Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Bread pudding, also known as French Toast Casserole, is what all your cozy weekend breakfast dreams are made of. It’s basically bread soaked in a sweet and creamy custard, then baked to perfection. The edges of the bread get deliciously crispy while the inside stays moist and custard-like. It’s so much easier than cooking individual […]

The post Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Bread pudding, also known as French Toast Casserole, is what all your cozy weekend breakfast dreams are made of. It’s basically bread soaked in a sweet and creamy custard, then baked to perfection. The edges of the bread get deliciously crispy while the inside stays moist and custard-like. It’s so much easier than cooking individual slices of French toast in a skillet, and it’s a great way to use up leftover stale or day-old bread. Win-win! So let me show you how it’s done.

Originally posted 5-5-2010, updated 9-18-2021.

Close up front view of a casserole dish full of apple cinnamon bread pudding

Is Bread Pudding for Breakfast or Dessert?

There are many, many different versions of bread pudding, some of which are downright decadent. You’ll even see it on the dessert menu in a lot of restaurants across the south (usually drenched with a delicious bourbon sauce). The version I’m presenting here is the kind I grew up eating for breakfast. It has milk instead of heavy cream, fewer eggs, and a lot less sugar. The addition of applesauce to the custard also keeps things a little lighter and more toward the breakfast end of the spectrum. All of that said, I would still consider it a sweet, special occasion type of breakfast.

What Kind of Bread to Use for Bread Pudding

It’s important to use a hearty bread for bread pudding rather than a soft white sandwich bread. Softer bread will disintegrate in the custard and won’t give you the nice toasty edges on top. Bread pudding is the perfect way to use up leftovers from your loaves of Italian bread, baguettes, or any hearty artisan loaf you may have. And if you don’t have enough leftover bread from one loaf, tear that bread into pieces, pop it into a freezer bag, and save it in the freezer for later when you do have more bread!

What Else Can I Add?

The classic apple cinnamon flavor of this bread pudding is a great base to add even more flavor. You could toss in a handful of walnuts or pecans, or maybe even some dried cranberries. If you want more texture in your bread pudding, try chopping up a fresh apple and stirring that into the mix. If you want to go more toward the dessert route, you could top your bread pudding with a cream cheese icing or caramel drizzle! 

Overhead view of a piece of bread pudding on a plate next to the casserole dish

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding (also known as French Toast Casserole) is a rich and sweet breakfast treat or after-dinner dessert!
 
Total Cost $5.54 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 377kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups bread pieces $1.98
  • 2 cups milk $0.80
  • 4 large eggs $0.84
  • 1.5 cups applesauce, divided $0.89
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28
  • 1/3 cup sugar $0.11
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional) $0.36

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. If your bread is not already in pieces, tear or cut the bread into one-inch pieces.
  • Spread the bread pieces out on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes to slightly dry the bread. After baking, let the bread cool for a few minutes to allow the remaining steam to evaporate.
  • While the bread is drying in the oven, prepare the apple cinnamon custard. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, 1 cup of applesauce, vanilla extract, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Transfer the par-baked bread to a large bowl, add the raisins, then pour the apple cinnamon custard over top. Stir to combine and allow the bread to soak for at least 15 minutes to absorb all of the custard.
  • Meanwhile, use 1 teaspoon of the butter to grease the inside of a two-quart casserole dish. Transfer the soaked bread to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Cut the remaining butter into chunks and sprinkle it over the bread pudding.
  • Bake the bread pudding for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF.
  • After removing the bread pudding from the oven, add the remaining ½ cup applesauce in dollops on top of the bread pudding. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 410mg | Fiber: 4g

Close up of a fork cutting into a piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding

How to Make Bread Pudding – Step by Step Photos

Bread being cut into squares

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Tear your bread into one-inch pieces. You’ll need about 6 cups of torn bread.

Torn bread pieces on a baking sheet

Place the torn bread pieces on a large baking sheet and bake in the preheated 325ºF oven for about 10 minutes to dry it out. Let the bread pieces cool for a few minutes after baking. This will allow the rest of the steam to evaporate and dry the bread further. 

Custard ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

While the bread is drying, prepare the custard. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups milk, 4 large eggs, 1 cup applesauce, ⅓ cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Custard being poured over bread and raisins in a bowl

Place the dried bread cubes in a large bowl along with ⅓ cup raisins. Pour the custard mixture over top and then give everything a stir until all of the custard has been absorbed by the bread.

