So I went for a run today. It was beautiful out. Really. Perfect running weather. And going for a run means needing protein. And to me protein means . . . well, usually eggs. I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat a whole lot of meat. I’ve discovered the term “flexitarian” and I kind of like it. I don’t really have a moral reason for not eating meat, but someday, I’d love to use all grass-fed meat. According to the latest research, it’s better for you. By the time I end up getting around to this goal, that may not be true. Oh well.

So eggs. I love eggs (except when they are runny!!) because they are tasty, low in calories and full of protein. Yeah, so the cholesterol thing can be a problem, but it’s not like I eat them everyday. I found a recipe a while back for a crustless quiche (the crustless part makes it not quite as tasty but a lot healthier and easier) with kielbasa and peppers in it, so I decided I’d make it this week. Except I didn’t want an extra half a kielbasa hanging around when I halved the recipe, and I needed mozzarella cheese for another recipe and have extra. So I tweaked the recipe a little. Well, a lot. For a recipe that called for kielbasa, green peppers, whipping cream, dry mustard and cheddar cheese, I ended up using chicken sausage, red and purple peppers, milk, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese. That means the only ingredients that are the same are eggs and salt.

It came out a little watery, maybe from the extra moisture in the fresh cheese, but it was good.

Here’s the recipe:

2 links chicken sausage (I used the sundried tomato variety)

4 eggs, beaten lightly

¾ cup milk

¾ teaspoon dried basil

Dash salt

Approx. 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in small cubes

1 large chopped bell pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut sausages into ½ inch pieces and set aside. Place eggs, milk, basil and salt in a large bowl and whisk till mixed.

Stir in sausage, cheese and pepper. Pour the mixture into an 8x8 greased baking dish.

Bake for 40-45 minutes (until eggs are set and starting to brown on top).

So, if you noticed in my last post, there were also two loaves of banana bread that one of my apartment mates made earlier in the week on the table. They were basically getting stale sitting there, and about half of one of them was eaten. So, I decided I’d make bread pudding out of it. I have never heard of banana bread pudding before, but I figured it was worth a try. We are also having a hymn sing tonight, so we have a captive audience to feed it to. Poor captive audience.

The common denominator of the quiche and the bread pudding was the eggs. I finished off the whole half dozen in about an hour. That’s a lot of eggs. Even for baking.

I took a recipe for regular bread pudding and adjusted it to having sweet bread in it. And it basically tastes like warm, gooey banana bread. Win.

Here’s the recipe for the pudding:

1 average loaf of banana bread, cut into 1-1 ½ inch cubes

2 cups milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¾ cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

½ cup dried cranberries

Dash of allspice

Dash of cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pour the milk over the bread cubes in a large bowl. Mix with your hand until the milk is absorbed, but try to keep the bread cubes at least somewhat in tact. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, spices, vanilla, and sugar. Pour over the bread mixture and stir gently. Gently stir the cranberries into the mixture.

Melt butter in the bottom of a 7x11 inch baking dish. Coat the bottom and the sides of the dish with the butter. Pour in the bread mix and bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until set. The pudding is done when there is no liquid visible on the edges of the dish and the bread is turning brownish.

It's squishy when you have to mix it with your hands. Kind of gross, but also kind of fun?

How do you like my creative method of melting butter? It worked well, actually! That’s the (only, or one of the only) good thing about 4 people trying to make lunch at once.

I think this recipe really has some potential. Except how often do you end up with a spare, stale loaf of banana bread? Um, well, yeah. But I’m thinking I might need to make this someday with chocolate chips instead of the cranberries. Warm with whipped cream? Yes, please.


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