Disclaimer: I was selected to be part of OXO’s Blogger Outreach program, for which I received an OXO Stainless Steel Pro 5 Qt. Casserole Dish + Cover. All opinions in this post are 100% my own.
So my latest trip to Disneyland proved that I am the queen of not being able to spot celebrities, ever. Period. Even when I pass by them so close I actually have to maneuver to avoid hitting them in the ribs with my elbow.
Two nights ago, we paid the Happiest Place on Earth a fond visit to celebrate–along with other annual passholders–the 20th anniversary of the Indiana Jones ride. Twenty years. Geesh! I still remember when the attraction first opened and they still handed out those little
flimsy AWESOME decoder cards where you could read the ancient runes on the walls while you waited.
Wow, I just dated myself, didn’t I?
Anyway, one of my friends hadn’t eaten anything the entire day. It was past 9 PM when we arrived at the park, so I decided to go with her to grab a bread bowl from New Orleans Square. Of course, she was so hungry at this point that I could barely do more than dodge through the crowds and keep her bobbing head in sight through all the moving bodies. At one point she screeched to a grinding halt and ducked behind a group of folks taking pictures–naturally, I sped up, swerving dangerously close to the subjects of the photo on my right as they arranged themselves. It wasn’t until I had already hopped between them and the camera that my friend grabbed me by the arm, yanked me around, and pointed to the guy in a black and white checkered shirt whom I had nearly decapitated with my elbow a second earlier.
“What?” I said, blinking as I followed her finger with bewilderment.
“That’s Drake from Drake and Josh,” she said, taking a step back toward the crowd as other curious people began shuffling in our direction.
Yup, it was him all right–plaid shirt, casual hair, posing friendly-like for a picture with a few excited girls. I never watched the Nickelodeon show, personally, but I had always known Drake as the “cute one” on the ads–and here he was, standing eight feet from me in all his laidback glory. The inner tween in me wanted to fangirl, but to be honest, it was sort of refreshing to see such a down-to-earth individual off-camera. In fact, I wouldn’t have noticed a thing if my friend hadn’t pointed him out; and really, isn’t that the way it should be?
My other “star” encounter that night was Tony Baxter, the Disney Imagineer who, among other things, helped create the Indiana Jones ride, Big Thunder Mountain, Star Tours, and oh, basically Disney parks all over the world. Yeesh!
He was interviewed by another famous Disney employee (the name slips my mind now) who ended up boarding the Indiana Jones ride right in front of us as we were getting off. And I didn’t recognize him then either. Go figure.
That just goes to show, though, that sometimes the most unassuming encounters are the ones that will mean most–even a real star in ordinary guise may look just like any other until you’ve given him/her a real look-over. And that’s where I’m going to bring in this bread pudding–in fact, the BEST Bread Pudding I have ever made. It’s been requested over 10 times since I first made it last year for Thanksgiving, and everybody loved it. That creaminess, that melting just-right bread in your mouth, that custardy perfection–and you wouldn’t even know it if you passed up this dessert your first time over!
The wonderful folks at OXO sent me their Stainless Steel Pro 5 Qt Casserole + Cover to try as part of their new #OXOCookware line. I have to admit, my mom was 10 times more excited than I was (and I was already thrilled–and she NEVER gets excited) when she saw this. After a thorough inspection, she gave it the Mom Seal of Approval and has been giving it a month-long test run on the stove, in the oven, and for all her cooking needs. In the meantime, I made this bread pudding as my inaugural dish, and it worked perfectly! Plus, I finally have a sturdy lid for my casserole dish, meaning I don’t have to fight aluminum foil next potluck. Classy look–check!
A few features that I loved about my #OXOCookware:
- Heat-radiant aluminum core fused between two layers of stainless steel ensures even cooking from every side
- Rolled edges designed for drip free pouring
- Contoured handles designed to stay cool to the touch for a comfortable grip
- Durable, all-metal construction allows cookware to move directly from stovetop to oven and broiler. Glass lids are oven safe up to 430°F
- Works on all stovetops, including induction
- Dishwasher safe
Trust me–this Casserole is NOT unassuming. At all. Ever. <3 But you sure as heck need to make yourself some bread pudding, pronto!
- 7-8 hefty slices of bread, cubed (French bread + baguettes are my favorite; no sandwich bread, please)
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom of a casserole or 8x8-inch baking pan.
- Sprinkle bread evenly across the bottom of prepared pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour mixture over bread cubes, using a fork to press down cubes as needed. Make sure all bread is soaked.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the showing corners of bread are lightly toasted and the top springs back when lightly tapped. The interior should still be creamy (but not liquidy). Cut and serve immediately!