Our champion here is Ginny Renaud, artist, wife, mother, friend, Realtor, cook, and endowed with a large, open and compassionate heart.
I met Ginny through Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate where we both work. Ginny is our Sara Lee—nobody doesn’t like Ginny Renaud!
When I first met Ginny, she was principal broker in our south office, overseeing a dozen or so brokers who worked there. She is an elegant lady whose appearance reflects her art, mainly painting. Her art isn’t limited to paper and canvas, and it comes from deep in her heart.
Ginny is a survivor of cancer – multiple times. She continues to live with it and, as I write these words, has embarked on a new battle with it, surrounded by ever so many friends and loved ones cheering her on to another victory.
In 2011, Ginny announced that she was going to bring an Angel of Hope statue to Salem – the same Angel of Hope introduced to the world in The Christmas Box, a bestselling book and television movie by author Richard Paul Evans. Dozens of these statues are located through the US and beyond. They offer a place for grieving and mourning the loss of a young child. I cannot imagine a more fitting legacy for our kindhearted Ginny.
Throughout her battles, two others joined her in their own fights – Laura Swearinger and Charlene Helton. Laura passed on in the spring of 2008 and Charlene in 2012. Charlene was instrumental in helping Ginny make Salem’s Angel of Hope a reality.
Long into Ginny’s battles with breast cancer, she and husband Mark both agreed that, and I quote, “Boobs are so over-rated!”
Whenever food was involved at Coldwell Banker Mountain West, we could count on Ginny bringing something different made with her distinctive touch—usually something sweet, like her.
Last March I asked Ginny for one of her recipes for this blog, and she answered:
“I DO have a recipe that I created that I’d love to share. I entered it in the Pillsbury Bake-Off last year with hopes of funding our retirement. However, Pillsbury didn’t see it that way. It doesn’t matter, though, ’cause my entire family thinks it’s a grand prize winner. I named it Grand Slam Brandied Bread Pudding.”
Grand Slam Brandied Bread Pudding
“Why I love this recipe. This is a recipe that can be either a breakfast dish or a dessert at the end of a meal. The flavor can be ramped up with the amount of brandy you choose to add. I enjoy it for its flavor but also because it was my first attempt to enter a cooking contest. It was fun to challenge myself and come up with my own concoction….it’s just another form of creative art for me.” ~ Ginny Renaud
- 1 can Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls with icing (17.5 oz.)
- ½ cup unsalted butter plus additional for coating ramekin
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ⅓ cup brandy (or more to taste)
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Bake the cinnamon rolls on cookie sheet at 350 ºF until golden brown
- Remove from the oven and frost while hot
- Cool on a baking rack
- Melt butter until just light brown.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, condensed milk and heavy whipping cream, using a wooden spoon.
- Return to heat, stirring constantly.
- Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
- When sauce is cool, whisk in all the beaten eggs at one time.
- Return to low heat and cook 1-2 minutes, whisking during cooking time.
- Whisk in the brandy (more if desired).
PREPARING THE DISH:
- Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
- Butter a 2-quart ramekin baking dish.
- Pour enough sauce into dish to cover bottom.
- Tear cooled frosted cinnamon rolls into large chunks (size of half dollars).
- Place equivalent of 3 cinnamon rolls in dish on top of sauce.
- Pour additional sauce over this layer of bread cubes (reserve ¾ cup of sauce to pour over the next layer of bread cubes).
- Sprinkle w/ground cinnamon.
- Add remaining bread cubes and top w/remaining sauce.
- With handle end of wooden spoon lightly poke thru cubes to allow sauce to penetrate and moisten all layers of cubes.
- Bake at 350 ºF for 20-25 minutes.
Pudding will be soft in center when done…. Careful not to overbake.
Serve warm with heavy whipping cream that has been softly whipped (not peaks) and sweetened with powdered sugar to taste.
Bon appétit … enjoy with someone you love! This one’s for you, Ginners.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities