Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Pudding with Apples!

Good morning and happy Monday to all you awesome people! Yesterday I went on a bit of cooking spree, but as you all know, I make dessert before dinner. And this will last for 2-3 days hopefully.  Thought I’d open up to welcome everyone on a beautiful Monday here (before the last snowstorm of the year hits tonight)…That last one of the year is purely my hopes though..

I’ve never done bread pudding in my life! Never tasted in my life but it does look like all kinds of delicious.  So I went out and bought some cheap whole wheat Weight Watchers cinnamon-raison bread that was on special at the grocery store.  I never usually buy that but if I messed up at least I’d know it was with unexpensive bread, right? Plus, it has to be healthy at the very least.



I got this recipe out of Looneyspoons cookbook.  Its by Janet and Greta Podleski and you know what funky name she gave this recipe? Puddin’ on the Ritz! Cute, right?

Here’s the recipe! Also I have put stars next to ingredients from the recipe that I changed and the alternatives will be after the recipe:

Serves 6 (if you cut it in bigger pieces than I did)


4 cups cubed cinnamon-raisin bread

1 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple*

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup 2% evaporated milk*

1/2 cup skim or 1% milk*

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg




1) Preheat oven at 350F.  Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside

2) Toss bread crumbs and apples together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar and eggs.  Add evaporated milk, skim milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk again.

3) Pour milk mixture over bread cubes and apples.  Mix well.  Let stand for 15 minutes for bread to absorb liquid.

4) Transfer mixture to baking pan.  Make sure apples are evenly distributed throughout pan.  Bake for 50 minutes, until bread is a deep golden brown and puffed up.  A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.  Slice into 6 squares and serve warm.



It was relatively easy to make.  For the modifications, first of all, I did not have Granny Smith apples so I used Royal Gala.  As for milk, I replaced it with almond milk and as for the evaporated milk, it was melted vanilla coconut milk ice cream that I used.  I think it actually didn’t do it much harm.

I thought the taste was pretty good.  Not too sweet and the texture was pretty interesting.  I’m not exactly sure if its really that but I will try the banana bread pudding next.

Is this what bread pudding should look like? If you know, please tell me! It was a pretty good first experience.  Do you know any other substitutes for evaporated milk?

Sunday Cooking Part 2: Strip T’s (or should I say Strip C’s?)

As a side for my Minestrone Soup (featured yesterday, link provided here as well), I made a dish my new cookbook (that I just bought on Saturday) called Strip T’s.  Wait, lets backtrack, my new cookbook is amazing….it has the wittiest names for the recipes.  I’m still reading through it and it just doesn’t stop cracking me up.  On top of that, it has healthy and delicious-looking recipes. Even the ones with out the pictures of the end results, the ingredients just make it all look fantastic. I seriously can’t wait to try out some more of the recipes.

Okay, back to my Part 2.  So what are these Strip T’s you all may ask? Its turkey strips, of course.  Did any of you guess? Maybe you want to take a guess at which cookbook I have.  I’ll be telling you that in just a bit. Just let me clarify, mine were Strip C’s.  I’m not an expert at making turkey and they aren’t available all the time at the grocery stores so I went with chicken instead.  The chicken strips are coated with coconut shred and sesame seeds.

So lets take a look at what it looked like:

It got a bit burnt on the sides but it was still tasted pretty good.  Note to self, I need to work on multitasking while cooking multiple dishes. Not too bad, right? So you interested in trying this out, here’s the recipe right below.  Its from my new cookbook, as mentioned before: The Looneyspoons Collection: Janet & Greta’s greatest recipe hits plus a whole lot more! by Janet and Greta Podleski.

Strip T’s



1 egg

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/2 lbs (680g) boneless skinless turkey breast, cut into strips (about 1×4 inches)


2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/2 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon each salt, garlic powder and onion powder

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


1/2 cup plum sauce

1/3 cup unsweetened frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed

1 1/2 teaspoon each yellow mustard and cornstarch


1) In a large bowl, whisk together egg, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil.  Add turkey strips and (using your hands) toss to coat with marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or longer if possible).

2) Meanwhile, place coconut and sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat.  Cook until golden brown, stirring frequently.  Be careful not to burn them! Transfer toasted coconut and sesame seeds to a small pie plate or shallow dish and let cool.  Add bread crumbs, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper.  Mix well and set aside.

3) Prepare sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a small pot. Cook over medium heat until sauce is bubbly and has thickened.  Keep warm.

4) Preheat oven to 450F.  Working one piece at a time, shake excess marinade from turkey strips and roll in crumb mixture.  Make sure strips are well coated with crumbs.  Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Repeat with remaining strips and coconut mixture.  Spray tops of strips with a light coating of cooking spray.  Bake on middle oven rack for 6 minutes.  Remove from oven and gently turn pieces over.  Spray other side with a light coating of cooking spray return to oven and bake about 4 more minutes, until coating is lightly browned and turkey is cooked through.

5) Serve strips with warm dipping sauce. Enjoy!

What did I do different?  Well, there is a few things as always.  For one, as mentioned, these are Chicken strips so I used boneless skinless chicken breasts.  As for the coating, you will notice that mine doesn’t cover the meat completely and thats because I somehow couldn’t find any breadcrumbs at the grocery so I just took bread and broke it into little pieces.  It did do the job just not as fine as the ready made breadcrumbs.  I’ll have to work on that.  Also, instead of the seasoning they asked for (salt, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper), I went straight to use our own spices which already has salt and pepper and a few other ingredients in there.

Aside from that, I didn’t make a sauce and just had it like that.  I’m not a huge fan of plum sauce.  I have to admit Walmart didn’t carry pineapple juice concentrate so I had to skip it.  I wasn’t ready to test out how berry punch concentrate (or iced tea concentrate) mixed as the sauce would be and I’d doubt it’d taste too good mixed with the other sauce ingredients.  If  I had guests, I’d definitely make it though.  It does look like a good mix, especially since they added in the pineapple factor to it.

As for the marinade, it was pretty straightforward (similar to how I marinade my chicken) and I didn’t do any changes to it except for changing the meat.  I did cut too much meat so I ended up frying the rest. This is how that turned out:

Not too bad for my Sunday meal, right? I thought so too.  So before we end this off, the experience of my new cookbook is pretty awesome. If you happen to go past any bookstores, you should give it a read.  They have some little fun facts and cartoon drawings to match the funky names.  Here’s a little fun fact for coconut, it doesn’t only help your body burn fat but it also helps you feel full longer.

Such a motivator to cook when you know what you’re cooking is healthy also!