Monday, August 19, 2013

Easy Bread Pudding (A Foolproof Recipe)



I got this recipe from allrecipes.com but modified it a little according to my own taste and also some advice I got around the web.

Ingredients 
6 slices day-old bread
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins (optional but recommended)
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional but kinda typical)

Some modifications I made 
7 slices day-old Gardenia butterscotch bread (hence, less additional sugar used)
Less than 1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup white sugar
A pinch of ground nutmeg
No vanilla


Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 175 C.  
  2. Break bread into small pieces into an 8-inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread.  If desired, sprinkle with raisins.  
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla (and in my case, ground nutmeg).  Beat until well-mixed.  Pour over bread and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.  Let it rest for about 15 minutes so that the bread can fully absorb the egg mixture.  (Note: If the mixture has some lumps in it, pass it through a sieve before pouring it on the bread) 
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.  Serve with cream.  

The recipe for the cream was inspired by this neat cook (not just because she's tidy and clean but also because I think that her recipes are cool).  Again, I modified it a little (just in terms of measurement) because I was lacking resources to abide by the exact measurement.


Ingredients
300 ml milk (estimation)
1 1/2 tsp white sugar (or to taste, lest you have sweeter tooth)
3 tbsp cornstarch (estimation)


Procedure

  1. Heat up the milk and just when it starts boiling, pour the corn starch into the mixture (Note: Dissolve the corn starch with some cold milk before pouring so that there won't be lumps, at least, that's what I do).  Let it boil and then remove from the heat and let cool at room temperature.  
  2. You may add more cornstarch if you want it to be thicker but I like it just to have a little body but still light.  Remember to cover the milk while it is boiling and cooling as to avoid a "skin" to form on the surface of the milk.  


That's all for the recipe.  For most people, it is a comfort food and nice to be eaten on cold or rainy days.  Most people bake it for breakfast.  As for me, well, as long as it's good, I can take it any time.  

Just try bake it and do share (literally or figuratively is up to you) with me your results.  It would be good to have some affirmation that the recipe is indeed foolproof.  







Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Exciting Holiday


Two weeks' holiday is ending.  In just a blink of an eye.  Unbelievable.  
I'm just thinking that if this is the year-end holiday, it will only be for about two weeks times two which means two blinks of the eye.  Crap, I am now one of those people who feel that 24 hours in a day is not enough.  

Well, for what it's worth, I did spend my holiday quite productively and excitingly.  At least, that's what I felt to an extent that I think I need longer hours in a day.  No, this is not a complaint, God.  
Anyway, one of the few things I did was to clean the entire house including the balcony except for the other room+bathroom.  Yes, I did!  Wee~~ and it felt so refreshing to be in the know about where all the location of the things are in the house.  I guess I just got tired of seeing too many boxes around with dust covering them.  Not to mention, the house looks so messy and disgusting!  Just look at how my room looks like while I was decluttering.  



In the end, I just downsized into five medium-sized boxes.  All of them containing books, notes, CDs, board games, and rough papers.  In my quest to make my room into a CASA Impian, I went to a furniture shop and guess what I found -- a bookshelf!  The answer to all my prayers. 

 It's the one in the middle.  The slender one.  

So I made a deal with the sales guy and he promised to send the piece of furniture over on the following Monday.  The day I bought it was on a Wednesday.  Well, considering that it will be the public holiday the next day, I consented thinking that I had another week to ensure that the bookshelf will be cleaned and arranged in its rightful place.  

But as fate would have it, the bookshelf never reached my place.  On Monday, I called and the guy said that it might arrive on Wednesday but because I pushed him, he promised to try send it later at night, so I waited.  When it was already 2300 hours and no call came, I figured that he had decided to send it on Wednesday and decided to give the matter some rest.  So on Tuesday, I made this: 


Butterscotch Bread Pudding with Cream (not in the picture).  So sorry I'm not in the habit of taking pictures of food before eating (it died many years ago along with my camera -- sad story), hence the pudding up there has already been half-eaten before it occurred to me that it would be nice to have some memory of it in case I wouldn't be doing it anymore (I mean, not because I die *nervous laugh* but *cross fingers).  I modified the recipes a little.  If anyone's interested, I will post up the recipe the next time but if you just want me to bake it, forget about it.  Not in a particularly diligent mode right now :P 

Then Wednesday came and I waited for the shelf again.  I called the guy as late as I could, around 0900 and he said the shelf will come a little bit late.  So I had to wait again? Dammit but wait I did.  But I couldn't stick around for long because I had a date.  So, around 1400, I left the house and visited this cute little guy.  
 

Hello, Evan!  He's 5 months old, by the way.  It was my last chance to see him before he takes off the next morning.  He's very active even though he hasn't learned how to crawl yet.  Still, it doesn't stop him from rolling his body around the bed that one day, he even fell off it, according to Lis, the mum.  Since that day, she never left him alone on a bed even for just a minute.  And he's really heavy to carry, almost 10kg now.  So it's a real training for Lis :D   

When I got home, the furniture guy still hasn't called yet.  Fine, so I did and he said it will be delivered later that night.  And as you can guess, it never was.

Woke up the next morning and made this:


Pancakes! 

They're not as small as they look.  Claire and I got so full because of the pancake that we didn't even have lunch.  But I did eat something afterwards.  Just salad though and in very small portion! 

After breakfast, I brought a friend along to visit the furniture shop because I just couldn't stand the wait anymore.  As soon as the guy saw us, without me saying anything yet, he gave me back the deposit and told me to hold on to it and only pay the full amount when the furniture has arrived.  I felt good.  I didn't have to go so low as to quarrel with the guy or have my friend pull him by the collar.  LOL.   

Anyway, now we know that the furniture will never arrive but I still have to deal with this: 


Yeah, I know what you're thinking.  They don't look like five medium-sized boxes but hey, don't believe everything you see.  

Anyone has any suggestions on which furniture shop that can give me a good deal?  By good deal, I'm referring to good quality furniture with affordable prices.  The cheaper the better.  I am open even for second-handed furniture, as long as they are pleasant to the eyes and fits my budget.  Around RM100-150.  

Oh, and I got another recipe for caramel pudding, which will only be posted up if anyone's interested.  The texture is almost like the caramel pudding (Chez Recamier) that can be bought in Isetan, KLCC for RM3.50, if I remember correctly.  It was heavenly (the one I bought and yeah, the one I made too, hehe).  I got a lot of the containers to prove how good they taste but it's not good to show our weaknesses to others, eh? 


Just a preview ;)