Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Attempt to Make Bread Pudding

 A couple weekends ago, I attempted to make bread pudding for the very first time.  I tried out a recipe from My family enjoyed it, but I thought it was just all right. I think I had added too  much liquid.  Well, I don't think. I know. I've had bread pudding before, and it isn't supposed to be that liquidy...just an excuse for me to make it again.

I didn't have any day old bread, so I cut up half a french loaf and let it sit over night so it'd be dry enough to soak up the eggs, cream, and vanilla. The recipe calls for adding bananas, which I did, but I also made one with apples. The general consensus was that the apple one was better, but that could have been because the bread didn't have much texture to contrast with the softness of the bananas. But texture aside, I did like the flavor of the apple version better too.

The recipe has you cook the bananas and then place them between two layers of bread crumbs before you add the cream/egg/etc mixture. I'm not sure this step is really necessary. Next time I'm going to skip it and just mix the fruit and spices together with cubed bread. The liquid definitely needs to be added last. Next time I just won't add so much.

Without further ado, here are a few pictures I took. Don't laugh. It was my first attempt.

Mise en place (it's essential to have everything read BEFORE you start baking)

Apples going in the oven
Bananas going in the oven

Both bread puddings ready to be cooked

the finished banana bread pudding
(I later added a little whipped cream too)

I'll Do Better In April

I'm gradually learning to prioritize writing to my blog (which I've been horrible keeping up with), reading other people's blogs (my ereader backlog is 500+ strong), catching up on twitter (I currently have 929 *favorites* that I want to read but haven't yet), plus read the books in my massive to-read pile while writing reviews on them so I can actually participate in the Book Challenges I've signed up for) and make sure I watch my favorite shows. I think if I have a schedule, I'll be able to squeeze all of these things into my already busy life. I need to prioritize. I promise to do better in April.

Speaking of books, check out this AWESOME stack of books I won from Maggie Stiefvater's blog! I've never won anything like this before, and I'm super excited to get them. About half of them are already on my to-read list. I posted this pic on Facebook, and I already have three people asking to borrow some. (I've found I AM THE LIBRARY for several of my friends.) I need to start keeping a list of who has which books, because I currently have five books lent out, and I'm pretty sure I only know where three (maybe four) of them are. I keep close track of my favorite books, but others just get lost in the shuffle.

Monday, March 28, 2011

An interview with Wendy Booker

I love this! Having MS doesn't mean you have to stop living your life.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chocolate-1, Susanne-0

I enjoy cooking, but a baker I am not. I attempted to make chocolate covered marshmallows today. I had a grand image in my head of a field of marshmallows, covered with chocolate, nuts, and sprinkles. Instead, this is what I got.

At first glance, they look half-way decent, so I'm recommending you not look too closely.  Chocolate, as I learned, is a tempermental #$*&%. Good heavens, she does not like to be told what to do. Silly me for thinking it would be easy.

But this was my first time really working with chocolate, so I'm considering this (and my next few attempts...if there are any) as a learning process. Here's what I learned:

1. Have your marshmallows skewered and ready to go before you melt your chocolate, because the chocolate cools quickly and then it gets lumpy and gritty. 
2. Marshmallows taste better coated with milk chocolate rather than semi-sweet.
3. The appeals (the orange stuff) melt easily and stay melted for a while. 
I like appeals.
4. I can chop nuts and chocolate quickly.
5. Next time I want to make some with crushed graham crackers and coconut.

I had also planned to make Banana Bread Pudding today, but my Mom, Sam, and Sammy left after lunch to visit with Stephan and his family, and they didn't get back until after 8:30. Bread pudding is best served warm, in my opinion, so I'll attempt to make it tomorrow. I have much more confidence in my ability to make it than work with chocolate.

I did get a little bit done. Here's as far as I got on it today.

Since I was planning on making the bread pudding, I went to Sam's Club to see if they had day old bread I could buy. Unfortunately (for me), they pull the bread the day after it's expiration date and donate it. So instead I bought a french loaf, cut it into slices, and left the slices out to dry so it can soak up all the creamy, banana-y goodness. Tomorrow is going to be a yummy day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Draw the line and defend it

I saw a version of this on Facebook and loved it. I added/changed the last three lines, but the overall message is unchanged.

The Girl you just called fat? She's been starving herself & has lost over 30lbs.
The Boy you just called stupid? He has a learning disability & studies over 4hrs a night.
The Girl you just called ugly? She spends hours putting makeup on hoping people will like her.
The Boy you just tripped? He's abused enough at home.
Every person has a story. 

Accept differences. Show kindness.
Zero tolerance for bullying.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Sammyisms

Sammy: Annie, can you hold me in your arms?
Me: ((heart melts))

Sammy: What are you listening to? 
Me: A story about boys in space (Ender's Game) 
Sammy: What!? Boys aren't "aposed" to be in space.

‎Sammy: Why do they make stores so big? 
Me: So they can sell lots of stuff 
Sammy: If they made just little stores, they can have just one thing.
Me: What one thing would they have?
Sammy: a toy
Me: What toy?
Sammy: A lego face

Out of the blue, Sammy asked: Why do people need pinkies?

‎Sammy: I like your shoes, Annie! 
Me: Thank you. 
Sammy: Why do they have sticks on the bottom?

Sammy: When I eat, I'm going to eat outside so I don't break your house, 'cause I'm going to get big like the 'Credible Hulk. He's SO big.

Sammy: Why is one a tooth but two is teeth? 
Me: Because two is more than one. It's plural. You change the word a little when it's more than one. 
Sammy: Two is a turtle?