Bread soaked in custard in a bowl with a spatula

Set the mixture aside and allow the bread to soak in the custard for at least 15 minutes.

Bread pudding in the casserole dish topped with butter

Use one teaspoon (out of the 2 Tbsp total) to grease the inside of a two-quart casserole dish. Transfer the bread pudding mixture to the casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and sprinkle them over the bread pudding.

Baked bread pudding in the dish, applesauce being added on top

Bake the bread pudding in the 325ºF oven for about 45 minutes, or until it’s brown and crispy on top and the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. After baking, spoon the remaining ½ cup applesauce over the top. 

close up side view of french toast casserole

Cut into six pieces and serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top!

maple syrup being poured over a slice of apple cinnamon bread pudding

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Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles

Perfectly sweet and delightfully crisp, these quick bread & butter refrigerator pickles are leaps and bounds better than anything you can buy in the store, with the added benefit of being completely customizable to your personal tastes and preferences. Refrigerator pickles are undeniably the easiest kind of pickles no make, no fancy equipment or complicated […]

The post Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Perfectly sweet and delightfully crisp, these quick bread & butter refrigerator pickles are leaps and bounds better than anything you can buy in the store, with the added benefit of being completely customizable to your personal tastes and preferences.

Refrigerator pickles are undeniably the easiest kind of pickles no make, no fancy equipment or complicated water baths necessary. They come together in minutes, and keep beautifully in the fridge for weeks, and result in beautifully crispy pickles.

Three uncovered jars of Bread & Butter Refrigerator Pickles in brine, with two kirby cucumbers on the side

The two main kinds of pickles commercially available are kosher dill and bread & butter. Dill pickles obviously have a dill-forward flavor, and are less sweet and more vinegary overall.

Bread and butter pickles, on the other hand, have more sugar and a different combination of spices and seasonings (primarily onion, mustard, and celery seed), resulting in a vastly different flavor profile.

I have yet to find any definitive information on the origins of the name; it seems to be somewhat of a mystery, though many sources claim the name is derived from a common depression-area sandwich featuring pickled cucumbers layered between slices of buttered bread.

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Espresso Crumb Coffee Cake

Would you like some coffee with your coffee? This buzz-worthy coffee cake features a crunchy espresso crumb and a flavorful espresso glaze drizzled on top. I’ll take any excuse to eat cake for breakfast, and this espresso crumb coffee cake is a sure thing: with a moist sour-cream cake base and delightfully crunchy topping, plus […]

The post Espresso Crumb Coffee Cake first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Would you like some coffee with your coffee? This buzz-worthy coffee cake features a crunchy espresso crumb and a flavorful espresso glaze drizzled on top.

I’ll take any excuse to eat cake for breakfast, and this espresso crumb coffee cake is a sure thing: with a moist sour-cream cake base and delightfully crunchy topping, plus a sweet espresso glaze to finish it off.

Espresso Crumb Coffee Cake cut into squares, on a wood board with newsprint parchment paper, cup of glaze in the background

Nearly half of the comments on my Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake are from readers confused and wondering, “Where’s the coffee?!” Like they are convinced I mistyped my own recipe (hey, it happens) and simply forgot the coffee in the ingredient list.

But no, I’ve explained over and over, the recipe is correct, there is no actual coffee in the coffee cake.

If you live outside the US, you may be wondering, “What the heck?!”

In the US, coffee cake refers to a muffin-like breakfast cake meant to be served with coffee.

But as I’ve discovered, in the UK and other countries, coffee cake is a cake with coffee flavoring, which I guess makes sense and explains the confusion with my recipes. Although over there you also have tea cakes which are, you guessed it, made to be served with tea and do not contain any tea themselves, so who’s being confusing now, eh?

Overhead, grid of cut squares of coffee cake, one on its side to show the cake and crumb layers

Anyway. After the 1,257th “Where’s the coffee?!” comment I received, I figured why not make a coffee coffee cake, a breakfast cake flavored with coffee, to appease everyone? (I also need to edit my other coffee cake recipes at some point to clarify that they are American-style coffee cakes and no, I didn’t actually forget to include coffee in the ingredient list).

Perhaps next I’ll make a matcha coffee cake or an espresso tea cake, just to mess with everyone a bit more (but honestly those ideas sound quite delicious so I might just actually do it).

