Eighteen Gallon Muffin

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By my standards, this is the number one comfort dessert. This recipe is so good that I adapted it down from my recipe that served much larger portions—I used at a hotel where we served about 25,000 meals daily. The original recipe called for eighteen gallons of milk. It should be no surprise that my original bread pudding recipe served about 1000 people a day. 

TIP: I like to use day-old French bread in my bread pudding recipe because it has more flavor than the gummy plain white kind. Cinnamon-raison bead, croissants, sweat rolls, brioche, challah, and panettone can also be substituted or mixed in combination for part of the bread. Puree some seasonal berries for a sauce or serve with a vanilla sauce.

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Apple-Raisin Bread Pudding Muffins

Makes 10-12 servings

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2 Granny Smith or baking apples, peel, cored and chopped small

3-4 cups dry French Bread, cubed small

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped small

1/2 cup raisins, *plumped 

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

4 cups milk, or use half milk and half & half 

8 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup pure cane sugar, sugar can be slightly reduced if using sweet breads

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 Teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons fresh grated orange zest

In a small saute pan saute apples in 2 Tablespoons butter to slightly soften, remove and cool. 

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and nutmeg, and beat with a whisk until well blended. Slowly pour over the bread mixture. Poke the bread so that it’s completely covered with the milk mixture and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Add raisins and 1/2 of the cooled sautéed apple.  

Grease a regular size 12-cup muffin pan with butter, or use muffin cups liners, or individual ramekins.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place bread pudding batter into muffin cups filling each cup to three quarters full. Add remaining apples on top of batter. 

Place a pan larger than the muffin pan in preheated oven and place the pan holding the bread pudding inside. Immediately fil the outer pan with enough hot water so that it comes up one inch on the sides of the muffin pan. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for 10-15 additional minutes. Remove the bread-pudding muffins and allow to set for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. 

Serve Apple-Raisin Bread Pudding Muffins warm or cold with warm fruit or vanilla sauce.

*To plump dried raisins add 2 tablespoons of water or orange juice and heat in microwave for 30 seconds; drain orange juice back into pre measured 1/3 cup orange juice. 

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Power Pantry

Winter is a good time to take inventory of how many of these power foods you have on hand, restock and remind you to incorporate them into your daily diet. I also take this as a good opportunity to go through non perishables + canned goods to give to my local food pantry.

Roasted Veg

Almonds: good fiber, protein good for your heart. Go ahead and go nuts!

Apples: Vitamin C and soluble fiber and helps keep the doctor away.

Beets: rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters; save fresh stems for salads for a double bonus.

Blueberries: big plant compounds to prevent chronic diseases. Toss in cereal and yogurt to get your day started right.

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Broccoli: missed your O.J. today? Have a glass of broccoli; it’s powerhouse of calcium, potassium, folate, fiber, Vitamins A & C. 

Red Beans: excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin, and copper, low fat low cal source of protein and fiber. A complete meal with steamed brown rice.

Spinach: Vitamin A and C folate. Good source of riboflavin, vitamin B-6, calcium iron and magnesium. Boost your immune system and keep hair and skin healthy. Seemed to work for Popeye.

Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids, aids in keeping blood from clotting, good source of protein. Need more reason, just try this tasty recipe for Grilled Salmon, Irish Style.

Sweet Potatoes: high in antioxidant beta-carotene which can slow the aging process. Good fiber, fat free, and under 60 calories per tuber.

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Swiss chard: a leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes. Sorry, the DMV still requires an eye test for drivers license even if you eat your Swiss chard.

Pumpkin seeds: the most nutritious part of the pumpkin. Full of magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death. Helpful in the dugout during a Game Day too.

Sardines: high in omega-3’s, loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins. Enough said.

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Turmeric: more than just a yellow color to paella, it contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Wheat Germ: great boost to your immune system and cardio health. Go ahead treat yourself to an ice cream topped with wheat germ, you are doing yourself good. 

Vegetable Juice: when choosing, select a low sodium version because it’s filled with lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces risk of heart attack and prostate cancer. 

TODAY'S RESOURCE: 

To help jump start your New Year - start Living it UP! with the right tools, with a personally signed copy this January.

