Individual Challah Breakfast Bread Pudding {Recipe}


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Looking for something new to try for breakfast this weekend? I may have an idea you’ll enjoy. This recipe was inspired by a recent conversation with my husband. We were out to eat with friends on New Year’s Eve, and someone at the table ordered bread pudding. We started talking about how I never make bread pudding (or something to that effect), which inspired me to put “bread pudding” on the list of recipes to play with soon. I’ve never been a big bread pudding fan, myself. I don’t typically like soggy bread (or soggy anything…especially cereal!) and most bread puddings have raisins in them. Though I like dried cranberries quite a bit, I can’t seem to get into raisins.

With a couple day old pieces of challah in the house, I decided to get creative one morning. Not only would I make him a bread pudding, I’d make one that was breakfast-friendly (and sans raisins)! The result was a hit that both of us enjoyed.





Individual Challah Breakfast Bread Puddings (for Two)

If you’ve ever had just a couple pieces of challah left, maybe just the ends, save them for this fun breakfast. Treat yourself to Challah Breakfast Bread Pudding first thing in the morning. I tweaked the recipe to be a little more breakfast friendly. You’ll get one whole egg in each serving, I went low on the sugar, and there’s no added butter or oil (besides whatever was already in the bread). Go with the raspberry sauce option mentioned below for a healthier topping option. Life’s short. Eat dessert…for breakfast!

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 32-38 minutes
Total time: 37-48 minutes


  • non-stick spray
  • 2 cups challah, cubed small (about 1/2″ pieces)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • maple syrup or raspberry sauce (click for easy recipe), optional topping
  • sliced almonds, optional topping


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two ramekins with non-stick spray.
  2. Evenly distribute bread into the ramekins.
  3. Add eggs to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk eggs lightly. Add milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt and whisk till combined.
  4. Evenly distribute egg mixture into the ramekins. Press bread into the egg mixture until all the bread pieces are no longer dry.
  5. Bake for 32-38 minutes, until bread pudding is puffed up and cooked through. (A toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the pudding springs back when you tap the top lightly).
  6. Cool till safe to touch. Top with maple syrup or this delicious raspberry sauce (click). I also added almond slices for some extra crunch.


Anyone doing anything fun this weekend? After all the craziness lately, I’m laying pretty low this weekend. It will be good to catch up with things in the house. I’m also trying to do some spring cleaning in my wardrobe – more purging, etc. I really need to downsize my clothes collection. I wear such a small percentage, and yet, I can’t seem to let go of things very easily. C’est la vie.

Thanks for reading!

Reader question: Are you anti-soggy-foods or do you love them?

Honey Roasted Cinnamon Wink Almond Butter


I don’t know if you’ve ever tried making your own nut butter before, but once you go homemade…you pretty much don’t go back. I still like my Barney Butter and Maranatha, but they just can’t top the from-scratch stuff.


You guys have probably noticed how I’ve been drooling over that whipped cinnamon honey I picked up recently at the farmer’s market. I basically use it as much as I can.


Many of you guessed that I actually used the whipped cinnamon honey in the almond butter I made. I actually only used the flavor combo for inspiration. I didn’t use any of the actual whipped cinnamon honey.


Somehow, I was thinking about how much I liked the whipped cinnamon honey…

…and then I thought about how honey roasted peanuts used to be my absolute favorite style of nut to eat when I was kid…

…and then I thought about how awesome honey roasted almonds (since I like almonds better than peanuts) would be…

…and then if I just blended those honey roasted almonds up and added in the cinnamon from my inspiration honey…

…I’d get something pretty awesome.


I thought about blending up already honey roasted peanuts, but I really wanted almond butter…not to mention I wanted to be able to control the ingredients myself. I researched honey roasted almonds online and all the recipes I found seemed to stem from this recipe, which actually roasted the almonds and then did a glaze in a saute pan with lots of added sugar. I decided to try something different by using as little added sugar as possible and doing the whole cooking process in the oven.

As soon as I had enough free time, I excitedly gathered my ingredients.


The process was actually pretty hands-off and easy. Total prep time was about 30 minutes, but with only about 5-10 minutes of the total as hands-on time.


You just whisk up your glaze ingredients.


Get your almonds together.


Coat almonds in the glaze.


And bake your almonds for about 12-15 minutes.

(Let me tell you…your kitchen will smell absolutely heavenly as they roast away! Mmm)


While your almonds bake and then while they cool, you can prep your storage containers…or read blogs…or a book…or watch TV. Whatevs.


Once your almonds are completely cool (I waited an hour just because I was working on other things, but you could probably check sooner), you just blend everything up. The blending takes at least 10 minutes, so you could set a timer and multi-task again while your food processor does all the heavy lifting. Just stop the processing and scrape the sides of the bowl down once in awhile.


And then…you have this deliciousness to enjoy!

Honey Roasted Cinnamon Wink Almond Butter

This Not So Sweet almond butter is so good, it made my non-oatmeal-enjoying hubby happily scarf down a whole bowl the other day when I topped some oats with it. The flavor is lightly sweet with just a wink (a hint) of cinnamon to it. One thing I dislike about store-bought nut butters is that the sweet ones are often too sweet. So, I made this one with just a wink of honey. If you’d prefer your almond butter sweeter or the flavor more cinnamon-y, feel free to add more of either ingredient to suit your taste.


  • 2 cups almonds, whole and raw
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil (or other non-flavored oil, like canola, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Stir in almonds and continue stirring to almonds are evenly coated. Pour almonds onto prepared baking dish and spread to an even layer.
  4. Bake almonds for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almonds are golden-brown and glaze has darkened slightly. Once done, set almonds aside to cool to room temperature (Note – I waited an hour, but I was multitasking-it while the almonds were cooling – you may be able to use them sooner).
  5. Once almonds are cool, pour them into a food processor bowl and process for 12-14 minutes, or until almond butter has reached your desired texture. Stop the processing occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula (I also found I needed to scrape the bottom of the food processor because some slightly larger bits were sticking there). Note: I stopped my processing around 10 minutes and the texture was pretty liquid-y, but I decided to go 2 more minutes to be sure.
  6. Optional step: Do a taste test of the almond butter. If you want it sweeter, then add 1 teaspoon of honey and process to combine. Repeat until almond butter reaches desired sweetness. Ditto to the cinnamon, if you want a strong cinnamon flavor, but I’d only add 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Remember, as my mom likes to say…you can always add more honey or cinnamon in, but you can’t take it out! ;)


Enjoy your homemade almond butter over oatmeal, spread on toast, on an almond butter and jelly sandwich, or on banana slices. ;)

Irresistible Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe


I have a fabulous new dessert recipe to share with you guys – Irresistible Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe!

I tried looking for a recipe for macaroons over at the Queen of Macaroon’s web site - The Fitnessista! Her macaroons are totally amazing, but they’re also a secret, I guess, because I didn’t see the recipe on her site. So, I made one up.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

These guys are so easy and even more tasty! You’ll really savor every sweet, chewy bite!

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

The main ingredient is obviously coconut. I used (finely) shredded organic coconut (that had already been dedhydrated according to the ingredient list)

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

You’ll also need: raw almonds, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, and coconut oil. It’s a pretty short ingredient list. You could probably substitute another liquid sweetener for the brown rice syrup, but they help keep the mixture together, impart a chewy texture on the macaroon, and help keep the overall flavor from being overly sweet.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

You could use almond flour instead of almonds, but I am more likely to have almonds on hand and almond flour just seems so expensive!

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

You just process them a minute or two until they are finely ground (see photo above) to a flour-like texture. Don’t process the almonds too long or you’ll have almond butter. hehe

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

You’ll want to make sure you melt your coconut oil so you can easily mix it into the other ingredients.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

So, besides processing some almonds and melting some coconut oil, you really just mix everything together.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

You’ll need a small ice cream/sorbet scoop. I measured mine and it’s 1-inch deep (this is the same scoop I use for my dough balls).

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Scoop the mixture and press it into the scoop with your fingers to get a more solid shape. My scoop has a clicker on the side that helps remove the mixture from the scoop. If you have one, too, be sure to take a minute to re-form the macaroon after removing it from the scoop (so the macaroon is well-stuck together and nice and rounded on top).

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Your hands may get a little messy in the process. :)

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Now, just place in your dehydrator – well-spaced out.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Dehydrate for 8-12 hours depending on your machine, how fast it works, and how tender you want the outside and inside.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

I did one batch at 8 hours and 1 at 12 hours and both were fantastic. The first was just softer overall, but the second was still soft and chewy on the inside.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

These coconut macaroons may be pretty healthy ingredient wise, but they sure don’t taste healthy. They just taste delicious to me!


