Jun 6 2011

Would you let your waistline determine where you live?

Posted by     20 Comments    Posted under: The Snug

Are you mad?

Ok. What kind of question is that, really? This ‘question’ reared its ugly head about a week ago during an early morning banter with a group of foodie-friends of mine on Twitter. We were all in lust of the sun that was shining brightly in Tuscany and Ilva Beretta of Lucullian Delights Blog said  we should just move to Italy. Of course she would say that. She lives in Tuscany. Who would not want to live there?

Simone Van de Berg of Jungle Frog Cooking Blog immediately stated it would not be great for the ‘waistline’ and the question was born. So a few of us (Ilva, Astrid, Simone, Jamie, Jenn and my lovely self) all decided to write our own answer to this question.

If you have time, you should read all their answers right after you read mine. I am sure they will all be pretty interesting and even a bit of humour thrown in there.

We have been very fortunate to live, work and play in some amazing cities, countries and continents. If I had ever decided to let my waistline decide where I would live, I might have ended up in Sundance, Utah. The air is clean, the food is wholesome, they ski in the winter and hike in the summer. An all-rounder most-wonderful-place-in-the-world kinda city.

Or maybe San Francisco. God. What a city. Great public transport, excellent diverse population, an endless stream of restaurants keeping the patrons topped up with as much local and seasonal goodies as your plate can handle and the hilly terrain will keep you trim!

But the truth is, it does not matter where I live. My waistline is just not going to change. I have never been a slim or trim kinda gal. I am from tall stock and am certainly one of those ‘big-boned’ girls. No matter where we have lived, we have maintained the same kind of healthy-eating lifestyle. No crap. No processed food, we grow our own and buy organic 90% of the time. The waistline fluctuates depending on how lazy we are but for the most part stays the same.

One of the loveliest discoveries I have made, what with all the moving around, is that no matter where we live, the recipe always turns out delicious. I am not sure if I can say for sure why this is, because flour is different, so is milk and sugar etc. but the Chef maintains it is because he keeps his standards high and does not use schwag ingredients. That being said, I think a few of you out there will be happy to read through the next few lines to see a very interesting twist on his classic Bread Pudding recipe.

I know, I know. Would ya look at the quantities. 24 eggs? We still refer to the ole reliable Rondo’s recipe folder. Every time. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! A smaller batch recipe is listed below and it made enough dessert for 12 – 14 pp.


8 oz dry bread

24 oz milk

24 oz heavy cream

14 oz castor sugar

10 eggs

2 whole vanilla bean pods scraped

The reason that this Bread Pudding is better than all the other bread puddings in the world is because it is a custard bread pudding.


  • Toast the bread for colour. We always use stale bread too. It needs to be dry to soak up the custard. We used left over dried and toasted hot dog buns. All sliced up.
  • Mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla over a double-boiler (bain marie). Do not let it curdle.
  • Grease your individual dishes well then fill up with the dried bread pieces.
  • Strain the custard mix over the bread. Do not forget to strain the mix. It is important from a textural point of view.
  • Cook in a water bath at 200 degrees celsius until it is done. Ours took 40 mins. Yours might take longer if you use a bigger/deeper dish.

Oh, and to add to the mix my good friend Ilva also threw a challenge our way over the weekend from a blog called PaperChef Blog. Using a random recipe generator the challenge was to make or bake something using Berrys, Lime, Chocolate and Bread.

The Chef and I were on our way home from Dublin and had a bit of time to mull it over and of course, this was a no brainer for the Chef.

One of the cool things about this ‘assignment’ of sorts, is that it pushed the Chef out of his comfort zone a little. He is a purist, heart n’ soul, especially when it comes to one of his tried and tested favourites. So, when he told me he was going to make a few different versions of Bread Pudding (Lime/Chocolate/Raspberry) even I wrinkled my nose…..

You would think that I would have learned to trust him by now, no?

Lemon Zest Bread Pudding with summer berries. lime whipped cream on a bed of chocolate.

I know. It looks too good to be true.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding topped with summer berries and lime whipped cream

This one also sat on a bed of chocolate sauce and I am pretty sure those that ate it might be dead now from serious chocolate overdose.

Raspberry Bread Pudding with summer berries and lime whipped cream on a bed of chocolate sauce

Ok. I think I have just nailed two birds with one stone as the saying goes.

One last photo for good measure.

Now, about those dishes….

