Savory Bacon & Onion Bread Pudding

By now, most of you now have probably seen the two-ingredient dough recipe floating around all over the internet.  Folks use the it to make lots of things, like pizza crust or pretzels, but the most popular use is bagels.  The bagels (recipe below) make great breakfast sandwiches so I bake them often.  I wish I knew who to give credit for this recipe, but it’s viral Internet information now and somewhere out there is a two-ingredient genius!

Anyway, I’ve been on a bread pudding kick.  I recently made a protein-packed cinnamon vanilla bread pudding.  It got me thinking about a savory bread pudding, as opposed to the traditional sweet versions.  It just so happened that, when I had this brainstorm, I had just baked up some two-ingredient bagels a couple days before.  Naturally, I immediately started experimenting, using the bagels as the base for the recipe.  I decided the best version of savory bread pudding would have to include my favorite 3 ingredients ever:  bacon, onions, and garlic.  Is there a better flavor combination?  No, ma’am, there is not.  It’s the flavor trifecta with an aroma that makes my mouth water every time!  I was right, it’s the perfect savory bread pudding mixture.

Most bread puddings have a sauce or topping of some kind.  I knew right away what I wanted as my topping… an over-easy fried egg that will ooze over the nooks and crannies of the top of the bread, seeping its creamy yolk into the garlicy bacon and onion bread.  I strongly urge you to top your slice with an egg.   I don’t even normally like runny eggs but, as a “sauce” for my bread pudding, it’s amazing (if I do say so myself).  ~Erin

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Here’s a quick rundown of how I make it (more detailed recipe below):

Cook the bagels & tear them up.

savory bread pudding step 1

Chop the bacon, mince the garlic, and dice the onions.  I use this thing to dice onions ALWAYS.  This is the Alligator Chopper and it saves me time and tears.  It’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!  I only share my favorites with y’all, promise.  Get yours here:  Alligator Chopper

 

Cook the bacon, onions, and garlic….. Mmmmmm

 

Mix it all with the bread and sprinkle on the cheese.

 

Whisk the custard ingredients together in a small bowl and pour them over the bread.

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Bake it, slice it, top it with an egg (if you like), and enjoy!

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Savory Bacon & Onion Bread Pudding
    Ingredients for Two-Ingredient Bagels:
  • ~ ½ c. self-rising flour (I use Gold Medal brand)
  • ~ ½ c. plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ~ dash of salt, optional
  • ~ 1 egg, beaten
    Ingredients for Savory Bacon & Onion Bread Pudding:
  • ~ 2 baked and cooled bagels (instructions for bagels are below)
  • ~ 5 slices center cut bacon (I use Oscar Mayer), sliced in small pieces
  • ~ 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ~ 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced (I suggest only one, if they are large cloves.)
  • ~ 2 eggs
  • ~ 1 c. fat free half & half
  • ~ ¼ tsp. salt
  • ~ ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ~ 3 T. shredded parmesan cheese (not the powdery stuff)
  1. Instructions for making the bagels:
  2. Make the bagels the night before the bread pudding.
  3. To make the bagels, begin by combining the flour, salt, and non-fat Greek yogurt. I use a rubber spatula and just keep scraping and working it together until it forms a ball.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 portions and work each portion into a 1-inch “snake” by rolling it between your palms; connect the ends to make a circle.
  5. Brush each bagel top with beaten egg (or just dip them in it).
  6. Bake on the top rack of a preheated 375°F oven, on a parchment lined sheet pan, for 25 minutes; or bake in your air fryer (LINK TO AMAZON?) at 330°F for 11-12 minutes.
  7. After they cool, cut them open and toast them slightly in the oven, toaster, or air fryer. This step helps dry out the bread.
  8. Tear the bagels into small pieces and spread in a loaf pan or small casserole dish.
  9. Cover loosely and leave out overnight to dry further.
  10. Instructions for making the bread pudding:
  11. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the bacon pieces brown.
  12. Reduce heat to low and add the onions and garlic; cook and stir often until the onions become translucent (about 5 minutes).
  13. Mix the bacon, onion, garlic mixture into the dry bagel pieces.
  14. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
  15. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, salt, and pepper; pour the egg mixture over the bread/bacon mixture.
  16. At this point, I preheat the oven to 350°F. The bread pudding needs to sit a while so the custard will soak into the dried bread. I’d say at least 20 minutes but it’s fine if you need to let it sit longer (just make sure to refrigerate it in the meantime). Let it come back to room temperature before baking if it’s been refrigerated.
  17. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.*
  18. Serve warm. Perfect topped with an over-easy egg.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 4 servings. Each serving is 4 SmartPoints on the WW Freestyle plan.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/09/savory-bacon-onion-bread-pudding/

