Challah Bread Pudding

8 thick slices challah or at least 8 cups torn into one-inch cubes
2-1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup golden raisins
½ cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3 large or extra-large eggs
Cooking spray
4 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put challah into a large bowl. Add next 7 ingredients. Pour into greased 11 x 7 baking dish. Pour challah mixture into baking pan and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 1 hour. This dessert is sweet enough that it doesn’t require a sauce, but you can serve it with warmed maple syrup. Or top with canned light fruit pie filling, i.e. cherries, peaches, or apples. It’s a satisfying dish for brunch on a chilly day.

Zucchini Egg Bake

2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. diced onion
15 oz. can sweet corn, no salt added
2-16 oz. containers sliced zucchini
8 oz. diced tomatoes
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
6 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the vegetables and sauté until softened. Remove from heat and stir in seasonings, about 2/3 of the cheese, and the eggs. Mix thoroughly. Transfer into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Top with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more or until browned and bubbly. Serves 6-8.

Eggplant Rollatini

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into half-inch slices
2 cups tomato basil sauce
½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

In a microwave-safe dish, lay out eggplant. Microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes until pliable. Transfer to plate and drain liquid from baking dish. Pat eggplant slices dry. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, egg, and minced garlic. Mix together.

Starting at the wide end of each eggplant slice, spread a teaspoon or so of the cheese mixture. Roll up each piece and lay seam-side down in greased microwave-safe baking dish. Pour sauce over all. Cover and microwave on high for 15 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Microwave until cheese melts, about 2 more minutes. Optional: sprinkle on oregano or chopped basil leaves before cooking. Serves 4.

Apple Rum Cake

18-1/4 oz. spice cake mix
21 oz. can apple pie filling
3 eggs
¾ cup light sour cream
¼ cup rum
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. reduced fat milk

Set aside 1 Tbsp. cake mix and 1-1/2 cup pie filling. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, rum, canola oil, almond extract, remaining cake mix and pie filling. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into a greased fluted baking pan coated with nonstick spray. In a separate small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, reserved cake mix, and remaining pie filling. Spoon over batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool on rack before turning over onto plate. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk. Dribble glaze over cake and serve. Serves 10-12.

Baked Egg Rolls

1 pound package frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetable blend
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
4-1/2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ of a 16 oz. package all-purpose pasta or egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
1 jar of plum sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine ½ package chopped, defrosted vegetables, chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil and spices. Place 1/4 cup mixture into the center of each wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling then fold two sides toward the center. Moisten flap of remaining corner with beaten egg and seal. Place egg rolls seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Spray tops of wrappers with nonstick cooking spray or brush with beaten egg.

Bake in 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until browned. Makes 8 servings. Recipe may be doubled. Serve warm with plum sauce.

Croissant Brie Appetizers

Fresh Croissants
Brie Cheese
Walnuts
Strawberry Jam

Toast walnuts over medium heat for a few minutes then chop into smaller pieces. Cut croissants in half. Lay brie cheese on one side of croissant and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Melt in microwave for 12-15 seconds. Spread jam on top. Cut croissant halves into bite size pieces and serve warm.