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Comfort, finding sources of comfort, is all some people have been able to think about this week. I happened to find comfort from the storm and the marathon cancellation with my family. Comfort can often be found in food as evidenced by the 100 pieces of Halloween candy I have eaten this week, not just the nourishment, but the time spent and the togetherness when eating.

Prior to Sandy’s arrival, I cooked up a storm. Not knowing how bad some places would get hit, preparing was more like going camping, gathering lots of tasty food and wine, a travel Scrabble in case we lost power, and other things to get us through.

Looking through my Wine & Food Affair cook book, I saw a recipe for a tomato bread pudding, thought it sounded amazing and also like something we could eat at room temperature if we lost power. I decided to whip up my own version. I would make this all winter, and luckily with access to greenhouse tomatoes like Backyard Farms, it’s possible.

tomatoes

Ingredients:

4 large tomatoes

1 head of garlic

1 large baguette

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup 1% milk

4 large eggs

1 cup shredded parmesan or other cheese

1/4 cup prepared pesto

tomatoes

Cut tomatoes into chunks, spread out in pie plates, and roast at 400 until they begin to shrink. Once tomatoes have started to shrink/look wrinkled, remove from oven and set aside.

roasted garlic

At the same time you can get your roasted garlic ready. Simply chop off the top of a head of garlic, drizzle in olive oil, wrap in foil, and pop into the oven. When you start to smell the garlic, it’s done. Just keep an eye on it; burnt garlic is not a good thing!

roasted garlic

Chop your roasted garlic, and set aside.

baguette

Rip bread into big chunks, ensuring that the soft inner pieces are really exposed to let the cream/egg mixture soak in.

bread

cream and parmesan

Mix milk, cream, garlic, cheese, and pesto, pour over bread and toss to coat everything. Add in tomatoes and toss again.

pastene pesto

Bake at 350 until bread looks golden brown and top is set, sort of like a custard. Serve with a green salad.

savory bread pudding

One of the things I love about this bread pudding is that it can be altered for the season. I almost made it with squash, swapping the pesto for some sage. I could also see it being delicious with fresh summer corn. It’s certainly not super healthy, but there are times when comfort comes first. This week has been one of those times.

I hope you are all staying warm and safe during the bad weather predicted today!

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Tags: bread, bread pudding, comfort food, Food, recipe, Vegetarian

Look at that cake! It is perfect! And I do believe it’s the first time I have ever baked anything that didn’t end up mangled in some way. Whether I use the wrong pan, don’t grease the pan enough, drop the finished product, something always goes wrong. Not this time!

After making my pizza crust with almond meal a few weeks ago, I have become pretty obsessed with the nutrient dense product. It’s not too expensive, and while I love regular flour, it’s nice to have the added protein once in awhile.

After buying a new bag of almond meal at TJ’s, I started browsing the web for a breakfast type cake/quick bread I could make with the almond meal and found a simple recipe for a banana almond meal cake.

almond meal cake

I knew it had to be a Bundt cake because I wanted to use the Bundt cake I got for my birthday. Whenever I say/write Bundt, I think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Smile

bundt pan

The original recipe can be found on this beautiful blog. It all started with some rapidly ripening bananas.

bananas

And of course almond meal. I also used a half cup of whole wheat flour.

almond meal

The recipe also includes a half cup of yogurt;; I used my favorite, Fage 2%. It did not include cacao nibs, but I added them for a cocoa crunch and some added antioxidants.

cacao nibs

The batter was incredibly simple to make, but my non-stick pan was the real star in this baking effort. As you can see from the first picture, it came out of the pan so perfectly. And to make it even better, the cake is delicious. It’s really more like a banana bread. I’ve been eating it for breakfast topped with more Greek yogurt. Yum.

almond meal cake

And so we come to the end of yet another crazy work week. I am NJ bound to spend the weekend with my mom and sister. If you are celebrating a mom, aunt, grandma, or other special woman (or yourself!) this weekend, enjoy.

What are your weekend plans?

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Tags: baking, bananas, bread, cake, healthy, recipe

I cook a lot of vegetarian food, and I love many if not most of the things I make. I am not afraid of herbs and spices, new vegetables, grains, and legumes, or of experimenting with flavors from all over the world.

With all of that said, every now and then I make something that just wows me, and I definitely have a new current favorite. It might be because my body was craving certain nutrients or my taste buds were craving certain flavors, I don’t know, but I am excited!

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been inspired this week by my Moosewood New Classics cookbook. On Monday night, I decided to make a version of a meal I saw in the Moosewood book, vegetable cornbread with drunken beans.

I am a huge cornbread lover, but like with most breads, I am always looking for ways to make them nutritionally dense while still full of flavor. By the way, I just love quick breads. Love em.

This corn bread called for all sorts of things, and I decided to keep it simple with fire roasted corn and peppers both frozen from Trader Joe’s.

corn and peppers

I thawed them out throughout the afternoon and was sure to drain out as much of the water as possible.

For this recipe, the wet and dry ingredients were mixed separately, and I decided to add red pepper flakes in for a little bit of spice. I also decided to omit the shredded cheese in the recipe because I knew I would be topping this bread with saucy beans, and I figured the cheese flavor would be lost.

corn bread

I also subbed in whole wheat flour for all purpose. It was all good.

veggie corn bread

Fiesta bread!

veggie corn bread

Perfection! Well, a little cracked, but not too bad, right?

veggie corn bread

Bursting with veggies, the final result was moist and a little spicy, great with a little bit of butter and jaw-droppingly good topped with drunken BBQ beans. I’ll be back with those later. Until then, enjoy your day!

What’s your favorite bread? Is it a crusty baguette or a bagel, pita, etc. ?

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Tags: bread, corn bread, cornbread, vegetables, Vegetarian

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