Holiday Favorites: Week 1 Winner | The Daily Dish

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Holiday Favorites: Week 1 Winner

6 Comments | Written on October 26, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

We have our first winner in the new “Holiday Favorites” Recipe Contest!  Congrats to Holly B. for her outstanding Crock-Pot recipe!  This winning dish is the perfect addition to our week of slow cooker recipes.

Tell us all about your winning recipe!

“I came up with the recipe by playing around.  I love my slow cooker and use it at least 2-3 times per week. I’m a busy mother of two and I work part time, volunteer, run kids to baseball, cub scouts, music class, etc… The slow cooker really saves me time. The first time I made this I used dried cherries, but for the sake of this contest thought I’d give a try with something a bit more festive and it was great.  Bread pudding is a comfort food for me that evokes a happy feeling of coziness.  I think of my family enjoying it while cuddling next to the fireplace on a cold winter day.

I’m a big experimenter when it comes to cooking.  We hardly ever eat the same thing twice.  I only recently got into the habit of writing recipes down when I experiment because my husband would keep requesting a ‘repeat’, and it’s really the praise from my husband and son that made me think I could actually win a contest!”

Since the theme for this contest is “Holiday Favorites,” can you share with us some of your favorite holiday memories?

“Some of my favorite holiday memories are of food.  My mother was a wonderful cook, and growing up Christmas Eve was always the best night of the year to me.  We had an intimate celebration of only our family of five, and my mom always went all out creating a smorgasbord of elegant hors d’oevres and desserts.

Now with my husband, we take turns hosting Christmas for his huge family and extended family which totals near 30 people.  It’s quite a difference, and it’s not Christmas for the Bauer family if there is not Baked Ham.  The first time I made it for them I made it with a pineapple glaze.  My father-in-law almost fell over.  He was raised in a German family and spoke only German for part of his life.  The thought of fruit with his ham put him in near cardiac arrest.  He got over it, and I now prefer my holiday ham with brown sugar glaze, and studded with cloves.”

Thanks so much, Holly!  Now, let’s check out your winning dish!


Bread pudding is the ultimate comfort food–and so easy to make in a slow cooker. A great holiday recipe when time is short and the oven is full.

6 cups cubed bread, any variety
4 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp brandy
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
8 oz whipping cream
Powdered sugar to taste

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, about 10 minutes. Whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, brandy, vanilla, salt in a large bowl. Combine bread cubes and dried cranberries in the slow cooker. Pour egg mixture over the bread and press down lightly until all bread is covered with custard. Cover and cook on low until the pudding is just set, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove insert and cool on a rack, about 25 minutes. Use a wire whisk or electric mixer to beat whipping cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold in powdered sugar to taste. Spoon pudding into serving dishes and top with whipped cream.

Number of Servings:  8
Notes:  You may also add a combination of chopped dried apples and cranberries or other dried fruits.

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