Thursday, July 8, 2010

Salty and Sweet

 . . . the perfect combination.  Last night we enjoyed some of the bounties of summer from our co-op (thankfully harvested by someone more tolerant of the heat and bugs than I am).  Among the dinner selections was one of my favorites - fried okra. 
I wish some progressive movie theater (do you hear me, Alamo Draft House??) would offer this as an alternative to popcorn.  I'm not hating on popcorn, I mean I can eat that stuff even when I'm not hungry.  Fried okra though elevates the "salty" crunchy snacky goodness to a whole new level.  I'm sure the gourmet chefs at the movie theater (i.e., the half-awake, partied-out teens) would probably just screw it up anyway by hiding the okra in a heavy batter.  I like mine with lots of salt and a little corn meal, just the way Mama used to make (and still does)! :-)

The main reason for my post is a "sweet" discovery I made following a creative attempt to come up with a dessert without having to venture out (into the heat) to the grocery store.  Look at this . . . doesn't this photo look ethereal?
  What does it look like to you?  Hopefully bread pudding.  That's what I was going for . . . only I made it with, get this, leftover blueberry muffins.  Yep.  I'm sure that idea isn't original to me, but it was pretty darn tasty.  I made the muffins Sunday or Monday with some co-op blueberries, and what was supposed to make 12 actually made 24.  I just put the leftovers in the frig not having the heart to throw them out.   I filled a greased loaf pan with crumbled muffins - 12 in all (and these are "regular-sized" muffins, not jumbos).  Then I put 4 eggs in a large measuring cup and used 1/2 evaporated milk and 1/2 regular milk to make 3 cups.  I added 1/4 c. of sugar (which you'd vary depending on the sweetness of your muffins), a teaspoon of vanilla, and a few dashes of cinnamon.  After mixing well, I dumped the liquid over the muffins and let it sit for about 15 - 30 minutes (at this point you can add a little more milk - it  should be just below the top of the muffins).  Then I finished the pudding in a 350 degree oven, cooking for just under an hour (until a knife comes out clean).  I served it warm with some melted Blue Bell vanilla  (my lazy creme anglaise).  Of course, with this successful result, I started imagining the possibilities with all the different muffins and additions you could make . . . banana nut muffins with chocolate chips,  carrot cake muffins with walnuts, chocolate muffins with peanut butter chips, lemon poppy seed muffins with dried cranberries . . .
Let me know what you do if you get creative and try a muffin pudding!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Quilty Project: 12 Days of Christmas by Moda - Mystery BOM

I fell in love with this Kate Spain fabric, so the Fat Quarter Shop BOM program was just what the doctor ordered (and that would be the doctor who thinks I don't have enough to do already).  Thankfully a quilty friend has bitten the bullet with me, so we have an excuse to get together and sew.  June's block is finished, and I'm anxious to see what the mail will bring next! (Robin, I PROMISE I'm working on Flynn's quilt; I just made the disastrous mistake of bringing my design wall downstairs only to have the frisky new kitties destroy the layout, so I'm struggling with getting it all back in the order I had it in).  FYI - the block really isn't as crooked as this photo would have you believe it is. :-)