This morning I hadn’t even got to my station before I heard the store manager say “Julie, could you come here for a second? I need to talk to you.” My heart sank. It’s never a good thing when your boss comes to the floor and says that. I couldn’t, for the life of me, think what I had done or said to a co-worker or a customer that would get me a talking to. I don’t get talked to often but when I get called to the office for a talking to I usually have a pretty good idea why before I get to the office. The store manager took me aside and told me that on Saturday a customer pulled him aside and told him how awesome Julie on lane 5 was. I was friendly, talkative, and really good at my job. She would come back to the store and get in my line anytime. She appreciated how hard I work for her and the other customers. That was so totally NOT!!! what I was expecting to hear. It really made my day. I don’t often hear the positive things my customers think about me so it means the world to me when I hear them. It means as much to me that my store manager heard them too. So today I challenge you to take a minute or so out of your day and let your favorite cashier, hair dresser, nail tech, server, or others in service to you, know they are doing a good job and you appreciate them and what they do. You will never know how much it can mean to those in service.
This recipe is like eating the pumpkin part of a pumpkin pie. Originally, the recipe was keto but I am not so my adaption uses cow’s milk and real sugar. I like the recipe a little less sweet so I used 4 tablespoons of sugar. Add the other 2 tablespoons of sugar to the filling if you like it sweeter.
Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Adapted from The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook (note: My adaption is not keto)
4-6 TBS sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla
Grease a 5 inch pan well, get all the surfaces. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Add the milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and vanilla. Mix throughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and cover with foil. Add water into the liner and place the trivet in the pot. Place covered pan on the trivet. Lock the lid. Cook on high for 20 minutes. Naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure.
Did you ever have a weekend that was just made for being in the kitchen? My plans for the weekend were changed due to illness (hope you are feeling better, Audrey). It was cold, like -13 below zero so doing my traditional Sunday brunch at Happy Joe’s pizzeria wasn’t going to happen. Not even The Sons of Anarchy could hold my attention for long. So I decided to get in the kitchen and play with some of the recipes floating around in my to try pile.
I may have gone a little over board with the sweets. In addition to charred corn tilapia and cilantro rice from Christina Lanes, Cooking for Two cookbook. I also made two batches of fudge from her Desserts for Two blog, two batches of short bread cookies from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix cookbook, and my favorite thing I made this weekend, a simple butterscotch pudding.
Pudding used to be one of my favorite treats. However, I gave it up when I started removing processed foods from my diet. I never tried making pudding from scratch because I though it was one of those rare things that just wasn’t worth making from scratch. Which just goes to show you I don’t know everything. It is so worth making pudding from scratch. You won’t believe the boxed stuff is the same as the homemade stuff.
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 TBS plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp butter
3/4 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the milk and egg yolk, stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Cook 1-2 minutes longer or until the mixture thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat; stir in the butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature stirring several times. Pour into 2 dessert dishes and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for two hours before eating.
No matter how much a person likes bread it is hard for one person to finish a whole loaf of bread. I used to think the only thing to do with stale bread is throw it away or feed it to the outside birds. Now I know that stale bread is one of the kitchen’s greatest gifts. There are so many yummy things to do with it.
A good place to begin exploring the possibilities of stale bread is with bread pudding. Bread pudding can be a sweet dessert or a savory main dish. Today’s recipe is a sweet dessert bread pudding. I like to very he dried fruits I use. You could also change up the spices if you wanted.
1 1/2 – 2 cup soft bread cubes
2/3 cup milk
3 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS butter, melted
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup dried fruit
Place bread in a greased 2 cup baking dish. In a bowl, whisk egg and milk, stir in brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over bread; let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with raisins. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 2 servings