 3/4 cup Nutella
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Roast pecans in a pan for about 5 minutes over med-high heat. Be careful not to burn.
- Slice each bread roll in half. Spread with a heft amount of Nutella.
- Place in a glass baking dish where there is no empty space after putting in all the sandwiched pieces.
- Sprinkle roasted pecans over bread pieces.
- Make custard: Whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla, and salt.
- Pour over the bread pieces. You can wait a bit (I waited 15 minutes) to make sure the bread pieces are soaked through.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. I baked for about 12 because I like my bread pudding a little drier. The bread pudding should be golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Prior to serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
I once made The Perfect Party Cake.
What didn’t go into that story was that while making the butter cream, I made a boo boo. Instead of following the recipe, I accidentally and prematurely combined 1 cup sugar, 3 sticks of butter, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. After mixing these ingredients, I read the recipe again and realized my blunder.
Despite my error, I was not willing to part with the butter/sugar/lemon mixture. I was determined to find something that I could make with those ingredients. And, due to the recent move, work and other cooking endeavors that came in between, my determination for my butter/sugar/lemon mixture was pushed to the back burner.
Until last week. Last week I discovered that not only could I use my forgotten mixture, but could also use up some cornmeal that I have had on hand. The bright lemon flavor combined with the nutty texture of cornmeal really makes this cake the wonder that it is.
The batter will be somewhat thick.
Oh and did I mention that it comes with a glaze that melts into the cake?
This would pair well with coffee (as Binks has told me) and (from my experience) blueberries!
My Saturday morning was that much sweeter and brighter with this delicious lemon cake.
Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from here
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (usually juice from 2 large lemons)
- zest from 1 lemon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans. (You can also use a bundt or tube pan).I was giving one half away so the two cake pans were perfect.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat in one at a time until each egg is fully incorporated into the wet mixture.
- Change the speed of the mixer to low.
- Add in the flour/cornmeal mix to the wet ingredients slowly. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter into the cake pans.
- Bake for 60 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test (toothpick comes out clean).
- Allow cakes to rest for about 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack – be careful because the cake will be moist and tender.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- Mix sugar and lemon juice together.
- Pour over cakes after cake has been resting for 5 minutes on a cooling rack. (Please be careful as the cake will be quite moist)
- Cool completely before serving.
Remember when I told you that it was my mom’s and MIL’s goal to just hook me up to a machine that feeds me nothing but milk? Turns out despite how much I try (I don’t really even care to try), I cannot finish a gallon of raw cow’s milk alone (Binks hates milk). And, I don’t care to. Not because it’s not delicious. Not because I have something against raw milk.
But rather, to me – milk is a food, not a beverage. (It is mom(s)!) I can only eat so much of it and so often. I can’t drink with reckless abandon like I do most beverages (namely, water, vodka and wine – not necessarily in that order).
With that said, I can’t bring myself to throw it away.
So what to do with a gallon of milk that requires little attention on my part? Dulce de leche.
Most dulce de leche recipes you may find simply require you to boil a can of sweetened condensed milk until it caramelizes. But, I had to take it back to the start.
As it turns out – all you need is milk, sugar, vanilla beans, baking soda and water (<– not quite sure why you need the last two). Using this recipe, I transformed half of my gallon of milk into a beautiful dessert/sauce/jam product that I will surely make again when I have milk to spare.
This transformed a quart of milk to a mere cup and a half of dulce de leche.
Check out the vanilla bean speck bounty.
The uses for dulce de leche are endless: topping on ice cream, oatmeal; jam on bread, shortbread, cookies; filling in cakes; dips for fruit; etc.
If you find yourself wanting a decadent caramel treat, I encourage you to try this recipe and tell me your uses for this most decadent of treats.
In the land of potatoes, I always thought the sweet potato was the cool girl at school. The pretty sweet one that dates the athletic russet type. All the scrawny fingerlings want to date her. The red/yellow potato girls want to be her.
It makes sense in my head.
But, I also live in the land of potatoes obviously.
In the land of humans, I always considered sweet potatoes so sweet that it was pretty much dessert. And yesterday, I was craving dessert. A sweet potato bake, perhaps? Stat!
First you roast, cool and peel:
Mash and add your favorite milk.
Spice it up and pour into ramekins for the bake.
And then bring it on home with a sprinkle of the good stuff – turbinado!
Broil and enjoy!
Quick Vegan Sweet Potato Bake
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, roasted and peeled*
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp turbinado sugar**
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F
- Mash the roasted and peeled sweet potato to until fairly smooth.
- Add lemon juice and mash.
- Add milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, turbinado sugar. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Separate between ramekins. Place on a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the sweet potato mash seems set and does not jiggle too much.
- Remove from oven.
- Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.
- Broil on top rack of oven for approximately 5 minutes until the sugar has caramelized.
- Enjoy carefully as everything will be SUPER hot!
* Some may not like all the stringy parts of the sweet potato. You can always use a sieve to remove the stringy parts. As for me, I don’t mind it. So, I left it all in. After it was baked especially, it didn’t bother me in the least.
** I used turbinado sugar. You can use white sugar. Make sure you pay attention to the sweetness as turbinado is less sweet than the white granulated. Also, my sweet potato bake wasn’t SUPER sweet. In fact, I prefer it that way. Adjust the sugar to your liking. As the mix is vegan, taste along the way to see if it’s sweet enough for you.
Oh pumpkin, my pumpkin.
I, like most other people this time of year, have been obsessed with pumpkin!! I have been throwing globs of canned pumpkin in my oatmeal and smoothies. Delicious is an understatement.
So, I took a hint from Deb at Smitten Kitchen and decided for my next healthy pumpkin concoction – pumpkin butter!
And can i tell you? It’s vegan (look at me go). It’s delicious. It’s a keeper!
Here is my rendition of Deb’s recipe:
Start with the good stuff
Stir, stir, stir…
And after more stirring, you, my friend, have the most delicious topping for your morning oatmeal,
and goes wonderfully with vegan mandel bread!
On an exercise note, I have been keeping up with the C25K program and it’s going quite well. I just did Week 3, Day 1. I am so freaking proud of myself for keeping up with the program!!
I feel like I should not say anything in an attempt to avoid jinxing myself, but i can’t help but feel proud!! [I'm currently patting myself on the back on your behalf. Trust me - if you were here, you would do the same.]
What about you? What is something you are proud yourself about today?