*This could also be cooked in the air fryer but I have not tested times and temps yet.  I’d try 350° for 10 minutes, to start with, but that’s just a guess.  If you try it, let me know how it works!  Or I’ll try it soon myself.  I was just too anxious to share this recipe to test it in the air fryer first.

 

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Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

My daughter turns 11 this week. She’s just like I was as a kid in that she starts planning her next birthday celebration the minute her previous birthday ends. I have to put the kibosh on some of her wild hair ideas but I try to always allow one or two. This year we are taking her and a few of her friends to the zoo and she wants to go dressed as unicorns. Yes, unicorns. I ordered unicorn horns as party favors and she’s created unicorn shirts, complete with rainbow colored tails attached. Good thing she’s crafty.

She also wants a 3 layer cookie cake. Not a plain cookie cake. A sugar cookie cake with 3 layers, frosting between, and sprinkles. It’s a little unexpected (as usual) but honestly it sounds divine so, challenge accepted. (I’m sure you’ll be seeing that soft sugar cookie recipe here on the blog soon. I got it from Kathy and it’s THE BEST. Keep your eyes open for it.)

She also requested this Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry for her birthday. Just kidding, that’s a lie. Hahaha, she’s 11, she wants pizza. Surprisingly though, as my more picky child, she actually will eat this stir fry. I know that doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation but I promise it is. She usually turns up her nose at vegetables mixed in with meat. Not this one. She mostly eats the broccoli and chicken out, but I ain’t complaining if she eats it at all! My son likes it but he eats like a grown up. Anybody else out there have a picky eater? (All the moms raise their hands.) There’s one in every family.

This stir fry is one of our mom’s creations. Mom has always liked to create new recipes, and this is one she came up with not long ago and shared with us at one of our visits to her house. I immediately asked for the recipe. Thanks, Momma! It’s made with basic ingredients but is packed with flavor… spicy without being hot, and has a hint of salty sweetness as well. What can I say, our mom knows how to cook! ~Erin

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Ingredients:

8 T. red pepper jelly (found in the jelly isle)

4 T. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

½ tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger

1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

Seasoning of your choice for chicken (I used a prepackaged Asian seasoning but salt, pepper, and garlic powder would be fine too.)

1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 T. garlic, minced or pressed (I use pre-minced jarred garlic)

1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 red, and 1 green bell pepper, deseeded sliced into strips

2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups), cut into small florets; discard stems

2 ½ T. sesame oil or olive oil, divided

Prepared rice, red pepper flakes, chopped green onions, and/or more soy sauce for serving (optional)

Instructions:

In a small bowl, whisk together red pepper jelly, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 T. oil over medium high heat. Cook the seasoned chicken a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onions are tender and becoming translucent (about 5-6 mintues, stirring often).

Increase heat to medium and add ½ T. more oil. Add all the bell peppers and cook until they start to get tender.

Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not overly soft.

Add the cooked chicken & sauce to the pan with the veggies; cook & stir until evenly coated & heated throughout.

Serve over rice with more soy sauce if desired.

