Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday December 14, 2010

It's holiday time again and, as usual, my life is hectic.  Luckily, I am not under deadline for a book, so I don't have that to worry about.  I'm trying like crazy to read one of my good friend's complete books (sorry Steph!) and being unable to find time to do a quick read.  My bad, though I am reading at lunch time and in every spare moment. 

This past weekend my hubby and I spent five (yes, five!) hours at the mall.  Afterwards, we went to BJ's Brew House and had a beer, then came home and let the dogs out and fed them.  Then we grabbed a bite to eat and headed BACK out!  We're fools for punishment, I tell you.  We went to Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes.  But we did finish. 

On Sunday, we wrapped.  And I did housework and laundry and he raked leaves, which I helped bag.  Between all that and the crazy, intense workouts my personal trainer has me doing, I've lost three pounds!  At Christmastime!  I know, right?

Now there is food shopping to do, and a liquor store to visit for the necessary cognac to make the bread pudding.  There is this famous local restaurant that has the best bread pudding I've ever tasted and I found their recipe on line.  Here it is, for any other bread pudding aficionados.  And let me tell you folks - this is to die for.

Chef Point Café Bread Pudding

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 (1-pound, 6-ounce) loaf Texas toast bread, divided
1 (15-ounce) loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
4 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cognac Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375°.
Generously spray a deep 13x9-inch baking dish with baking spray.
Layer half of Texas toast slices in bottom of prepared pan. Top with cubed French bread.
In a large bowl, whisk together cream, half-and-half, milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Divide mixture in half. Pour half of cream mixture over bread. Lightly press bread with hands, making sure French bread is soaked. Place remaining Texas toast slices on French bread cubes. Gradually pour remaining cream mixture on Texas toast layer. Press with hands, making sure to soak bread completely.
Spray tops of bread cubes heavily with baking spray. Cover the bread with plastic wrap, then cover with aluminum foil.
Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour water on baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.Remove from oven, and allow to set in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Reheat in a 300° oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until warm.

Cut, and serve topped with Cognac Sauce.

Cognac Sauce
Makes about 13/4 cups

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups water, divided
2 tablespoons cognac

Combine butter, sugar, and 11/2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.
Boil until reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add cognac and remaining 1/2 cup water.
Whisk mixture, and return to a boil. Remove from heat and gradually cool down by whisking.

Famous bread pudding featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and in Paul Deen magazine.

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