Friday’s ‘on sale’ Bread used on Sunday

Stop and Shop, a large food retailer, one of my ‘local’ sources, has a special on loves of Italian bread on Fridays. Loaves that usually sell for two dollars a loaf, are one dollar per loaf. I think they were driven to this action by the competing Met Foods down the road which has a deal with my local Monreal bakery selling loaves of Italian and French bread for a dollar a loaf on Fridays. Any given Friday when you walk into Met Foods there is the wall of fresh baked bread aroma, and several racks of bread just rolled out into the store isles. So, with this king of Friday deal, I usually pick up two loaves, one to use right away nice and fresh. The other I leave out to use on Sunday. By Sunday, the loaf left out has dries sufficiently to make a wonderful bread pudding. Now that autumn is here, its time to break out the autumnal treats.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups whole milk (or 2 cups half & half)
  • 1 stick (1/4 cup, or 4 tbsp) butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark, depending on taste preference)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of dried bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk (or half & half) just until film forms over top. Combine butter and milk, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to this mixture until its lukewarm. Now, in a large bowl combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Beat this until its well mixed and then slowly add the milk mixture.

Place the bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with raisins if desired, and pour the batter on top of bread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm, perhaps with egg nog or warm cider.

Valentine’s Day 6 Days To Go

With a week to go until Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a couple of recipes. This is the second in the series… I like serials, and cereal, but that’s another story. Today’s toast is a chocolate-orange heart warmer, and to seal the deal, a couple of chocolate-orange cookies.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Drink:

  • 1 1/2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz. Orange Juice

Shake these together then pour into a champagne saucer filled with crushed ice.

Desert:

  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel or finely chopped candied orange peel

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed beat in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in orange peel..

Spray cookie scoop with vegetable pan spray and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes. Remove from sheet and cool on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

If you don’t think cookies will melt her heart… wait till tomorrow’s post.

Valentine’s Day 7 days to go…

With a week to go until Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a couple of recipes. The way to the heart goes through the stomach. With that in mind, here is a pairing, a drink before dinner and a desert afterward. The main course I will leave to you imagination. Maybe I’ll focus on the main course next year. In the meantime here’s our first drink / desert pairing: Bill’s ‘special’ chocolate milk, and double chocolate cupcakes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Drink:

  • 1 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Kahlua
  • 3 oz. Milk

Combine these with ice, shake, and pour into a Collins glass

Desert:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 ounces dark (70 percent cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with muffin cup liners. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

If the cupcakes fail to work their magic… try some more ‘chocolate milk’.