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Individual Bread Puddings - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Bread pudding is the perfect way to use up leftovers, whether it’s vegetables from last night’s dinner, bacon from yesterday’s breakfast (who has leftover bacon?!), or bits of cheese after that party. The important thing is to have some flavorings like onions, garlic, and herbs along with cheese and eggs to soak into day old bread and bake up into a lovely custardy breakfast. I like to make them in single servings or in cupcake pans so that I can take them with me on busy mornings. They also freeze well and you can heat straight from the freezer in single servings.

Individual Bread Puddings

5 eggs

1 cup milk

2 cups day old bread, cubed (small if making individual servings, they have to fit in the muffin cups)

1/2 cup grated cheddar

1/2 cup grated asiago

1/2 onion, minced (or leftover)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup spinach, chopped (or leftover)

1 cup mushrooms, sliced (or leftover)

1 cup white wine

2 tablespoons sage, minced

Parmesan cheese for grating

Saute the onion, garlic,sage,  and mushrooms in a couple tablespoons olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and allow to wilt. Add the white wine and allow the alcohol to cook off, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper, and add in the cheddar and asiago. Add in the bread along with the vegetable mixture. Make sure the bread soaks up a lot of the liquid before cooking. Pour into lined muffin pans, individual ramekins, or a large baking dish. Top with grated parmesan and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes if using muffin pans and up to 45 minutes if using a baking dish. Make sure they have started to brown and puff up, to know they are done.

Individual Bread Puddings - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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This is a pretty traditional way to use up leftover pasta, and it’s scalable to however much you have leftover. It’s best when you can make a nice thin layer and get the whole thing really crispy, although this time I tried it with an extra egg to make it more frittata-like (I prefer it a little thinner). You can use any kind of leftover pasta, but it works best with long pasta rather than something like penne. I’ve made this several times since starting the blog, but it always seems to disappear before I can take pictures!

Spaghetti Frittata

Leftover spaghetti

Enough eggs to coat the spaghetti but not soupy

2 tablespoons sage (or another herb), chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

Scramble a couple eggs and pour over the spaghetti in a bowl. Stir it around, and if it doesn’t coat all the pasta, add another egg one at a time until it does. Add any herbs you like and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a frying pan with the olive oil, and press it until it goes all the way to the edges and is evenly distributed.

As it cooks, continue to occasionally press down to make it crisp. It will start to brown around the edges, and you can flip it over (with or without a plate on top to help). Let it brown and crisp on the second side and then remove to a cutting board. Slice into wedges and you can even add a side of some marinara sauce if you have it lying around.

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This is another updated post, I thought it was time to give one of my favorite breakfast treats some better pictures. I love zucchini bread, and it’s always my go-to breakfast to bring on the road. We are off to the beach for a week and I’m bringing this loaf to munch on for breakfast.

Zucchini Bread

1 cup flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1.5 tablespoons cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce)

1.5 cups dark brown sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two loaf pans.

Combine the dry ingredients (first 7 ingredients) in a bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.

Whisk in oil and sugar and then add the zucchini and the vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients in two parts, and just stir to combine.

Divide the batter into the two loaf pans and bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing.

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The last ramps of the season were sitting in my fridge, and what better way to use them up but with some eggs and bacon. I also had some leftover homegrown swiss chard that was given to me, so I threw those in with the ramps. A healthy way to start the day! Of course, there had to be a little bacon jam added but who doesn’t like bacon?

Eggs with Ramps and Bacon Jam

2 eggs

6-8 ramps, sliced in half

1 cup swiss chard (or other leafy green)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons bacon jam

Saute the ramps and swiss chard in the olive oil until they have wilted and caramelized a bit. Remove to a plate. Add the eggs carefully so as not to break the yolks and fry to desired cooking (I like the yolks runny so I leave them sunny side up). Season with salt and pepper and serve on top of the greens with a spoonful of bacon jam. If the jam is straight from the fridge, you can warm it up in the pan.

