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St. Patrick’s Day Bread Pudding?? LOL!

19 Mar

Ono Bread Pudding

Okay, this is not your typical St. Patrick’s day food or post. I’m not Irish and didn’t grow up in a community with many Irish. In fact, I didn’t even know I was supposed to eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s day until I was in my mid-20’s. I thought corned beef came from a can that I had to open with a “key” that was attached to the side. I know… sad. I’m happy to say that my awesome husband did make corned beef this past weekend and it was AWESOME. My kids were so-so about it so he had to turn the leftovers into corned beef hash, which they ate up!

So, you may ask, what led me to my bread pudding. Well, we got a free loaf of french bread the weekend before. I think we had the intention to make spaghetti with french bread, but never got around to it. I didn’t want to throw away my free bread and sat there on Saturday wondering what I was supposed to do with this huge loaf of stale bread. Well duh… bread pudding. Okay, I have to say this is the BEST bread pudding I’ve ever made. I’m not sure if it was the bread or the vanilla bean PASTE that I used, but wow… YUM. Below is the recipe I used and I encourage you to try it. It was very yummy, especially when we topped it with vanilla bean ice cream from a local creamery. 🙂

BTW, I didn’t say it was healthy. Lol!

BREAD PUDDING (adapted from

  • 1 loaf day old French bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup Splenda (or white sugar)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Break bread into small pieces into a 9×13 pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread and sprinkle with raisins.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

Chicken Parmesan MEATLOAF! Oh… so… good!

11 Jan

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Okay, you might just think I’m crazy, but this is what we had for dinner last night and it was so good.  I found this recipe on “What’s Cooking Chicago” blog.  I had to think twice about this recipe, but it was really good.  You have to check out Joelen’s blog and this wonderful recipe.  Honestly, it’s delicious.  I added homemade mashed sweet potato and I can’t tell you how much my family loved this dinner.  Even my Little Sweet Pea loved it.  🙂

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf (Recipe by What’s Cookin’ Chicago)

  • 1 lb ground chicken (ground turkey can be substituted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • minced parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. To not over handle the mixture otherwise it will get tough. Place the mixture in the greased loaf pan and form into a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce.

Place filled loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Cereal Almond Snack Recipe (sinfully delicious!)

22 Dec

Cereal "Almond" Snack

With Ms. Little Bubbles on winter break, I’m taking a break from bento making and have shifted focus to simple and easy baking.  🙂  Ms. Little Bubbles has a few friends in the neighborhood and I wanted to make them a tasty treat.  My sister-in-law raved about the “Cereal Almond Snack” that our aunt made for her.  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to almonds and my version turned into “Cereal, Cereal and More Cereal Snack”.  It’s a nice change up from the typical Chex Mix cereal snack.  Here’s my version of cereal snack goodness (and it’s addictively good!)

Cereal (Almond) Snack


  • 2 cups Cherrios Cereal
  • 2 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal
  • 2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal (I added this to the original recipe)
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (I took this out due to my allergy)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup real maple or maple-flavored syrup


  • Heat oven to 300 F. Line one large (17×14 inch) cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, mix all the cereal, oats and almonds together. Set aside.
  • In a 1-quart saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and syrup over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted.  Pour over the cereal mixture and stir until well coated.  Spread the mixture evenly on the foil lined cookie sheet with a rubber spatula until it’s about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown.  Cool completely (about 15 minutes).  Break into pieces with fingers and store tightly in a covered container.

Simple Gifts for the Neighborhood Kids


Furikake Salmon Recipe as a Holiday Gift

19 Dec

Furikake Gifts

Every year I try to find a nice simple gift for my co-workers. This year I decided to give a bottle of furikake along with a salmon furikake recipe.  As I handed out the gifts, I realized that I worked with many people that didn’t know what furikake was and I had to explain the beauty of this little bottle.  And then I realized I didn’t really know how to explain what was in furikake, and why it’s a staple in my house.  LOL.  By the end, I was calling it “Japanese Seasoning”.  Which, I suppose, isn’t that wrong.

Below is the recipe I gave with the bottles of furikake:

Salmon Furikake Recipe

BTW, I think I took ALL the bottles of fuikake from the store.  LOL.  On a completely random note, at my work holiday party, my boss wanted to do something different and hired a paella caterer to come on location to make a paella for ~200 people.  About 45 minutes into making the paella, IT FELL OVER!!!!  With no back up paella maker/food, we ended up with pizza!  🙂

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