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Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry
    Ingredients
  • ~ 8 T. red pepper jelly (found in the jelly isle)
  • ~ 4 T. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • ~ ½ tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
  • ~ 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • ~ Seasoning of your choice for chicken (I used a prepackaged Asian seasoning but salt, pepper, and garlic ~ powder would be fine too.)
  • ~ 1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ~ 1 T. garlic, minced or pressed (I use pre-minced jarred garlic)
  • ~ 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 red, and 1 green bell pepper, deseeded sliced into strips
  • ~ 2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups), cut into small florets; discard stems
  • ~ 2 ½ T. sesame oil or olive oil, divided
  • ~ Prepared rice, red pepper flakes, chopped green onions, and/or more soy sauce for serving (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together red pepper jelly, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 T. oil over medium high heat. Cook the seasoned chicken a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onions are tender and becoming translucent (about 5-6 mintues, stirring often).
  4. Increase heat to medium and add ½ T. more oil. Add all the bell peppers and cook until they start to get tender.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not overly soft.
  6. Add the cooked chicken & sauce to the pan with the veggies; cook & stir until evenly coated & heated throughout.
  7. Serve over rice with more soy sauce if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings. Each 1 ½ cups serving is 4 SmartPoints on Freestyle, not including rice.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/04/12/sweet-spicy-chicken-stir-fry/

Italian Turkey Sausage & Pepper Pasta

I’ve been making this for years…since before we had kids. In fact, when we were first married, we lived near a Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant and went there often. My husband always ordered a “Skilletini” which is a tomato based pasta dish served with peppers, onions, & sausage, much like this one. Maybe that’s why we love this so much. It reminds us of our newly-wed date nights. It was a favorite then and it’s a favorite now in our own home. ~Erin

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Ingredients:

8 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1 ¼ lb. turkey Italian sausage (5 links)

1 bell pepper of each color: green, red, yellow, and orange; sliced into strips

1 lg. onion, sliced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 T. squeeze garlic)

1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 T. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

3 T. of pasta water (reserved before draining cooked pasta)

1 T. olive oil

Parmesan cheese for serving, optional (not included in WW points calculations)

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional

Instructions:

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; reserve 3 T. of pasta water, drain, & set aside.

Brown sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove from pan & set aside. You can either leave them whole to cook them, then slice each into four pieces; or you can slice and then cook them. I prefer to slice first and then cook the pieces because they cook faster. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Cook peppers and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they are crisp-tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).

Add the Italian seasoning, salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta water, and sliced sausage pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add penne pasta and stir to heat through.

Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 10 servings. Each 8 oz. serving (about 1 ½ c.) is 5 SmartPoints.

Shrimp & Peppers Cajun Skillet

This shrimp & peppers Cajun skillet is great all by itself.  And it hit me after I’d made it a couple of times that it would make a mean shrimp fajita too, if thrown into a nice warm tortilla.  Barry flips every time I make this–definitely one of his favorites.  I make it a little too spicy for the kids so I make sure I’ve got some leftovers for them so I don’t have to be conservative with the jalapeños.

As an aside, we love this blackening seasoning so much that we’ve started making a double batch most of the time…that quantity fits really nicely into a regular sized spice container. For easy storage, I reuse another emptied spice container.

You could tone down the spices if needed – tips for doing that in the recipe below. I love the heat though. It tastes just like I imagined one of Justin Wilson’s dishes would have when I watched him with Pappaw as a kid.  Enjoy!  ~Robin

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Ingredients:

Four Sisters Dish blackening seasoning (see recipe below)

12 oz. frozen container of deveined, peeled shrimp

3 T. olive oil, extra virgin, Divided (EVOO)

8 The Little Potato Company baby boomer fresh creamer potatoes, quartered

1 white onion, cut into 1” wedges

1 T. minced garlic (I use Spice World brand when I use jarred garlic – or fresh if it’s handy).

1 jalapeño pepper (slice into rings, then half the rings*)

1 bell pepper, green, cut into 1” chunks

2 bell peppers, red, cut into 1” chunks

1 tsp. garlic salt (sprinkle over veggies before add shrimp back to skillet)

Ingredients for Four Sisters Dish blackening seasoning: 

1 3/4 tsp. light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp. garlic salt

½ to 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (1 ½ tsp. is VERY hot – most will want ½ tsp. — or 1 tsp. if you want to go pretty spicy.  I love spicy food but 1 1/2 was almost too hot for me – tissues needed nearby.)

