Savory bread pudding with leeks and mushrooms

There is a new baked good vendor at our wonderful Collingswood Farmers’ Market.  They are Lost Bread Co., from across the bridge.  Every Saturday morning Eve drives her van full of interesting and delicious baked goods which she sells at the far end of the market to new and loyal customers.

A very unique feature of the products sold by lost bread is that the grains they use in the baking process are milled by Lost Bread Co. itself.

their webpage

I chose a potato bread for this recipe as it was a sour dough bread and it had potatoes in it.  They pop up in the bread like a small prize.  Hey, I got a potato!


2 1/2 tablespoons butter
A one pound loaf of day old bread
2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic
3/4 pound of cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Gruyere cheese (I used Conestoga cheese from Hillacres Pride)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley


1. Grease a 2 quart baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter.
2. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes (about 6 cups of bread cubes).

3.  Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add leeks and cook until they begin to soften (about 8 minutes).  Add mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter stirring occasionally until the mushrooms start to soften (about 10 minutes).

4.  Toss together the bread and mushroom/leek mixture and transfer to the prepared casserole dish.

5.  Whisk together the cream, thyme, parsley, and cheeses.  Pour over the bread mixture.

6.  Chill and cover at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
*7.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. (see #9)
8.  Uncover the bread pudding and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
9.  DO NOT PUT A CERAMIC OR GLASS CASSEROLE COLD FROM THE REFRIGERATOR INTO A HOT OVEN!!!!  I put the cold dish into a cold oven and then start the preheat…with the casserole in the oven so they can heat up together.
10.  Bake until the top begins to brown…about 40 minutes.  Serve.



Bread from Lost Bread Co.
Cheese and eggs from Hillacres Pride
Leeks from Flaim and Formisano Farms
Fresh herbs from Flaim Farm
Mushrooms from Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms

Iced applesauce cake

It’s apple time!

There are many tempting varieties of very tasty apples available nearly everywhere. But especially at my local farmers’ market.

I prefer a crisp tart apple.  But all apples are good.  This week I made a huge pot of applesauce using a variety of apples including Honey Crisp, Stayman Winesap, Red Delicious, and Autumn Crisp.

Here is a link to my applesauce recipe….The boss.  All you add is a little water on the bottom of the pot to start the process.

Ingredients for the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (sweet, not salted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk


Directions for the cake: 
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray or butter
3.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
4. In another large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
5.  Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
6.  Add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and beat until just combined
7.  Add applesauce and milk and beat until just combined.
8.  Place in a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Adding applesauce to a cake is a good way to cut out some of the fat in a recipe.  It also makes the cake very moist.  If you use purchased applesauce be sure to buy unsweetened for use here.

When the cake has cooled, it can be iced using this recipe for buttercream icing.   Butter cream icing   I added a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the icing.


Fried apple slices

This recipe is so simple and so easy I know you’ve already thought of it!

Fried apple slices are a quick and delicious side dish to chicken or pork cutlets.  And they are a fabulous addition to those weekend pancakes.


Recipe for pancake batter.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 Tablespoons melted butter


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, and melted butter.  Mix until smooth.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.  Add some butter to the pan to prevent the pancakes from sticking.  Measure approximately 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake and pour onto a medium hot pan.  Wait for the bubbles.  When the entire pancake is bubbles…flip.  Leave a minute or two.  Done.


Recipe for fried apple slices.




  1. Wash, peel, and thinly slice apples.
  2. Melt butter in a frying pan.  Drop the apple slices in the pan with melted butter.
  3. Fry the apple slices for about 5 minutes or until they change color and become soft. Stir to keep from burning.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon


To make the apple pancakes spoon some of the fried apple slices into your medium hot frying pan.  Pour pancake batter over the apple slices.  Watch for the bubbles.  When the bubbles cover the pancake, flip.  Leave a minute of two more.  Serve with a pat of butter and maple syrup or honey.





Apples from Schober Orchards and Fruitwood Farms

Butter from Hillacres Pride


Sous Vide

I have a new toy.  It is a sous vide immersion circulator slow cooker.  And I am having so much fun!

What is a sous vide immersion circulator?  It is a special kitchen appliance that regulates water to an exact temperature for a  set amount of time.  The water is preheated in a large pot or container.  The selected food is placed in a plastic bag and submerged to press the air out of the bag (or vacuum sealed if you have such a machine…and I do!) so the meat or food being cooked under water.  The food is cooked in the circulating hot water bath for the specific time. The reason for the success of this method of cooking is that the temperature will never go higher than set. Afterward, a quick sear on a hot pan or grill is recommended for extra flavor and texture, since this method of cooking will not brown the meat.

