I believe every moment is important. (And I chose this one to cook for you.) 

Desserts / December 15, 2014

I changed my cover photo on my personal FB page to a scene depicting a wintery sidewalk at night, with the word, “BELIEVE” written across it. That one word is ‘Christmas’ for me. It is a simple command, or request, to just have faith and let the magic of the season wash over you; to know that all is well, and even that dreams really do come true.

But what does it mean to believe? I think it has to do with the present. The more you immerse yourself in it, and try really hard to be a part of it, the more future “nows” have a chance to be just as amazing. If all you’re doing is thinking about tomorrow, or 5 years from now, or even just a place moments away, you create a pattern that says you can’t be in the now. And if you’re not in THIS now, you won’t be in THAT now. I don’t want to miss a single moment. So I BELIEVE that every moment is special.

Cooking does that for me which is offer me the absolute bliss of the moment. Like how I felt when creating this very warm and tasty DOUBLE CHOCOLATE KAHLUA BREAD PUDDING, pictured here. Quite simply, what feeds me, even though that’s a bad pun, is what I do in the kitchen when food is surrounding me, inspiring me, and nourishing me. It would be awesome if I could just stop my ‘day’ job, and open the oven PERMANENTLY. But of course that is a choice I am not prepared to make yet, and I always have a choice as to what I do. And the day when I can leave my primary business will come, but not today.

Yet, I believe that I can lead the life I have imagined, and I know that success WILL come in common hours, as Thoreau says. Until then, I will choose to find time to be in the kitchen, every moment I can, and try and create something amazing that makes you go, “wow…” and maybe it even inspires you to try something new or create a new dish.

Whatever happens between now and the next present moment, just know, I believe in YOU.


Double Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding

Serves 6-8


Ingredients:

6-8 C toasted French bread cubes (they must be VERY dry. I use leftover from making Thanksgiving stuffing.)
5 eggs
1 C heavy cream
1 ¾ C 2% milk
1/8 C Kahlua or other coffee liquor (can omit if you’d like. Add 1 t almond extract instead.)
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t allspice
1/8 ground cinnamon
½ kosher salt
3/8 C semi-sweet chunks
½ C white chocolate chips


Sauce – this makes enough for 4 servings:

10 squares semi sweet baking chocolate
1/4 C milk
2 t Kahlua or omit
Pinch of kosher salt
Heat chocolate in double boiler until just melted. Whisk with the other ingredients, and then set in fridge for about 10 minutes so it gets a little thicker. Serve over the hot pudding.


Direction:

  • Pour the breadcrumbs into an ungreased 11” by 7” glass baking dish, or other baking dish that has the same volume. This small size is imperative to the ratio of egg to bread and very moist pudding. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, Kahlua, cinnamon, allspice, salt. Make sure mixture is very well incorporated. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bread. Then pour the egg mixture over all. Push everything in so it is all touching the egg mixture. Cover. CHILL overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Take your dish out of the fridge and let sit for 30 minutes before baking. Place in oven and cook uncovered for 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with sauce.


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