The scampi recipe will have to wait in the queue along with the others, but here is a wonderful bread pudding recipe I developed by improving on another one of my recipes from severl years back. In my opinion, the bread pudding just keeps getting better.
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1-15 oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
2 sticks butter, melted, divided
1-14 oz. can coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-15 oz. can Very Cherry Fruit Cocktail, drained
1-15.25 oz. can peach chunks, drained
1-6 oz. bottle maraschino cherries, drained
1 cup cherry-infused dried cranberries
1-18 oz. jar Smucker's Cherry Preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into smaller pieces; eighths work well. Divide bread into two aluminum pans, then place in oven for up to 10 minutes, just to dry out. Set aside.
In a deep mixing bowl, add the sugar to the eggs and beat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ricotta and beat again to combine. Now add the remaining melted butter, coconut milk, extracts and nutmeg and beat until combined. Pour this over the bread cubes, stir gently so all the cubes are covered iin liquid, and set aside until the bread is well soaked.
Bake for 40 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully spoon the cherry preserves over the top. Return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes, until the center is set, and the internal temperature is at least 140 degrees (the edges will register higher.) Remove from the oven and let cool a bit. This is best eaten warm or room temperature ...
... with whipped cream or ice cream or both, because anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Merry Christmas!