Strawberry Orange Almond Crisp and a Terrific Casserole

This photo almost ended up with the spoon in it…I couldn’t wait to taste!

I was out of town for several days at the end of last week to visit with family and friends, and took my new laptop with me so I could post and read while away. Woe was me when I found that I couldn’t “connect” from where I was due to spotty internet service and no wi-fi available yet. Ah, technology, it’s great when it works…

A fabulous bread pudding-like casserole that is great the next day, too!

I’m back home now and I’d like to share a couple of very tasty items I made before I left town. One was the lovely dessert above. The other was a dish from blogger friends Katherine and Greg over at Rufus’—a wonderful Kale, Spinach and Bread Casserole that we enjoyed oh-so-very-much and that I highly recommend. Katherine’s recipe, which you can find here, immediately got my attention because I’m such a fan of savory bread puddings and greens. She used gruyere and blue cheeses in hers, which sounds divine and I would have, too, except for the fact that I was leaving town and only had fontina and parmesan on hand. I’m happy to say that it was terrific with these two cheeses, so I know it must be outstanding with the other two…especially since gruyere and blue are two of my favorite cheeses. I’ll be making this one again, and thanks, Katherine, for the recipe!

And now for the dessert. I had lots of fresh Florida strawberries on hand, and I wanted to try something I’d never had or seen, a fruit crisp made with strawberries only. I’ve often wondered why you never seem to see a strawberry crisp even though you do see pies occasionally—I guess it’s because it takes a lot of strawberries to make one—but I have to say, it’s really a terrific thing! My recipe, which pairs the flavor of orange and some almonds with tart berries, is really a delicious way to enjoy this spring fruit treat. It’s not an overly sweet dessert and can be made more so when topped with vanilla ice cream, or more complex by enhancing the natural sweetness of the berries by topping it with crème fraiche. The first time we had it, ice cream was on hand, but I can tell you that the next day, using the crème fraiche just took it into the stratosphere! And of course, you could use whipped cream flavored with Grand Marnier…or whatever you like. Continue reading

Don’t Touch That Dial: It’s a HEALTHY Bread Pudding!

Butternut Squash, Kale and Parmesan Bread Pudding. Very tasty, very satisfying and very vegetarian!

Bread Pudding. The mere mention makes me want some. I love it sweet…the traditional way with whisky sauce (no raisins or pineapple in that please), or chocolatey—I had a chocolate banana bread pudding once that almost made me swoon—or cinnamon caramel-y with pecans and bourbon whipped cream will do nicely, too. I love it savory…that Ham, Fontina and Spinach bread pudding could yet be my downfall. They are all fantastic, and all, alas, rather caloric. In my mind, the words “Healthy” and “Bread Pudding” just don’t go together.

Until now. Continue reading

Holiday Happiness: Ham, Fontina and Spinach Bread Pudding

The proof was in the pudding...and now it's in my tummy!

I’m not making one thing for Thanksgiving Dinner today. We are home for the holiday and plan to dine out late this afternoon. I’m saving myself and looking forward to cooking Christmas dinner with my mom next month, but meanwhile, I did want to honor this holiday with something special for breakfast. I tore this recipe out of Gourmet Magazine 12 years ago, then made it so often that I mangled the tear sheet and had to transfer it, handwritten, into my personal recipe book (this was before the time of recipes on the internet), and now some parts are almost illegible from plain ‘ole custard spattering and use. This is my go-to holiday brunch dish, and I do believe this is the best savory bread pudding I’ve ever put in my mouth! Continue reading