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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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I had a bunch of the Italian ladyfingers used for tiramisu, but no time or mascarpone to make the original. This is a pretty Americanized version, but I could just call it Lemon Pudding or Lemon Trifle and that would be fine too. No matter what you call it, it was a lovely end to the meal and I would make it again.

Lemon Tiramisu

1 box vanilla pudding, cooked to box instructions

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup Limoncello

1/4 cup Marsala

16 Italian ladyfingers

Combine the cooked vanilla pudding with half the lemon juice, the lemon zest, and vanilla extract. In a bowl or container big enough to fit the ladyfingers (one at a time), combine the rest of the lemon juice, Limoncello, and Marsala. Dip the ladyfingers one at a time into the mixture, long enough to absorb some liquid but not so long that they get soggy. Place in a single layer in your baking dish or cups. Spoon a light layer of the pudding mixture on top. Alternate layers until you’ve filled your dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but it’s best if you can wait at least a couple.

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Pudding is so easy to make that it almost seems like more work to make it from a box. Seriously, you can make it so many ways and you should. It’s so delicious,  I might make more tonight. I added a sprinkle of sea salt to the top just for fun because I love the salty-sweet combination.

Chocolate Pudding with Sea Salt

6 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder

1 tablespoon Frangelico or flavored alcohol of your choice (optional)

sea salt (optional)

Combine the cornstarch, sugar, salt, and milk in a pan and cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Off the heat, add the vanilla, cinnamon, coffee powder, and Frangelico. Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Sprinkle sea salt over the top right before serving.

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This recipe was the product of having corn and wanting to do something different without looking up a recipe. It’s a cross between a gratin and a corn pudding, and it was really good. Sort of sweet, part savory, and definitely cheesy. Looking forward to the leftovers!!

Corn Pudding Gratin

2 ears corn, kernels removed from cobs

1/4 onion, diced

1/2 cup white wine or sherry

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons butter

Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon of the butter until they have softened. Add the corn and stir through. Add the wine and milk and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Put half the mixture in a blender, blend and return to pan. Let it cook for another minute while you blend up the eggs in the blender to add some air to them. Turn the heat off the corn mixture and add the paprika and nutmeg. Let cool for a few minutes and then add the eggs and remove to a baking dish.

Spread the grated cheddar over the top and dot it with pieces of the remaining butter. Put under the broiler for a few minutes until brown and bubbly and puffed. If it hasn’t puffed up, leave it in the oven for a few minutes at 375. Let cool for a couple minutes before serving so it has time to set.

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