Sunday, December 26, 2010

Exotic Mushroom Bread Pudding

I have received numerous requests for this recipe. Seriously, right now, get your grocery list and add what you do not have. It is inexpensive decadent, and EASY!
(of course, I have no idea which mushroom is considered exotic- so I bought a variety. Always leaving my options open.) 
So, hijacked and adapted from Emeril, I give you... Heaven Sent.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups julienne yellow onions
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 turns fresh ground black pepper (I'm not a raging cracked pepper fan, so I did about 8)
1/2 pound wild and exotic mushrooms, about 3 cups (I used 1 pkg of baby bellas, 1 pkg shitake, 1 button pkg- all loosely chopped... more like 5-6 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I, of course, used way more- like 6 small cloves of garlic)
5 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 slices, 1 inch cubed white bread, about 4 cups (I used more like 5 cups to compensate for the overage of 'shrooms)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I used the 6 cheese Italian blend)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2 quart glass rectangle pan with 1 tablespoon butter (or, if you have a small household like me-- use 2 pans so one can be frozen). In a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, about 1 minute. Add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, and 12 turns black pepper and saute for 4 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool, covered. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 30 seconds. Add the heavy cream, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk the mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in the sauteed mushrooms with the juice. Add the bread cubes and mix well. Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Let sit in fridge for about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle the pudding generously with the grated cheese. (there's nothing low fat about this recipe, so don't start here.) Bake for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Let me know how it turns out. YUM!

Christmas, take 2


What a great day. It was relaxed. It was quiet. It was ideal. We had a dinner fit for kings (or Cagles). Homemade croissants (yessir, compliments of me), exotic mushroom bread pudding (holy moly), my FIRST beef tenderloin- DOMINATED, red wine with dinner, white wine as a precursor, homemade egg nog ice cream for dessert.

Eileen wanted to help cook, and she did a great job hiding the pans in the microwave.

We had our juice (in our lismore) and Eileen had hers.
The picture in the background was a Christmas gift from my dear friend, Petra. It says "When I count my blessings, I count you twice." I love it.

Eileen was not interested in our king's feast, so she had yogurt, with her silver spoon. (the silver server contained the so-good exotic mushroom bread pudding)

Clothes stripped, yogurt consumed, presents opened, and a Christmas tornado having ripped through the apartment- night mom!

The after effects of sitting around the dinner table, sipping good wine, and enjoying each other's company with Gene, Bing, and Frank. Ugh, who's cleaning?

In case you are itching to see more Christmas pictures: 

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I had the cutest bed mate last night...

We slept with the TV on 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" and woke up entirely too early. This Mother of The Year bought an extra hour thanks to Mickey Mouse. 

Snow was falling! This is our first White Christmas!

We finally leapt out of bed around 7 and started making Sausage and Cheese Bread...

Eileen was a fan! (so, was I... but definitely not as important) 

at 7:02am, all the tv's were on A Christmas Story, muted, and the iPod is on a 1950's Christmas Shuffle where it will stay until bedtime.

I am about to start monkeying with the $80 tenderloin and mushroom bread pudding. All I need is a husband.

(please... do you think that this is going to be the only blog today?)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Finished Product...

All we need is the food!

I am such a nut for a well-set table. (and silver, and polishing said silver) The eyelet tablecloth must be packed away, so I went with a red damask cloth instead. Oh, and I cracked... Eileen and I had to get out of the house and headed up to BB&B to "get out amongst 'em." We found some 2 Waterford Lismore goblets 50% off!

Merry Christmas! Eileen, if you touch the tablecloth, I am not responsible for what will happen! :)

Mama had a backer leaf

Today, my husband is on call and I am cleaning our home getting ready for his arrival tomorrow, Christmas afternoon.

Today though, today I miss my china. Yes, it is silly to miss something so frivolous but I do. I have beautiful china, Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf:

Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf Dinner Plate Size:10.5 Inch dia

And beautiful crystal:

Waterford Clarendon Wine Goblet

Fortunately, I carried some of my silver with me. A southern girl has to know how to set a table (dessert fork tines to the right, dessert spoon bowl to the left):


The only thing I do have is a wedding gift from the first Mrs. William Edward Gilbert Cagle- a lovely eyelet tablecloth that her mother made and was a gift from the first to the second. On this first Christmas at our home, I will be using (their) her (my) tablecloth sans china and crystal, plus silver.

The crystal and china are packed away, tucked deep in Brad's attic and mom's closet. Until next time...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The stockings were hung by the chimney...

The stockings were hung by the chimney, er, kitchen hutch with care...

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon to be there (or here, I can't ever remember and refuse to google it for accuracy)

Something about packages wrapped lovely with brown craft paper.

And friends come over so moms and dads can have a glass of wine and we can watch Mickey Mouse (underneath the Christmas rosemary bushes)

Almost dead, but still twinkling well.

