Gluten-Free Decadent Chocolate Cake

I’ve missed baking since starting my Paleo diet. By baking, I mean baking from scratch. I’ve tried several different gluten-free mixes that I’ve bought at the store, and while some of them have been pretty good, they all seem to be a bit sweet for my taste buds. I’ve doctored them by adding in things like coconut oil, but I figured I’d better start finding some scratch-made recipes in order to appease my sweet tooth.




My goal is to eventually convert my favorite family recipes into gluten-free and Paleo-friendly versions, but while I was looking at recipes on Pinterest, I came across a gluten-free recipe that I couldn’t wait to try. It’s from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, and the recipe is super simple. If you omit the glaze in the recipe, which has whipping cream, it’s even Paleo, but I wanted to try the recipe as it was written – then the next time I make it I’ll put my own spin on it. I will say that I’ll probably increase the amount of cinnamon next time, just because I really couldn’t taste it. It was there, just not enough for my taste. The recipe also gives you an option for the liquid you use: brewed coffee, dry red wine, or water. I went with the coffee because I still had some in the coffee pot, and besides, I love the flavors of coffee and chocolate together, but I bet the wine would be killer too.

This cake has no eggs and no butter (in the cake anyway), and it was absolutely moist as could be. Sometimes I notice an off-texture in the store-bought gluten-free cake mixes, and I didn’t notice that with this cake. The boys said I had to make this again – and soon!

 

Decadent Chocolate Cake – Gluten-Free

3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your flour already has it)

1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I’m going to increase this to 1 teaspoon the next time I make this)

12 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

2 cups of either brewed coffee, dry red wine, or lukewarm water

For the Glaze:

6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons brewed coffee, dry red wine, or lukewarm water

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard 12-cup Bundt pan, dust it lightly with cocoa powder, and set aside.

In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, and whisk to combine well.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, place the melted coconut oil, vinegar, vanilla, and coffee (or wine/water). Whisk to combine well.

Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients, and whisk until just combined. The batter will be soft. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, and smooth into an even layer. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a small heat-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second bursts (or melt over a double boiler), stirring until melted and smooth. Add the whipping cream and your choice of the coffee, wine, or water, mixing well to combine. Allow the glaze to sit until no longer hot to the touch. Pour the glaze over the top of the cooled Bundt cake.

 

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Pressure Cooker Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

I’ll admit I’ve been on a rice pudding kick ever since I got my Instant Pot. It’s just too dang easy to make it in the pressure cooker. Plus I found a good deal on bulk Arborio rice on Amazon, so a couple of clicks and 2 days later, I was stocked up on rice for a while. While the plain old-fashioned recipe is delicious, I wanted to add some spice to it for a change. There are so many different flavors you could add to rice pudding, but this one has just a hint of the cinnamon and nutmeg without it being overpowering.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Follow the instructions for my Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding, but after cooking the rice, add the following to the egg/milk mixture:

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)

Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

3 tablespoons good rum

Continue to follow the above recipe for the old-fashioned rice pudding. Serve either hot or cold.

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Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Last summer I bought a bunch of fresh blueberries from an outlet in Michigan that were so good that this fall I put in an order for some frozen blueberries to have in the freezer this winter. I like to have them on hand for smoothies and muffins, and if there are any left later this winter when I have the time, I want to make some blueberry jam.




The other night my oldest son asked me to make a cake, so I went through my recipes on Pinterest and came across one on Who Needs a Cape’s blog for a lemon blueberry buttermilk cake. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought I’d give it a try.

As soon as the cake was cool enough to cut, the kids (and hubby) were into it. They didn’t even wait for me to make the glaze for the cake because it smelled so delicious. The cake lasted all of 10 minutes before there was nothing but crumbs on the plate! I guess that means it was a hit, but next time I’m making them wait until I get the glaze on the cake. Take a peek on her website—you’ll find lots of yummy recipes there.

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup butter, at room temperature

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon good vanilla

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)

Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon softened butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.

Combine 2-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and the lemon zest. Add the butter, and cream mixture on medium speed for about 3 to 5 minutes until thoroughly combined.

Reduce speed to low, and add in the eggs one at a time, mixing for a minute between adding each egg. Scrape down sides of the bowl, and add the vanilla.

Add in some of the flour followed by some of the buttermilk, and mix until combined. Repeat until all flour and buttermilk have been added.

In a separate bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of flour and the blueberries. Toss to coat berries. Gently fold the blueberries into the cake batter.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan, and smooth out the top of the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes (mine took about 65 in my oven), or until it tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack, then turn out onto a serving plate. Let cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and butter. Glaze should be thick, but you can add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time to make it thinner.

Cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature—if yours lasts that long!

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Pressure Cooker Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

I absolutely love dessert, especially old-fashioned, comfort desserts, and rice pudding fits the bill of comfort food in my book. However, I don’t like having to babysit the rice to make the pudding, so I don’t often make it. That changed when I got an Instant Pot pressure cooker.




I saw a bunch of recipes on Pinterest for rice pudding, and believe me you can find just about any flavor combination you want on Pinterest, but I wanted a plain, old-fashioned rice pudding recipe. I found one at Pressure Cooking Today’s website, and it’s a keeper. I’ve made this twice, and I haven’t even had my Instant Pot for a week! The first time I made the recipe as is, with the exception of using heavy cream for half of the milk the recipe calls for, but with my family, this didn’t make nearly enough. The second time I made it, I doubled all the ingredients and extended the pressure cooking time by 1 minute. It turned out perfectly delicious.

You can use whatever kind of rice you want in this, but I used Arborio rice, the kind you use to make risotto. It gives the pudding a creamier texture

rice-pudding

Pressure Cooker Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

1 cup Arborio rice

1-1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole milk, divided (I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk)

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon good vanilla

3/4 cup raisins (optional)

 

In a pressure cooking pot, combine the rice, water, and salt. Lock the lid in place, and select High Pressure and 3 minutes of cook time. When the beep sounds after pressure cooking is completed, turn off the pressure cooker, and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use the quick-release feature to release any remaining pressure.

Add 1-1/2 cups milk and the sugar to the rice in the pressure cooking pot, stirring to combine.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining 1/2 cup milk and the vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add mixture to the rice in the cooking pot.

Select the sauté function and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to boil. Turn off the pressure cooker. Remove the cooking pot from the pressure cooker, and stir in the raisins if using.

Serve hot or refrigerate until chilled and serve. I let the pudding sit for 15 to 20 minutes after I added the raisins and then served, but it’s good either hot or cold.

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Pina Colada Cheesecake

Years ago I bought several Southern Living recipe collection cookbooks, and while I’ve found numerous recipes in them that I absolutely love, I think this cheesecake recipe is my family’s favorite. It’s creamy, easy to make, and it tastes like a trip to the tropics. My family requested this cheesecake for Thanksgiving this year instead of the usual pumpkin one I usually make, and it was a huge hit.

While this recipe is not Paleo, I did make it gluten-free as I used gluten-free graham-style cracker crumbs in the crust. You can’t tell the difference.




The key to making a good cheesecake is having ingredients at room temperature. The cream cheese and the eggs whip up easily at room temperature so you can get more air into your cheesecake batter. The one exception is the sour cream, but that is mixed in during the later stages, so I just pull that from the refrigerator when needed.

The original recipe calls for pecans in the crust, and it’s good that way, but I sometimes change it up and use macadamia nuts instead. I think it gives the cheesecake an even more tropical taste. Whichever nut you use, it will be delicious. 🙂

 

 

pina-colada-cheesecake-whole

 

 

pina-colada-cheesecake-slice

Pina Colada Cheesecake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1-3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used gluten-free)

3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (can use pecans)

1 tablespoon sugar

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup cream of coconut

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup light rum

4 teaspoons coconut extract (I usually use good vanilla extract)

Glaze (Ingredients and instructions below)

Garnishes: Whipped cream and toasted coconut

 

Stir together the first 4 ingredients, and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a lightly greased 10-inch springform pan. Set pan aside.

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar at medium speed in a large mixing bowl for 3 minutes, or until the cream cheese is fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the crushed pineapple and the next 4 ingredients, beating until well blended. Pour the batter into the crust.

Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes, or until the center is almost set. It will jiggle in the middle but firms up as it cools. Cool on a wire rack. Spread the glaze over top of the cooled cheesecake. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. Garnish as desired.

 

Glaze:

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (plus the juice)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Stir together the cornstarch and water until smooth. In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch mixture, crushed pineapple, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat, and cool completely before glazing the cheesecake.

 

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Rum Frosting

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, mostly because work has finally picked up again, and I haven’t had much time for testing out new recipes or doing any baking. While my waistline may appreciate it, my boys haven’t, so I decided to take a break yesterday and make them a cake. I actually had a few ripe bananas sitting on my counter, which itself is an amazing accomplishment because every time I buy bananas intending to use them in a recipe, the boys devour them immediately. That’s all fine and dandy because they’re good for them – it’s just I rarely get to make a recipe that calls for bananas 🙂




This is a basic cake recipe, and while it’s perfectly delicious as is, you could add some chopped pecans or walnuts for a yummy addition. For the frosting, I used my grandmother’s basic buttercream frosting recipe and added about 4 ounces of cream cheese that I had leftover from another recipe. It turned out great, and I didn’t have extra cheese sitting around that would be tossed out later. Win win 🙂

banana cake in pan

 

banana cake 2

 

banana cake

Banana Cake with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup ripe mashed bananas (about 2)

3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk

1/2 butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon good vanilla

2 eggs

Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (or two 9-inch round cake pans) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the mashed bananas, buttermilk, softened butter and vanilla. Mix on low speed until well combined.

