I have loved Bread Puddings all of my life. I also love carrot cake and after making up my own recipe for carrot cake decided why not try a carrot cake bread pudding. After many attempts and a few failures I think I have perfected one that I love. The final outcome for my carrot cake bread pudding  is in the recipe below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Rhonda's Carrot Cake Bread Pudding 

 

3 to 4 cups stale cinnamon raisin bread cubed

5 eggs

1/4 cup Dunkin' Donuts vanilla coffee creamer 

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon butter flavor extract 

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup very finely grated carrots 

1 heaping teaspoon grated orange zest

1/4 cup golden raisins 

1/4 cup shredded count 

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 package coconut cream instant pudding 

1/2 cup powdered sugar 

2 tablespoons milk

Cut the cinnamon raisin  bread into cubes and Place into a large bowl. 

Add the shredded carrots, coconut, chopped nuts (reserve 2 tablespoons of nuts for top) 

In a large 4 cup measuring cup beat 5 eggs, milk, vanilla creamer & cinnamon. 

Pour the egg mixture over the bread crumb mixture and stir well. 

Pour into a regular size loaf pan , you can fill almost to the top since this will not raise. Add the 2 tablespoons  chopped pecans to top of mixer.

Set the loaf pan into a baking dish and pour water around the loaf pan until about 2" deep. Bake at 350 degrees until middle is set when knife is inserted. Remove from oven and then move the bred pan from the water pan. Cool bread .

Icing

Mix the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar,1/2 pkg of coconut cream instant pudding, , and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir until smooth.

Pour mixture over the top of the bread pudding once it has cooled for about 15 minutes. Serve when cooled or refrigerate until chilled. 

Refrigerate any leftover bread pudding.

Beef and Balsamic Soup (Makes 2 Quarts)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 pounds top sirloin steak, cubed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2(8-ounce) packages, sliced mushrooms

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 clovers garlic, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1(32 -ounce) container beef broth

1 (2-pound) bag baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved

1(10-ounce) package frozen pearl onions, thawed

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Garnish: sour cream and thyme leaves

1.) In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss beef with salt and pepper. Add beef to pot, and cook stirring requently, until browned, 7-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, and set aside.

2.) Add mushrooms and chopped onion to pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute.  Stir in flour, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  Gradually stir in broth, potatoes, and reserved beef; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.

3.) Stir in pearl onions, vinegar, and thyme; cook 10 minutes more. Garnish with sour cream and thyme leaves, if desired.

 

Sweet Potato-Sage Soup (Makes 1 & 1.2 Quarts)

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1(32-ounce) container chicken broth

6 sage leaves

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 teasppon curry powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Garnish: cooked bacon, sage leaves

1.) In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, and set aside.  Add onion to Dutch oven and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute.  Add broth, sage, potatoes, and curry; cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for 30 minutes. Puree potatoes with an immersion blender, or in 3 batches with a regular blender. (I use my Ninja) Return to heat, and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with bacon and sage, if desired.

(This is one of my favorite soups for fall, even my kids love it!)

 

Spicy Corn Chowder (Makes 2 quarts)

 4 pablano chiles

1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 (32 ounce) container unsalted chicken broth

2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)

2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, chopped

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 bay leaf

3 cups sheredded cooked chicken

1/4 cup chopped basil

Garnish: shredded cheddar cheese, roasted corn kernels, basil leaves

1). Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; add chiles, and coat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Roast until peppers look blistered, 15 to 20 minutes turning several times. Remove, and let cool enough to handle. Peel and remove seeds (do not rinse). Chop peppers; set aside. 2). In a Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion;cook until tneder, about 10 miutes. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour, and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Gradually stir in broth. Add reserved peppers, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin and bay leaf. Cook until potatoes are tender, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in chicken and basil, and cook 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Garnish with cheese, corn kernels, and basil leaves , if desired.

Pulled Pork Posole (Makes 2 quarts)

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups chopped onion

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons Mexican chili powder

2(4-5 ounce cans) chopped green chiles

1 (28-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

3 (15.5 ounce) cans white hominy, drained and rinsed

1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth

1 pound smoked pulled pork (no sauce)

1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste

Garnish: thinly sliced radishes, fried corn totilla strips, lime wedges, fresh cilantro

 

In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until softnened, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add chili powder, paprika, and red pepper;cook for 1 minute.  Add chiles, tomatoes, hominy, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in pork, and cook for 15 minutes.  Add salt to taste. Garnish with raidishes, tortilla strips, lime wedges, and cilantro, if desired.

Spicy Baked Cabbage
One fresh head of cabbage
salt & pepper
olive oil
your favorite herbs or spices
Wash the cabbage, cut into the entire head of cabbage to make round slices about 1 inch thick, Gently place on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add salt, pepper, spices and then bake at 350 degrees until tender and edges are browned. I promise you, you will never want cooked cabbage again. This is so much more tasty instead of over cooked and soggy. Even my kids love it!!

I cannot eat without my herbs & spices. You will notice in each of my recipes I am always saying Yah's Best or Spicy Chimichurri. The Yah's Best is unbelievable & well worth the money , it can be added to any meat, salads, pastas, you can even add a Tablespoon of it to a small container of sour cream for dip, We love adding it to a dish with olive oil for dipping. This can be purchased at the Raleigh Farmer's Market where they set up on week ends & they have great samples of many different dips, and oils. You can also order the Yah's Best online at www.yah'sbest.com The other spices for pizza are made by Urban Accents & they can be purchased at World Market (one of my other favorite places to shop) I got these on sale for $2.49 per 2 pack. I use them in many different things and always put them on my salads, chicken, & canned white tuna. The Basil Pesto Black Olive & Feta is totally awesome. Instead of cover pasta with sauce I like to cook & drain the pasta, add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil & 2 Tablespoons of the Pesto, toss & serve. It is so much better to be able to taste the pasta and cut back on so much sauce.

If you are a pizza lover it doesn't mean you can't have your occasional pizza and still feel like you are eating healthy. We purchased these very thin( like thin crackers) premade crust & all I added was some tomato paste, pesto, thawed frozen spinach, sliced tomatoes, onions, and fresh mushroom slices, bake until warm, add low calorie cheese & enjoy.

Sunflower sprouts make a nice addition to any salad or sandwich. All you have to do is plant them in a container, water & watch them sprout. When you are growing them for sprouts be sure to plant tons of them and close together. You will pick them when they are about 2 inches tall. Pinch them off instead of cutting them to keep the stems from turning dark. They can be eaten plain also. My boys love these & I do to. The texture is different than a lot of other sprouts and greens with a thicker softer feel to them. Spring is here!!! plant some sunflower seeds!!! If you do not have an outside garden area plant them in a flower pot or a long plastic container. Better yet put several containers outside and plant the seeds a week apart in each container so you constantly have new sprouts.

Make a hot meal instead of having a cold salad with high calorie dressing. Refer to the recipe below. Hope you enjoy & learn that you can actually change things up and eat them differently than the usual way.

Fresh Express Salad (cooked)
Yep it's cooked as a meal instead of being eaten as a cold salad, much more filling and a quick healthy meal.
One bag of Fresh Express Sweet Chopped Kale Salad
1/2 cup diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup diced onion
Spray a non stick pan with some 0 calorie cooking spray and add the salad green, onion, & chicken. Saute' until tender but not over cooked. Put on a plate and add top with the pumpkin seed, cranberries and a little spicy chimichurri. I love this and will definitely be making it often. Very low calorie & I threw away the poppy seed dressing that came with it because that is where all of the calories are that we usually cover what would otherwise be a great salad with.

White Omelette
8 egg whites beaten
1/2 cup thawed drained frozen or fresh spinach( be sure to squeeze the excess water from spinach If using frozen)
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped ham
1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon spicy chimmichuri
In a non stick pan saute the onion, ham, spinach & mushrooms until just soft. Add the beaten egg whites and cook on low heat until eggs are almost cooked, turn the omelette over and add grated cheese to the top along with the chimmichuri. Turn off heat and let set until cheese is melted. This omelette makes about 3 large servings. I love it because it is low calorie and healthey yet very filling.

