The Cooking Chronicles: Bits and Bites

To be honest, I haven’t really tried all that many new recipes as of late. In between our travels this fall, we’ve fallen back on tried and true dishes when at home – mostly due to a lack of time to bookmark new recipes, but also because there are more than a few wintery soups I’ve been inkling to revisit.

That said, there have been a few experiments here and there – one that recalls fall memories and a second perfect for our current season.

Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding

Who among us hasn’t turned to fridge staples of eggs and bacon for a crunch-time evening meal? For that reason, I love that Giada’s newest book, Weeknights with Giada, devotes an entire chapter to breakfast for dinner, but offers alternatives to that basic combination.

We made her tomato-basil bread pudding several weeks ago. It’s a savoury take on bread pudding that incorporates tomatoes, basil, and parmesan in place of sweeter flavours. We used Dauphine’s onion and sage bread as a base (one of my favourites), Greens, Eggs and Ham duck eggs and tomatoes and basil from Gull Valley Greenhouses.

Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding

Tomato-basil bread pudding

The result was pretty good, though I probably would have preferred a bit more bread and tomatoes. Giada recommends using a multigrain bread, but given how fragrant the onion and sage loaf was, I can’t imagine choosing any other bread to use.

Pulled Pork & Beans

When I first flipped through Spilling the Beans, Julie and Sue’s recipe for pulled pork & beans was one of the first that caught my eye because I knew it would be right up Mack’s alley. I don’t have any explanation for why it took me so long to get to it, however.

We purchased a boneless pork shoulder from Irvings Farm Fresh, and cheated a little by using canned beans, having run through my freezer inventory. Topped off in the slow cooker with ketchup, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, mustard and a bit of sriracha (my addition), we let it cook low and slow for eight hours.

When we arrived home tonight, the house smelled marvellous, sweet and porky. The meat was moist and easy to pull apart, and we served the pork and bean concoction over toasted multigrain buns.

Pulled Pork & Beans

Pulled pork & beans

This recipe definitely earned Mack’s seal of approval. He thought it would be too sweet, but found the beans mellowed it out a bit, as did the bread. We probably could have put in a dash or two of Tabasco though, something we will keep in mind for next time.

2 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: Bits and Bites

  1. I just bookmarked the exact same recipe in Spilling the Beans yesterday! Now I’m even more excited to try it! Thanks Sharon 🙂

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