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Blackberry Lavender Lemon Bars

Tart and sweet, fruity and floral, these blackberry lavender lemon bars are the perfect summery treat for lemon lovers everywhere! The classic lemon bar gets leveled up with ripe summer blackberries and a hint of lavender for a uniquely floral twist and gorgeous pink color. I’ve gotten into the habit of offloading my leftover sweets […]

The post Blackberry Lavender Lemon Bars first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Tart and sweet, fruity and floral, these blackberry lavender lemon bars are the perfect summery treat for lemon lovers everywhere!

The classic lemon bar gets leveled up with ripe summer blackberries and a hint of lavender for a uniquely floral twist and gorgeous pink color.

Blackberry Lavender Lemon Bars cut into triangles and dusted with sugar

I’ve gotten into the habit of offloading my leftover sweets on my fellow students at my weekly Wednesday night ceramic class. Contrary to what you may think, excess sweets are a constant problem I have to deal with. The two of us can hardly consume everything I bake (recipes often requiring multiple tests before the final iteration), and ​it’s not like I have an office to bring them to. Usually it’s my neighbors who get saddled with the bulk of my leftovers (not that they’re complaining or anything).

But now that I’m back at my ceramics class after a year-long break, it’s proven the perfect opportunity for me to both offload my recipe tests and gather useful feedback, while at the same time spreading sweet happiness around the studio.

When I heard that our teacher was a huge fan of lemon desserts, I decided to revisit my classic Meyer lemon bars and give them a fruity and floral new twist. And even I, the lackluster lemon lover that I am (I’ll choose chocolate over lemon any day), had to admit the result is pretty darn fabulous.

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Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

This super simple homemade ranch seasoning makes great ranch dressing and can also be used to season, meat, vegetables, pasta, and more.

The post Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Those little packets of ranch seasoning mix that you can get at the store are pretty versatile. You can do so much more with them than just mixing up a quick batch of ranch dressing. That flavorful mix of buttermilk and herbs can be used to coat just anything in a tangy, herby, creamy goodness. But I wanted to make my own homemade ranch seasoning so I could whip up any amount needed and so I’d know every last ingredient in the mix.

Ranch seasoning mix ingredients in a small wooden bowl with lemon, garlic, and parsley on the sides

Buttermilk Powder is a Must

Most of the ingredients in this homemade ranch seasoning mix are pantry staples, but there is one special ingredient that can not be substituted, buttermilk powder, which is basically dehydrated buttermilk. Buttermilk powder provides tangy and creamy flavors without having to add a liquid to the mix. This allows you to get that classic ranch flavor in dry form, which is perfect for things like seasoning popcorn or making a dry rub for meat.

It usually comes in a small round container and can be found in the baking aisle, usually near canned evaporated milk or dry milk. I used Saco brand Buttermilk blend (the brand that I see most often in grocery stores here in the U.S.). It looks like this:

A container of buttermilk powder

How to Use Homemade Ranch Seasoning

I’m super excited to have finally made my own ranch seasoning because there are just so many ways to use it. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Season roasted potatoes
  • Stir into mashed potatoes
  • Sprinkle over popcorn
  • Season roasted chicken
  • Mix with butter to brush onto biscuits
  • Make chip dip
  • Season homemade croutons
  • Sprinkle over buttered pasta
  • Season roasted vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower

How to Store Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

The recipe below is a small batch about the same as one ranch seasoning packet you’d buy in the store. If you want to scale the recipe up and save some pre-made mix you can do that. Store the ranch seasoning mix in an air-tight container away from heat and sunlight, just as you would with any dry herbs or spices. It should stay good for several months, but as with any dried herb, the flavor will slowly diminish over time.

mixed homemade ranch seasoning surrounded by other ingredients
ranch seasoning mix ingredients in a wooden bowl with ingredients on the sides

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix

This super simple homemade ranch seasoning makes great ranch dressing and can also be used to season, meat, vegetables, pasta, and more.
Total Cost $0.53 per batch
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 batch (about 3 Tbsp)
Calories 54kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk powder $0.15
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container until ready to use.

To Make Ranch Dressing

  • Combine the ranch seasoning mix with ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup sour cream, and ¼ cup milk. Whisk until smooth.