Irresistible Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I wanted to create a macaroon that was chewy, delicious, and just lightly sweet. So, I came up with this Irresistible Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe. You could probably add more sweetener or substitute something more sweet for the brown rice syrup, but I think these guys are great just the way they are. The brown rice syrup gives these macaroons a nice chewiness. As for the sweetener, I considered using maple syrup, but wanted to use something with less flavor – thus the agave. The macaroon flavor secret is the combination of both vanilla and almond extracts. Try dipping the macaroons in chocolate for a more indulgent treat.
*Raw, Vegan, and Vegetarian*
Serves: 10
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (finely shredded, not long flakes)
  • 1½ cups raw almonds processed in a food processor to flour consistency, about 1-2 minutes (or use almond flour/meal)
  • ½ cup agave syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix till all ingredients are evenly combined.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop (1-inch deep), scoop mixture, pressing mixture into scoop to tightly pack. Remove macaroon from scoop, press together to create a well-formed macaroon with a rounded top. (it may get a little wonky when you remove it from the scoop, so just carefully re-form).
  3. Place macaroons, well-spaced, on dehydrator trays.
  4. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours, depending on how fast your machine works or how you like the texture of your macaroons.
  5. Allow the macaroons to cool and enjoy!
Tip: If you have the ingredients – make a double batch! You can share some with friends…if you don’t eat them all yourself!

Cooking Note: The directions below are for raw, dehydrated macaroons. You could probably bake them, too, if you don’t have a dehydrator. I’m guessing you could use a 300 degree F oven for maybe 10 – 15 minutes, though I haven’t tested this theory yet.

NOTE: I made two batches – one at 8 hours and one at 12 hours and liked both just fine. The 8 hour batch came out all around tender. The 12 hour batch is a little tougher on the outside and super-tender on the inside.

Healthy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Try to not eat all the macaroons in one sitting! They really are irresistible! ;) Hope you enjoy this Healthy Coconut Macaroon Recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

Individual Apple Breakfast Cakes + Shop Till You Drop


Ahh, my first free day from work. I expected to have a million things queued up to make, but this morning, I puttered around a bit trying to figure out something interesting to make. It’s not every day you have as much time as you want to do something creative for breakfast.


In addition to not having a plan, I also didn’t have a lot of ingredients. I decided to combine pantry items with fresh fruit…the only fruit being apples and bananas. I’ve done bananas a few times, so I turned my attention to the apples. I recently made that quick apple topping, so I chose to do something different…something…baked?


I decided to do a play on my apple topping as a layer in a breakfast cake, but individual-sized so it would bake faster. I did something silly and decided to just mix stuff up and see what happened.


IMG_3239_edited.jpg IMG_3244_edited.jpg IMG_3245_edited.jpg

I crossed my fingers as I put everything together and pushed my creation into the oven. As the timer ticked by, I kept expecting to pull a monster mixture or raw dough or who knows what.


To my surprise, the end result was not only edible, but it tasted pretty good, too!


Individual Apple Breakfast Cakes

Traditional cake lovers may hate this recipe. Personally, I don’t really like cakes that are so sweet they give you headaches when you eat them, so this recipe has a lot less sugar than most cakes. This cake is also lacking in the butter department, so it’s not as rich-tasting but still has a nice fluffy texture. If you like richer, sweeter cakes, you may want to up the sugar and butter amounts, though I’m not sure how that would affect the texture. To make extra healthy, try subbing whole grain flours.

Serves 2, makes 4 individual cups


  • 1/2 apple, chopped small (I left skins on for nutrition, but you may get a smoother texture if you remove them)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, another 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg or flaxseed egg
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened, but not melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • sliced almonds, optional


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 4 cups of a muffin pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine apple, water, maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a small pot and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or till apples are tender. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Whisk/stir in milk, egg, and vanilla till combined.
  5. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until just combined, careful to not overmix.
  6. Fill bottom half of 4 cups in a prepared muffin tin with cake mixture. Use finger to smooth to cover bottom. Batter will be a bit thick.
  7. Evenly distribute cooked apples into the 4 muffin cups.
  8. Evenly distribute the rest of the cake batter over the apples. Smooth/spread as needed.
  9. If you’re using a nut topping, add that to the top.
  10. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  12. Enjoy!


After breakfast, I worked on some stuff around the house and then met up with Michelle at the mall to get my Christmas shopping. Somehow, I’ve waited till the last minute to buy…all my Christmas presents. Oy vay!

Here are some photos from our shopping adventure…ok just the food. :lol: Excuse the crappy iPhone photos.

We first stopped by Banana Republic where they had an extra 40% off sale items till 2pm. I used to love clothes shopping, but since getting the house about a year ago, I’ve cut waaaay back. I’ve been able to restrain myself from buying lot of clothes…till today. But hey, I’ve worked hard this year, so I think I’ve earned a little shopping spree. Especially considering the fab deals I was getting!


After BR, Michelle and I broke for lunch at Blynk – the organic food place at the mall. Thank goodness for Blynk!


I had a half simple turkey sandwich and white bean soup with water. This was way better than your typical food court fare. I loved the soup especially.

Then, it was back to the races!


