2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Budin – Puerto Rican Bread Pudding


I had a request for a recipe from an old friend of mine (Belinda Alfonso Sandstrom). Back in about 1991 we took a trip to visit her grand father and we brought him a some of my mom’s bread pudding. He took one bite and said it reminded him of the bread pudding he had as a child in Puerto Rico. This is one of my families “Heirloom Recipes”. Try this recipe and it will become a favorite for your family.

3 loaves of “3 day old” French or Italian bread / cut into small cubes
2 cans of Carnation Evaporated milk plus 2 cans of water
1 quart of milk (regular milk, not fat-free)
2 tbsp. Vanilla
3 cups Sugar
1 Tbs.Cinnamon
1/2 cup Raisins
1/4 lb. butter (1 stick) – diced into small pieces
extra cinnamon for dusting

There should be enough bread cubes to make a mound in a 10″ x 15″ baking pan.

Pour the 2 cans of Evaporated Milk over bread, refill each can with water and add to bread. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, sugar and 3/4 of the diced butter.


Mix all together real good, making sure the sugar is well dissolved into the bread mixture.

Let stand for 15 minutes to allow bread to soften and soak up most of the milk. The texture should be a slightly wet mush. Use the remaining butter to dot the top of the entire mixture.

Then lightly sprinkle the top with more cinnamon. DO NOT MIX. Place pan in oven and bake at 350 degrees, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. or until knife inserted comes out clean. Top will have crispy chunks that you can’t help but to sample! The bread pudding itself will become firm once it cools off.

Hope you enjoy…it’s delicious


2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Soda Bread (Family Heirloom Recipe)

This is an heirloom recipe that my mom makes every year for St. Patrick’s Day. Now this recipe has been handed down to me by my mother and it is my job to make sure this tradition stays alive in my family. This recipe was given to my mother by a neighbor and friend Rosie Redmond over 30 years ago. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

4 cups un-sifted All Purpose Flour 

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1+1/2 cups Buttermilk

2 eggs

1 stick Butter-softened

1 cup Raisins 

1+1/2 Teaspoons Caraway seeds ( or more if you wish)

2  – (8) inch round cast iron fry pans or cake pans, greased and floured


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, toss flour mixture with hands (this give bread a light and airy consistency).

Cut in softened butter to flour mixture, using hands or a pastry cutter.  Until evenly distributed.

Add raisins and caraway seeds. Toss with hands to mix thoroughly. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add buttermilk and blend well.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture. Blend well with a spoon. The dough should be heavy but not too wet. (If it seems too dry, add a little more buttermilk) If too tacky to handle, add a little bit of flour, so that you can mold it to shape.

Divide batter between 2 prepared pans.

Dust hands generously with flour and mold dough into a round loaves. Dust top generously with flour. Using the wrong end of a fork cut a deep cross “X” into the dough. This is the cross of St. Patrick. This will prevent the bread from cracking, and will give it a traditional look.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until well browned (knife comes clean). Cool on a rack.

Note** By chance, I found out, that when I baked this bread in a cast iron fry pan, the bread rose higher than the one baked in the cake pans.

Shrimp and Couscous Salad

This Mediterranean inspired salad is served cold and can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator until your guests arrive. You can adjust the portion size to make this an appetizer or a dinner and because there is no mayonnaise in this recipe it is great for outdoor parties in the summertime. If you leave out the shrimp and bacon and substitute vegetable broth, this recipe is good for your “Vegetarian friends” or you can tell them to stay home. Sorry I didn’t mean to offend anyone but I love bacon and shrimp!

Saute  peppers, onions and garlic in oil over high heat for 4 minutes until tender.

Add shrimp to pan and cook untill they turn pink (about 3 minutes).

Remove shrimp from the pan to a plate and place shrimp in the refrigerator to chill about 15 minutes.

After removing shrimp from the pan set sautéed peppers and onions aside.

Dice mangos into small pieces and set aside.

Dice tomatoes, slice scallions, chop the mint leave then set aside.

Toast sesame seeds to a golden brown in a dry pan and set aside then whisk the ingredients for the dressing together and set aside.


3 tbsp  Lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp brown mustard

1/4 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

salt and pepper to taste

Place couscous in a sauce pan with oil on low heat and cook for 3 minutes to give it light golden brown then add chicken broth to pan and raise heat to high and bring to a boil.When broth begins to boil, stir and adjust heat to low.  Cover pot and cook for 12 minutes stirring occasionally. When couscous is done place into large mixing bowl.

Add reserved scallions,mint, mango, tomato, sesame seeds,the peppers and onions from the pan and the dressing. Stir to combine.

Spoon mixture into molds.

Then flip the mold onto the plate.

Top with watercress, bacon and feta cheese.

Place shrimp on top then refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.


1 cup couscous

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup diced red onions(small)

1/2 cup diced green peppers (small)

2 tbsp diced garlic

vegetable oil to use for saute

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

1 cup diced mango

1/2 cup diced tomatoes (seeds removed)

1/2 cup scallions (thinly sliced)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/2 cup crispy bacon bits ( about 6 slices)

1 cup watercress leaves or micro-green of choice for garnishing

1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles

lemon wedges for garnish

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.