To Make Chip Dip

  • Combine the ranch seasoning mix with 1 cup sour cream and stir until smooth. Let the dip sit for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutrition

Serving: 1batch | Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 354mg | Fiber: 1g
close up of mixed ranch seasoning in the bowl with a measuring spoon

Use your homemade ranch seasoning mix as a dry powder to season meat, vegetables, pasta, and more. Or, use it to whip up a batch of ranch dressing or chip dip…

Ranch dressing in a bowl surrounded by carrots and celery

The post Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Lemon Cream Pie

This sweet and creamy cloud-like lemon cream pie is an easy summer dessert that can be made completely no-bake, if needed.

The post Easy Lemon Cream Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I set out this week to make some no-churn lemon ice cream, but at the last minute, I was like, “I really don’t want to wait for it to freeze…” so I made it into a pie instead. The filling for this super easy Lemon Cream Pie is the same simple combo as no-churn ice cream: sweetened condensed milk + heavy whipping cream + whatever flavors or add-ins you want. It creates a sweet and creamy cloud-like mixture that I could just eat up with a spoon (or in a pie crust 😄).

This simple pie has so many options, so make sure you keep reading to find out a couple of quick ways you can change it up and make it your own.

Overhead view of a lemon cream pie on black tile with lemons on the side

Pie Crust Options

Graham Cracker Crust – I made a simple pie crust out of vanilla wafers to play on the whole vanilla-lemon theme of the pie, but you can easily use the exact same method with graham crackers instead.

No-Bake – I baked my crust for a brief 10 minutes to make it more solid, but baking is not 100% necessary. You can make the pie completely no-bake if needed, the crust will just be a little more crumbly.

Store-Bought – To make this pie faster and easier, you can use any type of store-bought crust that you like. If it’s a traditional pie crust, you’ll want to pre-bake and cool it before adding the lemon-cream filling. For graham cracker crusts, just fill and refrigerate!

What Kind of Dish to Use

This recipe fills a standard 9-inch pie plate. BUT you can also make this into lemon cream squares by using an 8×8 or 9×9-inch square baking dish instead. If using a square dish, I suggest only pressing the crust into the bottom and not up the sides as you would with a pie plate.

Side view of a slice of lemon cream pie being lifted from the pie plate

Freezer-Friendly

As I mentioned in the introduction, the filling for this pie is actually exactly the same as no-churn ice cream. For that reason, this lemon cream pie is very freezer-friendly. You can eat it frozen, like an ice cream pie, or just store your leftover slices in the freezer (for a couple of months). If you do plan to consume your pie frozen, I suggest skipping the baking step for the crust below because it will be easier to cut when frozen if the crust isn’t quite as solid.

Do I Need to Use Fresh Lemons?

I consider fresh lemons to be mandatory for this recipe, not because of the juice but because of the zest. A lot of the lemon flavor in this pie comes from the zest itself. Without the zest the pie will be nice and tart from the juice but without a vibrant lemon flavor.

Can I Use Prepared Whipped Topping?

Yes, if you don’t want to whip your own heavy cream (it really only takes three minutes with a hand mixer), you can use 2 cups of store-bought whipped topping. But homemade will always taste better. 😉

a piece of lemon cream pie on a plate with a fork on the plate
Overhead view of a sliced lemon cream pie with lemons on the sides

Easy Lemon Cream Pie

This sweet and creamy cloud-like lemon cream pie is an easy summer dessert that can be made completely no-bake, if needed.
Total Cost $4.26 recipe / $0.53 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate Time 2 hours
Servings 8 slices
Calories 462kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Pie Crust*

  • 1.5 cups crushed vanilla wafers $0.83
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted $0.54
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.04

Lemon Cream Filling

  • 1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk $1.25
  • 3 lemons $1.54
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream $0.78

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use a food processor or rolling pin to crush the vanilla wafers into very fine, even crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar and stir until everything is very well combined.
  • Press the butter crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and use a flat bottomed glass to compress the mixture until solid. Bake the crust for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. After baking, transfer the crust to the refrigerator to cool.
  • Zest and juice the lemons. You'll need ½ cup lemon juice and 1 Tbsp zest. Slice any leftover unjuiced portions of the lemon to use as garnishes.
  • Add the sweetened condensed milk to a bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Whisk until everything is well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Add ¼ of the lemon and sweetened condensed milk mixture to the whipped cream and gently fold until combined. Repeat with ¼ of the lemon mixture at a time until all of it has been folded into the whipped cream.
  • Pour the lemon cream filling into the cooled pie crust and refrigerate until completely chilled (about two hours). Slice into 8 pieces and serve.

