So I'm on a Trader Joe's kick. I'm a little bit obsessed with the poorly-organized but crazy affordable supermarket chain. I've been guilty of grabbing handfuls of seaweed snacks (They're a dollar! A buck! One buck!) whilst staring down Hawaiian shirt-donning (why?!) stock-people who are pissed they have to replenish the stash. That's right. Shibow don't care.
Now, being on a Trader Joe's kick (as opposed to a "Target kick" or an "H&M kick," which I've been trying to wean myself off of because people keep making fun of me for only knowing about three stores) has its perks and its disadvantages. One of the downsides of this habit is the idea that if it's sold by this store, it must be good. So when I found a loaf of sodium-free whole-wheat bread on a shelf, I pounced. It's low sodium and whole wheat? It must be good for me! It's sold by TJ's? It must also taste good then! Never mind that every other type of bread on the shelves was either gone or close to gone, and there were plenty of loaves of this variety. I must just be smarter and more daring than your average bear!
Guess what? I'm not. I'm really, really dumb. Ok, actually, I'm a genius, but this time I was not a genius. This was the most awful bread I'd ever brought to my lips. I brought it to work for my daily PB&J (I'm poor), took one bite, and immediately-- not kidding at all-- thought one thing: STAMOS! It was that bad. I had to fight back tears while I downed the rest of that sandwich. Life's tough.
By the way, did you hear that Stamos was in another stupid yogurt commercial that aired during the Super Bowl? I managed to miss it and refuse to watch it now because well, yuck, but I hear someone head-butts him in it! Somebody's looking out for me. Oh, and speaking of the Super Bowl,
THE SUPER BOWL
That's in case you hadn't heard.
Anyway, even though I'd basically purchased a block of [supposedly] edible cardboard, I couldn't bring myself to throw the rest of the bread in the trash. Like I'd mentioned, I'm not rich, so it just wouldn't be right. It would, however, be acceptable to douse this thing with sugar, chocolate and peanut butter to make this stuff over into some fabulous bread pudding. As I often do when I am frustrated and in need of sugar, I made up a recipe.
Peanut Butter Coconut Bread Pudding That's The Best Thing Since [The] Sliced Bread [You Bought And Now Regret]
10 slices of cubed whole wheat sandwich bread
1 14-oz can of condensed milk
1 cup of cow's, rice, soy or coconut milk
1/4 cup of smooth natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of peanut butter and chocolate chips
1/3 cup of shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350º F.
Evenly spread bread cubes in a 9x13" pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine condensed milk, milk of your choosing, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Stir just until peanut butter's melted and mixed with milk, then pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Stir with a rubber spatula to make sure all of the bread is covered, then fold in peanut butter and chocolate chips.
Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top, and send into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the coconut is slightly browned.
Let's be honest: you can tell from the title of this post that this was not my favorite bread pudding. This, on the other hand, is. It was pretty good, just not sweet enough for me, especially since I could still taste the wheat in the bread, which is not awesome (Unless you're my parents. Then it's fantastic.) Still, if you let it sit for a couple of days (which I have yet to do), it will allow all of the flavors to absorb, so that when it's reheated it will have a deeper flavor. Hopefully. I'll keep you posted.