Friday, October 30, 2009

Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 4:14 PM

If you are faint of heart when it comes to cooking with heavy whipping cream and lots of eggs (or wary of high cholesterol), you might want to stay away from this recipe. This Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce recipe asks for eight, yes EIGHT, eggs and 2 cups of whipping cream. I'd say it's darn worth it though. Drizzled with the rum sauce, this bread pudding is a fantastic fall dessert. It's incredibly easy to make and impressive to serve -- this recipe is restaurant quality because it actually comes from a restaurant in Mississippi.

  • This picture does not do the bread pudding justice. Not too pretty, but you'll understand the hype once you eat it.

I halved the recipe and used a 9x9 pan. A tip: It's best to assemble the bread pudding and let it sit overnight in the fridge before you bake it in order to let the bread really soak up the creamy mixture. And, if you use cinnamon raisin bread, you can skip a step and omit adding more raisins.


Bread Pudding

8 large eggs

3 1/2 cups whole milk

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1-pound loaf cinnamon challah or cinnamon-swirl bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup golden raisins

Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Add milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla; whisk to blend well. Stir in bread and raisins. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pudding uncovered until puffed and golden, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool slightly (pudding will fall). Serve warm with Spiced Rum Sauce.

Spiced Rum Sauce

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons spiced rum or dark rum

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Stir brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add cream, rum, and cinnamon and bring to simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Serve warm. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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Line changes at Sullivan's Steakhouse, more food news

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 10:51 AM

50 Applebee’s Restaurants, owned and operated by the Apple Gold Group, will host a Halloween Bash, Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. Guests are encouraged to dress up in a costume. A costume contest will be held at midnight. “Spooky” drinks will be served.

• Maddi’s Southern Gallery, in Birkdale Village, 16925 Birkdale Commons Parkway, Huntersville, is hosting a wine dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. On the menu are Sumarocca Cava Brut, cornbread and tasso ham stuffed mushrooms with St. Hilaire Cotes du Rhone Blanc, pumpkin bisque with Foris Gewurztraminer; roasted acorn squash with lentils and goat cheese with Chehalem Pinot Gris Reserve; apple and sage stuffed pork tenderloin with roasted root vegetables with Brutocao Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon; and for dessert, a trio of assorted mini muffins with coffee. The cost is $49 per person. Reservations are required: 704-987-7762 or

New on the menu at Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 1928 South Boulevard, are never frozen Florida stone crab claws as appetizers or entrées with the traditional Dijon mustard sauce. Stone Crabs will be available at Sullivan’s until May 15, 2010.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bruegger's Bakery-Café to open in Epicentre

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Bruegger’s Bakery-Café will open on the second floor of the EpiCentre, 210 East Trade Street, in November. From Wednesday, November 18 through Friday, November 20, the store will have raffles, giveaways and special promotions including $0.99 bagels with cream cheese, $2.99 Herby Turkey sandwiches and three bagels for the price of $1. The first 50 guests will receive a Bottomless Mug, good for free coffee, tea or soda through December 31, 2009. A portion of sales from the three-day opening event will benefit Outreach Programs of the Childress Klein YMCA in Uptown Charlotte. Hours: Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Upcoming events from the Levine Museum

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 10:15 AM

I’m back on the bus with Staff Historian Tom Hanchett for the 4th annual New South BBQ Bus Tour on Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7. We will visit several ethnic restaurants to eat their take on barbecue: Vietnamese barbecue at Ben Thanh; Salvadoran papusas at El Pulgarcito; Trini jerk barbecue at Taste of the Caribbean Restaurant; and Mexican barbecue at Cocina Latina. Cost is $30 for Museum members and $35 for non-members; includes meal, program and transportation. 704-333-1887 x 501 or email .

Also at the Levine Museum is the 4th annual Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos, Festival, this year on Sunday, Nov. 1 from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. The Levine Museum and the Latin American Coalition will co-host this free community day honoring the traditional Mexican holiday when families remember loved ones who have passed away and celebrate the continuity of life. On hand will be sugar skulls, “dead bread,” an altar contest, arts, crafts, and music. Free admission all day.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin and Sausage Pasta

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 11:17 AM

When the weather gets chilly, a nice warm hearty pasta totally hits the spot. This Pumpkin and Sausage Pasta is the perfect fall dish -- it contains pumpkin, flavorful sweet Italian sausage, and just a hit of cream. I usually balk at recipes that call for heavy cream, but did you know pumpkin is loaded with the important antioxidant beta-carotene? Feel good about eating this dish! It makes a lot, so invite some friends over.

I served the pasta with Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce for dessert. The recipe for this heart-stopper will be coming soon...


We can thank the queen of 30-minute meals, Rachel Ray, for this recipe.

Pumpkin and Sausage Pasta

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage

4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated

Coarse salt and black pepper

1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente

Romano or Parmigiano, for grating

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

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On the line at Cantina 1511, Dream Dinners and Global

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 10:15 AM

• Cantina 1511, 1511 East Boulevard in Dilworth and 7708 Rea Road in Stonecrest Shopping Center, is offering a $7 weekday lunch menu for the fall. Menu items include Tacos Dorado - three white corn tacos stuffed with crab, shrimp, scallions, lime and valentina sauce, deep fried and served with Mexican crema and shredded cabbage; and Crab Quesadilla filled with avocado, lump crab, jalapeño bacon, mixed cheeses; garnished with an avocado crema and served with a jicama slaw and red pepper crema.