Notes

*For a softer crust, just press the filling into the pie plate without baking. You can use either vanilla wafers OR graham crackers for this pie crust. You can use any prepared store-bought crust in place of the crust recipe listed here. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 244mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of a sliced lemon cream pie with lemons on the sides

How to Make Lemon Cream Pie – Step by Step Photos

Vanilla wafer crust ingredients in the food processor

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. You’ll need 1.5 cups of vanilla wafer (or graham cracker) crumbs for the crust. Use either a food processor or a rolling pin to crush the wafers, making sure the crumb is very fine and even. Add 2 Tbsp sugar and 6 Tbsp melted butter.

vanilla wafer crust mixed in the food processor

Stir (or pulse in the food processor) until the butter, sugar, and crumbs are well combined.

Vanilla wafer crust being pressed into the pie plate with a glass

Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and use a flat bottomed glass to really compress the mixture. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes (this helps solidify the crust), then transfer to the refrigerator to cool.

Zested and juiced lemons

Next, zest and juice the lemons. You’ll need ½ cup lemon juice and about 1 Tbsp zest. That’s about 2-3 lemons worth of juice and 1 lemon worth of zest. If you have any leftover lemon that hasn’t been juiced, you can slice it and use it as a garnish for the pie.

sweetened condensed milk with lemon in a bowl with a whisk

Add one 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk to a bowl and whisk in ½ cup lemon juice, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Folding condensed milk and whipped cream together

Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks. Add ¼ of the lemon and sweetened condensed milk mixture to the whipped cream and gently fold until combined. Repeat adding ¼ of the lemon mixture at a time, until all of it has been folded into the whipped cream. If you need help with the folding technique, here is a video tutorial on how to fold ingredients together.

finished lemon cream filling

After all of the lemon mixture has been folded into the whipped cream, it should still be very light, fluffy, and creamy.

Filling poured into the pie crust

Pour the lemon cream filling into the pie crust (I had some extra zest so I added that on top, too). Refrigerate until it’s completely chilled (about 2 hours). You can also freeze it if you want it to be more solid.

Side view of a slice of lemon cream pie with a fork

Slice the pie into eight pieces and then serve.

The post Easy Lemon Cream Pie appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

This Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is rich, moist, and a little spicy. It’s perfect for pairing with your favorite soup or chili.

The post Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As if cornbread wasn’t delicious enough on its own, I went ahead and stirred in a pile of shredded cheddar cheese and chopped jalapeño. Because why not? And since this Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is on the spicy side, I decided to go with a richer cornbread batter that includes sour cream and an extra egg to kind of balance the heat. The result is rich, cheesy, moist, and ✨spicy✨.

Two baskets of jalapeño cornbread pieces with whole jalapeños on the sides

How Spicy Is This Cornbread?

It’s pretty spicy. Despite scraping the seeds out of the jalapeño that is mixed into the batter, the heat still seems to permeate the cornbread pretty well. If you’re not into heat, you can certainly just make this a plain cheddar cornbread or stir in some mild diced green chiles in place of the jalapeño.

What Kind of Baking Dish Should I Usse?

I used a ceramic baking dish, but I’ve also tested the recipe using a glass baking dish, and they both worked great. An 8×8-inch square dish is probably the best size. You could also bake this in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, although you may want to preheat it just a bit before adding the batter.

Can I Make Them Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins?

Yes, just divide the batter equally between about ten wells of a muffin tin and bake at the same temperature. Because the muffins are smaller and have more surface area exposed to the heat, the baking time will be shorter. Just keep an eye on the muffins starting at about 20 minutes, and let them continue to bake until puffed in the center and golden brown around the edges.

How to Store Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Allow the cornbread to cool completely to room temperature and then store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Or, you can wrap it tightly in plastic, place it in a freezer bag, and freeze it for a few months. To thaw, simply let the cornbread sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, or microwave for 30 seconds or so.

