Orange Cranberry Decadent Bread Pudding

A tip from Mom’s hand written recipe is what perfected my bread pudding into a pan of true deliciousness!

So do you remember when I shared with you guys my Orange Cranberry No Knead Bread recipe? Sure you do as so many of you guys LOVED it (thank you!). Well I have a slight confession about that bread. I kind of because obsessed with it. Like to the point I was making it twice a week and forgot to buy ‘normal’ bread as Mr. Fantabulous calls it. He likes plain ol’ wheat sandwich bread for his PB&Js and then the artisan breads for his meals. Apparently wheat sandwich bread isn’t fancy enough for dinner. *shrugs* As long as it has carbs and butter on it I could care less what it is!

Well I ended up with a lot (seriously we’re talking A LOT) of bread to the point I couldn’t give anymore away and I couldn’t fit anymore in my freezer. So I had to think fast. That’s when I thought about making bread pudding.

Now I’ll be honest I’m not a huge fan of bread puddings normally as I don’t like custard-type things. It’s a textural things for me. Plus most bread puddings I’ve had are well, mushy and that’s grosses me out. But he loves them so I figured I would give it a shot. As I was looking through my recipes I found a recipe for bread pudding my Mom apparently made. Now I don’t remember her making this but then I was such a picky eater as a child she very well could have and I just turned my nose up at it.

not a bread pudding fan? You will be after you try this!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Compound Butter

When fresh herbs are on their last leg, chop them up and make a great herbed compound butter!

This lesson of compound butter I learned years ago not from some genius idea of making herbed butter but rather out of a panic of “Oh crap, I have 5 pounds of fresh basil and it’s turning bad before I can use it all!” EVERYTHING for like 2 weeks was heavy basil to the point I was sick of basil but I still had a ton of basil left. Now it wasn’t expensive but I didn’t want to waste it either. I just can’t waste food.

This concept of herbed or compound butter has been around for eons but honestly I forgot all about until I saw this one show on The Food Network for a steak with a thyme compound butter. I was like AH HA!!! YES! This is so easy and honestly you can do this with butter, (real or vegan). I would say margarine but honestly I haven’t used (or had) margarine since I was maybe 6 when Dad bought it by accident for Mom. Mom was not happy to say the least though I suspect it’s come a long way since then. Hopefully.

So how do you make compound butter? Easy – you need at least 2 things:

Butter makes everything better in my world!

Weekly Menu

Get out of that same ol’ recipe rut and try one of these delicious and easy recipes this week! This week I highly recommend making the Cheesy Ham Peas Baked Penne Casserole and the Hot Damn Sriracha Honey Butter Roasted Chicken!

Happy Sunday TKW Family! I’m coming to you from a house that has all bedrooms freshly painted! Trust me, this was a HUGE ordeal for us. You see one of things we failed to do when we moved in 11 years ago was paint the bedrooms. Now I mean no disrespect to anyone that loves the color blue (specifically ocean/robin egg blue) BUT bedrooms and kitchens should NOT be painted these colors! Okay fine, maybe, if you live near the ocean or what not but in the middle of the country in Pittsburgh most definitely not. These people were blue CRAZY! I mean they even tinted the plaster blue! Yes, seriously!

Each room took at least 2 coats of paint to cover it up and even after that some spots still needed touched up. And yes, we bought the really expensive paint that is supposed to cover in one coat. Um no.. it doesn’t. At least not in this house. We have 1 more day of painting (hallways and stairwells) and I am DONE DONE DONE painting for the rest of my life. Bold statement I know but seriously I should never be allowed to paint..ever! Now comes to fun/hard part – purging 11 years of accumulated stuff and then decorating. I’m OK with purging stuff though it’s Mr. Fantabulous that has a slight issue. The man is like MacGuyver which means every nut, every burnt out fan motor can be fixed or re-purposed. I still am going through my stuff. Like last night I went through my dressers and wardrobe and have 2 HUGE (I mean HUGE) boxes of clothes to donate. I still haven’t tackled the closet – that’s later today.

…and then there is the pig stuff. I have a lot of it and while I love pigs, I do need to reduce some of the items to my most favorite/sentimental pieces. The object here is when we do go to move, to move as little as possible. I mean we’ll keep our bedroom sets (I LOVE them, hand-made for us and super expensive – seriously LOVE Amish made furniture), and things like that but most everything else will go. We’ll actually have a private estate sale when the times comes as there is A LOT of stuff and moving will not be cheap so every little bit helps, right?

So I had such a super fun day yesterday! Mr. Fantabulous had some stuff he wanted to work on so I called up one of my dear friends (who is also a super foodie) to head to downtown Pittsburgh on a foodie-excursion. For those of you that have never been, Pittsburgh’s Strip District is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’m sure other cities have them but Pittsburgh is special. It’s not a super huge city so you’re bound to run into someone you know. But the local shops, the foods and just the experience itself is incredible. From all-Italian store, polish specialty shops to street vendors selling crafts. If you ever get the chance, definitely visit as it’s absolutely incredible!

Have you visited Pittsburgh before?

Weekly Share A Smile

Somewhere out there someone has lost their smile. Share a pic on our Facebook page today of what makes you smile and help give a smile to someone who needs it! #tkwshareasmile

I started this movement a few weeks back on Facebook where I needed help smiling. I lost my reason to smile. The result was incredible. The outpouring of love from you all was truly overwhelming. Then what surprised me, and moved me to tears, were the private emails and messages from folks thanking me for this. They, too, lost their smile. Some are battling cancer, some a heart-crushing loss of a loved one, some that just are down on their luck.

That’s when it made me think. If a seemingly, selfish act (my post) can help me and so many others than this needs to be a regular posting on my site and Facebook. In a world where there is so much hate and negativity, let’s help give others hope by simply sharing a smile. Post a pic on Facebook of what makes you smile – it can be your kids, your fur babies, a saying, sunrise, or just a plate of crispy bacon. Everywhere I’ll capture some of those images and compile them into a collage to share with those of you that aren’t on Facebook.

The images are just so heartwarming as are the stories that posted with them. From the birth of a newborn to teaching a grand-daughter how to make pizza. This is what makes me smile. It’s the simple things in live folks.

Smile, it looks beautiful on you!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Storing leftover Easter Ham!

Easter most definitely left a ton of leftover food in my fridge. Find out today how to properly store your cooked Easter Ham!

If you’re anything like me, you do your best to only make enough food for dinner, some leftovers for guests to take home and maybe another meal for yourself. HOWEVER that never happens…at least not in my house. I could buy the smallest of hams and STILL have enough meat left over to feed 5 families. I swear it multiples as it cooks! This year I bought a small 5 pound spiral ham for Mr. Fantabulous and I. Now normally we have a few folks drop by but since I had a surprise birthday party for him the day before no one wanted to make the trek back up to our house the next day. Easter was SUPER early this year which totally screwed up my meal planning. I’m not sure who makes these decisions buy seriously, don’t do this again. It was way too early for this girlie.

That being said I was left with a ton of ham. While I can transform it into a million different, delicious recipes it’s still A LOT OF ham-based recipes that I, frankly, don’t want to ingest in a week or two. I will totally get burnt out on ham. So with that I figured perhaps I’m not the only one that has leftovers in her/his fridge. And instead of doing the norm and force-feeding the family ham til it comes out their wazoo (though I’m pretty sure that’s not a medically defined part on the body) I decided to share with you how proper store and freeze your delicious ham!

Hey you worked hard on your ham – whether you made it from scratch or paid a bajillion dollars and bought one already made, you still want to get your money’s worth, right? So let’s talk about storing it.

Freeze now for deliciousness later!

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