I run as close to a zero waste kitchen as is possible. It’s been ingrained in me from years of working in places where rubber spatulas are referred to as million dollar tools due to their ability to deglaze every last ounce of useable goods from the crannies of cans, vessels and bottles.

At the end of a busy year it’s untelling how much much money a busy kitchen can save with one of these tools.

Enter bread pudding. I became a slave to this dessert as a child when my family vacationed in New Orleans. Thousands of baguettes make their way from busy bakeries like Leidenheimer’s through the Creole kitchens of the Crescent City, and if they get stale before they make the bread service part of the meal? They get chopped up, submerged in a variety of sugars and milks then baked ,sauced and served. In the hands of a skilled baker, bread pudding can be transcendent.

Recipe: Tres Leche Pumpkin Bread Pudding With Salted Pecan Praline Sauce

5 each Bolillos {small french loaves}stale, cut into cubes

1 each Can Evaporated Milk

1 each Can Condensed Milk

1/2 c. Cream,heavy,whipping

3 each Eggs

1 each Can Pumpkin

1/2 c. Sugar,brown

1 t. Vanilla

1 t. Cinnamon

Method

* Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

* Spray lasagna pan with Baker’s Joy

* Place cubed,stale bread in pan

* Blend all remaining ingredients

* Pour over stale bread

* Press bread to submerge

* Bake for 30 minutes or til toothpick inserted in pudding comes out clean

Salted Pecan Praline Sauce

Ingredients

1 c. Sugar, white cane

1 c. Sugar, brown

1 c. Pecans, toasted

1/2 t. Baking soda

1/2 t. Salt

1 c. Buttermilk

Method

* Combine all ingredients

* Cook over medium heat in 4 quart kettle til sugar is dissolved

* Lower heat, cook 20 minutes longer til sauce is caramel colored

Pour over bread pudding and watch people lose their minds over how delicious this recipe is.

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