10 December 2010

bread pudding.

Wednesday was the Family Sick Day at our house. W00t. Everyone was home coughing and snotty with sore throats so we all spent the day in our jamoos (a.k.a. pajamas) watching television, eating pizza delivery, and fighting with one another. The fun that was had cannot be put into words.

As the day's insanity began to slowly draw to a close and the kids were finally in bed asleep, I decided out of the blue that I wanted some bread pudding - the ultimate comfort food. Not having an award-winning secret family recipe or anything, I referred to the wise and wonderful oracle, otherwise known as the Internet.

I found several mouth-watering recipes, but quickly settled upon this one from southern soul-food goddess, Paula Deen. --I mean if it's a Paula Deen recipe, it likely will call for 3 pounds of sugar and 8 sticks of butter that will clog your arteries and put you into a diabetic coma faster than you can swallow the last orgasmically decadent bite, but you can bet your big ole sweet, jiggly bottom that it's gonna be a heaping helping of heaven!

The Best Bread Pudding by Paula Deen (appropriately named)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large beaten eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans [pronounced "pee-canz" not "pe-cons"]

For the sauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup brandy

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
  • Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.
  • Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.
  • For the sauce
  • Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

As I keep saying: it is cosmically impossible for me to follow a recipe to the letter... Thusly, you may note, I made this recipe exactly as it is written above, except I added a couple dashes of cinnamon, extra pecans, and raisins - soaked in the ¼ of brandy (which you will need to top off as the dried fruit will absorb the booze).

O.M.G. Delicious like nobody's biz! This is right up there with the Baked Apple Pancake in Gatlinburg! Outta-This-World Yummy! Make your eyes roll back in your head kinda good. Even better cold.

Maybe I'll make another one this weekend and share it with the kids this time. ;-)

"You can say this for ready-mixes - the next generation isn't going to have any trouble making pies exactly like mother used to make."

...Earl Wilson

07 December 2010

'tis the season.

holiday spirit. Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
It seems to me that every year is a roller coaster ride which picks up speed and plunges around mid-November right about grocery shopping time for Thanksgiving. By the time Christmas arrives, I am ready to get off.

Chaos is in the air!

A lot of stuff has been going on lately that I have wanted to blog about, though I've been a bit greedy with my oh-so-scarce "ME time"...

I'll try to hit the highlights and maybe get back around to elaborating, though don't hold your breath - the coaster just dropped:
  • Kevin and I finally signed up and went through the entire process of acquiring life insurance to include mounds of paperwork, interviews, and peeing in cups.
  • Recently, the younger brother of a dear ole kindergarten pal went Homeless for the Holidays, living in his car for a week in downtown Raleigh to help raise awareness of the growing issue of homelessness in the community.
  • I've been shooting a lot lately and have worked with some fantastic models (Danielle, Sonia, Joanna, and Christine) as well as my uber-talented fellow photographers, Rob Miracle and Tom Winstead.
  • Liam recently tested for his High-Green belt in Tae Kwon Do and was awarded the rank of 11th Gup.
  • And I have called a pre-IEP meeting with WCPSS for Isabel's services scheduled for December 16th to uhm, shall we say, poke the hornet's nest...

That may not seem like a long nor overwhelming list of stuff but add in 40-60 hour work weeks complete with daily crazy calls, deadlines, and dramatic emergencies from our usual suspects; over due doctor visits, forgotten appointments, grocery and holiday shopping, more little kid birthday parties, the regular array of miscellaneous errands; cleaning the house, clothes, dishes and making sure everyone is fed; more car problems, chronic back pain, a mile long list of overdue email responses, tantrums, and picking up little pieces of shredded paper from all over the house, etc., etc., etc...

This past Saturday our day looked something like this:

0800 Be awakened by small child; make coffee.
0815 Feed small child.
0830 Wake other child; feed.
0845 Dress children.
0900 Miss Kim arrives (Bless her!)
0910 Leave house late with two cars and one fed and dressed child.
0925 Jeep begins making a very loud grinding metal sound.
0930 Belt testing at Tae Kwon Do.
1030-1130 Special Needs Arts and Craft class at Library for Bell.
1030-1230 Four-year-old birthday party for preschool friend at Old McDonald's for Liam.
1045 Water pump goes out on Jeep.
1100 Photo shoot at my new "studio," a.k.a. The Law Firm's conference room.
1100-1130 Fellow photographers arrive; set up for shoot.
1110 Call mechanic.
1115 Call AAA.
1130-1230 Models 1 and 2 arrive; make up artist arrives.
1230 Jeep towed to mechanic.
1400-ish SNOW! =)
1630 Wrap up / clean up shoot; return office to order.
1650 Get ride over to mechanic to pick up Jeep and deposit a check for $333.00 in drop box.
1700 Drive home in snow.
1720 Collect children and husband and drive back to Tae Kwon Do, late again.
1730-2000 Belt presentation ceremonies, martial arts show, and pot luck reception.
2030 Dinner at North Ridge Pub.
2130 Home. Exhausted. Change children and put to bed without brushing teeth.
2200-0130 Load / process / edit a few of the 600+ photographs taken that day and email to models / make up artist.
0130 Take Ibuprofen and muscle relaxer. Crawl in bed and DIE.

the downside. Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad

Just shoot me.

"Chaos is the score upon which reality is written."

...Henry Miller

01 December 2010

fun with Liamisms.

"No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal."

...Bill Cosby