A piece of jalapeño Cornbread being lifted out of the baking dish
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread half in the baking dish and half on a cooling rack

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

This Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is rich, moist, and spicy. It's perfect for pairing with your favorite soup or chili. 
Total Cost $3.19 recipe / $0.35 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 9 pieces
Calories 289kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp butter $0.04
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.15
  • 1 cup cornmeal $0.38
  • 2 Tbsp sugar $0.04
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder $0.06
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 4 oz. cheddar, shredded $1.00
  • 2 jalapeños $0.14
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.58
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.20
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil $0.16

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Use the butter to grease the inside of an 8×8 inch baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Remove the seeds from one of the jalapeños and finely dice it, then slice the second jalapeño into rounds. Add the diced jalapeño to the bowl with the flour, saving the sliced jalapeño to use as a topping.
  • Add about ¾ of the shredded cheddar to the bowl with the flour mixture, saving the remaining to use as a topping. Stir the diced jalapeño and shredded cheddar into the flour mixture until evenly combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, and oil.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moist (it's okay if there are a few lumps).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Top with the sliced jalapeños and the remaining shredded cheddar.
  • Bake the cornbread for about 35 minutes, or until the center has puffed up and the edges are golden brown.
  • Slice the cornbread into nine squares and serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 450mg | Fiber: 2g

Love cornbread? Try these other cornbread flavors: Sweet Potato Cornbread, Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet, Easy Homemade Cornbread (classic cornbread), or Hatch Chile Sweet Potato Cornbread.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread half in the baking dish and half on a cooling rack

How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread – Step by Step Photos

cornbread dry ingredients in a bowl

Preheat the oven to 400ºF and use about 1 tsp butter to grease the inside of an 8×8-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 tsp baking powder, and ¾ tsp salt.

Diced and sliced jalapeño on a cutting board

Remove the seeds from one jalapeño and then finely dice the pepper. Slice the second jalapeño into rounds. The diced jalapeño will go into the batter and the rounds will be used as a topping.

jalapeño and shredded cheddar added to the dry ingredients

Add the diced jalapeño and most of your 4oz. shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl with the dry ingredients (save about ¼ of the cheese to use as a topping). Stir the jalapeño and cheddar into the flour mixture.

Eggs oil and milk in a bowl with a whisk

In a separate bowl, whisk together ½ cup milk, 2 large eggs, and ¼ cup cooking oil.

Wet ingredients being poured into the bowl of dry ingredients

Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.

stirred cornbread batter

Stir until everything is moist. Avoid over stirring. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy.

cheddar being sprinkled on top of cornbread batter in the baking dish

Spread the cornbread batter into an 8×8-inch baking dish, then top with the sliced jalapeños. Finish by topping with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese.

baked jalapeño cheddar cornbread in the baking dish

Bake the cornbread in the preheated 400ºF oven for about 35 minutes or until the center is puffed and it’s golden brown around the edges.

Two baskets full of jalapeño Cornbread pieces

Slice the cornbread into nine pieces and serve warm with your favorite soup or chili!!

The post Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Homemade Italian Dressing

This simple homemade Italian Dressing is a zesty mix of flavorful herbs, savory Parmesan, and bright lemon to complement any salad.

The post Homemade Italian Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love making simple homemade vinaigrettes, and this classic Italian dressing has been a favorite lately. This dressing is similar to the bottled “Italian dressing” that you’d find in the grocer store, except made with simple ingredients that you’ll find in your fridge and pantry. It’s the perfect mix of bright lemon and vinegar, flavorful herbs, and savory Parmesan to take your homemade salads up to the next level.

a small glass carafe with Italian dressing with a salad bowl in the back

What’s in Italian Dressing?

This all-purpose homemade dressing is a simple vinaigrette base packed with dried herbs and Parmesan. The base is olive oil and red wine vinegar, plus a little lemon juice to freshen things up and Dijon mustard to help emulsify the vinegar into the oil. I added a hefty dose of herbs, in the way of an Italian seasoning blend for convenience, plus a little garlic, and a touch of sugar to soften the acid every so slightly. Lastly, grated Parmesan adds so much umami and depth of flavor that it will make you want to eat the dressing by the spoonful!

Can I Skip the Sugar?

Technically you can skip the sugar if you really have to, but even that small dose of sugar goes a long way toward creating a really smooth dressing and reducing any bitterness, so I don’t suggest skipping it if at all possible. It’s only ½ tsp for the entire batch, so the dose per serving is extremely small.

Can I Skip the Parmesan?

Yes. This still makes a really stellar vinaigrette even without the Parmesan. I will say that the Parmesan totally takes the dressing to the next level, but I find plain vinaigrettes quite enjoyable on their own as well. So if you want to make a vegan dressing or just don’t have Parmesan on hand, don’t let it hold you back from making this homemade dressing.

