Friday, December 20, 2013


What a fun group the Tasty Bunch is!  After a delicious dinner at The Hereford House, we all gathered at John and Bernie's for dessert and fun. 

Bernie immediately offered us her Cranberry Cocktail.  It was so good and looked so festive in the decanter.  I didn't take my picture until it was time to leave...that's why it is almost empty.

Cranberry Cocktail

1     12-oz can of frozen cranberry blend juice

3      cans* of 7 - Up

3      cans* Pomegranate Cranberry Plus 100% Juice

1      whole bottle of champagne (or ginger ale)

1/2   bag of whole cranberries


*  Bernie used the empty 12 - oz can from the frozen cranberry juice as a measure.  

Combine all and pour into serving decanter.

After playing a couple of games -- a mixer bingo for Christmas and then a "get-to-know-everyone-better"  where everyone shares one thing about themselves that no one else knows.   We shared the latter mixer earlier this month at the Dinner Club.  It is so much fun and amazing what you can learn about your friends.

Then it was time for dessert....Bread Pudding.  I love bread pudding and Bernie's was fabulous.

 (inspired by Curtis Stone, Master Chef)


6-1/2     cups Half & Half (or 3-1/2 cups whole milk or soymilk and 3 cups whipping cream or Half & Half)
1-1/2    cups granulated sugar (Bernie used 1/2 Splenda)
1-1/2    tablespoons vanilla extract
12        whole eggs (or egg substitute)
1          cup raisins
6          croissants (each torn into 8 - 10 pieces)


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Stir the milk/cream, sugar, and vanilla in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the milk mixture is warm, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. 

Whisk the whole eggs in a large bowl, then gradually whisk into the warm milk mixture.

Place the croissant pieces in a 13 x 9 -inch baking dish.

Pour the custard over the croissant pieces and sprinkle the raisins over the top.  Press gently to submerge the croissants and raisins.  

Let stand for 20 minutes to allow the croissants to absorb some of the custard.

Place the baking dish in a large roasting pan.  Set the roasting pan on the oven shelf.  Add enough warm water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

Bake until the pudding is firm to the touch, about 1 hour and 20 - 40 minutes.  Serve warm with Caramel Ice Cream Topping or Caramel Rum Sauce

Caramel Rum Sauce

2/3     cup butterscotch caramel ice cream topping
3        tablespoons heavy cream
3        tablespoons dark rum

Combine in a glass container and heat in a pan of water on the stove to thin.

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