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As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite bakeries in the world is Flour Bakery in Boston. I remember Sunday mornings and trying to decide what I wanted most. I’ve been waiting to try the muffin recipes from the cookbook, but it’s usually a last minute thought and I don’t regularly keep Creme Fraiche lying around. So far, everything I’ve tried from the book has been really delicious like the Double Chocolate Cookies and the Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies. I even adapted the one muffin recipe that didn’t use Creme Fraiche into my Apple Oat Muffins and they were delicious.

These muffins were so light and fluffy, with a glorious crunchy muffin top that just crackles in the right way when you pull it off. Let’s be honest, most people go straight for the muffin top and then reluctantly eat the rest. These are so good, that you will love eating the whole thing.

The original recipe uses raspberry and rhubarb, and it gives suggestions for alternate recipes like the classic blueberry muffin. I adjusted based on what I had in the freezer, which in this case was frozen raspberries and blueberries. I like to bake them fresh, so I’ll keep the batter in the fridge and bake them in the morning. It lasts a couple days, and they turn out so much better when baked fresh. But you can refresh them by popping them back in the oven for a couple minutes.

Raspberry Blueberry Muffins

3 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs plus 1 yolk

1 1/4 sticks butter, melted

1 cup milk

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 cup creme fraiche

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and then add the sugar, butter, milk, creme fraiche, and vanilla, making sure all ingredients are at room temperature. I like to add the melted butter with the sugar and then everything else, so that it doesn’t re-solidify at all if your ingredients are a little colder.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently using a spatula. Fold in the berries gently. The batter is a little lumpy but don’t worry. Spoon into the muffin tin to fill the cups. Bake for 40 minutes until the muffin tops are golden brown and let cool before removing them.

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I always forget how much I actually like quiche until I have some leftover pie dough and make one. It’s a perfect lunch with some salad on the side and so easy to make. Plus, you can use up any leftovers in the fridge. Just substitute or add to the ingredients below, and you can even mix together the night before and pour into the dough in the morning to make a really quick breakfast. I recommend putting it on a baking sheet though, because the last thing you want to be doing is cleaning the bottom of the oven if it overflows.

Next week in my week off I’m planning on making a bunch of pie dough and freezing it so I have it whenever I need it….stay tuned…

Leek and Mushroom Quiche

6 eggs, beaten

6 mushrooms, sliced

1 leek, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup parmesan, grated

1/4 cup cheddar, grated

1 pie crust, homemade or frozen, docked (poked several times with a fork so that the air bubbles can get out)

Saute the onion, leek, and garlic in some olive oil for a couple minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and let cool. Add the cheese and eggs and stir to combine. Pour into the pie crust and top with a little extra grated parmesan if you like.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until browned and bubbling on top and the crust is browned on the edges. Let cool a few minutes before slicing.

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A couple years ago I came across a recipe for savory bread pudding and tried it out. Ever since, it’s been my go-to dish for using up leftovers in the fridge. There are endless varieties that you can make, and it’s actually better if you make it the night before and let it sit. All you have to do is pop it in the oven and breakfast is ready. It can easily be made in large quantities for groups, and it’s always a big hit. You can use whole eggs, egg whites, or a mixture depending on what you have. I had a couple egg whites leftover from making ice cream so I threw those in. You can also use any hard cheese, I happened to have some leftover manchego from the grilled corn I made earlier this week. And you can always add bacon to take it over the top.

Mushroom and Spinach Bread Pudding

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 eggs and 3 egg whites

2 cups crusty bread, cubed

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon rosemary, minced

1/2 cup frozen spinach, drained by squeezing in towel or paper towel

1/4 cup Marsala

1 tablespoon marjoram or oregano, chopped

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

1.5 cups grated cheese (cheddar, manchego, and parmesan)

salt and pepper

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and rosemary and cook until softened.

Add the spinach and cook through a minute. Add the Marsala and continue to cook until the wine has cooked away.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and add salt and pepper. Add the bread and allow it to soak in. Once the mushrooms have cooled a little, add them to the mixture along with the rest of the herbs and a cup of the grated cheese.

Stir to combine and pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until the top gets browned and crusty.

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