Archive for December, 2010

December 30, 2010

Panettone Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise

So, I was innocently sitting on the couch eating this:

When this came along…

…and snatched it off my plate!

How sad. He had no idea the blood, sweat and tears that went into this delish Christmas dessert. I’m pretty sure it was inhaled without even grazing his tongue. What a waste of luscious panettone bread pudding with crème anglaise. I rightfully helped myself to another serving after this incident.

Do you have eggs, bread, cream, milk and sugar (I know my house is littered with excess of these ingredients from Christmas)? If you do, make this!

This recipe is a combination of a Giada’s bread pudding with Cooking Light’s –not so light– crème anglaise :

Bread Pudding:

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf panettone bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Creme Anglaise


  • 1 3/4  cups  1% low-fat milk
  • 1  (3-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/3  cup  sugar
  • 4  large egg yolks

Pour milk into a medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean (please use a vanilla bean, not extract, it makes all the difference!); add seeds and bean to milk. Cook over medium heat 6 minutes (don’t boil it); remove the bean. Remove from heat.

Combine sugar and yolks in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Gradually add milk mixture to bowl, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add slowly so you don’t scramble the eggs!! I almost did…then mom came to the rescue with her immersion blender :).  Return mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat 6 minutes or until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly with a whisk. Immediately pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and chill (mixture will thicken as it sets).

This sauce would also be very tasty on some fresh berries for breakfast!

From The Little Yellow Cushing Kitchen,



December 29, 2010

Fluffy Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Toppings

(Serves 2-3 people, but we always double the recipe…a lot of mouths to feed.)


Homemade Pancakes. These are what I live fore when I come home and stay with my family. They are so easy, but simply divine! I have never been a pancake-eater-outer, because they always taste soggy and like cardboard. (I am sorry if I am offending restaurant pancake lovers, I suppose we don’t see eye to eye on this one). But these little gems are divine and the perfect way to start your big day! Not to mention they are healthful with the substitution of whole wheat flour for the unbleached white, and the addition of wheat germ/wheat bran. No one will ever notice you are feeding them a few more years of their life…


Here’s the scoop!



  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp wheat germ/wheat bran (or both!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)


  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Really cool nut cracker from the 70's


The glass jar bottom, screws onto the top and serves as a catcher for the chopped nuts













Combine all dry ingredients. In separate bowl mix the wet ingredients in with the dry. Here’s the deal, you have to stir by hand. Don’t whisk, just combine all ingredients with a metal spoon. Try to get out the bigger clumps, but don’t work the batter too hard, otherwise they won’t be fluffy!


Put some canola oil onto a Hot griddle and rub around with a paper towl. (Or you can just use some cooking spray if you have it in the pantry.) Plop about a ¼ of batter down on the griddle and repeat until you can’t fit any more pancakes. Just be sure to leave some space between each one so that you can really get in there and flip the flapjacks like its your job, oh, and so that the batter doesn’t run around the griddle and create one big goliath pancake!


Now its all about timing. Hang out around the griddle, and watch those puppies. After about 2-3 minutes on each side, they should be cooked through. They should be a nice deep golden brown, if some are a teensy bit darker, no worries, they will be gobbled up anyways. At least in my household… since all 6 of us kids had to eat, a little charred pancake wouldn’t stop us from topping them with fruit, nuts, real maple syrup, and whip cream!

So go ahead, and place some toppings in bowls on the table and let everyone prepare their own pancake plate! As you can see in the pictures, we did bananas, walnuts, maple syrup, whip cream, and some pomegranate seeds for good measure (and a burst of flavor!).


From the Little Yellow Morris Kitchen



December 28, 2010

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary, Chocolate and Wine Sauce

As Dorothy would say, “There’s no place like home!” No need to click my sparkly red shoes and take off in an air balloon because I’m already home for the holidays with a week off of work. Good food, good times, shopping, sleep, lunch on the beach, watching movies from the Lazy Boy, Just Dance battles on the Wii, cutest 2-year old fostered cousin ever, and more sleep.

Tonight I’m going to share the main entrée recipe from my Christmas feast. I’m very glad Jesus was born because 1. He has given me eternal life and 2. He created a reason for the Christmas season when good food and wine are taken very seriously (at least in my house).