In the two weeks that I’ve had this new gadget I have sous vide six different items that were all purchased at my favorite Collingswood Farmers’ Market.  And all were great successes!

The first food sous vide was poached eggs.  The water container was filled ( a 12 quart clear plastic food storage container…. stainless steel pots get very hot) to the fill line on the circulator and the temperature was set to 167 degrees Fahrenheit.  I wanted a poached egg with the white and yolk more solid than loose liquid.  Now the directions I read said to drop the egg into the water.  I did not.  All I could imagine was the shell cracking and my brand new machine sucking up the egg that escaped into the water and fouling the motor.  So two eggs in a zippered food grade plastic freezer bag and were  put it into the circulating water and then clipped  to the side of the container.  13 minutes later I had two perfect poached eggs in their shell.  A little hot to handle but so worth it!IMG_0409

Poached egg >167 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 minutes.

Potatoes…yes,  potatoes.  The potatoes were scrubbed but not peeled and cut into similar sized pieces for even cooking.   The water temperature was set to 194 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the temperature hit 194 degrees the bags of potatoes were submerged, sealed, clipped to the side, and left them in the water for one hour.  In one hour the bags of potatoes were cooked.  Some melted butter and olive oil in a hot frying pan produced lovely, crispy potatoes.  Sprinkled with a little salt and made them the perfect side to a burger.  HINT:  At the start the potatoes wouldn’t sink…they floated.  I found this hint that really worked….drop a couple of heavy stainless steel spoons into the bottom of the bag of potatoes.  The weight of the spoons keeps them under the circulating water.

Potatoes > 194 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hours.

Did someone say burger?  Patties of ground beef that are at least 1/3 of a pound were put in bags and submerged in water that has been heated to 137 degrees Fahrenheit and left there for 1 hour.  Perfectly medium rare.  Out of the sous vide, the burgers were fried  in a hot skillet for one minute on the first side, then flipped, and topped with American cheese.  Delicious!

1/3 of a pound beef burgers (medium well) > 137 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour


Burgers and fried potatoes are easy and homey.  But husband and I were aiming for more sophisticated dinners.  Three nights in a row we were delighted with our meals.

First we did boneless pork chops.  The water was heated to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and the chops were bagged with some fresh thyme and put in the circulating water for one hour. A quick sauce of some mushrooms fried in butter and finished with a teaspoon of mustard and about 1/4 cup of cream finished the dish.  Wow!

 1 inch thick boneless pork chops > 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour

Next we did beef filet mignon.  I put a dot of butter (grass fed meat loves butter…oil, not so much) and some salt with the beef.  I Closed the bag (making sure there was no air to keep it above the water), and submerged the bags for 1 hour at 136 degrees Fahrenheit.  I finished the beef by searing it in a very hot pan for 1 minute per side.  Fork tender and delicious!IMG_0398

1 to 1 1/2 inch thick beef filet mignon (medium rare)  > 136 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour

Finally.  It was boneless chicken cutlet time.  We all love them and we all know they can so easily be overcooked and dry.  Not so when you sous vide.  I buy my chicken cutlets from Hillacres Pride (as I did all of the meat discussed in this post…and the eggs).  The meat comes frozen and sealed in a bag.  I simply heated the water in the container to 146 degrees Fahrenheit), took the label off the pouch, and dropped the chicken into the water.  The bag was clipped to the side of the plastic container and cooked for 2 hours.  Because I did not remove the chicken from the plastic bag the cutlet was about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick thus the need for a two hour cook.  When I pound the chicken to an even 1/2 to 1 inch thickness, one hour in the water is enough.

1 1/2 inch thick boneless chicken breast > 146 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. (one hour if cutlets are pounded to an inch or less)

All of the meats were thawed.  All of the meats were bagged in food safe freezer bags with the air pressed out of them.  All of the bags were submerged for a specific time in specific temperature water.  All of the bags were clipped to the side of the water container.  And all of the meat was cooked properly, hot, moist, and delicious!

My sous vide immersion circulator slow cooker is the best thing I’ve purchased for my kitchen in a long time. 

In the words of Ferris Bueller….

” If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up”.iu

All foods mentioned in the post were purchased at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market in Collingswood NJ.

Potatoes = Savoie Organic Farm 

Eggs, beef burgers, beef filet mignon, boneless chicken breast cutlets, boneless pork chops. = Hillacres Pride