How to Store Levtover Italian Dressing

Store your leftover dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about a week. The olive oil may solidify when the dressing gets very cold but will liquify again if set out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.

How to Serve Italian Dressing

The flavors in this simple dressing are so universal that it will taste good on just about any salad. But it’s also great on pasta salad, on a simple sliced tomato and mozzarella salad, or even as a marinade for chicken! I think this dressing would also be amazing soaked into a crusty piece of bread as part of a pressed deli sandwich. YES!

Overhead view of a spoon in a jar full of homemade italian dressing
Italian dressing in a glass carafe in front of a bowl of salad

Homemade Italian Dressing

This simple homemade Italian Dressing is a zesty mix of flavorful herbs, savory Parmesan, and bright lemon to complement any salad.
Total Cost $1.89 recipe / $0.24 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 2 Tbsp each
Calories 130kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil $0.84
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder* $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan** $0.22

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a jar or bowl. If using a jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake until the ingredients are incorporated. If using a bowl, whisk until the ingredients are incorporated. Give the dressing a quick shake or whisk just before serving.

Notes

*You can use one minced clove of fresh garlic in place of the garlic powder if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor.
**Bottled grated Parmesan with cellulose (an anti-caking agent) may clump slightly, but will still taste great.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Italian Dressing – Step by Step Photos

Italian dressing ingredients in a jar

Combine ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, ½ tsp sugar, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan in a bowl or jar.

mixed Italian dressing in a jar

If using a jar, close the lid on the jar tightly then shake until the ingredients are incorporated. If using a bowl, whisk the ingredients together until incorporated.

Italian dressing being poured over a large salad

Serve your homemade Italian dressing over your favorite salad, sliced vegetables, or even as a marinade for chicken! (yes, that salad recipe is coming soon!)

Italian dressing in a glass carafe in front of a bowl of salad

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Chocolate Stuffed Strawberry Sugar Cookies

Perfection is these soft and chewy sugar cookies stuffed with a dark chocolate ganache and topped with a burst of freeze-dried strawberries. Love is in the air… love for the timeless combination of chocolate and strawberry, that is! Also, my love of stuffed cookies is seemingly endless (am I the only one that finds a […]

The post Chocolate Stuffed Strawberry Sugar Cookies first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Perfection is these soft and chewy sugar cookies stuffed with a dark chocolate ganache and topped with a burst of freeze-dried strawberries.

Love is in the air… love for the timeless combination of chocolate and strawberry, that is! Also, my love of stuffed cookies is seemingly endless (am I the only one that finds a plain, not-stuffed cookie so incredibly boring now?)

Chocolate Stuffed Strawberry Sugar Cookies on a wire rack, raw chocolate and freeze dried strawberries scattered on the side

Yes I realize I made the perfect Valentine’s day cookies in the middle of summer but, you know what? My love of chocolate and strawberry lasts all year round.

My first test run of these cookies resulted in two versions, one with the ground up freeze-dried strawberries mixed into the dough, and the other with plain dough and a coating of crushed berry powder before baking.

While the strawberry flavor was lovely on both versions, the strawberry-in-the-dough batch turned a not-so-enticing mauve color when baked. Nothing like the pretty pastel pink I envisioned. But such is life when you’re using natural colorings.

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Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which […]

The post Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Earlier this week I made a big batch of sunny and fresh Cumin Lime Coleslaw, but I didn’t intend to just eat coleslaw all week. So, I used the coleslaw as a topping for these super simple fish tacos. I love making tacos for dinner because they’re so easy, fresh, and not too heavy, which is great when it’s 100 degrees outside. I like to keep my tacos pretty simple (in this case just fish, slaw, jalapeño, and avocado), but I’ve got some suggestions for extra toppings below if you want them! ;)

Originally posted 3-27-2015, updated 7-15-2021.

Overhead view of fish tacos on a platter, toppings on the sides

What’s in a Fish Taco?

For these fish tacos, I seasoned some white fish filets with a simple mix of chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt, then cooked them up quickly in a skillet. I topped them with tangy Cumin Lime Coleslaw, a slice of creamy avocado, and a couple super thin slices of jalapeño. It’s the perfect mix of earthy, spicy, creamy, and tangy. 

