Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce

For the the greater part of human history, most cultures could not afford to waste food, so a number of uses for stale bread as an example were fashioned. Stale bread was used in many dishes, which were both savory and sweet. One of those sweet dishes became sweet bread pudding.

The basic recipe for such a dessert, was stale bread, eggs, milk and sugar. Over the years other things were added, like fresh or dried fruits, and nuts.

If two of your favorite desserts happen to be bread pudding and pumpkin pie, then why not enjoy the best of two worlds, that is pumpkin bread pudding?

Our featured recipe combines bread with pumpkin and pecans. But that is not all, this one is accompanied by a toffee sauce that has rum in it. Do we have your mouth watering? Then let’s get to baking. Here is what you will need for the featured recipe: Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce.

1 loaf or 16 oz. sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups pumpkin puree, without spices

3 cup half & half or heavy cream

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Chinese 5 star spice

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup pecan pieces

Toffee Sauce:

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons rum

1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

pecans added to bread pudding mixIn a large bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, half and half or cream, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, spice, and salt.bread added to wet ingredients for Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum SauceAdd the bread cubes and pecans and toss to coat, making sure all the bread cubes are coated with the egg mixture.

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding in baking dish ready to bakeSpoon the bread pudding into to 13 X 9 inch glass baking dish and bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center just comes out clean.

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce fresh out of the ovenSet aside on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum SauceAs the pumpkin bread is cooling you can prepare the toffee sauce. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add and mix together the brown sugar, heavy cream, melted butter, and one teaspoon of your favorite rum. Stir toether just until a soft boil, and set aside.

For the whipped cream topping, we personally place a large bowl and the wire whisk attachment or attachments in the freezer for about 5 minutes. A cold bowl and attachments will whip the heavy cream much faster.

In a large cold bowl, pour in the heavy cream, sugar, and rum. Whip until peaks form.

Serve a slice of pumpkin and pecan bread pudding with a dollop of whipped cream, drizzled with some toffee rum sauce, and a sprinkle of pecan pieces.

Try some of our other great bread pudding recipes…

  1. Capirotada – Mexican Bread Pudding
  2. Blueberry Pear and White Chocolate Bread Pudding
  3. Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding

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National Cocoa Day With A Chocolate Tiramisu

National Cocoa DayA hot cup of cocoa is the same as a hot cup of chocolate. Today December 13th according to National Day Calendar, it is National  Cocoa Day. What a great month to have such a day, as the day are getting colder, and a cup of hot cocoa seems the hot beverage to recognize. Even more so, that it is a wintry windy and rainy morning outside at the moment.

National Day Calendar notes that in their research on this day, they were unable to find the creator of National Cocoa Day.

But hey, what a great excuse to make a Chocolate Tiramisu, while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate or hot cocoa. If you enjoy the traditional tiramisu prepared with espresso, you’ll excite your taste buds with a chocolate tiramisu!

Here is what you will need to prepare your own Chocolate Tiramisu, while enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Chocolate Tiramisu

1¾ cup heavy cream, divided

1  cup coconut sugar or granulated sugar

16 ounces mascarpone cheese

¼ tsp. Himalayan salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

24-30 lady fingers

2 cups prepared hot chocolate, strong, cooled to room temperature

With an electric mixer, beat whipping cream with sugar on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Mix in salt, vanilla, and mascarpone cheese until combined.

Using a pastry bag, pipe a small amount of the cream mixture into the bottoms of 6 – 10 to 12 ounce dessert glasses.

Break lady fingers into pieces first, so they fit, then dip in hot chocolate and place in a single layer over cream mixture. Pipe in some more cream mixture, repeating layers, ending with the cream mixture.

Top with a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder, and top with shaved dark chocolate or real chocolate sprinkles.

Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

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Preparing a Natural All Organic Meal

Preparing a Natural All Organic Meal - header image

Many recipes humans have prepared for generations, have withstood the test of time, and not simple because the ingredients taste good together, but are enjoyed because they are more nutritious together than they are on their own.