Seeing as we had to do all this work we decided to invite over some very good friends for supper to celebrate their (twin) birthdays a few days early. Needless to say these went down a treat.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today….


Oh and if you want to see a few more shots then follow this link!


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20 Comments + Add Comment

  • devine, delicious, deliciously devine.

    • Glad you liked it Mum. Even though that was not your first time ……..

  • O that breadpudding!! Insane… I would have to agree that to let your waistline guide you in any decision making process would be ridiculous really. Glad we agree on that part..;)
    As for that breadpudding. It looks mouthwateringly good and fairly close to my paperchef entry. But not exactly the same…

    • Simone,
      The breadpudding is so good I am thinking about
      having leftovers for breakfast! Can’t wait to see your
      entry for #paperchef.

  • Oh lord yes! I love your thought processes and I am with you! Anywhere we live we try and eat the best we can, healthily and cleanly and our waistlines rarely budge (though they do fluctuate). But my oh my I have to try that stunning bread pudding! Gorgeous!

    Your words always sing to me, dear Mona! What a pleasure and a gift to have met you and discovered another passionate word lover!


    • Jamie,
      Why not hop on a plane and try it right here in my kitchen….
      We just sliced up a bit of the leftover pudding and made french toast out of it.
      Gluttons, we are.
      Thanks for the comment xxx

  • That looks so good!

    • Thank you Lucy!
      Needless to say I picked up a few photography tips from my weekend away in Germany ;0)
      It is easy to make and although it looks rich, it is not too much…..
      You should join in the #paperchef challenge next month.
      A lot of fun and it forced us right out of the comfort zone.
      Thanks for popping by…
      Móna xx

  • Oh my goodness. That dessert. I accidentally spent 40euro on a meal (once the exchange rates were all worked out) so I’ve been downgrading to one meal and a bunch of cheap vending machine snacks per day as I need them and that dessert is making me crave something REAL. Maybe I’ll attempt to make it when I get home… or as a present to the family I’m staying with in London…

    • Hi Jen,
      Ah the joys of living on a traveling students budget!
      Glad the bread pudding caught your eye ;0)
      And you should try to make it as a gesture of thanks for your London friends.
      It is only really excellent when shared with friends.
      Happy travels,
      Móna xx

  • […] make sure you visit the (way better written) posts of my fellow #coldcoffeeclub girls Mona of WiseWords, Simone aka Junglefrog, Astrid of Paulchen’s FoodBlog?, Jamie of Life’s A Feast […]

  • I love bread pudding! this one sure looks great!
    your writing style always amazes me, can’t get enough of it. was a fun challenge our first #coldcoffeeclub, wasn’t it?

    • Aw thanks Astrid! Just popping over to read yours now andyes it was a fun one!

  • […] club by some of us Plate to Page participants – we call ourselves the #coldcoffeeclub – Mona of WiseWords, Simone of Junglefrog Cooking, Jamie of Life’s A Feast, Astrid of Paulchen’s Food blog, […]

  • LOL – so true! I don’t think my waistline is really into change… it’s going to be gently expanding wherever I live (and I’d have to say this foodblogging lark isn’t helping!!). Although yes, maybe if I lived California, or Cape Town, or Bavaria, or the Swiss Alps with year-round outdoor activities my waistline might be slightly trimmer. But then there would be new temptations to eat… Decisions, decisions!! ;o)

    • I hear you Jeanne.
      I think if I eliminate my husband from the picture I have a good shot at staying trimmer but
      then I would just eat soup from a can and not be surrounded by all his lovely efforts.
      And, my bed would be cold. And who would cut the grass?
      Thanks for visiting. Wish it were in person….
      Móna xxx

  • Woohoo for bread pudding! Great minds were thinking alike I see 😉 I am with you on location – it’s great to enjoy foods of different areas, but as long as the quality of ingredients is high, good food can be made anywhere. Absolutely loving the raspberry bread pudding with the lime whipped cream and chocolate sauce – yum!!!!

    • I know – I love bread pudding! The Raspberry one was excellent
      And might be a new favourite around here!
      I agree with you – eating locally and seasonally is the way to go
      No matter where you live ;0)
      Thanks for the visit!

  • […] Mona of WiseWords, Simone of Junglefrog Cooking, Jamie of Life’s A Feast, Astrid of Paulchen’s Food blog, Jenn of Jenn Cuisine and Ilva of Lucullian Delights. […]

  • […] Recipe for bread pudding right here! […]

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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