Beginning in November (National Diabetes Month), Dream Dinners of Fort Mill, 1646 Highway 160 West, are participating in a new meal program designed specifically for customers diagnosed with diabetes or those at risk for developing diabetes. The Dinners for Life menu use “diabetic friendly recipes”. Menu items include Chicken Paella and Baked Fish and Chips. According to franchisees Meera Pattison & Mary Beth Lakshmanan, all meals are physician approved and dietitian designed. To be able to provide these special menus, Pattison and Lakshmanan along with certain members of the staff were required to obtain their Dinners for Life Certification.

To celebrate their third anniversary, Global Restaurant, 3520 Toringdon Way, are offering a special Anniversary Menu, $79.00 for Two which includes a bottle of wine ($60 without wine). The menu includes soup, cured beef with Gribiche sauce, Asiago cheese, toast points; an endive salad with a mix of blue cheese, pecans, tomatoes, chives, with an apple and almond vinaigrette. Entrees include W & D mushroom raviolis with wilted greens, drizzled with wild mushroom infused oil; market fish; and organic chicken ziti with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, kalamata olives, feta, and pesto. Dessert is a strawberry flambé with Gran Marnier, whipped cream and puff pastry.

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What does homemade mean to you?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Starbucks oatmeal

Last week I walked into the Starbucks on Trade Street in the Gateway to get a latté when I noticed a large photograph of a bowl of oatmeal dotted with berries suspended above the order counter. The description read: “Perfect Oatmeal.” The day was cold; the Perfect Oatmeal looked warm. I asked the Starbucks employee whether the oatmeal was homemade. “Yes, of course,” she replied. I ordered one.

I watched as she turned her back to the counter, got a small package, ripped off the top, poured the contents into a bowl, added water and stuck it into a microwave. A few minutes later, the homemade oatmeal rested in front of me on the counter. To this employee, homemade or made in-house meant adding water and heating in a microwave.

When a sports bar claims the tortilla chips are homemade, are they? Are they homemade if the chips are merely fried in the kitchen, but the tortillas were bought? If French fries are bought frozen, are they house-made if they are fried in-house?

Or what about this recent discourse at a grocery store's fish counter:

“Is this fish fresh or has it been frozen?”

Clerk: “It was fresh when it was frozen.” Gee, really?

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Crab and Shrimp Bruschetta

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 1:51 PM


Take this twist on plain tomato bruschetta and spice things up. Here's a quick and dirty recipe for a healthy and delicious crab and shrimp version of bruschetta that I learned from a friend. It's a snap to throw together and tastes great.

Crab and Shrimp Bruschetta

Serves 2

A handful of raw shrimp, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 can of good quality crab meat

1/2 avocado, diced

1 tomato, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 lime

A handful of cilantro, chopped

French baguette

olive oil

In a small saute pan, melt a pat of butter. Cook shrimp and crab together until shrimp is cooked through. Set aside.

Combine avocado, tomato and red onion in a bowl. Squeeze lime over mixture. Add cooked shrimp and crab into bowl. Toss together. Mix in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the baguette into slices, slightly at an angle. Place slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

Plate the bread toasts and scoop a spoonful of bruscetta filling over.

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There's more Tasty Yo coming

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 10:45 AM

If you are a fan of Tasty Yo, the tart yogurt shop in NoDa, you'll be jumping with joy to hear that they are opening a second location in South Charlotte.

The store will be set up similar to the one in NoDa, but what's even better is that they will be serving two yogurt flavors there. They will also have their signature fresh fruit and other toppings available. (My fave: mango, strawberry, and mochi.)

The store located at the Village at Robinson Farm (between Stonecrest and Blakeney) is slated to open late November. Right now the store is aiming to open on Nov. 27. They will be offering a grand opening special of "Buy one, get one free" along with an assortment of giveaways and prizes. Stay tuned for more info to come.

In the meantime, pick up the newest issue of Creative Loafing for a 20% off coupon at the Tasty Yo in NoDa.

Tasty Yo

3116 North Davidson Street

Charlotte, NC 28205

(704) 333-4551

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Yoforia frozen yogurt coming to Charlotte

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 11:56 AM


Yum! I love frozen yogurt!

Yoforia, an Atlanta-based frozen yogurt company, is planning to open two locations here in the Charlotte area. Score!

From a press release:

Atlanta, GA (October 22, 2009) Yoforia, having established frozen yogurt domination in Atlanta, has announced that they are expanding outside of the Peach State and opening two new stores this winter in Charlotte, NC.

The popular neighborhoods of South Charlotte and Myers Park have been chosen as the ideal environment for the rollout of Yoforia Frozen Yogurt in North Carolina.  The new stores will be located in existing shopping centers of Selwyn Corners (2823 Selwyn Ave., Suite J) and The Shops at Piper Glen (5432 Red Rd., Suite A-2-near Trader Joes). Each store opening will bring 10 new job opportunities to the area.  Yoforia will infuse their traditional 1,200 square foot locations with their signature bright orange and green colors and clean, modern design.  Operating hours will be:

Mon-Thurs, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Picture 1

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