At the green table: Mom’s Fruit and Raisin Bread Pudding

Mom’s Fruit and Raisin Bread Pudding

Mom’s Fruit and Raisin Bread Pudding

This recipe is adapted, very slightly, from a recipe in Adventures of an Italian Food Lover , by Faith Heller Willinger and is a bit of a cross between bread pudding and a fruit cake. It is a combination of custard, cooked fruit, raisins soaked in a sweet desert wine such as Moscato or perhaps rum and coarse fresh bread crumbs.    This bread pudding is easy to make and has an incredibly delicious, moist and dense texture.

The desert in the book was prepared by Fausto and Franca Maculan and their mother Giuseppina for a luncheon given at their Maculan winery near Venice. The original recipe uses raisins soaked in their Torcolato. The same desert wine is also served with the bread pudding. Torcolato is a very elegant desert wine, but it can be difficult to find in this country and generally sells for about $60 to $80 per bottle. You can find it online from several sources. The recipe below substitutes a Moscato desert wine for the raisins and a sparkling glass, or more, of a Moscato d”Asti to drink.    Both are readily available and generally quite a bit less expensive than the Torcolato.

Mom’s Fruit and Raisin Bread Pudding

Mom’s Fruit and Raisin Bread Pudding

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of seedless raisins

1 1/3 cups of Moscato, you can substitute your favorite desert wine or dark rum, such as Meyer’s Rum from Jamaica

2 or 3 firm ripe pears, such as the Bartlett Pear, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups

1 large Gala, or Fuji apple, you can substitute your favorite apple for making apple sauce, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups

1/2 cup or 1 stick of unsalted butter, plus some additional for buttering the pan

1/2 cup of turbinado or raw sugar, adjust amount according to the sweetness of the fruit and your taste

3 cups of course, fresh bead crumbs from a good quality loaf of artisan bread, or make your own with Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe tear the bread into chunks and pulse in a food processor

4 cups of whole milk

1 teaspoon of a good quality vanilla extract

3 large eggs zest from one medium organic lemon, about 2 teaspoons

sea salt

Mom’s Fruit and Raisin Bread Pudding

Mom’s Fruit and Raisin Bread Pudding

Method

Soak the raisins in the Moscato, covered for about 12 hours, at room temperature.    Drain and reserve.

Peel, quarter, core and slice the pears and apple. Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sliced pears, apple, and sugar. (If the pears are a bit soft, you can add them after the apple has cook for 5 minutes.) Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring. Then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. the pan with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Mash the fruit in.

Then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the the juice is thickened and the fruit resembles a chunky apple sauce, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer the fruit mixture to a dish, taste and add sugar if needed, then allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 400o F.

In a bowl, whisk the milk and vanilla. Then stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups of bread crumbs and let them soak for at least 15 minutes, up to hour or until the bread is well saturated. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest and a pinch of sea salt. Then stir in the milk with the soaked bread crumbs, fruit purée and raisins.

Line the bottom of a leak-proof 10-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.. (You can cover the outside bottom and side tightly with aluminum boil to make sure it is leakproof.) Lightly butter the paper and the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs.

Pour the filling into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven until the top is golden and the center is evenly set., generally about 35 to 45 minutes. In some ovens, however, it has taken me closer to 60 minutes.

Cool completely in the pan placed on a wire rack, for about 1 to 2 hours. Then cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. This will allow the flavors to develop.

To serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and release the sides. Transfer to a serving plate and slice. Serve with whipped cream or powdered sugar and a sparkling glass of Moscato d'Asti.

one thing: THP faux fur

Vanessa Hong's 'COOKIE' BLUE PEACOAT, THPSHOP

Vanessa Hong's 'COOKIE' BLUE PEACOAT, THPSHOP

I am absolutely not a fur person, so I'm always happy to see a solid alternative. THPSHOP just launched a line of Faux Fur pieces that look good enough that both those who avoid fur and those who don't can appreciate. This is not your average faux fur jacket or stole.  The line consists of 3 main bespoke hand-made synthetic fur pieces, the Boxy Coat, Peacoat & Chubby Stole, with each available in their own superb cool color options, like Emerald Green and Canary Yellow. My favorite, the  Boxy Coat, features  feature silk linings, hidden interior pockets & fish hook closures, as well as its own serial number. Supposedly, it's super warm too, so a great option for keeping warm in winter without the parks. Shipping begins Sept 21 with prices ranging from $375 for stoles and $850 for coats. 