This year we had beef tenderloin with a rosemary, chocolate and wine sauce. All 12 family members glared at me when I said that that’s what we were making to top the meat with. BUT once it was finished I made them all dip their fingers into the sauce pan to taste it and that immediately shut them all up, including my father who held strong to the fact that any sauce would ruin his Christmas beef. This recipe is adapted (and adjusted) from Ellie Krieger‘s.



Finely chop celery, carrots and shallots.

  • 1 (2-pound) beef tenderloin roast
  • McCormick’s Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Season the meat with McCormicks Montreal Steak seasoning. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat until good and hot, then add the meat and sear until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total.

Transfer the meat to a baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135 degrees F for medium-rare, about 30 minutes, or to your desired degree of doneness. Remove it from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest.

Rosemary, Chocolate and Wine Sauce:

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the finely chopped shallots, carrot and celery and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the wine and broth and stir in the tomato paste. Add the bay leaf and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 40 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Stir in the cocoa and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Serve on the side with beef tenderloin.

Now, I know this sounds strange, my whole family confirmed it. But have no fear, you will love this sauce! The cocoa powder gives this sauce such depth of flavor and it perfectly complements your beef tenderloin. Perhaps this is a perfect dish for your NYE dinner party!

From The Little Yellow Cushing Kitchen,


Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary, Chocolate and Wine Sauce

December 26, 2010

Holiday Breakfast Strata

This is very important, are you listening? I have eaten this strata for every holiday breakfast as long as I can remember and this recipe is near and dear to the Cushing’s hearts. My mother is an excellent cook  and never ceases to amaze us with this delicious  breakfast strata (and later, a giant dinner feast!). I love being home for the holidays…

and so does Rex.

The best part about this is meal is that you can make it the night before  and while your eyes are still half shut the next morning, just pop it into the oven and enjoy the savory aroma as you sip on  a cup of joe.

Breakfast Strata


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 slices of rye bread
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups of sharp white cheddar (we like Dubliner)
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (My dad and brother pick these out but mom and I can’t give ’em up)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 4 eggs

So just how in the world does this magnificent creation come together?

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray square baking dish with cooking spray, 8x8x2. Heat oil in skillet and and cook the onions and mushrooms. Add the sausage to brown the edges and break it into 1/2 in. pieces.

Spread Dijon onto the slices of rye and arrange mustard side up in the  baking dish to cover the bottom. Layer a cup of cheese then pour half of the sausage, onion, mushroom mixture on top. Place the remaining slices of bread on top with Dijon side down. Add the rest of the sausage mixture and top with the tomato slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese.

Whisk the eggs and milk together and pour it over the strata.

All layered up and ready to go.

Pop this baby in the oven for 30-45 minutes until it is cooked through in the center (it shouldn’t be jiggle). Let cool for 10 minutes. Finally, feed the fam a fantastic feast!

The perfect holiday breakfast.


Stay tuned because the benefit of two LYK bloggers means you will get the recipes for two Christmas dinners, Morris and Cushing families are at it again!

From The Little Yellow Cushing Kitchen,


December 25, 2010

Baked Brie Bites

Merry Christmas Eve!

Home for the holidays never felt so good! After a busy day of snowboarding and traveling home, it’s about time to kick back and relax with the family. Naturally, this means baking, cooking, and eating good food. As we are preparing our Christmas Eve feast, the crowds are getting hungry: time for appetizers. Good thing we stocked up on ready-made puff pastry sheets at TJ’s because they are perfect for a quick bite to fend off those pre-feast hunger pangs. We chose to make Strawberry Baked Brie Bites but there are many different flavor combinations, so get creative!

Don't be afraid of a little crisp!



Here is what you will need:

  • 1 Box of puff-pastry dough (it comes with 2 sheets at Trader Joe’s)
  • A hunk of Brie cheese (double cream, if you are feeling brave)
  • Jam (we used Organic Strawberry Preserves)

Here is how you make it:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Take dough out of freezer, cut into 1 in. squares.
  • Place onto greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper) and be sure to leave some space between them.
  • Pop the dough in the oven for a few minutes to get it baking.
  • Cut a hearty slice of Brie and place in the middle of each dough square; top with preferred flavor of jam (or preserves) and put back in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and nice and crispy.


Quick and easy puff-pastry: bake until puffy and golden brown


My sister, Jen and I, looking snazzy in our aprons

From the Little Yellow Kitchen Morris Kitchen,



Jesus is the Reason for the Season!