Sunday, April 30, 2006

La Vida Dulce Bread Pudding

OK, here's my entry :

La Vida Dulce Bread Pudding – serves 6 to 8

5 cups Bolillo bread cubes from about 2 large rolls, diced

½ cup dried cranberries

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced

3 large eggs, beaten

1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 ½ cups hot water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract or dark rum, optional

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan or 9-inch cake pan. Place bread cubes, cranberries and apple in pan, evenly distribute. In a large bowl mix eggs, condensed milk, water, butter and then add remaining ingredients. Pour over bread cubes, lightly press down to moisten completely. Bake 40-50 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Store in refrigerator up to two days.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

White Castle 85th Anniversary

Oooh, Sliders. Ummm! Yes, it's what you crave. Those are the little burgers Harold and Kumar craved all through one rainy night in New Jersey, where they endured a car theft, raccoon attack, and even more unspeakable horrors. Stronger men would have given up and settled for other fast-food to satisfy their hunger. But they persevered and after that long, bitter night Harold and Kumar were rewarded with a bounty of White Castle cheeseburgers, fries and cokes. In honor of the 85th Anniversary Celebration, La Vida Dulce dedicates this post to those of you who have craved, and to those who have yet to experience a White Castle burger. You can buy boxes of frozen White Castle burgers at Costco and some supermarkets, like King Soopers in Denver. That was where we had our first taste. But until you've gulped down a few, (you gotta eat at least 3, they're so little!) freshly made right before your eyes, you haven't experienced a true American original taste. It's what you crave! Check out their website for more information:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cyclone Monica and Truffles

Hey, that's my Baby Girl's name! Here she comes, getting ready to slam into Australia. Look out! All those little roos and koalas better run and hide. That would make her very upset, to have her name associated with such a terrible disaster. Monica is nothing like a twister, the ones that go rolling through America, smashing up folks in mobile home parks and cutting a path of destruction in the heartland. She is sweeter than that. Better to let deep dark rich chocolate truffles roll through ground nuts, coconut flakes, jimmies, and candy bits, letting the destruction fall upon our waistlines. Happy 8th anniversary to my Baby Girl Monica and Jim, my beautiful son-in-law. You guys are my sweeties!

Makes 5-6 dozen
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
12 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Truffle Coatings:
ground nuts (pistachio, pecan, almond, etc.) coconut flakes, jimmies, and candy bits
Optional: 2 - 3 tablespoons liqueur (Bailey's, Kahlua, Godiva, Amaretto, etc.)

Sift powdered sugar onto a sheet of waxed paper and set aside. Melt the chocolate. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar, continuing to mix until well blended. Add the melted chocolate, vanilla and blend well. If desired, omit vanilla and add liqueur, mixing well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. With a melon baller, OR an iced teaspoon, scoop out into balls about 1-inch in diameter, and roll in desired coatings. Keep covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Four Funerals and a Wedding and a Baby

Within the past several months we have lost four family members, including my nephew last week. Our grief at a loss of this size has been somewhat balanced with the joy of our new arrival, Princess Kaylie Jean, and with the recent celebration at the wedding of April & Jerrod. Life works that way, thank God. Today is also a reminder of Gramps and his beloved UCLA Bruins, as they get ready for the BIG NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP tonight. Wherever he is right now, there is a whole lot of joy, his team made it to the finals. Today is also a rainy Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. At this writing, it's Braves 4, Dodgers zip. Sure hope that changes soon, we could use a win today. I could sure use a tablespoon more of that joy.