Add eggs one at a time, and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake tests done with a toothpick inserted into the middle. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans (if using round cake pans), and allow to completely cool on wire racks. Frost cake when completely cooled.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 egg white

2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon good vanilla

1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring (or good rum)

In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy. Add the egg white, and mix until completely incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix on low to incorporate. When combined, increase the speed to medium high, and beat mixture for about 1 minute. Add in the flavorings, and mix until completely combined. Depending how thick or thin you like your frosting, you can add more powdered sugar to reach your desired consistency. If it becomes too thick, add 1-2 teaspoons of milk to thin it. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

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Mexican Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

Of course when I get a craving for chocolate, I immediately think about cake. While I have my favorites that I go to frequently, like my Old-Fashioned Hot Water Chocolate Cake, I had buttermilk in the fridge, and I wanted to try a cinnamon chocolate cake. I found this recipe on Pinterest (of course!) on the Yesterfood blog. It’s super easy to make, and you can top it with some freshly made whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla or even cinnamon ice cream. Enjoy!

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mexican chocolate cake 2

 

mexican chocolate cake slice 2

Mexican Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

8 ounces semisweet chocolate baking squares

1 cup butter, softened at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1/2 cup chocolate syrup

2 teaspoons good vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

 

Microwave the chocolate baking squares in a small bowl, stirring every 15 seconds, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute or so.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, the chocolate syrup and the vanilla, and beat until smooth.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk (begin and end with the flour). Beat on low speed until just combined. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan or 12-cup Bundt pan.

Bake cake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour 10 minutes, checking the cake at 1 hour, until the cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted into the middle. Do not overbake. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.




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Irish Dinner: Corned Beef & Cabbage and Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

We held our annual St. Patrick’s day dinner a few days late this year, but my family will eat corned beef and cabbage anytime I have the urge to make it. We have brined our own brisket to make corned beef, but tonight I used a corned beef I bought at the grocery store. It amazes me how many people have told me they’ve never cooked corned beef before. I think it’s the simplest dinner in the world to make—all you need is a Crock-Pot. Open package of corned beef, dump all contents into the slow cooker, and turn the dial to either low (6 to 8 hours) or high (4 to 5 hours) depending how soon you want dinner. That’s it. Easy peasy.

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For the cabbage, my folks traditionally did the boiled cabbage bit. It was okay, but it really is bland. I’ve since done my St. Patrick’s Day cabbage by frying it. Add a stick of butter to the skillet, cut up your cabbage however you like it (diced, sliced, etc.). Add it to the skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste, and let it cook until the cabbage is softened but not mush. Another easy peasy side dish, which is how I like them 🙂

 

corned beef and cabbage 2

 

For dessert, it had to be something Irish-influenced as well, and what’s more Irish than booze? Today I decided to make a Bailey’s chocolate chip cheesecake in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It really was a toss-up between this and a Guinness dark chocolate cheesecake, but Bailey’s won out. This time anyway!


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I’ve made this cheesecake before. Be forewarned, though, the flavor of the Irish cream really comes through in the final product. A lot of recipes call for 3/4 cup of Bailey’s, which I used the first time I made this. If you love Bailey’s, you’ll probably be fine with it, but if you’re so-so or you only want a hint of the Irish cream flavor, you can definitely use less. I typically use about 1/4 cup of Bailey’s because I want to taste the rest of the ingredients, not just Bailey’s. This doesn’t have a ganache on top, but feel free to add one if you’d like — the more chocolate the merrier I say 🙂

The cheesecake pictures aren’t the best – still trying to find the best lighting in this new apartment, and the cheesecake itself decided to split after about 2 hours of cooking (of course!)  — but it tasted devine 🙂

 

bailey's cheesecake whole

 

bailey's cheesecake half pie

bailey's cheesecake slice

 

Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 to 12 crackers)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

32 ounces (4 packages) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (or other brand is fine)

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon good vanilla

1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the sides of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar and the melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat the cream cheese and the 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Add the Bailey’s, and stir to combine. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly mixed. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla, mixing until just smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour cheesecake batter into the springform pan. Place the springform pan in a larger pan, and add water to that pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the oven, and leave cheesecake in the oven for an additional hour. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Top with chocolate ganache or whipped cream as desired.


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Fresh Strawberry Cake and Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

It’s a little cooler today here in Iowa, but I’ve still got spring fever. I stopped at the grocery store, and they had a special on fresh strawberries. Now, I can’t get local strawberries until June, and I usually don’t buy strawberries out of season simply because they just can’t match the taste of the local ones I get in early summer. However – these looked really good, and as I said spring fever was taking over, so I picked up a box.




I’d come across a recipe for a fresh strawberry yogurt cake on A Spicy Perspective. and I knew I’d found the perfect way to use these out-of-season strawberries. The recipe calls for either plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. While I usually make my own yogurt, I did pick up a carton of vanilla Greek yogurt. This way I can get a little vanilla flavor in the cake. I usually add a teaspoon of good vanilla to my baked goods, and since this recipe doesn’t call for any, the vanilla yogurt takes care of that for me.

This does make a thick batter, so don’t be off-put by that. I also used a full box of strawberries (16 ounces), and the recipe called for only 12 ounces. I doubt this really hurts it one way or the other, and I don’t like having tiny bits of fruit just sitting around, so I used them all. This recipe is really easy to pull together, and soon you can have that fresh taste of spring on your dinner table. This cake is going to be so awesome when I make it this summer with local, flavorful strawberries. 🙂

 

fresh strawberry yogurt cake side view

fresh strawberry yogurt cake

 

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

Zest of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces plain or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt

12 ounces fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and diced

1 cup powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan (10- to 15-cup size).

Sift together 2 1/4 cups of the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the lemon zest, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and incorporate completely. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing until just combined.

Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, and gently fold them into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Place in the oven, and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes in the pan, and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.


Babybasket.com - Adorable Baby Gifts & Baskets

I made a bacon and mustard chicken dish the other night for dinner, and I had some leftover chicken breasts from that. I hate leftovers, because no one in my house really eats them, so I decided to “repurpose” the chicken and make some chicken salad. I already had a bacon and Dijon mustard base going for the chicken salad, as the chicken breast was cooked with both, so I built upon those flavors in this salad recipe. Now I used Miracle Whip salad dressing in this, but you can always use mayonnaise if that’s what you prefer. I’m a Miracle Whip girl – I like that extra “tang” in my salads. I do use mayonnaise occasionally, especially if I’m making dips or appetizers, but most often you’ll only see the Miracle Whip in my fridge.

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This recipe is a shoot-from-the-hip type. I used the leftovers I had on hand, and I added ingredients that complemented bacon and Dijon mustard. I’ve listed the ingredients as if I didn’t start with the Dijon sauce from the night before, and it doesn’t list any bacon in the recipe (because this was in the previous night’s recipe). If you want bacon in your chicken salad, simply cook a couple of slices, chop it up, and throw it in with the rest of the ingredients. Plus I threw in some grapes and Granny Smith apples – I think you have to have balance with sweet, sour and salty tastes. I even made a homemade loaf of potato bread to put this chicken salad on. Okay, well, my bread machine made it, and I used Bob’s Red Mill Potato Bread mix. I have to have shortcuts now and then 🙂

potato bread 2

 

honey mustard chicken salad

 

chicken salad sandwich 2

Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

3 cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded as you prefer

1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or mayo if you prefer)

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup grapes, sliced in halves

1/2 a Granny Smith apple, finely diced

1/4 cup chopped pecans

 

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl until completely mixed. Chill for a few hours to let the flavors meld together. Serve with your favorite sandwich bread or roll.

 

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Caramel Vanilla Sauce

There are several ways to use up day-old and leftover bread, buns and rolls. You can make quick breadcrumbs to top off a casserole, or you can use them my favorite way – to make bread pudding. I grew up eating bread pudding, and there are hundreds of recipe variations that can be found on the Internet. This one is very basic and simple – and delicious. Feel free to make the recipe as is, or change it up and make it your own by substituting chocolate chips for the raisins. Add some whiskey or bourbon to the vanilla sauce – the possibilities are truly endless.




 

bread pudding

 

bread pudding with sauce

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

4 cups cubed bread (slices, day-old buns or rolls – whatever you have)

1/2 cup raisins

2 cups milk

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon good vanilla

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

 

For the Sauce:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon good vanilla

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine bread and raisins in a large bowl. Combine milk and 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and raisins; let stand for about 10 minutes. Stir in all the remaining pudding ingredients, and pour the mixture into a greased 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Bake at 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the pudding is set in the center.

 

To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients except for the vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

Spoon warm pudding into serving dishes and serve with sauce. Refrigerate leftovers.

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