His first. Our first with him.
We rented a little cabin on the lake and are trying for the first time in 5 months to RELAX.
Relaxing is a new skill we're hoping to master as first-time parents. We're not awesome at it just yet, but we're giving it the old college try.
One way we've tried to make things easier is getting dinner to-go from local eateries. Lugging the boy to a restaurant after a day of hiking or general exploring just doesn't appeal to either of us. This to-go strategy has been hit and miss with some very hodge-podge meals. Last night after a dinner of salad (finally some greens!), a ravioli, a few spoons of "potato soup" and 1/2 a grilled chicken sandwich, I was craving something sweet and honestly this cool 1950 Wedgewood stove had been calling to me to bake since we arrived!
How to satisfy my craving (to bake)? I looked around our little kitchen and this is what I found:
- almond milk
- cereal (Trader Joe's Honey Oats & Granola)
- herbal tea
- 4 eggs
- cheap wheat bread
- granola bar
- 2 packets of salt & pepper
- leftover chili
- half a bottle of chardonnay
- 4 (expensive) bananas
- baby oatmeal
I toyed with making Pain Perdu, but the bread we had wouldn't make it worth the effort. Or maybe a Chardonnay Sabayon, but with only bananas on hand it didn't seem worthwhile. Then it hit me. What about bread pudding? That made sense and I there was this little 8-inch skillet I found in the cabinet that would be perfect. I could even make a coffee caramel sauce to top it with if I was feeling fancy.
Bananas, honey, a couple of handfuls of cereal to keep it interesting. I had a plan.
Oven preheating to 350, I was ready to improvise.
I cracked two eggs in a bowl and added some almond milk and a squeeze of honey and beat it well with a fork. Meanwhile, I toasted the cheap bread a little to dry it out so it would soak up the custard. I mashed one banana and stirred it into the custard then mashed up a second one when that didn't look to be enough. After adding a pinch of salt I tasted it to see what I had--deliciously sweet custard. Just to make sure it would be sweet I added a teaspoon of sugar (didn't need it after all).
The oven was pretty close to temp so I put a healthy tablespoon of butter in the skillet and put it in the oven to brown. This would make sure my pudding wouldn't stick, but would caramelize the crust and add another flavor to the mix.
Back to the pudding. I tore up the toasted bread and threw it in the bowl and mixed it with the custard. Cody and I like a drier bread pudding so I didn't make as much custard as most recipes would instruct. I did add a little more almond milk to make sure I had enough moisture to get a pudding-ish texture and then tossed in two small handfuls of cereal that I crushed before dropping into the bowl.
I pulled the skillet with the browned butter out of the oven and filled it with the custard soaked bread. I drizzled some honey on top and let her bake. The fancy caramel sauce was out the window when I remembered it was bath night for The Boy. Next time.
Two little bowls of impromptu sweetness that we didn't need, but enjoyed immensely. Cody said the cereal was a good addition--I liked the little bits of banana that popped up now and again.
I love inspiration baking. And this time it made for a perfect pre-Anniversary treat for my honey and me.
Honey Banana Bread Pudding
2 c almond milk
1 T honey
2 small bananas, mashed
8 slices cheap bread, stale or lightly toasted
1 c cereal, slightly crushed
1 T butter
1 T honey (optional drizzle)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together eggs, almond milk, honey and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add banana and stir to combine. Tear bread pieces and mix into the custard until well coated (add more milk if necessary). Stir in cereal.
Add butter to an 8-inch oven proof skillet and place in the oven until the butter is melted and the solids turn a golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven and add the bread pudding. Drizzle pudding with honey and bake for 40 minutes or until the top has a golden brown crust. Remove from the oven and serve.