Many who know basics of cooking have learned the spices and herbs that go well with certain foods to complement their flavors, making the dish more desirable and palatable.

The first private cooking school to open in the United States was in 1877 and was named the Boston Cooking School. The most notable was the creation of The Culinary Institute of America in 1946. Culinary schools educate future culinary professionals, teaching them the theory behind cooking, baking, and why certain foods go well together over others.

In this article we want to present the preparation of a natural all organic meal, using flavorings that are not traditionally used in preparing a meal, that includes a leafy green or side dishes and including a meat.

Garlic and Thyme Mashed PotatoesLet’s start to the right of the plated food with the Garlic and Thyme Mashed Potatoes, and here is what you will need.

1½ pounds medium red or Yukon Gold potatoes (3 or 4)

½ cup milk, use full fat milk

2 cloves garlic, smashed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ tablespoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Peel potatoes and cut them in half. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 18 to 22 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and mash the garlic, set aside.

milk-butter mix for - Garlic and Thyme Mashed PotatoesAdd the milk, salt, butter, thyme, and garlic to a medium sauce pan over medium heat, and bring to a soft boil. Turn heat off and let sit until the potatoes are cooled.

cooling potatoes for - Garlic and Thyme Mashed PotatoesWhen the potatoes are cooked, place a colander in the sink and drain the potatoes, do not rinse. Let them sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Return them to the same saucepan, and mash them, then add the liquid and mash in till well incorporated.

If needed, add a little more milk for a creamier consistency.

Now, let’s look at the center bottom of the plate in the header image and we will not the Orange Ginger and Rainbow Carrot’s. The simple ingredients used in this dish make it worth preparing. Here is what you will need.

Orange Ginger and Rainbow Carrot's1 bunch of rainbow carrots, washed and sliced

1/8 cup ginger syrup (can be purchased at your local health food store, such as Whole Foods Market, or Natural Grocers)

1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest

Cook carrots in a steamer until just tender. Remove and place into a vegetable serving bowl and add ginger syrup and orange zest and mix in.

 

 

Chopped Kale with Drizzled Maple SyrupNow let’s look to the upper left side of the plate and we will see the Chopped Kale with Drizzled Maple Syrup. This is what you will need.

1 bunch of kale, washed and leaves trimmed from steams

1/8 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 cup of real maple syrup

Chop leaves and set aside. To start add 1/8 cup each of the olive oil and syrup to the bottom of a salad bowl.

Add chopped greens and toss. After tossing, fork some greens to see if the oil and syrup ratio fit your needs, it not add a little more oil and syrup till it is just right.

At the top of the plate sits some thin cut boneless pork chops, that were rubbed with a Mayan Coffee Rub, that we purchased at the Whole foods Market. The rub also includes Mayan chocolate and other spices. Rub both sides of the chops, and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Place a large ceramic coated frying pan over medium-low heat, add 4 to 5 tablespoons of Irish Butter (or any butter churned from grass fed cow’s). Let melt, and when warmed add chops and slow cook, turn chops every 5 minutes, and cook till the internal meat temperature is 160 degrees.

Preparing a Natural All Organic Meal - footer image

Plate your food and enjoy. Remember, all of the ingredients used were all organic natural foods. With the natural flavors, not only will your palate  thank you, but so will your health.

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National Tortellini Day

National Tortellini Day

collage-of-places-in-modena-italyTortellini is a pasta that has made centuries of tradition for all the families that live in an Italian province called Modena.

The pasta is made on special occasions, using recipes handed down from one generation to another.

It is said the origins of tortellini dates back to the early 1600’s.

There is doubt and speculation as to who the person or persons are that invented the pasta.

Italian food is romantic

Today, February 13th is National Tortellini Day in the United States, according to The Nibble.

Italian food represents romance, and can bring out the romantic affection in anyone.

How is Tortellini Made

Here is a short video to demonstrate how tortellini is made. The video will present the preparation of Tortellini Bolognesi.

 

Nutritional Benefits of Tortellini 

Regular cheese tortellini, though it is pasta made from flour does have some nutritional benefits, like 72 mg of potassium, 20 mg of magnesium, also some small amounts of vitamin-A, iron and vitamin B-12 per 3/4 of a cup serving.

