Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Food historians trace the history of bread pudding to the early 11th and 12th centuries, as frugal cooks looked for ways to use stale, leftover bread instead of letting it go to waste. In 13th century England, bread pudding was known as “poor man’s pudding,” as it was a popular dish with the lower classes.

While bread pudding is still a way to use up leftover bread, it has gained a reputation as a comfort food and is a featured dessert item in trendy establishments, having shed its humble roots.

I absolutely adore bread pudding. Ever since I was a little girl, my stepmother and grandmother would make bread pudding and it was one of those special desserts reserved for certain occasions, so when it showed up on the dinner table we considered it a treat.

It has been quite a few years since I've made one, but a few weeks ago I gave it a go again and whipped up a Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding.  The recipe, from a vlog I was watching.  I just followed her video and I think she said the recipe is from Nigella Lawson, but I could be mistaken.

Anyway, another very easy dessert and so delicious.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

4 slices of stale bread, cut into cubes
Chocolate chips, I added in about 1/2 cup of dark and 1/2 cup white chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups milk
3 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a casserole dish, add the bread cubes to it.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bread.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

In a measuring jug, add the cream and milk.  Whisk the 3 eggs in a small bowl and then add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  Combine the cream and milk mixture with the egg mixture, give it a good stir.

Pour over the bread then push the bread down to soak it all in.  Let stand for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

After the 20 minutes have gone by, sprinkle on some more brown sugar over the top and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until nice and brown and puffy.

Once it's cool down, I like to sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Best part about this bread pudding is that it's not overly sweet.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Nutella No Bake Cheesecake

Ohhhh Nutella how I love thee.

I was watching one of my favorite vloggers, catching up on very old videos of hers and she had made a Nutella No Bake Cheesecake, which is actually a Nigella Lawson recipe.  It looked so easy and so yummy that I immediately bookmarked it to try.

What better day than Thanksgiving to put this beauty on the table?

I am sharing this recipe tonight so that if someone out there is still looking for a simple but yet decadent dessert for tomorrow, they still have time to do it.

I don't have a picture of the sliced cheesecake as it's still in the refrigerator, but I will snap one tomorrow and come and edit this post :)

Nutella Cheesecake

Nutella No Bake Cheesecake
Source:  Nigella Lawson

10 oz graham crackers (I used a sleeve and a half)
5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 x 13 oz jar Nutella (at room temperature)
¾ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 lb cream cheese (at room temperature)
½ cup confectioners' sugar (sifted)

Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor, add the butter and a 15ml tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz until it starts to clump. Add 25g/3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts and continue to pulse until you have a damp, sandy mixture.

Tip into a 23cm/9inch round springform and press into the base either using your hands or the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.

Beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined.

Take the springform out of the fridge and carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Scatter the remaining chopped hazelnuts on top to cover and place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Serve straight from the fridge for best results.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ajo Chicken

Ajo Chicken

When we lived back in Arizona, I picked up a little binder cookbook called A Taste of Arizona.  I was supposed to try out some of the recipes but never got around to doing it.

Two weeks ago when I was organizing my pantry and cookbooks, I came across it again and set it aside for my menu planning.  This chicken dish was one of the first that caught my eye and now I'm so glad I made it.

My husband and kids devoured it, had seconds and thirds and couldn't stop talking about it.  I even had it for lunch the next day and wished I had more.  It's on our favorite list, for sure. 

Ajo Chicken
Ajo Chicken
Source:  A Taste of Arizona

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 chicken, cooked and boned
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1 cans diced green chiles
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Salt and pepper the chicken and place in a casserole dish.  Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet and saute the mushrooms.

Scatter the mushrooms over the chicken and pour 1/2 up of the chicken broth over over all.  Cover and bake 10 minutes.

In the same skillet, melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons, butter and saute the onion.  Add chiles, garlic, and flour.  Cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove the chicken, from oven and drain off pan drippings.  Combine drippings with the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth to equal 1 cup of liquid.  Stir liquid into the onion mixture.  Mix in yogurt and heat gently.

Spoon sauce over chicken and top with cheese.  Bake another 15 minutes. 

Ajo Chicken