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Tropical-tastic Bread Pudding

Spring break is coming and I, for one, can hardly wait.  Last year we did Disney World.  It was blazing hot, crowded as all get out, and yet it still managed to be serious fun for the young and old crowd alike.  I’ve decided that the secret to tackling the magic mouse with small kids is to bring a gaggle of adults with you.  That way you have multiple ways to hand off children and enjoy a bit of the fun yourself.  Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a theme park?  I love the rides, the atmosphere and, depending on where I’m at, the food (think Dole pineapple whips in Magic Kingdom – yummo!).  Watching the kid’s expressions of joy is gift enough, but if I can throw a spin on the rockin’ roller coaster into the mix, the trip is blissfully complete.

This year we’re aiming for a more relaxed vacation.  We plan to pack up the boys and drive down to Sanibel Island in Florida for a week of beach time fun.  Shelling, biking, swimming and lazing are all on the agenda.   If the kids are good, we’ll stop at Legoland in Orlando for a day of brick building on the way back home.   You didn’t think I’d actually drive through Orlando and not stop for a little fill of fun did you?

In honor of the annual trek to warm weather bliss, I’m sending a tropical bread pudding your way this morning that epitomizes the quest for spring break.   With the flavors of coconut, lime and banana all swirled together in harmonious joy, this breakfast time treat is sure to get you in a warm weather mood.

Start out by cubing up a hunk of bread.  Any basic loaf will work from french to challah to Hawaiian.  I had a leftover boule of homemade bread from dinner the night before so I used that.

In a separate container whisk together a little coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and a couple fun flavored spices.

Finish it off by whisking in a handful of fresh eggs.  Pour the mixture over the top of the bread being sure to soak it well.

Goodness takes time, so cover that pan of beautiful up and slide it into the fridge so the flavors can meld together.

When you’re ready to bake, pull it back out and slide a few bananas into the pan for added gusto.

Top it with a little shredded coconut and slivered almonds, cover back up and bake at 350 for an hour and 15 minutes, uncovering for the last little bit of cooking time in order to toast up the toppings.

Bread pudding anyone?

Serve it up hot with a hearty pour of maple syrup and a steaming cup of fresh brewed joe.

Spring break may still be a couple weeks away, but with a plate of the this tropical treasure on my table, it feels as if I’m already there.

Tropical-tastic Bread Pudding

Yield: 8 Servings

Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

8 Cups Chopped Bread (French, Hawaiian, Brioche and Challah all work well)
1 14 Oz. Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 14 Oz. Can Coconut Milk (Equivalent to 1 3/4 Cups)
1 Lime, Juiced
1 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cardamon
1/8 tsp Salt
4 Eggs
1 Banana, Sliced
1/3 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds

Directions:

Drop the chopped bread into a baking dish.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, coconut milk, lime juice, spices and salt.

Once incorporated, add in the eggs and whisk again until combined.

Pour over the bread cubes being sure to cover evenly.

Cover the dish and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours; preferably overnight.

When you're ready to bake, uncover and distribute the sliced banana throughout the dish. Top with the shredded coconut and almonds.

Cover it back up and slide into the oven at 350 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes, uncovering for the last 15 minutes. The middle of the pudding should spring back when touched.

Serve warm with a healthy pour of maple syrup.