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Classic Champagne Cocktail

Join me + Tune-in George Hirsch Lifestyle CreateTV Sun Dec 30th 12:30PM



George Hirsch Lifestyle Champagne Cocoktail

Its almost time to toast- Happy New Year!

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Champagne is recognized as the universal symbol of good news, and this cocktail's simple recipe shows that life doesn't have to be complicated to be enjoyed. A classic Champagne Cocktail may not be as trendy a drink these days, but as a classic, it’s as good as when Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr sipped it in An Affair To Remember. 

Recipe: Six ounces of champagne and a sugar cube soaked in Angostura bitters is all it takes to make a sophisticated cocktail for the New Year. Drop the sugar cube into a tall flute glass, and then slowly add champagne and a lemon twist. 

Tips: With the Champagne Cocktail, you can trust the bitters to take the edge off a lesser quality champagne or sparkling wine. For this drink, you can use a lesser expensive wine spending about $10 to $18 for a good domestic bottle. Or, as I personally prefer to use a good Prosecco.

It is often remarked that Auld Lang Syne is one of the most popular songs that nobody knows the lyrics to. "Auld Lang Syne" literally translates as "old long since" and means "times gone by."

As we say goodbye to 2018, I wish you all the best for a great 2019! 

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Universal Symbol Of Life

Join me + Tune-in George Hirsch Lifestyle CreateTV Sat Dec 29th 6AM/6PM + Sun Dec 30th 12:30PM

The egg itself, like a seed, is a symbol of the potential of life. Back in ancient times the egg was a symbol of the universe, of creation, and in some cultures, luck wealth, and health. 

Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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What's equally as good with high tea, sparking wine, or frosty beer at a tailgate? I have an egg of an idea - the deviled egg. It's one of those hors d'oeuvre platters that spans the occasion ladder from high brow to low brow; which always empties fast, because it is so difficult to have just one. The name deviled implies hot, but need not be. It is simply hard boiled eggs chilled and halved with the yolk whipped into a flavorful filling of a wide variety of flavors such as; mayonaise, sour cream, yogurt, Dijon mustard, etc. You can even spice it up with a touch of cayenne, hot sauce or wasabi. Use a touch of fresh herbs like dill, cilantro or chives, it's a nice touch. Make special occasion up-end garnishes such as chopped proscuitto, crisp chopped pancetta or with a sliver of smoked salmon, sour cream and caviar.

Great way to start off the New Year!

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Recipe for Health, Wealth & Good Fortune

Join me + Tune-in George Hirsch Lifestyle CreateTV Sat Dec 29th 6AM/6PM + Sun Dec 30th 12:30PM

For many Americans, New Year's means parties, football, and watching the ball drop in Times Square. But for others here and around the world the celebration wouldn't be complete without certain delicious traditional foods.

In Italy, the people welcome the New Year by tossing old things out of their windows to make room for the new and luck to enter their lives in the upcoming year. In food traditions, the Italian people cook up a dish called Cotechino Con Lenticchie: pork sausage served over lentils. This dish is eaten because of the presence of fatty rich pork sausage and lentils in the dish. Cotechino sausage is a symbol of abundance because they are rich in fat; while the coin-shaped lentils symbolize money. It is delicious.

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Cotechino Con Lenticchie: Pork Sausage Served over Lentils

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This hearty and satisfying dish is traditionally eaten on New Year's Day to bring abundance and fortune. Cotechino is an Italian fresh pork sausage. It is creamy and delicate in flavor. It is sometimes sold precooked or boiled but the best ones are fresh. If you can't find cotechino a high quality fresh pork sausage flavored with nutmeg, cloves and pepper will suffice. 

1 pound cotechino, pork sausage
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 large carrot, chopped
1 bay leaf
8 whole black peppercorns
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 pound dry green lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped 

Pierce the cotechino with a fork in several places. 

Pre heat a large pot and add olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, carrot, 1 bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme. Simmer vegetables for two minutes and add cotechino, cook two minutes and add lentils, cover with 4 cups broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 45 to 50 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add additional water if necessary. 

Remove the bay leaf and discard. Spoon the lentils into a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and slice rounds of the cotechino over the top. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve. 

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