Home Cookin'

Earlier in November, a friend and I were discussing various ways to get our kids to eat foods that they don't like eating. We talked about how you can take something that they do like to eat and work into it the things they don't like eating. For example, my daughter lately has gotten really picky about eating broccoli. So my friend, Kat, suggested sprinkling it with a little brown sugar and some nuts like cashews or almonds. I also thought I could use it on pizza as another topping.

Using the same principals, I ran across a recipe that seemed to combine two classic desserts -- bread pudding and pumpkin pie. If you have a liquid for the custard in pumpkin pie, why can't you use that same liquid to soak the bread in bread pudding? You'd have to add in a little bit more liquid to the recipe or it would end up not soaking into all of the bread, but it does work.

If you wanted to make a lower fat version, you could use low fat buttermilk instead of the higher fat pet milk. You could also add more allspice and cut back a little on the sugar - you won't miss it because of the topping. You could even leave off the topping or use a non-fat whipped cream or non-dairy topping instead. As far as that goes, why couldn't you use a pudding like banana cream pudding instead of the pumpkin pie mix? You could top it with sliced bananas and whipped cream. You could even add some vanilla wafers into the bread mixture. You could then crumble vanilla wafers over the top for a crunchy crumble topping. Or you could add in a box of strawberry gelatin for strawberry banana bread pudding. Put sliced strawberries and sliced bananas in a blender, puree and then add to the mix. Top it all with strawberries and banana slices, and then dot it with whipped cream. There's no end to the flavors you could mix. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  • 1 pound firm French bread (or day-old loaf bread to 1 and 1/2 loaves)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin pie mix (seasoned)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • Whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a medium casserole dish. Tear the bread into medium pieces. Add to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the sugar. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the half and half and pumpkin mix. Toss the mixture with the bread. Place half in the casserole. Add the raisins and pecans. Top with the other half of the mixture. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until firm and lightly brown.

Serve warm with whipped cream.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes