Saturday, September 19, 2015

Recipe: Easy-Peasy Cinnamon-y Bread Pudding

I hate to throw away food. As much as possible, I cook just enough to serve the number of heads I am expected to feed. But of course, on occasions where leftovers are just inevitable I try my hardest to be creative. And I believe, modesty aside, my creative juices flow better when I'm in kitchen.

Not to say that I don't rely on recipes entirely. I have yet to level up to being an innovator in this field but familiarity with how ingredients would taste or react with each other helps me a lot when I cook or bake.

The other night, a Facebook friend posted her freshly baked bread pudding and I remembered again the bread loaf that I've been keeping in our freezer for two (I think) weeks now. I immediately asked for her recipe and seeing I had everything on hand got me giddy to bake again.

This morning, the little miss and I finally got to work while the Daddy of the house is still asleep. I had about 4 cups of old bread and we tore them up to tiny pieces, dumped them into the baking pan, poured the custard (well, more like milk really) mix and pop it into the oven.

Here's a list of the ingredients:

4 cups of old bread (torn into tiny pieces it was a mix of white and wheat bread but it didn't really matter)
2 large eggs, well beaten
about 1 cup of evaporated milk
about 1 cup of non-fat milk (since that's what I had left)
4 tbsps muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (it would've better if I had vanilla beans, i'm sure)
1 tsp cinnamon
about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp nutmeg (I used McCormick)
a pinch of salt
about a tsp of unsalted butter to line the baking pan

suggested toppings: cold condensed milk, peanut butter, chocolate spread, whipped cream, powdered sugar, maple syrup, honey, fresh berries/fruits

How we did it:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Mix all ingredients - eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg - except for bread.
Line the baking pan with butter.
Fill the pan with bread (about 2/3 of the pan).
Pour milk mixture over the bread until they are thoroughly soaked.
Press with spatula to even out the top.
Brush with softened butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Bake in oven for 40-45 mins till knife comes out clean.

The pudding was done just in time for breakfast. We had it warm and topped generously with condensed milk.

Thin, crisp top and soft on the inside.
If you are an occasional baker most of these ingredients are probably already available in your pantry. This is so easy to make and my little girl was so proud to serve this to her dad at breakfast. I'm happy that I finally made time to try this today. This is a great alternative to french toast (another leftover bread recipe) which is also one of our faves. Will share the recipe in another post next time.

p.s. Thanks Lisa for sharing that photo the other night!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Daydreams Of The Future

On quiet moments, you'd catch me and the husband staring at our little girl more often than usual.

Chubby cheeks still intact but when we hold her legs and thighs, we can see how strong this kid is growing up to be. Will she be a runner/sprinter? A soccer player (Like Tito Bogart and Tito Manuel)? A volleyball player (like her Tita Bim)? A swimmer perhaps? We wonder all the time.

Our mind would skip from scene to scene imagining us cheering by the sidelines from one game to another.

Yes, of all the things the husband and I wish for her to excel in, sports sits on top of our list. She is starting to be a voracious reader (because I am a bookworm, Mommy! [insert giggle]) and doodles her idle time away. And we still support these 100% but we believe that while these activities sharpen the mind, sports will help build and strengthen her character (resilience, competitive spirit, persistence to name a few). So yes, I hope soon you will find that one (or two, or even three) sport that will ignite your passion, little girl.

Soon, we can imagine you already joining me and daddy in fun runs. Longer than the 500m dashes that you used to participate in. We can start with that. She just might be the motivation that I've been looking for several months now having gone on plenty of running hiatuses since me and the husband ran that first full marathon in 2013.

Soon. Soon. Soon.

racing with her manong Gogol somewhere in Guimaras, c 2014

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

First Day Of School Traditions

The other day a blogger friend asked me if we as a family observe any first day of school traditions.

This year will be the 4th year that we will be welcoming the first day of school with our little girl. Traditions?

Well, apart from me ensuring that I personally prepare her lunch box and snacks (at least) during the first week of the school year, I'm not sure if it can be considered a tradition but we have been consistent in the last 3 years of ensuring we have our family photo taken in front of our house.

We're just going on our 4th but when I look back at the last 3 years, I can clearly see how much this little kid has grown. I personally miss the chubby cheeks she had when she was still in preschool.

When she graduates from Grade School, I think it would be nice to gift her with a collage of all these family photos, don't you think? I sure will try to keep on doing this as long as we can.

How about you? What first day of school traditions do you observe with your kid/s?

Sharing these interesting ideas for first day of school traditions that I found online:

25 Fun First Day of School Traditions : The Dating Divas

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer - 6th Year Edition

For school-aged kids, summer is probably like Christmas in April. There are no gifts, but this is where you get to be free of tight schedules and early wake up calls.

My little girl just had the taste of that "summer" this year. Being a gradeschooler, she had to contend with 7pm bedtimes and 430am wake up calls for 10 months. So when she learned there is such a thing called summer vacation, oh boy did she looked forward to it big time.

In the past 5 years, being the working mom who felt like she had to prove she is wonderwoman, I several activities lined up already before summer even started. And the little miss never retorted. But this year, she insisted to just stay at home. To appease me, she promised to do some readings and take notes of new words to increase her vocabulary. (Poor girl, right?)

Fortunately, it turned out to be something she really enjoyed. By the end of the summer, she finished 6 Thea Stilton books and still managed to squeeze in 10 sessions of basic swimming lessons.
A video posted by Faye and Maia Paras (@chroniclesofmaia) on

This summer felt like a full transition period for us. Growth spurts, more freedom, less hovering. We are witnessing more and more independence unfold in front of us. It is almost heartbreaking. I couldn't count the times when I would hear the husband heave a deep sigh and mumble -- "hanggang 6 ka na lang muna Maia, please".
A photo posted by Faye and Maia Paras (@chroniclesofmaia) on

Next week, we start our 2nd year in Grade School. Just more sighs, Daddy. I don't think we can really stop time.
A photo posted by Faye and Maia Paras (@chroniclesofmaia) on

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Milestone: Lost A Tooth Today

We first discovered her loose tooth 2 days ago. We attempted to remove it right then and there because it seemed to be loose enough to pull but I was wrong and the kid fell to drama mood so I decided to wait.

While I was wiggling the tooth (made sure that finger was clean):

"(sob) Is it going to be painful????" (sob)

"No, it won't be...but okay we'll just wait for it to come off on its own"

"But how will I eat? What if I swallow it?"

"I'm sure you won't swallow it. You will feel it once it comes off"


Two days later, we decided to let her skip school because she was feeling dizzy and nauseous. It was probably a combination of a lot of things (drowsiness, cold and maybe oil/lactose intolerance?), she was already crying while I was dressing her up. She actually didn't want to skip school and was worried about her Filipino class activity later (they were asked to bring a few cut out pictures). I assured her I will write to her teacher and that calmed her down.

After throwing up her breakfast, the tooth came off too.

A photo posted by Faye and Maia Paras (@chroniclesofmaia) on
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