What Kind of Fish is Best for Tacos?

I used cod fillets for my fish tacos because they have a mild flavor that can be easily paired with any seasoning or toppings. You could also use something like tilapia, halibut, mahi mahi, snapper, or grouper. I usually get the best prices on frozen fillets, and they usually come individually wrapped, so you can thaw as many as you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later. 

What Else Can I Add?

Tacos are fun because you can get creative with the toppings. If you want to swap out some of the toppings I used for something else, or just want to add to what is listed in the recipe below, here are some ideas:

What Kind of Tortillas?

Corn tortillas are the traditional option for tacos, but go ahead and use whatever you like best. Cooking is about doing what works for you. So if you like flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells better or happen to have those on hand, use them. :) If you’re using corn tortillas, make sure to toast them before making your tacos so they get that deliciously toasty corn flavor (otherwise they kind of taste like nothing). And keep in mind that if you use larger tortillas you’ll get fewer tacos out of the ingredients listed below.

What to Serve with Fish Tacos

Two tacos does not a meal make, so here are some ideas for sides:

Side view of fish tacos on a platter

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw

These super easy Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw are light, fresh, and the perfect quick dinner for hot summer nights, or any night!
Total Cost $9.17 recipe / $2.29 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (2 Tacos each)
Calories 437kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Cumin Lime Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.40
  • 1 lime (1 Tbsp juice) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne $0.01
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1/2 16oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.75
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.22

Tacos

  • 8 small corn tortillas $0.80
  • 2 tsp chili powder $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 lb. cod fillets* $4.96
  • 1 avocado, sliced $0.99
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced $0.15

Instructions

  • Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned on each side. Stack the tortillas and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Make the cumin lime coleslaw next. For the dressing, stir together the mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp lime juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and sugar.
  • Place the coleslaw mix and sliced green onions in a bowl, pour the coleslaw dressing over top and stir to combine. Refrigerate until you're ready to build your tacos.
  • Next, season the fish fillets. Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Cut each fish fillet into smaller taco-sized pieces. Season both sides of the fish with the spice mix.
  • Add half of the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through (it will feel firm, look opaque, and be easily flaked). Repeat with more oil and the second batch of fish.
  • Top each toasted tortilla with a piece of fish, a slice of avocado, a small scoop of the cumin lime slaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño. Enjoy warm.

Notes

*You can use just about any type of white fish for this, like tilapia, mahi mahi, or halibut.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tacos | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 424mg | Fiber: 9g

How to Make Fish Tacos – Step by Step Photos

corn tortillas being toasted in a skillet

If you’re using corn tortillas you’ll want to toast them before making your tacos. This gives them more flavor and helps make them a bit more sturdy. I do this in a dry skillet over fairly high heat, but if you have a gas range you can do it right over an open flame (just a second or two on each side). You can keep them warm on a plate covered with foil.

Cumin lime slaw ingredients in a bowl, dressing being poured

Next, prepare the cumin lime coleslaw so it’s ready to go when the fish finishes cooking. To make the dressing, stir together 1 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp slat, ⅛ tsp cayenne, and ½ tsp sugar. Place ½ of a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in a bowl with 2 sliced green onions. Pour the dressing over top. You can also wait to pour the dressing over until just before serving, if preferred.

finished cumin lime coleslaw in bowl

Stir to coat the vegetables in dressing, then refrigerate until ready to build your tacos. 

Seasoned fish fillets

Next, make the seasoning mix for the fish. Combine 2 tsp chili powder (this is a mild blend of chiles and other spices), ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ⅛ tsp salt. Cut 1 lb. fish into taco-sized pieces (in this case I had four fillets, so I cut each in half for one piece per taco). Season the fish on both sides with the prepared spice mix.

Fish cooked in the skillet

Heat ½ Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the fish and cook for a few minutes on each side, or until cooked through (the fish will be opaque and easily flake when cooked). Repeat with a little more oil and the second batch of fish.

Tacos being built

To build the tacos, place one piece of fish in each tortilla, add one slice of avocado, a small scoop of cumin lime coleslaw, and a couple slices of jalapeño.

Fish tacos on a platter with toppings on the sides

If you have leftover lime from making the slaw, slice it into wedges to serve with the tacos.

close up of a fish taco in a hand

Enjoy that summery goodness!

The post Fish Tacos with Cumin Lime Slaw appeared first on Budget Bytes.