Girly Wednesday ~ xxxiv ~ Groomsmen Gifts

Brett and I thought we’d share a little about our awesome groomsmen gifts today for another session of Girly Wednesday focusing on our wedding 🙂

Brett found this great shop on Etsy called Berkley Illustration where the artist has this awesome set of animal busts dressed in suits 🙂  Brett sifted through all of the options and chose one for each of the groomsmen…and one for me 🙂  hehe!  Brett’s was the Red Fox and I was given Strelka the Space Dog.  Our prints are hanging in our hallway!

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What do you think?  What kinds of things would you choose for groomsmen gifts?  🙂

homemade cranberry bread pudding

Brett and I had people over for dinner a few weekends ago.  Raj was going to join us and so I asked him what he thought I should make for dessert.  He suggested a blueberry bread pudding.  Well!  Since blueberries and bread pudding are basically two of my favorite things to eat in the world I immediately latched onto the idea.  Once in the grocery store though, the dramatic realization that it was November and that blueberries were $4.99/pint made this blueberry bread pudding idea less appetizing.  Cue the cranberry display to the rescue!  🙂  I had never cooked with fresh cranberries before…and once we got home, both Brett and I realized that we’d never eaten a raw one either!  🙂

I used a recipe that I found here and made a few substitutions…the most obvious one being that I substituted in cranberries where the recipe called for blueberries 🙂  I also reduced the 4 cups of heavy whipping cream (crazy!) for 1 cup of half and half and 3 cups of 2% milk….and I think that our arteries thanked us for it (hehe!).  I couldn’t find the white baking chips that it called for so I used white chocolate chips (are those the same thing? haha).  While I had completely intended to cut up my own bread into cubes, given that it is Thanksgiving season there were already made bread cubes in the store for the same price!  Score one for Mallory 🙂

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I mixed up the custard with my milk substituted instead of all of that whipping cream…I think I may have added just a smidge more vanilla.  Because who doesn’t like vanilla!  🙂

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I mixed in the white chocolate chips and the cranberries…

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…and let the bread soak into the custard, fruit, white chocolate mixture.  The recipe calls for letting this all sit for about 15 minutes…I admit that I gave it slightly more time than that.  I had a lasagna in the oven at the same time and didn’t want to rearrange the racks in order to get both of these large dishes in there at the same time.  🙂

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I actually greased the pan as the recipe asked (I don’t usually do this) and plopped the mixture in.

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The bread pudding baked and…voila!

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The sauce was made from 1 cup of half and half and another package of white chocolate chips.

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This was seriously one of the best desserts that I have ever had.  My mom made bread pudding on so few occasions that I assumed making it was really difficult….definitely not the case.  Mix, soak, bake, sauce, done!  🙂  I made the same recipe for Thanksgiving but with semi-sweet chocolate chips in the bread pudding instead of the white chocolate and it was not anywhere near as good.  Don’t try it!  🙂

Do you have any favorite bread pudding recipes?  Brett, Raj, and I watched an episode of Shark Tank where a woman was opening a bread pudding store!  We need one of those in Chambana!  🙂

what I’ve been up to :)

It has been a few months now since I shared with you all that I left graduate school but I haven’t shared, in any official manner at least, what I have been spending all of my time doing.  🙂  Here goes!

I have been coaching swimming in the early mornings and in the evenings

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I have found this to be a lot of fun!  I even took Brett to his first swim meet this past weekend 🙂  I coach with a great group of people and it has been really fun being involved with a sport that I spent so much time and energy (and love) doing when I was younger.  I am primarily coaching ages 6-12 and a handful of high school girls but I fill in with all ages in between when necessary 🙂

I’ve also been able to take on a few more responsibilities with my church.  I am now co-director of the Campus Ministry Board as well as serving as the co-director of a new worship service called CommunityUnderground which brings our Sunday service content alive in a new, multi-media type of way.

I still get to wear my researcher hat now and again too 🙂  I recently had a paper that I submitted in April accepted with very few revisions!  I have resubmitted this paper and I should get final proofs to approve in the coming weeks.  I am also working on a paper with the folks at NASA so stay tuned!

Coaching, working at church, and finishing up some research has all kept me very busy….but I have one last endeavor that I have been busily working on.  🙂  I won’t share too many details right now (Eeep!  Teasers!) but I can say that I am super super excited about this new project.  Brett and I experienced some gaps in the cancer resources we were able to find for young adults.  (FYI:  young adults in the cancer world means people age 20-40).  The resources out there for young adults are fewer in number than for other age groups with cancer and they read like text books.  We also experienced huge info gaps in those resources, leaving us to figure out a lot of things about our new day to day lives.  I am trying to fix this with a new, tech start up geared towards young adult cancer advocacy and life style management 🙂  More info in the coming months!