From our 1056 square foot apartment to your home, Merry Christmas! (or, as I like to say, CAGLE CHRISTMAS! but, if you did not know me when I was a Merry, you might not get it.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Taking just a moment

As I sit and type, Eileen has pulled out all of my loaf pans and is sitting next to her Da-Dee playing them with her spoons with the occasional instruction on how “Fur Elise” should go with said spoons. In the background, the finest Bing Crosby is singing Christmas carols from an iPhone instead of a classic 45. We are both sipping egg nog with brandy and quickly rejected the idea of sushi in lieu of staying in.
The tv is off and homemade meatloaf is in the oven. It is the three of us, playing and enjoying each others company for the moment- this very brief moment that we get to be together before work and life takes us our separate ways again. Silent Night just came into the mix from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and I am thinking to myself that this very moment, this second is what Norman Rockwell would capture as a modern family Christmas. This picture.
I woke up to snow this morning.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Climbing Cinderella

Eileen is a climber. Not like a 2 year old climber, but like a monkey climber. She can flip herself up to any chair, shelf, or stool. I was looking for her the other day [in our 1056 square foot apartment] and could not find her. I leaned under the table and did not see any 6-12 month feet.... because they were not on the ground. She had climbed up the bookshelf trying to reach God knows what. I, being mother of the year, snuck up behind her, clapped my hands really loud and said, loudly, (okay, screamed) "NO! NO! NO! NO! NO M'AM! NO M'AM! WE DO NOT CLIMB ON THE BOOKSHELF."

She got down, turned around, looked at me and started crying. However, she has not taken a fancy to climbing on it since.

 She still climbs on the oven. The oven that has no knobs for the stove because she can reach them. And the table. She hits her head on the glass above her, but has not gotten the irony of the glass ceiling like I have. She climbs into cabinets. Well, hold on... she pulls everything out of the cabinet and flings it around the room... then climbs in the cabinet and shuts the door. We are working on, "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie." ... but, so far, all we have is, "Da-DA?"

 Did I mention she pulls everything out of the cabinets? Last week, one of the last times I left the apartment before the cold set in, we were walking along and I looked into the bottom of her stroller to find the following items: -Le Creuset lid, -cusinart mixer bowl, - 2 cups, -a right shoe.

 Which brings me to something very important to share... I am starting to call her Cinderella because she cannot keep up with both shoes. Right now, we have far more right shoes than left. She has taken to taking them off and throwing them, hiding them, or otherwise disposing of the left shoe. 

Speaking of hiding, Will and I both lost our licenses for longer than I should mention. No big deal as we don't drive anywhere (I get lost and Will doesn't have time to make car journeys) and the bars know that the idiots with the baby are, obviously, of age. So, I was vacuming the other day and needed to move the rug. Well, underneath the rug I found my comb, our licenses, a debit card, a coaster, and a business card for some lawyer named "Yahntz." So that's where they were....

Enough about my child, how about my husband? Well, I sadly do not have much to report on him, except he is working his ass off. He worked a lot as a resident, as you all know, but that was like second gear compared to what he does not. He works (note the word 'works') from 6am to 5ish. That means he gets up around 515am to leave the house by 531, to get to the shuttle by 558, to take the shuttle to arrive before 615. To work. When he is on call, he will work all night long (no sleep) and then come home around 1pm the following day and die until about 6. Eat dinner, play on his computer, hug Eileen and give me a little drunken conversation (not from alcohol, from lack of sleep) before nodding off again about 830-9. Good news, he gets to go back to the hospital the next day. Even better news, next month is going to particularly hard, according to the worker bee. So, he'll need to be AT the hospital by 525 and won't get home until after 7. Unfortunately, the first shuttle does not leave until 6. So, he gets to take the bike to work. In January. In the morning. In the snow. Uphill. Without a helmet.

What? You thought being a doctor was just all work and no play?

And now, me. She who has no MDO, no childcare, and an increasing tolerance for wine. Eileen and I do a lot of yoga and those earthy people are ding bats.

ding bats.

Seriously, I cannot fathom the medicinal or confidence building aspects of not shaving your pits. There is no hygiene in that. Legs-- I get it. You're lazy. It's cool. But, come on, your pits? You probably don't do much hedge work either (of course, of all the places I neglect... the hedges are the first). And, don't fool yourself. Your baby can't do yoga. They can run around. They can put their head on the ground, but it is not downward facing dog (or downward facing puppy as we call it in the Cagle household). Don't try and make them. 

Earthy people crack me up. The guilt they carry from using plastic bags to the organic toilet paper made from trees who were anesthetized before being chopped; please don't think I am exaggerating. There are markets here that cater to them... with a price tag to boot.

Fenging and Sheuing are two things I will probably never understand.

Right, I digress... so, I'm doing yoga and trying to find some inner peace (when I'm not laughing at the hairy women who "OHM" before they "namaste") and knitting to keep my idle hands busy. I am not great at either, but am working to broaden my horizons.  

I'll get back to writing!

I will get back to writing-- but, Eileen is really taking this whole "cuteness" thing to a new level and wanted to share! We saw the trains today at the Botanical Gardens...