Bread Pudding


4 servings

For the bread pudding
1/4 cup golden raisins
3T dark rum
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 1/3 orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash kosher salt
1/1/3 cups heavy cream, plus 2/3 cup for serving
about 6 ounces of good white bread, such as baguette, torn into 1-inch pieces

For the sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup dark rum
Pinch kosher salt
2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk


For the bread pudding: Soak the raisins in the rum in a small bowl; let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or up to 1 day. Drain, reserving the rum for the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have a deep, small baking dish at hand.

Whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract and salt in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in the 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream; once that’s incorporated, add the bread pieces and drained raisins, making sure that all the bread is coated. Transfer to the baking dish.

Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any drips); transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until the top layer of bread is nicely browned, the edges are bubbling, and the center of the pudding is firm to the touch. Let cool.

For the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk in the confectioners’ sugar; once the mixture is smooth, add the reserved rum (from soaking the raisins) and the 1/4 cup rum. Increase the heat to medium; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally; this step will burn off just about all the alcohol.

Add the salt, then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, stirring for another minute or two until the sauce thickens. Let cool.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Scoop the bread pudding into individual shallow, ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Drizzle each portion with a generous amount of sauce. Place the bowls on a baking sheet; bake for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly. Serve right away, topped with an indecent amount (about 1/4 cup) of the remaining 2/3 cups of heavy cream or top with freshly-made ice cream.

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Coconut Cauliflower

Serves 2

Prep 10/Cook 15

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 T coconut oil or ghee

1/4 onion, finely chopped

1 c coconut milk

1/4 c coconut flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 T finely chopped cilantro

Working in 2 batches, “rice” cauliflower in food processor 20-25 pulses until fine. Melt oil in skillet over m heat. Sweat onion until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add cauliflower and coconut milk, simmer uncovered til tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add cilantro and coconut, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Fresh Pickled Green Tomatoes

Here’s a delicious way to use up green tomatoes. Sweeten them with sugar, or add any herb or spice you like—tomatoes are incredibly versatile. These are ready to eat after about a week of refrigeration. I am not sure how long they will last…maybe a month?

green tomatoes

Enough liquid for about 2 pints

1 1/4 c water

1 c white vinegar

1 T salt

smashed clove garlic (1-2 per jar)

jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced vertically (1/2 per jar)

bay leaf (1 per jar)

whole peppercorns (10/jar)

green  tomatoes, cored and quartered

Boil vinegar, water, and salt until salt is dissolved. Meanwhile, layer tomatoes with other ingredients, packing the jars  tight. Slip bay leaves and jalapeno between the inside  of  the jar and the frit. Pour hot liquid over tomatoes, seal, and let cool. Refrigerate.

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Ground Beef Tagine

This is a modified version of a Moroccan-inspired recipe on a popular food delivery website. Among other things, I divided the recipe in half. As delicious as it is, the squash makes it only good for 2 days in the fridge. This is about 4 servings.

  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • half of a 15-oz can diced tomatoes and juice
  • 1 c couscous
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 3/4 lb zucchini, diced (salt and stand in colander 15-30 minutes, rinse)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 red onion, diced fine
  • handful mint
  • handful parsley
  • 2 Medjool dates, or sub a small handful of raisins, chopped
  • 1/8 c sliced almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 t ras el hanout
  • 1 t turmeric

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in a 1 quart saucepan. Add half the garlic and half the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add 1 cup water, bring to a boil, add couscous, stirring to blend. Cover and let stand 6-8 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high in a sturdy skillet . Add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Drain meat and discard the drippings. Set cooked beef aside.

Heat  1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan at medium-high. Add the zucchini, onion, remaining garlic and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.

Add the cooked beef, tomatoes, dates and 1/2 cup of water to the pan of vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes, or until heated through and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Transfer to a serving dish.

Once the tagine has simmered for about 10 minutes,  add the almonds, half of both the parsley and the mint (roughly chopping the leaves just before adding) and the juice of the lemon to the pot of cooked couscous,. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the finished couscous to a serving dish. Garnish the tagine with the remaining parsley and mint. You’re welcome.

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Safe Salsa for Canning



1 1/4 lb chopped onions

5 lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped

2 lb mixed peppers, chopped

1 head garlic, minced

2 1/4 c apple cider vinegar

3T salt

1 1/2 c cilantro

char peppers on gas grill, place in bag to release skins, peel and chop. Optional-Oven roast cored and lightly tomatoes, 10 minutes per side, cool, peel, and chop. Mix everything together and cook at medium heat for 10 minutes or so, tasting and adjusting seasonings. I added cumin and a little bit of hot sauce. Also, spoon off excess moisture and even strain some off, otherwise it will be too runny.

Water bath process pints for 15 minutes. If it’s too tangy when you open to eat, gently heat salsa and add honey until the balance is good, then rechill before eating.

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Brandied Nectarine Jam

3# nectarines, chopped, skins on

3 c sugar

zest and juice of 1-2 lemons

6T brandy (could be peach, cherry, whatever)

cook to 220F

WB process 10 minutes

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Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Salad

thai salad 

I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of flowery talk about how good this salad is—there are plenty of people already doing that kind of writing. This delicious and healthy salad keeps in the fridge for about two days tops, but you’ll probably eat it up by then. This recipe makes a bunch—6 big servings, I’d say. Don’t dress the salad until you are about to serve it, as its delicate ingredients will get soggy.



  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 3 T fish sauce
  • 6 T lime juice (the juice of 2 limes)
  • 6 T vegetable oil (sub toasted sesame oil if you like)
  • Sriracha to taste


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 ounces dry, medium-width rice noodles
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 6 full leaves of green cabbage or about 1” sliced thin off of the head
  • one large handful of each — cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and green onions
  • salted peanuts


Prepare the dressing by blending the fist five ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add sriracha to taste. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the chicken breasts, turn heat to low, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the chicken cook for 17 minutes – while it’s cooking, you can prep the other ingredients. Remove from water, let cool slightly, and shred by hand.

Soak the rice noodles in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Drop in boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes, until cooked. You are looking for a tender firmness just like egg pasta. It’s very easy to overcook rice noodles and end up with mush, so keep tasting until they are just right. Cut through the noodles with a kitchen scissors if you want them to be shorter and easier to eat. Drain and rinse, and separate by hand if noodles stick together.

Peel the carrots and shred in a food processor. Shred the cabbage. Mince the cilantro, mint, and green onions.

Toss the chicken, noodles, vegetables, and remaining dressing (to taste) together. Garnish with peanuts. Serve immediately.


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