Recent studies have shown that a deficiency in vitamin B-12 can be associated with feelings of fatigue and low energy, including depression, irritability, anxiety, and dementia. So let’s eat some Tortellini.

Here’s three recipes from our kitchen to celebrate National Tortellini Day:

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

Plated close up of Tortellini and Summer Sausage with Tomato Basil Vinagrette

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tortellini and Summer Sausage with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

 

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Apple Whole Wheat Bread Strata with Cream Cheese Glaze

Apple Whole Wheat Bread Strata with Cream Cheese Glaze

Strata or stratta is a layered casserole dishes founded in American cuisine.

Strata is most commonly found among other prepared brunch dishes or recipes. Strata is compared to a quiche or frittata, made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread, eggs and cheese, including cream cheese.

Some bakers or cooks have even prepared strata with meat or vegetables.

Now for our featured recipe: Apple Whole Wheat Bread Strata with Cream Cheese Glaze, and here is what you will need.

Ingredients for the strata:

1 -24 oz. loaf of 100% whole grain bread

3 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges

8 large eggs

2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Ingredients for the glaze:

3 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 

Line the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with organic parchment paper, and brush the sides with organic unsalted butter.

Unpack the bread, and use all of the slices less the ends. Cut the crust off each piece, and set the crusts aside.

Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with half of the crust-less bread. Layer apple slices on top of bread, and layer remaining bread slices over the apple.

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well incorporated. Pour the egg mixture over the apples and Apple Whole Wheat Bread Strata with Cream Cheese Glaze - slicebread. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and refrigerate a 1 to 2 hours, or longer (If you wish you can remove strata after refrigerated time, leaving foil over dish, and let set for 30 minutes before baking).

Heat Oven to 350 degrees.

If you haven’t already done so, remove strata from the refrigerator, and place into heated oven with foil still over the dish.

Bake for 35 minutes, if the strata was room temperature or for 45 minutes if coming straight from the refrigerator. Remove foil, and bake for additional 15 minutes.

In a small sauce pot over medium heat, mix cream cheese, honey, milk, and vanilla. Continue to stir until cheese is melted and glaze is formed. Pour glaze over warmed strata. Spread glaze with back of a wooden spoon until evenly distributed.

Let sit 10 minutes. Sprinkle with organic powered cinnamon, and serve with apple slices and blueberries if desired.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is quick to prepare, very flavorful, and fills the tummy! It’s served with warm toasted yellow corn tortillas. Mexican Tortilla Soup is spicy and will warm you on a cold winter day or any time of the year.

This is a basic chicken soup dish, but taken to the next level here at Splendid Recipes and More. Just go light on the jalapenos, making sure to remove the seeds and ribs, and mince them very fine.

Jalapeño peppers have capsaicin, which is a great compound for making a healthy body.  Of the many health benefits the peppers provide, we thought you would enjoy this one: Studies have shown that jalapeños can provide pain relief for migraine headaches. The compound found in the peppers, capsaicin which is what makes the peppers hot, is known to inhibit a key neuropeptide, Substance P, which is the key brain pain transmitter.

Just mince the pepper with the ribs, excluding the seeds and eat down. Your palate will catch fire, so have a swig of milk to put it out.

Other benefits of the peppers include congestion relief, cardiovascular benefits, weight-loss, cancer prevention, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Here is what you will need:

Ingredients for - Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 jalapeños, seeded and de-vained (ribs removed for less heat), and minced

1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, cut into chunks

3 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2-3 tablespoons avocado oil

8 yellow corn tortilla, cut into strips 1/8 inch wide

1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast ( you can also use breast meat of a rotisserie cooked chicken).

First prepare the tortilla strips. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the strips in a large bowl with oil, salt and pepper to taste. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with unsalted butter, or use a line of parchment paper, and spread the strips of yellow corn tortillas on the sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Shake the pan once after 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

saute the onions for - Chicken Tortilla SoupIn a large saucepan, saute the onions in oil over medium-high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until you can smell the aroma of garlic, about 2 minutes.

add tomato, broth, and chillies - Chicken Tortilla SoupNext add the peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, and cumin. Add some black pepper to taste if you wish.

Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (2)Serve by ladling the soup into bowls, and topping a half of cup of the shredded cooked chicken and a handful of tortilla strips. Serve and enjoy!!

 

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Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie

Apple Cranberry Crumb PieThere are several different ways to make a pie crust. Everyone seems to have their favorite recipe. The most classic pie crust is made with butter. Making a pie crust with butter makes it more flaky.

Making a pie with butter takes some practice, because if you handle it too much it will end up being tough, the reason being your warm touch is melting the butter.

To get the perfect pie crust requires that all the ingredients are chilled, and doing so will give you a flaky, manageable dough. You can also make pie crust using a food processor. Let’s see how that works.

pie crust 1

Add your flour and butter and pulsate, but stop pulsing when you see the pieces of butter are pea size and still cold.

pie crust 2<—————

Now add some ice cold water slowly while pulsing, but just until you see clumps starting to form. When the clumps start to form this is a sign that the flour to water ratio is right. ———–>

pie crust 3After chilling your dough, lightly flour the surface you will be rolling your dough on. As the dough will absorb some of the flour, so putting to much can cause the dough to be tough.

pie crust 4<———–

To get that flaky crust, the butter has to be in solid form and not melted. This requires rolling out the dough promptly, getting it into the pie pan, and into the oven. Always remember, chunks of cold butter, renders flaky crust. ———>

Do you think you can do it? Sure you can. Here is the basic recipe we use here at Splendid Recipes:

Easy Pie Crust with Butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cold Butter

5 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt in processor. Next cut butter into chunks and add to processor. Pulsate until flour and butter are combined, and the chunks of butter are pea sized. Next while pulsating add a tablespoon at a time and stop adding water when you see clumps starting to form. Remove dough from processor, cut into two even parts, form into a ball and wrap each dough ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After removing dough from refrigerator, follow illustrations 3 and 4 above. To blind bake your pie crust, link here: Blind Baking.

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, there are variations to making a pie crust. Here is another pie crust recipe:

Easy Pie Crust with Buttermilk

With this pie crust the oil replaces the butter, and the cold ice water is replaced by buttermilk ( 5 tablespoons equal 1/3 cup).

2 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil (we use avocado oil or lite olive oil)

Sift flour and salt. Add buttermilk, oil and stir only until dry ingredients are blended in. Divide dough in half, and form into a ball and wrap each dough ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After removing dough from refrigerator, follow illustrations 3 and 4 above. To blind bake your pie crust, link here: Blind Baking.

After you have prepared your crust, blind baked it, here is an idea for some great pie ingredients to fill your crust with.

Apple Cranberry Crumb PieApple Cranberry Crumb Pie

1 prepared blind-baked pie crust

Filling

2 pounds of sweet-tart apples, peeled and cored – An excellent choice is Gravenstein, Braeburn, Fuji and Pink Lady. They are all crisp and sturdy apples for baking

1 3/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries, chopped

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Coarse salt

Topping

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a small mixing bowl make sugar mixture whisking together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Place apples in a large bowl and toss with the sugar mixture, coating apples thoroughly. Add cranberries, mixing in well. Spoon apple mixture in the pie crust, distributing evenly over the whole surface of the crust.

For the topping combine all ingredients, except butter, in a small bowl, and mix well. Next add butter, using two knives, cut in butter until mixture forms small pea sized pieces. Sprinkle over filling, covering completely.

Place prepared pie plate onto a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and continue baking 40 minutes, or until apples are tender. Insert a knife into the pie to check the firmness of the apples. If the apples are still firm, continue baking until they soften just a little. If topping is getting too brown and apples are not done yet, cover pie with aluminum foil to allow apples to bake a bit longer.

Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool 1 hour before serving.

Apple pies are best served at room temperature or warmed in a  350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie will keep at room temperature overnight, and can be stored in the refrigerator up to four days.

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