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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Great Tips For Artisanal Breads, Corn On The Cob, And Everything Strawberry

Croissants, Open Hearth, Baguette, White, And Challah Bread

Everyone that knows me, knows there are a couple of things I love. Artisanal loaves of bread and strawberries. Not only do I love to eat them, but they are also in full display in my home.

On any given day I’ll buy artisan bread and I know it wouldn’t take me long to use them in different recipes, so I could easily devour them. Truth is, I can really get carried away, and I need to cut back.

I had this idea where if I could immortalize them, maybe, just maybe, that would make it easier for me not to rush out and buy a loaf all the time.

I ended up drying them out in the oven, turning them into giant croutons. I baked them off on a really low temperature (175 degrees F) for about 3-4 hours. I let them cool overnight, then varnished each one of the loaves along with a couple of croissants.

Now, I can just admire them any time I want, and not have to worry about the weight gain that would certainly be inevitable.  Turns out, it became a lifelike breadbasket that makes a beautiful centerpiece for any table.

How about this one? You know what a pain it is when you want to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Here’s a great tip.

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I love adding grilled corn to different dishes. It’s the task of removing the corn kernels that really disturbs me. They fly all over the place. They’re all over the cutting board, on the counter, and on the floor. It’s a battle keeping more than you seem to lose.

Take a Bundt pan or an Angel food cake pan, both shown in the pictures above, set the base of cob into the hole. Hold the top of the cob with one hand, using a sharp chef’s knife, slice off the kernels. I promise those kernels will all fall right into the cake pan. VOILA!

I do have one more short story. When I first moved out on my own, my grandmother gave me a strawberry canister set for my kitchen. Well, just like most girls, I thought I’d keep that theme going and stick with all things strawberry

I was 19 years old then, now I’m in my 50’s, and I think my strawberry themed kitchen now looks more like the store you see in every Cracker Barrel.

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Hutch

But you know what?, there’s a story and a memory behind everyone one.

 

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Croissant Gourmet Bakery

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This is what I call “Picture Perfect”. Croissant Gourmet Bakery. Their located at 120 E. Morse Blvd. Winter Park, brought a taste of Parisian French-style pastries into our lives. French bakery featuring croissants, coffee, and crepes, plus tarts, flans, and cakes for dessert.

Inside and outside seating is available. You to enjoy gourmet pastries, croissant sandwiches, salads, or just a great cup of coffee while people watching.

You can “google” Croissant Gourmet Bakery for locations, menu, hours of operation, and directions.

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Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

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Traveling to Tennessee this week was a real treat. Steve and I got to spend an early Thanksgiving with his mother. Having done a little cooking while I was there, Steve and his daughter were able to spend some quality time on their family’s property. They even did a little sightseeing. Here’s a peek at some of the beautiful scenery.

Being in Tennessee with its picturesque scenery gave me some inspiration.  I thought, why not take a bread pudding recipe and make it super special. Once I saw the table that Miss Ruth set up, for our family celebration, I knew my Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding would be perfect.

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Because I was visiting family, I made the bread pudding in a disposable pan. This is the rectangle type pan with the high sides is available in many grocery stores.  If you’re using a baking dish from home, use a 9 x 13.

My recipe is really simple. I’m going to list the ingredients first, then I’ll explain the directions. This particular recipe does not require using a water bath during the baking process. I also wanted to mention that I didn’t make the traditional Bourbon sauce for the top. This is not a traditional bread pudding so I made a simple glaze to drizzle over the top.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Baking Time: 1 hour
Yields: 9 to 12 servings
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish or  a 9 x 13 disposable baking pan

Ingredients:
18 perfectly stale mini croissants broken up into large pieces
8 large eggs, room temperature
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
1 28-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix (you want the pumpkin pie mix in a can, not pure pumpkin purée, if you can’t find this, use the 28-ounce can of pure pumpkin puree with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the store-bought pumpkin pie spice or the homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe below)
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar for custard plus 1/4 cup for the topping
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup of Nestle pumpkin morsels (available during the holidays)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Ingredients For Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice:
4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 pinch of allspice

Directions:
Mix all the spices for your pumpkin pie spice mixture together. Store in an airtight container. Place the spice in a cool dry place.

Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted to remove any lumps
2 1/2 tablespoons of whole milk
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract, (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, the canned pumpkin pie mix, and vanilla. Set the custard mixture to the side.

Lightly spray your disposable pan or baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray.  Next, add the croissant pieces to the disposable pan. You want to make sure the bread pieces are spread out evenly. Slowly pour the custard mixture over the croissants giving the bread a chance to slowly absorb the mixture. I like to pour half the mixture in, then push the bread down slightly. Then add the remaining mixture, and again, pressing slightly so all the croissants are submerged.

Place a rimmed baking sheet pan underneath the baking dish and transfer to the refrigerator for an hour. After an hour, remove the bread pudding from the frig.  Sprinkle the pumpkin spice morsels and dried cranberries all over the top. Press them down into the bread pudding so they don’t burn.

Next, in a small bowl add the granulated sugar and cinnamon, whisk to combine. Sprinkle the mixture all over the top evenly. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

To make the glaze, simply mix powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk together, adding the milk one tablespoon at a time. You want the mixture’s consistency to reach the point where it falls back on itself into the bowl or a smooth pourable glaze.

To serve, allow the Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding to cool slightly before serving. Warm or room temperature, drizzle the silky smooth sugary glaze over each piece.

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