THP faux fur, 'TWEETY' CANARY YELLOW BOXY COAT, THPSHOP

THP faux fur, 'TWEETY' CANARY YELLOW BOXY COAT, THPSHOP

EMERALD GREEN BOXY COAT, THP faux fur

EMERALD GREEN BOXY COAT, THP faux fur

OLIVE BOXY COAT, THP faux fur

OLIVE BOXY COAT, THP faux fur

'COOKIE' BLUE PEACOAT, also at top

'COOKIE' BLUE PEACOAT, also at top

'TWEETY' CANARY YELLOW CHUBBY STOLE

'TWEETY' CANARY YELLOW CHUBBY STOLE

'TWEETY' CANARY YELLOW CHUBBY STOLE, detail

'TWEETY' CANARY YELLOW CHUBBY STOLE, detail

Books {for kids}: Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem

Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem, Candlewick Entertainment

Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem, Candlewick Entertainment

Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem is the first in a new series based on the Peg + Cat series from PBS kids/Candlewick Entertainment and it's awesome. The book uses Peg and Cat to teach math concepts, but it's also a super clever little book that really makes math fun. My 5 year old daughter (who starts Kindergarten tomorrow) is in love with it. She was pre-disposed to want to read it because she loves Peg & Cat, but the story is fun and keeps moving at a great pace for little ones. It's a perfect read-out-loud story. The illustrations really hold her attention and move along perfectly with the action. Everything is cute and silly and fun and it's still all about math which makes even more awesome. My favorite parts are the fun activities inside the dust jacket (LOVE that- first dust jacket that my children haven't tossed aside on arrival) and the details like the infinity clouds and equation based page numbers- 14 +1=15- which I adore. She loves everything best. Really, I asked her and that's what she said.  I love the book, she loves the book, it's a must read for story time or early readers.

Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem  comes from Jennifer Oxley &  Billy Aronson and is available on Sept 8th from Candlewick Press. If you'd like a little more race car fun, you can find the Peg + Cat Race Car game here on the PBS site

7 pins

raw concrete exterior and coping are beautifully offset by the high quality dark mirror tile finish within, australian plunge pools

raw concrete exterior and coping are beautifully offset by the high quality dark mirror tile finish within, australian plunge pools

Here are 7 my latest pins. If you want to see them all click through to Pinterest or click the button at the bottom to follow the GSB boards. Above a peak of the concrete plunge pool from Australian Plunge Pools, via Apartment Therapy, pinned below

one thing: little bites

one thing: Little Bites (100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks by Christine Chitnis & Sarah Waldman) 

one thing: Little Bites (100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks by Christine Chitnis & Sarah Waldman) 

I first saw Little Bites (100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks by Christine Chitnis & Sarah Waldman) on Design Mom and I finally remembered to look it up. It's really lovely, and not just because I am currently determined to make ACTUAL REAL FOOD for my sweet microwave dependent children. Now that #4 is on her way to Kindergarten and I hope to have time to both shower and cook, I vow to get all of them to start eating like at least quasi-human beings. I have ideas, lots of ideas really, of things we've tried and most go the way of the garbage can, so this really hold my attention. I've perused the whole book so far and it has me very excited. It's not just pretty, though it is very pretty, which always helps keep me focused until I also have the benefit of not just food and showers, but sleep too. This should work very well with my weekly Farmigo purchases. A few of my favorites, that I can't wait to try out, are the Cherry Chocolate Pudding Pops, Green Waffles, Summer Corn Fritters, Bunny Rabbit Rolls, Peach Olive Oil Muffins and Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Donuts. There are so many more. It's so lovely that I didn't even notice right away that it's vegetarian which makes it SUPER AWESOME for us. It looks so lovely that for those of you who "Vegetarian" is not an immediate plus, you won't even care. Watch the video and visit Roost Books to see more. Two of the recipes are available for download, so you can even test drive it if you like. 

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

I recently spotted this and I'm pretty excited. Launching this December at IKEA is the new SKOGSTA collection, solitary kitchen and dining pieces made of solid acacia wood. It looks really lovely and, well, fairly awesome. Here are a few shots to give you a peak. 

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

IKEA SKOGSTA collection

5 great {for kids}: things for back to school that send a positive message #UNLIMITED

My  first 2 choices are both t-shirts from Sudara,  the Brave T-shirt for girls and the Future World Changer t-shirt for boys & girls. Sudara is a brand that does more than present a positive message they work to empower women in India to have safe & free lives. And now they can help empower both our girls & boys. Their Punjammies are pretty cool too. 

GIRL'S BRAVE TEE, Sudara Girls

GIRL'S BRAVE TEE, Sudara Girls

GIRL'S FUTURE WORLD CHANGER TEE, Sudara Kids (if your boys love pink, like one of mine, this could be awesome if they like more fitted t's)

GIRL'S FUTURE WORLD CHANGER TEE, Sudara Kids (if your boys love pink, like one of mine, this could be awesome if they like more fitted t's)

 FUTURE WORLD CHANGER TEE, Sudara Kids (or really, for girls who prefer green too or prefer a less fitted style) 

 FUTURE WORLD CHANGER TEE, Sudara Kids (or really, for girls who prefer green too or prefer a less fitted style) 

TOMS StandUp Backpack Collection (shown in Navy) 

TOMS StandUp Backpack Collection (shown in Navy) 

TOMS StandUp Backpack Collection (shown in Multi Chevron) 

TOMS StandUp Backpack Collection (shown in Multi Chevron) 

The main point of these bags is to help to stand up to bullying, but for every bag you purchase, TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mother and baby in need. Both are pretty awesome.

Today is the last day that Old Navy is collecting donations for their combined giving campaign to Boys & Girls Clubs (see more here and here for ways to donate today). 

And finally, this isn't new, but I love it & him, so, a back to school pep talk for teachers & students for the awesome Kid President.