This year’s Thanksgiving may very well have been the tastiest one yet. Although we decided to forgo the turkey, we compensated for its absence with plenty of old favorites and new ventures. The spread included pepper-encrusted beef tenderloin, pulled pork BBQ, potato casserole, gouda and gruyere mac ‘n’ cheese, fresh baked sour dough rolls, and an assortment of sweets -including my first attempt at bread pudding. I must admit that I was pretty happy with the finished product. I found the recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen, which adapted the recipe from the October 2007 issue of Gourmet Magazine. I love pumpkin and I love bread pudding, so I was really excited to find this great seasonal combination. It was so easy to make that I wanted to pass it along to anyone with similar taste buds to my own. Even people that don’t particularly like pumpkin will probably like this as the flavor is not overwhelming at all. So here goes…

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

(borrowed from Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle

While oven is preheating, toss the bread crumbs in the melted butter in an 8-inch square baking dish until they are pretty evenly coated. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and then pour evenly over buttered bread crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. I used Breyer’s coffee ice cream and the flavors were great together.

In closing, here are a few of the happy moments from my family’s Thanksgiving…

my mom loves her thanksgiving decorations.

my dad, the BBQ master, and his smoker.

my mom is awesome.

my bro and sis.

i decided to eat off my old tray from when i was a wee one. portion control!