White Sangria

I know it’s only Monday, but it’s never to early to start planning for the weekend.  This Sangria recipe has a nice fruity flavor but is not overly sweet… which can be dangerous because it’s easy to go back for more.

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Bananas Foster Bread Pudding


This dessert is Ba-Nanas.  Top it off with vanilla ice cream and you’re in heaven.

INGREDIENTS

  • 9 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1  1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 firm-ripe bananas, peel and chopped in 3/4 in. thick slices
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur (I use Creme de Banana)
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 cups (1/2 in. cubes) day old challah, French baguette or brioche
  • Caramel Sauce*
CARAMEL SAUCE
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tbsp – 1/4 cup whole milk (I use skim and it still works)

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Butter a 10×14 in. baking dish with 1 tbsp of butter and put aside
BANANAS FOSTER
    • Melt the remaining 8 tbsp of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat
    • Add 1 cup of brown sugar and the cinnamon and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves (approximately 2 minutes)
    • Add the sliced bananas and cook on both sides, stirring often until the bananas begin to soften (about 3 minutes)
    • Add the banana liqueur and stir to blend
    • Carefully add the rum and shake the pan back and forth to warm the rum and flame the pan (or, off the heat, ignite the rum with a match and return to heat)
    • Shake the pan back and forth, basting the bananas until the flame dies
    • Turn off the heat and remove about 1 cup of the bananas from the pan – mash the remaining bananas with a potato masher (or the back of a fork)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, pinch of salt, cream, milk, and vanilla
  • Add the mashed bananas foster mixture into the bowl and stir to blend thoroughly
  • Pour the mixture into your buttered baking dish and bake at 350°F for 50 minutes – 1 hour (or until firm)
CARAMEL SAUCE
    • Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves
    • Let it boil without stirring until it becomes a dark amber color (about 5 minutes – watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn)
    • Carefully add the cream (watch out – it will bubble) and whisk to combine
    • Remove from heat and add in 2 tbsp of milk and whisk (if you desire a thinner sauce, add more milk – keep in mind that the sauce will thicken as it cools)
  • Allow the bread pudding to cool for 20 minutes before serving – top it off with your caramel, whole bananas and vanilla ice cream and enjoy!