We met up with Jen for the last half of the shopping day.


Michelle, Jen and I hit up California Pizza Kitchen for dinner.


We split this field green salad 3 ways. Loved this – from the walnuts to the dressing.


And I got the BBQ Chicken Pizza for the main event. I saved half for hubby, which he enjoyed when I got home.

We ended up spending almost an entire day at the mall, but I’m happy to report that my Christmas shopping is DONE-ZO! I have a couple wee items to pick up, but the main event is over. Phew! We really did the whole “shop till you drop” thing. I guess that’s the price you pay when you wait till the last minute to go shopping.

I was really dreading Christmas shopping this year (the crowds, the craziness!) but it was sooo much better with friends! I actually had a blast!

Do you like Christmas/holiday shopping or do you dread it?

Carob Cherry Oatmeal + Busy Signs


Have you tried carob oatmeal yet?!


Do itttttt! It’s divine! If you’re getting sick of oatmeal, add a teaspoon of ground carob to your oats and it will give your bowl of oats a whole new flavor!


Today, I made Carob-Cherry Oatmeal. Nom!

I’ve had a couple requests for how to cook oatmeal, so I’m going to break it down today. :)


Carob-Cherry Oatmeal

For 2 people who like small oatmeal portions


  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp carob powder (ground)
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds, optional
  • 6 seeded and halved cherries
  • sprinkle of sliced almonds, optional


  1. Combine oats, water, milk, chia seeds, carob powder and agave in a small pot over medium low heat.
  2. Heat mixture till thickened to your preference, careful to not boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve in bowls and add cherries on top with any additional toppings you want.
  4. Enjoy!


Lunch was super weak. I was planning to go to the grocery store first thing this morning, but instead of being off, I had to work! :( I scrounged around in the freezer to come up with this: a TJ’s soy “corn dog”, a corn muffin (re-baked from a frozen batch), and peas.


For a snack, I had a micro-baked sweet potato with a dab of real butter and a wee bit of brown sugar.

Then, it was time for ZUMBA! I was super tired in class today. I think it’s because I was stressed about work today and not doing a great job of hydrating. Doh! I downed a coconut water pretty fast near the beginning of class and was actually feeling more energized towards the end of the class than the beginning. Guess that stuff really works!


Hubby cooked dinner tonight – a little concoction of his own. Bulgogi over brown rice.


For dessert, we had cookies we got from our neighbor! Woohoo! Our first neighborly perk. :)

Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve had a day off with nothing major to do. I have a million things I could be doing, but I’m just not sure where to start! I feel like I’ve waited so long to have a free day of my very own. Normally, I feel like I rush from one to-do to another, barely accomplishing the must-dos (work, eat, sleep, Zumba, blog) in a day. Now that I have a free day, I’m so excited! I just have so many ideas I’ve wanted to execute and fun things I’ve wanted to do for so long that I want to do ALL of them! I am trying to get organized, though. I actually have a to-do list I’ve started and am hoping to share tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a funny little list that I put together about being busy all the time.

Top 5 Signs You’re Too Busy

  1. Your email inbox has more than 1000 unread emails (ok, maybe closer to 5000…yikes!)
  2. You’ve waited 2 years to buy a laptop so you don’t have to rely on your desktop and can work away from home. You got your laptop 2 weeks ago. You haven’t had the chance to even crack open the box.
  3. You find yourself blogging half asleep after midnight because it’s the only time you can do it.
  4. Your clean laundry sits in piles on your couch because you haven’t had time to fold it yet.
  5. Your significant other asks when they can see you again…and you live with them.

Reader question #1: What’s your sign you’re too busy?

Reader question #2: What do you like to do with your days off from work?

Cherry Almond French Toast




Best use of cherries to date…fo sho! :)


I was feeling french toast today. Besides toast + almond butter, toast + egg is a great way to get whole grains (assuming you’re using a good bread) and protein.


Bread of choice – Great Harvest honey whole wheat.


Toppings = real maple syrup, sliced almonds and organic cherries. Nomalicious!

I really should have french toast more often!


Remember this garden photo from several weeks ago?


Just look at it now! It’s really getting big!


I tried to plant beets in my front 2 boxes. Unfortunately they either died or were eaten by pests. :(


So, last weekend I planted some more of my tri-color green beans! The seedlings are just starting to push through the ground.


This one will see sun very soon! So neat how plants push their way through the earth.


This sight makes me happy – yellow tomato plant flowers aka future tomatoes I can EAT! lol


Most of the flowers around the yard are doing really well, too! Hazzah!


I love my dahlias.


This photo would look really good printed and framed and hanging in our house!

What are your favorite French toast toppings?

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