Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Significant Birthday Event

I have been accused of being (rightly) a bit of a nut about birthdays. I love birthdays and celebrating that people I care about were born at just the right time to be part of the current flow of history.

Some birthdays are even more special than others. When you are young even turning from three to four is a very big deal. Eighteen and twenty-one mean you are legal in one way or another, perhaps even an adult. At thirty some begin making a big deal each time we hit a round number birthday. Hey, not everyone want to celebrate birthdays the way I do, so once a decade is enough.

For my blogging buddy Peabody, 37 is the magic year. To find out why, visit her post at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody HERE.

I don't know about you, but I find Peabody's blog to be a source of inspiration, always a good read, and, if I am honest, a place where I can 'enjoy' some outrageous desserts without adding a pound to my hips. Her photos make you want to lick the screen...again no calories involved. She has been providing all of this fun, to say nothing of her infamous Snickerdoodle Muffins, for many years. Don't you think she deserves a birthday party??

If you are a fan of hers and want to join in the fun, you are hearby invited to Peabody's 37th Birthday Celebration. I'll bring the drinks and some music and decorations. You bring some dessert.

I'm going to start off the madness with a dessert I created just for her (although no one will mind if you have to try it yourself to see what all the fuss is about) for this blowout birthday.

Between now and JUNE 29th (Monday) make and blog about one of the recipes on Peabody's blog and/or create a fabulous dessert for her and blog about it.
Then, by JUNE 29th (Monday) send me an e-mail at: plachman at sonic dot net with your name, your blog's name, the URL of the post and a photo no bigger than 200 pixels wide. I'll gather them up and post a round-up birthday party in time for her birthday on July 2nd.

This is not a surprise party & you may want to head over to her blog and wish her a happy day in her comments section, but you'll miss a hellava party if you don't join the celebration and make something special just for Peabody. Here is mine for inspiration - a warm, gooey bread pudding with cinnamon rolls as the base, rich custard for comfort and lots of chocolate and caramel sauce because Peabody really seems to like chocolate and caramel sauce.

Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding for Peabody

4 cups cubed cinnamon buns – each bun cut into 4 – 8 pieces, depending on the size of the bun – about 1 inch cubes are what we are aiming for
I used this recipe: a whole wheat sourdough cinnamon roll with nuts, but store bought or your own recipe is great, too.
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup brown sugar
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips or chunked dark chocolate (optional)
1/3 cup caramel sauce (optional) (I used Smuckers sauce for ice cream)
hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a saucepan, scald the milk, then melt the butter in the milk. Let cool slightly.

Lightly beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, then add about ¼ cup of the milk mixture and stir to temper the egg-milk combination. Add another ¼ cup and stir, then stir the egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk mixture. Stir in the brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Set aside.

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour the milk egg mixture over and stir gently. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir again to get the less soaked bread cubes get into the soaking liquid. Let sit 5 minutes, add the chocolate if using, then stir once more. Let sit five minutes.

Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the mixture. I like to use a wide and relatively shallow baking dish so there is more of the crispy bread bits, but if you like the custardy part better, use a more narrow and deep dish.

Pour the pudding mixture into the buttered dish and push down slightly on the cubes to settle everything. Sprinkle with some more chocolate if you like.

Bake by placing the baking dish in a roasting pan and pouring hot water about half way up the side of the baking dish.

Bake for about 1 hour until the top is crusty and the interior custard is cooked to baked custard consistency.

Serve warm with a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.


  1. What a nice idea I'll try to join in if I can. The cinnamon bread pudding looks wonderful.

  2. Very cute idea! I'm in!

  3. What a great idea - she needs a little party lately I think.

  4. I would love too but we're having a little craziness going on right now. Happy Birthday Peabody

  5. Aw! I love it...but I already told you that.
    My two loves, cinnamon rolls and bread pudding. Oh my, oh my...there grows my thigh. :)
    Thanks for my super birthday wishes!

  6. What a neat idea! Happy bday :)

  7. Y'all, great that some can join in the fun...just remember to send me an e-mail with the details...and for those who can't Peabody will hear your good wishes, too! Peabody, Guess I did good :) I know you like caramel, too!

  8. If I was home, I would definitely be participating. I'm in Chicago visiting family and since it's 95 degrees here, there is no baking goin' on! What a great event to celebrate Peabody's birthday!

  9. Very nice idea, but sadly I missed it! I will enjoy it vicariously on the 2nd!