2 T. paprika (smoked paprika if making for lighter fish fillets; regular paprika for all other meats, shrimp included)

Instructions:

  1. Thaw shrimp; then pat to dry. Set aside.
  2. Mix up blackening seasoning (using regular paprika), stirring together all ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Begin heating a T. of EVOO in a skillet on medium heat.
  4. Coat a plate well with the Four Sisters Dish blackening seasoning. Place shrimp on the plate, then sprinkle the tops with the spice mixture as well so both sides are coated.
  5. Cook small shrimp on medium heat for 8 minutes (do not stir or they’ll lose the seasoning), turning to the other side halfway through cook time. When fully cooked, set aside.
  6. Do not wipe out the pan. The spices will help season your vegetables.
  7. Add remaining 2 T. of EVOO to the pan. Then add potatoes and onion; then lightly sprinkle them with blackening seasoning too (just to add a little flavor, not to coat them). Cook for 5 minutes.
  8. While the potatoes and onion cook, carefully remove the tails from your shrimp (be sure it’s cool enough before attempting).
  9. After potatoes and onions have cooked for five minutes, increase heat to medium-high and add jalapeño, bell peppers, & minced garlic. Sprinkle vegetables with 1 tsp. of garlic salt.  Cook for 9-11 minutes on medium-high heat until vegetables are seared and have picked up some of the spice flavors.  Be sure potatoes can be cut easily with a fork as well.
  10. Reduce heat to medium. Add shrimp back to pan, cooking another minute or just until shrimp is heated well.

Weight Watchers Info.: 4 SmartPoints (same on Freestyle plan) per serving; serves 5 (serving size: 1.5 cups).

*You could seed, then mince the jalapeño to make it less spicy.  However, if you don’t like things at all spicy, you could also use less than the whole pepper or none at all.

Broccoli Salad

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Posted by Robin

Our aunt Kathleen never failed to bring this anytime we were having a salad supper at Grandma’s house, and we never failed to devour it. Even as small children. And the main ingredient is broccoli.  Enough said. 🙂

Salad Ingredients:

4 slices of bacon, crumbled into very small pieces (homemade bacon bits)

4 cups of small florets of broccoli (fresh – about 2 sm. heads)

3/4 c. sharp cheddar, shredded (don’t get the finely shredded cheese, as pieces won’t be substantive enough to taste well in the mix)*

¼- ½ large red onion, diced (depending on preference – I do ½ c.)

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 c. Miracle Whip*

1 1/2 T. sugar

2 T. white vinegar 

A dash of salt

*For the WW version if this recipe, use Miracle Whip Light and low fat cheddar. All other ingredients and quantities are the same.

Directions:

Cook bacon until nice and crispy; drain, cool, and crumble.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli florets, cheddar, red onion, and bacon. Set aside.

To make dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together Miracle whip, sugar, vinegar, and salt until sugar is dissolved well, and it’s evenly combined.

Pour dressing over salad and gently toss to coat salad evenly.

Weight Watchers Info.:  Makes about 1 pound of salad – about 10 half-cup servings, 2 SmartPoints per serving (for Freestyle or the old plan).

Mango Salsa

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Visiting an old friend is always fun, but when that friend has a husband who cooks while you sip drinks….well, that’s friendship gold.  Tracy’s life-long friend Dana has a husband who whips up a great Mango Salsa that is a summery treat you’ll love.  Thanks for sharing this recipe, Marc!

 

Ingredients:

4 to 5 large Roma tomatoes, diced

½ yellow or white onion, diced

½ red or green bell pepper, seeded & diced

2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced

1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped

1 to 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 T. freshly squeezed lime juice

½ tsp. salt

 

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir together well, and enjoy!

This salsa is best served over a juicy piece of grilled chicken with some tortilla chips on the side!

 

Weight Watchers info:  drumroll please…. ZERO Smartpoints.  Enjoy all you want.