It takes only 3 ingredients for these great little peanut butter cookies.
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup sugar
Mix together in a bowl stir until combined,roll into small balls and then roll them in sugar and place on a cookie sheet. With a fork press gently to make imprints if you like and if not then just leave them as they are. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8-10 min or just until lightly browned. Remove and place on a cookie rack to cool and then store in a plastic air tight container. This is a very quick and simple cookie to make for a quick event or company

If you like a great breakfast muffin every now & then this is the one I love to make. It took a while to come up with what to me is the perfect recipe and not to sweet.
Banana Applesauce Muffins
2 over ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla`
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Mix the sugar and butter in a bowl and stir until combined very well. Place the flour, salt, baking soda & cinnamon in a measuring cup and then stir into the butter mixture alternately with the mashed banana & apple sauce.
Topping
Take a small bowl and mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 Tablespoons butter . Mix these together until they are all combined. If the mixture is to moist just add a little more flour and brown sugar. If the mixture is to dry then add a small amount of butter. Once you have done this , pour your muffin batter into large muffin pans, I always fill them a little no less than half way full, and then sprinkle the dry brown sugar mix on the top. I like to use quite a bit. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until done. I like to garnish with cranberries or your favorite dried fruit.

Refer to step 1 & 2 below to cut the perfect pineapple and have a lot more fruit left. This is a lot of fun & you will actually get to see just how many seeds a pineapple has inside.

Cut each two seeds at the same time from one side then the other, then lift and remove. Continue completely around the pineapple

Did you know that most people cut a pineapple wrong. The best way to cut a pineapple & have a lot more fruit is to do this.
Cut the top & bottom from the pineapple. Very gently slice away the peel from the outside completely around the pineapple. Do not cut deeply so you leave the seeds exposed as in the photo above. Next, lay the pineapple on its side and with your knife placed on an angle cut on the right side, then the left side of each two seeds then lift out, repeat this process until you have cut away each pair of seeds. Once completed you can then cut the pineapple away from the core.

Taco Bake

This is my own version of Taco Bake which all of my family loves.

1 package tortillas
2 pounds cooked & drained ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 jar salsa
1 can rinsed & drained black beans
1 jar of cheese dip
1 bag of shredded cheddar
Mix ground beef & onion in a medium pan and cooked until done. Drain the beef then add the black beans & salsa. Place 2 tortillas on a baking sheet side by side. Spoon on the beef just enough to cover both tortillas, then sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Continue topping with tortilla, beef mixture then cheddar cheese until you end with tortillas on the top. Spread the cheese dip on top and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted and absorbed a little.
Remove from oven, slice into pie shaped pieces. Top with your favorite topping. We use lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, green onions, salsa & sour cream. I also like to serve the usual refried beans topped with queso white cheese.


Fried Apple Jacks

Peel & cook 1 5lb bag of apples until soft, add approximately 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. Take one can of biscuits(do not use layered). Roll each biscuit with a rolling pin on a floured surface until thin. Place a heaping tablespoon of cooked, cooled apples. Press the edges together then gently fold all edges over on themselves until sealed. Fry in a shallow pan using Lard until golden brown. If you use regular cooking oil these will not have the same taste.

Personal Cheese Cake

Make your instant cheesecakes in these tiny jars and top with your favorite topping. You can put the lids on them and store them in the refrigerator until you eat them. These are great & it is a fun way for everyone to have their own dessert. You can also leave off the toppings (I do) until you hand them out. Just put a variety of toppings on the table & let everyone choose their own flavor .

Roasted Brussel Sprouts/ This recipe is currently on my Blog page.

Precut brussels, drizzle with olive oil and toss with your favorite herbs, salt & pepper. Bake at 305 until browned and crispy. These are so yummy that you will never want them cooked or steamed again . I use Yah's Best seasoning on all of my items that contain spices. You can order it online at Yah's Best.com

Agave Potato Salad

2 cups thinly sliced potatoes (cooked & drained)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon of Chimichurri spice
3 chopped & diced Agave pickles
Stir together all ingredients, salt & pepper to taste, chill & serve with extra pickles. (I use Chipotle Agave Pickles which you can purchase at your local Walmart. )

Water Cress Salad.
I mixed water cress and baby greens with a side of artisan lettuce & pineapple. Take 1/4 cup of lemon infused olive oil, mix with 1 T of apple cider vinegar and black pepper. Drizzle over the salad & then top with feta cheese. This is a very low calorie salad. I also added a few pecan halves but I like sliced almonds on it also

Simple Mini Pot Pies

1 can of Grands buttermilk biscuits

1 can of Marie Calendar Chicken Pot Pie soup

Non stick spray

1 muffin pan

Spray muffin tin with non stick spray making sure to coat all areas inside the cups

Roll each biscuit on a lightly floured surface until flat and approximately 4 inches in diameter

Place each flat biscuit dough into the the muffin cup leaving edges outside to pinch togehter when filled.

