Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mama's Southern Bread Puddin

Lord my Mama was a great cook as was her Mama before her, my Nanny … well come to think of it there isn’t a bad cook in the family, at least on the McKellar side … I don’t know much at all about the Kincaid side except my Daddy was a great cook but he learned mostly from watching food shows on television.  All of us have a reputation for being great cooks … from family reunions, to church dinners, to cooking for friends and family … we always get rave reviews.

Bread Puddin (pudding to those of you with no Southern blood running through your veins lol) … now that’s one of those recipes everyone has a recipe for.  There’s some version of it in most every country: Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, England … I could go on and on.  Most every version calls for the basics: Milk, Bread, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Vanilla … the amounts all vary and the density of the final cooked pudding also differs.  Some leave their bread sliced and some crumble it up … Some add raisins or other fruit … and Some even have a sauce over them, as the Irish version does (Whiskey Sauce), but in my opinion, and everyone else who has had my Mama’s version, its not needed.

I don’t keep Whole Milk in my house unless, of course, I’m making something like my homemade Mac n Cheese which just cannot be made so delicious without using Whole Milk/Half n Half … sooooooooo for this recipe, which I usually make when I’ve got some leftover bread of some sort that needs to be used, I use my Silk Very Vanilla but you can still use Whole Milk as it calls for … the Silk though works just as well!  As for the bread I use … I’ve used everything from regular sandwich bread to leftover hamburger buns to leftover artisan bread … the only difference is, depending on the type bread, you add more or less Milk (or Silk in my case).

About the missing measurement for the Milk … that’s because as I’ve just said the amount you use depends on the type of bread and how dried out it may be (day old, three days old, whatever).  The mixture must be very wet and really soupy before it goes into the oven … here's pictures showing the mixture before I popped it into the oven.

Finally, as for the optional nuts, I love using Pecans in mine but I sometimes leave them out because my hubby is not a fan of nuts in his food … something to do with the texture lol  Oh and the Coconut, its kinda optional too but then again ... it wouldn't be my Mama's Bread Puddin without it cause she loooooooved Coconut.

Oh and one more final hint … the key to ‘mixing it up’ is mixing it with your hands … Mama and my Nanny always said that adds a little Southern sweetness!!!

So here it is … my Mama’s Southern Bread Puddin

Mama’s Southern Bread Puddin

Loaf of Bread
1-2 cups Sugar
Whole Milk
2 sticks Butter (melted)
6 Eggs
14 oz Coconut
1 Tbsp Vanilla
Chopped Nuts (optional)

Tear bread up, mix eggs, sugar and remaining ingredients.  Add enough milk to make it soupy.  Pour into 13x9 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees til done.  

Chicken Taco Soup

 This recipe is from my niece and is in the family cookbook I published a couple years ago.  As with all the soup recipes I post, this one is great for freezing.  Since it’s just me and my hubby at home we freeze a lot of stuff in individual portions in freezer bags cause most recipes just CANNOT be cut in half and we really don’t want to eat on a whole pot of soup for an entire week.  Freezing makes for an easy night’s supper when you don’t feel like cooking.  Just take it straight from the freezer, break it on the counter top, remove from bag and place in a saucepan on low on the stove top (I’m not a big fan of microwaves but microwaving would work just fine except that you would need to ‘defrost’ it in the microwave prior to heating it up) … just as good the second time around!  

Chicken Taco Soup

1 can Chicken Broth
1 can Black Beans, undrained
1 can Whole Kernel Corn, undrained
2 cans Tomatoes with Chilies
1 can Tomato Sauce
1 pkt Ranch Dressing Mix
1 pkt Taco Seasoning
3 Chicken Breasts, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
Olive Oil
Flour tortillas
Sour cream

Sauté Chicken with Onion.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Make sure you do not drain the Black Beans and Corn!!!  Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  You may want to add an additional can of Chicken Broth if it is not soupy enough.  

To prepare topping: Using a pizza cutter, cut Flour Tortillas in half, then cut into strips.  In a separate pan, fry tortilla strips until brown on both sides.  Serve soup with fried tortilla strips, cheese and sour cream on top.

Note: I use Rotel Tomatoes with Chilies but tonight I was out of them so I used Rotel Tomatoes with Cilantro and Lime …. Yummmmm worked out just fine!!!  You may want to only use a part of the Taco Seasoning packet until you’ve tasted … I use the whole packet but it does make it pretty spicy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nail Polish Hint

A trick I learned on Pinterest to dry and set your nail polish fast ... AND it really really works!  I used two coats of polish  (my favorite brand is OPI) followed by a top coat (as usual) and then dipped my fingers into Ice Water for about 20 seconds ... I did it twice per hand just to be sure and sure enough ... it was dry!  Plus that little tad of polish that gets stuck around the edges of your nails on your skin ... gone!    AND get this ... it lasted for over 2 weeks!!!  I'm not kidding.  Normally without doing this my polish will last close to 2 weeks before it starts chipping.  BUT after doing this it lasted over 2 weeks and without chipping ... the manicure only started looking bad because of nail growth!!!  Seriously!

Edit: I should have emphasized that I use 2 thin coats of polish letting them set for a minute in between and then apply the top coat BUT the ICE WATER trick does work ... fabulously!!!

Corn Casserole

Here's a great recipe I found on Pinterest.  It's a Paula Deen recipe so you know its good and Southern.  I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a hit ... no leftovers!  I should have made doubles!  LOL

Corn Casserole
1 can Whole Kernel Corn, drained
1 can Cream-Style Corn
1 pkg Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 cup Sour Cream
½ cup Butter, melted
1-1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 X 9 baking pan.

Mix together Corn, Jiffy Mix, Sour Cream and Butter in a large bowl.  Stir in the Cheese.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown and set. 

Source: Paula Deen