I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!

Bread Pudding

I have never been fond of soggy bread, so the idea of bread pudding sounded simply awful to me. However, my mother in law made this and I tried it and loved it. Rather than being like soggy bread, as I had feared, it is basically a mild custard (egg-based pudding), and the bread gets absorbed so that it doesn't break up the texture much, but it give it some body and stability.
My mother in law gave me the tip that it is best to use two different types of bread, half of each. She usually uses one white (such as a buttermilk bread) and the other a cinnamon raisin, such as SaraLee's cinnamon swirl loaf.  I really like using the cinnamon raisin bread, it rounds out the pudding nicely.

makes a 9x13 pan

about 8 slices of bread
4 eggs
1 c sugar (use 3/4 c if you use a sweet bread such as the cinnamon raisin)
4 c whole milk, cream, half&half, or some combination of them (you could use any milk, but fattier milks will obviously make a nicer pudding)
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, nutmeg, or cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle on top.

Preheat oven to 350.
Put the eggs in a bowl and mix them with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. (If you have a stand mixer set them going while you do the bread, otherwise really do set a timer and mix them for the full five minutes. It makes a much smoother nicer pudding.)
Tear or cut the bread into chunks and spread it around in the pan, about two layers deep. Don't pack it tight, just drop it all in there. If you use two kinds of bread, mix them up. The pieces don't need to be bite-sized, because they will break easily once they've been soaked and cooked, so big chunks are fine.

Set the pan aside, and go back to the eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, and milk/cream. Beat until mixed. Pour over bread. Poke the bread a little if it floats, so that it all gets soaked. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg over the top (I do plain cinnamon).
Bake for 45-50 minutes. (My mother in law says she has one cookbook that says to do it at 350 and one that says to do it at 325, so if your oven runs hot, try the lower temperature or the shorter time.) The pudding will set up like a custard--when it is done it will be solid on the edges but jiggly in the center of the pan. The bread will rise to the top and make a somewhat crusty top.

really, what's not to love!

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

A lady from church brought me a mini-loaf of this bread shortly after we moved here. The next month she asked if she could do anything for me and I said YES! I need that recipe!!
The original recipe calls for this to be made in mini-loaves, but it also works well as big muffins. Or probably as regular muffins, I don't know, I don't have a regular-size muffin pan. ☺ They have the pumpkin pie spices, so they have a flavor much like pumpkin pie, thus the name. Also a lot of sugar, like a pie...but they're kind of amazing so just pretend you didn't notice how much sugar there was, or use whole wheat flour to make up for it, or something!

[no picture, but they really don't look like anything special...they just taste fabulous!]

3 cups flour
2 Tbs pumpkin pie spice (3 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 3/4 tsp nutmeg, 3/4 tsp allspice)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 c sugar
1 15oz can pumpkin (2 cups)
4 large eggs
1 c vegetable oil (feel free to do this a little shy...)
1/2 c water (if you use home-processed pumpkin, which is much less dense/more watery than the stuff from a can, then leave out the water.)

Combine flour, spice, soda, and salt. Set aside. (Or you can cheat like me and not mix these up in advance...)
Combine sugar and pumpkin, beat. Add eggs, oil, and water. Beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Stir until moistened.
Makes about 5 mini-loaves, or 15 jumbo muffins (about 30 regular muffins I think).

Bake at 350* for 50-60 min for mini loaves
Bake at 350* for 30 min for jumbo muffins
Bake at 375* for 16-25 min for regular muffins (I haven't done this size, I'm estimating...start with 16 and then start checking them!)
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