Put one spoonfool of the un heated soup into the muffin cup

Bring edges of dough togehter and pinch until the tops are closed.

Once the edges are all sealed so none of the soup bubbles out, spray tops with non stick spray and bake in oven at 350 degrees until golen brown.

These make a nice quick meal served along with a small side salad.

 

 

 

Rhonda's Home made Vegetable Soup

 

1 1/2 pound of ground beef (or cooked beef roast shredded)

2 medium onions diced

1 can green beans (undrained)

1 can corn (undrained)

1 can carrots (undrained)

1 can peas (undrained)

1 can canelli beans (undrained)

1 can Chick Peas/Garbonzo beans (undrained)

2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained)

1 small head of cabbage (shredded or chopped coursley)

3 large potatoes diced

2 can tomato soup

1 Tablespoon basil

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a very large cooker, brown the ground beef and onion. Do not drain the ground beef.  Add the canned tomatos, undrained along with the cabbage and potaoes. Add one cup water and let cook just until tender. Add all remaining cans of veggies and the basil, pepper, and the 2 cans of tomato soup.  Let simmer until all items are cooked.

You can add any veggies you like and you can also use a jar of spagetti sauce instead of the tomato soup. I love using the spaghetti sauce with the garlic and basil. I always serve my soup with hot home made corn bread.

 

 

Breakfast Egg Cups

8-10 slices of white bread (depending on how many egg cups you make. 1 slice per muffin tin cup)

8-10 small or medium eggs. (don't use large eggs they will run over the pans)

4-5 slices of cheese (half slice per cup, or you can use shredded cheddar)

8-10 teaspoons spoons  evaporated milk

5 pieces of crispy crumbled bacon, or you can use cooked, drained crumbled sausage

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 heaping Tablespoon real butter at soft temerature

salt

pepper

you favorite herbs ( I use OLDE THOMPSON organic no salt seasoning , Got it at BJ's wholesale)

 

Spray muffin tins with a non stick spray,  roll each slice of bread flat with a rolling pin.

Mix the syrup and butter together and spread one side only of the bread with the syrup and butter mixture. Place one slice of the flattened butter bread into the muffin cup with the buttered side being the inside of the cup.

Place your crumbled bacon or sausage in the bottom of the cup, just about a tablespoon in each cup.

Next break an egg into each cup, once again make sure you use small or medium eggs.

Place in oven on 350 degrees until the eggs are almost completely set. About 20 to 25 min.

Remove from oven and put 1 teaspoon of the evaporated mil on top of each cup, sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs and then top with the cheese.

Place egg cups back into the oven and bake until the cheese has melted .

Egg cups should be set and the bread should be a golden crispy brown.

I remove the egg cups by taking a butter knife or a small spatuala around the edge of each cup.

We love to also put hot sauce such as Texas Pete, Tabasco etc. on ours

HOPE YOU ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Rhonda's Honey Mustard Red Potato Salad

6-8 large red potatos

4-5 boiled eggs

1/2 cup mayonaise

1/4 cup mustard

1/4 cup organic honey (You can use any honey we just like the natural organic)

salt

pepper

herbs ( I use dill weed)

Wash potatos and dry well

Slice potatoes thinly on a Mandaline or by hand. I cut the potato in half length wise then i slice it on the short end with my slicer.

Boil the potatoes just until tender and drain well. I always drain off the hot water and then run cold water over them until they are cold. Then I pour into a collindar until very drained.

Take the mayonaise, mustard, & honey and mix them in a large bowl, add the dill, salt, pepper then toss the potaoes in the mixture, In this recipe I like to grate the hard boiled eggs into the potato mixture and just toss lightly as not to break the potatoes.

Love this recipe and it is best to me when it is served just after making at room temp.

You can add more mayonaise or mustard & honey according to your own preferance.  

HOPE YOU ENJOY!!!   And if you try any of my recipes please post me a message as to how you or you family liked it.