Savory Bread Pudding

IMG_0132
I am not very good at using all of an ingredient. I use what I need for the recipe then the rest goes bad before I can use it in another recipe. It is a horrible waste, not only of the ingredient, but of the money used to buy the ingredient. So I am always on the look out for recipes that are flexible enough to allow me to use up any left over ingredients I have in the fridge.

This savory bread pudding is extremely flexible as you can use any bread, fresh or stale, cheese or vegetable you have on hand.

Savory Bread Pudding


Ingredients
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Dried or fresh herbs, to taste
1 1/2 cups bread cubes
1 1/2 cups diced cooked vegetables
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 quart baking dish with non stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk and herbs, until well blended. Fold inn cubed bread, vegetables and 3/4 cup cheese. Pour into the prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until set.

Adapted from the Cabot Creamery COOP

Advertisements

My New Toy and a Recipe

IMG_0105
When I started A Solitary Feast a little over a year ago, I promised myself, if I was still interested in blogging after one year, I would buy myself a digital camera. Well, my first anniversary was March 6. I am still interested in keeping up my blog so a few weeks ago, I went out and bought myself a Cannon Rebel T5. It isn’t the newest version of the Rebel out there but everyone I talked to said it was a good, solid camera for a beginner.

The camera came in a bundle with two lenses, a camera bag and more buttons and settings than I will probably ever know what to do with. I am so excited to start learning what this camera can do. I haven’t had much time to get out and play with it because life keeps getting in the way. However, I have managed to shoot a few pictures on automode. I thought I would share a few pictures I have taken with you. BEWARE! Most of these pictures are of my animals, some of which are rodents. If rodents bother you in general or the thought of rodents on a food blog bothers you, please stop and skip to the recipe or come back tomorrow when my post will most likely be animal free.

Pork Chops with Apples and Sauerkraut


Ingredients
2 4oz center cut pork chops
1/4 tsp salt
Dash pepper
1 1/2 Golden Delicious apples
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sauerkraut, well drained
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp canola oil

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tsp canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add pork and cook until browned and cooked through, 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate to keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the pan. When oil is hot add the apples and cinnamon. Cook until the apples start to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add Sauerkraut and caraway seeds, cook until heated though.

Adapted from an old issue of Weight Watcher’s Magazine

Infinity Muffins

IMG_0079Last week was really rough. A very busy week at work, a best friend, Debby, going through some really rough times and very little sleep, really kicked my butt mentally, physically and emotionally. This post is going to be all about the good things that came from a very difficult week. They were there I just really had to look for them.

1. In spite of the horrible thing that brought her back to Fargo, it was really nice to be able to spend time being with Debby. We hadn’t seen each other in 4 years.
2. My coworkers, Adrienne and Jeanette. They were very understanding when I had to take a longer lunch hour Saturday so I could deal with some stuff. They are also just fabulous to work with. They kept a very busy week at work from being a very stressful week at work.
3. A trip to Costco with Jana where I bought way too many cans of diced tomatoes and tomato paste because I am sick of always being out when I want to cook.
4. Some pretty new props for my blog.IMG_0077
5. A new Christine Feehan book.
6. Going to church for the first time in a long time.
7. Muffins. Lots and lots of muffins as they were the only thing I had the time or energy to make all week.

This is a great muffin recipe because you use the same base for all the variations. You just make some minor variations to the spices and add ins for different kinds of muffins. The variations are infinite, hence the name infinity muffins.

Infinity Muffins


Ingredients
1 ½ TBS canola oil
1 cups all flour
2 TBS sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
½ cup milk
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 6 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat together the egg, milk and oil in another bowl. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and combine the ingredients swiftly, but gently, until the ingredients are just moistened. The batter should be lumpy and thick but quite moist. Add a little more milk or other liquid if necessary. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them about 2/3’s full and handling the batter as little as possible. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before taking them out of the tin. Serve warm.

Spice Muffins: Add ¾ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp each ground allspice and ground ginger and ¼ ground cloves or nutmeg to the dry ingredient; use ½ cup whole wheat flour in place of ½ cup all-purpose flour. Add ¼ cup raisins, currants, dates, or dried figs to the prepared batter if you like. You can use all white flour instead of part whole wheat.

Cranberry Muffins: Try substituting cornmeal for ¼ cup of the flour. Add ½ tsp ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Stir in ½ cup fresh cranberries to into the batter at the last minute; don’t defrost if using frozen. Cranberry muffins are excellent with a ¼ cup chopped nuts and/or 2 ½ teaspoons minced orange zest added to the prepared batter.

Savory Muffins: Cut back the sugar to 1 ½ teaspoons. Add up to ½ cup each minced onion and shredded cheese to the batter just before baking.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins: add ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg to the dry ingredients. Fold in ¼ cup walnuts and ½ cup apple to the prepared batter.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything with some variations by me

Pork and Cabbage Soup

What they say about the weather in North Dakota is true. If you don’t like it, wait 10 minutes and it will change. Last Monday we had bright, sun shiny, weather with temperatures in the low 60’s. This Monday, the weather is cold, gray and the temperature is in the high 30’s. A lot of people complain about rainy weather, especially when it seems like we just got rid of the cold gray and snow of winter. I think those people aren’t seeing the good things the rain is bringing. From my seat at the library window I can see the emerald green grass, the leaf buds on the trees, and the pretty little flowers that are peeking around the fence.

It is the perfect kind of day to explore a new restaurant with a friend, hit the museum, hit your favorite downtown stores and just generally hang out with one of your best friends. It was also a very good day for soup.

I don’t remember exactly where I got this recipe but I already had everything in my fridge to make it so when I woke up at 2:30 AM to freezing cold apartment it seemed just the thing to make for lunch. All in all, this rainy, gray, cold day couldn’t have been much better.

Pork and Cabbage Soup


Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 (16 ounce) package coleslaw mix
1 (16 ounce) package frozen vegetables
4 cups chicken broth

Heat the oil in a large saucepan; add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add pork and sage, continue cooking 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add coleslaw, and cook until cabbage is softened, about 2 minutes. Add vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce hat to medium and simmer, covered, until vegetables are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Adapted from I Don’t Remember Where

Corn Bread

WIN_20150504_143225 (2)
In my parents garage, by the door going into the house, are two beautiful cast aluminum cornbread pans hanging on the wall. I have made no secret that I want them. After all, isn’t it my responsibility to help those corn bread pans fulfill their destiny by making as batches of corn bread in them as I can? Apparently not. Every time my mom and I go through the garage we have the exact same conversation.

Me: Mom, I am taking your corn bread pans.
Mom: No.
Me: But I would actually use them for making cornbread.
Mom: You can have them when I am dead.

My mom can quit worrying that I am planning her untimely demise. Yesterday, when I was thrift store shopping, I found a cast iron corn bread pan. I have seen cast iron cornbread pans before but they were between 65 -85 dollars, way out of my price range. The one I bought was only 15 dollars. It is good shape with very little rust. I can hardly wait to get it cleaned up and give it a try.

I now have a lovely corn bread pan. Now what I need is a lovely corn bread recipe. So, my dear readers, do you have a lovely corn bread recipe to share with me? If you do post them in the comments or email me at budgiegirl1@outlook.com. I will adapt them to small batch and post them here. In the meantime, here is my current corn bread recipe to inspire you.

Corn Bread

½ cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 TBS buttermilk powder
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
1 ½ TBS sugar or honey
1 ½ TBS melted butter or canola oil
½ cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6 inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk powder and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the water, sugar, butter and egg in another bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix just enough to thoroughly combine. Spread into the prepared pans and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 2-3 servings