Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding

I went grocery shopping yesterday and of course, I always buy too much because I still shop like I’m in my big house. So, what do I do about that? I cook to make room. This is my creation!

Creamy and rich

6 cups bread cubes cut into one-inch cubes
2 cups chocolate morsels
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups milk, half and half (I used non-fat milk)
6 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Place the bread cubes, the nuts and 1 cup of the morsels into a large bowl and mix with your hands. Butter or spray a large baking dish, then transfer the mixture into the baking dish.

In a 3 quart saucepan, add remaining morsels, sugar, cocoa, and half the milk. Using med low heat, stir until melted and combined.

Reusing the large bowl, add the eggs, the remaining milk, salt and vanilla. Whisk together, then gradually add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate and continue to whisk to blend together. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Push the cubes that didn’t get covered down into the liquid.  Let it sit for 25 minutes so the bread cubes absorb the liquid.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  After the 25 minutes, place the pudding on the middle rack and bake for 45 minutes.  

The finished product

 Now, you wait. The house smells OMG yummy, and you can’t wait to dig in, but you must let it cool down before serving.  And don’t forget the whipped cream. Serves 10-12

Creamy Rice Pudding!

Who likes rice pudding? I guess a better question is, who doesn’t? Here’s a recipe I’ve had for years that I want to share because it’s so darn good you’ll make it over and over. And because it is, this recipe is forever committed to my memory so I can make it whenever the yearning strikes.

5 cups half and half , whole milk, or buttermilk  (I like using half and half)
1 cup of uncooked rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg+
1 cup of seedless raisins (optional)

Scald the milk in the top of a double boiler. If you don’t have a double-boiler, make your own,. After the milk has been scalded, add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and stir frequently over medium heat. This should take about 2 hours, so be patient because once it’s done, OMG! 

Serve warm, or refrigerate.  I like it cold, but either way, add a dollop of whipped cream on top, a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy.