Kid-friendly Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug + Basil Lime "Sorbetto" Muddler for One Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug + Basil Lime "Sorbetto" Muddler for One

Family Meal Plan: Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug + Basil Lime "Sorbetto" Muddler for One

Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug + Basil Lime "Sorbetto" Muddler for One

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Natasha McCone and Kate Bezak
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
3 minutes
1-1 servings

Fun Food Story

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Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug

Bread pudding is a recipe derived from sensibility. Cooks looked for a way to use up stale bread, so they didn’t have to waste it—and bread pudding was made! We’re departing from the traditional sweet versions of the recipe to make a savory version and appreciating the last of summer’s bounty with ripe tomatoes and basil while we’re at it. Kid Chefs will learn about Italy, a bit of Italian language, and what a Caprese (kah-PREY-zay!) salad is!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Shopping List

  • 7 basil leaves
  • 1/2 C cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lime
  • 1 egg **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 T whole milk **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, from a block or ball of it **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 C torn baguette, sliced bread, or baked croissant **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 small scoop (about 4 oz) lime or any flavor fruit sorbet
  • 1 can sparkling water
  • 3 ice cubes

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • adjust :

    to change seasonings or consistency to one's taste or to alter portion sizes.

  • crack :

    to break open or apart a food to get what's inside, like an egg or a coconut.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • microwave :

    to heat or cook food or liquid quickly in a microwave oven, which uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to generate heat in the food's water molecules.

  • muddle :

    to press or crush ingredients, like fruit, sugar, and herbs, with a tool called a “muddler” so that all the fresh flavors are released when liquid is added.

  • season :

    to add flavor to food with spices, herbs, and salt.

  • slice :

    to cut into thin pieces using a sawing motion with your knife.

  • taste :

    to put a bit of food or drink in your mouth to determine whether more of an ingredient is needed to improve the flavor.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife (a butter knife works great)
  • Drinking glass
  • Tablespoon
  • Wooden spoon
  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe mug
  • Potholder
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Fork or small whisk for mixing
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Paper towel or dish towel
  • Soap for cleaning hands


Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug

  • 1 egg **(Omit for EGG ALLERGY)**
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 T whole milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub unsweetened dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 1/2 C cherry tomatoes
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, from a block or ball of it **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free Daiya mozzarella shreds)**
  • 1 C torn baguette, sliced bread, or baked croissant **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free bread)**
  • 5 basil leaves

Basil Lime "Sorbetto" Muddler for One

  • 1 lime
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 small scoop (about 4 oz) lime or any flavor fruit sorbet
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 can sparkling water

Food Allergen Substitutions

Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug

  • Egg: Omit egg.
  • Dairy: Substitute unsweetened dairy-free/nut-free milk. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free Daiya mozzarella shreds. 
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free bread.


Italian Flag Caprese Bread Pudding in a Mug

crack + whisk + season

Crack 1 egg into a mixing bowl and whisk. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

measure + whisk + count

Measure and add 2 tablespoons milk to the egg bowl and whisk for a count of 5 in Italian: 1 uno (OO-noh), 2 due (DOO-eh), 3 tre (treh), 4 quattro (KWAHT-troh), 5 cinque (CHEEN-kweh).

count + slice

Measure 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes. Count out the tomatoes (how many are there?) and then slice them in halves.

tear + chop

Slap 5 fresh basil leaves between your palms! Take a big sniff of the leaves. They smell stronger when slapped! Tear them into small pieces. Now chop 2 ounces of mozzarella into small pieces also.

combine + mix + scoop

Combine 1 cup of torn bread, the sliced tomatoes, chopped mozzarella, and torn basil to the egg bowl. Mix to coat everything in the egg. Scoop the mixture into a microwavable mug.

cover + microwave + cool

Cover the mug with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Use a potholder to carefully remove the mug from the microwave. Check, and if the egg is still too liquid (not set), microwave for another 30 seconds. Let cool for at least 1 minute before digging in! Say "Eat!" in Italian: "Mangia" (MAHN-jah)!

Basil Lime "Sorbetto" Muddler for One

wash + slice + add

Wash 1 lime. Slice the lime in half, then in quarters. Add 2 lime quarters to the bottom of your glass. Add 1 pinch of sugar and 1 small scoop or rounded tablespoon of fruit sorbet.

muddle + slap + add

Using the bottom handle of a wooden spoon, muddle the limes at the bottom of a drinking glass. Press down with the spoon to squeeze the juice from the lime. Slap 2 basil leaves between your palms and add to the glass. Add 3 ice cubes to the glass and top with 1 can of sparkling water.

stir + taste + adjust

Stir your drink, then taste it. What does it need? More lime? More sugar? Adjust by adding more of either of these ingredients. "Salute!" (Sah-LOO-teh) or "Cheers" in Italian!

Surprise Ingredient: Basil!

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Photo by Chizhevskaya Ekaterina/

Hi! I’m Basil!

"Ciao (chow)! I'm Basil! But you can also call me Genovese basil (that's Italian, from Genoa). My leaves are usually used fresh, added late in cooking to keep my flavor. If you combine me with olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, you'll have a yummy, green Italian sauce called "pesto," which is good on pasta. You'll also find me on a delicious but simple pizza from Naples, Italy, called "pizza margherita." Besides fresh basil leaves, Neapolitans (people from Naples) traditionally top this pizza with a tomato sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. Of course, basil is good in dishes from many countries!" 


  • A long time ago, Greeks and Romans believed basil would only grow if you screamed wild curses and shouted while sowing the seeds. They also thought that If you left a basil leaf under a pot, it would turn into a scorpion!
  • Basil may have originated in India; there are speculations that it originally came from tropical areas spanning from Southeast Asia to Central Africa. 
  • Ancient Egyptians used to use basil to embalm the dead and prepare for burial.
  • In Italy, basil is considered a token of love, and in Romania, if a girl gives a sprig of basil to her boyfriend, they are engaged. 

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Basil is a part of the mint family. There are 50 to 150 species, including Genovese (Italian) basil (the most common), Thai basil, cinnamon basil, lemon basil, lettuce basil, spicy globe basil, and green ruffles basil! Each type of basil has a unique aroma and taste. 
  • Leaves of the basil plant tend to be oval-shaped, shiny, and smooth-edged. Their edges cup slightly. 
  • Basil plants can grow to be from 8 inches to 4 feet high. 
  • Basil has seeds that can germinate after 10 years!
  • Basil will grow small flowers that look like spikes at the top of the plant. The flowers are edible, but we generally eat and use just the leaves.
  • The word "basil" comes from the Greek "vasilikos," which also means "royal." It is believed that basil was once used in royal perfumes. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Basil grows best in hot climates. When harvesting basil, pinch or cut the leaves at the stem from the top of the plant down. Select a few large leaves rather than snipping the whole stem. Choose leaves that are bright and free from blemishes. Picking leaves encourages the plant to produce more leaves. 
  • You could also try growing basil in a pot on your kitchen window sill, so it's easy to pick what you need when you need it.
  • Wash basil gently and pat dry. When you buy basil from the store, it will often come with its stems. Trim the ends of the stems and store in a glass of water as you would a bunch of flowers. Basil stores best at room temperature.
  • Use fresh basil leaves in salads, salad dressings, sauces, pasta, marinades, and sandwiches. Basil leaves in cold water make a nice summer refresher, or add some mint with the leaves to make a digestive hot tea. Basil can be dried or blanched and frozen. Dried basil enhances the flavor of tomato soup.


  • Basil contains 98% of our DV of Vitamin K1 in just one-half of a cup! Vitamin K1 is essential for blood clotting. For example, when we get a cut, we need our blood to clot so that the bleeding will stop and our cut will heal. 
  • Basil contains carotenoids—those powerful plant-based nutrients that protect our cells from oxidation (rust) and enhance immunity. 
  • Essential oils found in basil not only give it its aromatic and therapeutic scent but are also anti-inflammatory. 
  • Basil has been shown to act as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances that help us respond in a healthful way to stress. So the next time you're feeling stressed, grab a handful of basil, hold it to your nose, and breathe in deeply. Then, toss it in your salad and eat it.


History of Caprese Salad!

Photo by Maria_Usp/
  • The Caprese salad (pronounced kah-PREY-zay) was invented on the small island of Capri in Italy. In fact, Insalata Caprese means “Salad of Capri.” 
  • The salad is made of three ingredients and colors that match the Italian flag: red (tomato), white (mozzarella cheese), and green (basil). 
  • The ingredients in a Caprese salad are used everywhere in Italian cuisine! What kinds of Italian foods have your kid chefs tried? Ask! They probably contain at least two, maybe three, of these ingredients!
  • King Farouk of Egypt was reportedly served a Caprese sandwich in Capri and loved it so much that he made it famous.
  • Caprese salads are best in the late summertime when tomatoes and basil taste the best.

Let's Learn About Italy!

Photo by Marina Andrejchenko/
  • Italy became a unified country in 1861, only 150 years ago. It is sometimes called "bel paese" or "beautiful country."  
  • Italians invented the piano and the thermometer! 
  • In ancient Roman mythology, two twin brothers named Romulus and Remus founded Rome, Italy's capital city. The myth says the twins were abandoned and then discovered by a she-wolf before being found and raised by a shepherd and his wife. Eventually (and after many exciting adventures), they found themselves at the location of Palatine Hill, where Romulus built "Roma." The Italian wolf became Italy's unofficial national animal. 
  • In the 1930s and 40s, Mussolini, Italy's prime minister, and dictator tried to eliminate all foreign words from the Italian language. How did he do that? He just changed them! For example, in soccer, "goal" became "meta." Disney character names changed, too: Donald Duck became "Paperino;" Mickey Mouse became "Topolino;" and Goofy became "Pippo." Although they're not banned anymore, these words and names have stuck. So now if you go to the Italian Disneyland, called Gardaland Park, you will see Topolino and Pippo! 
  • About 60 million people call Italy home, and it is 116,350 square miles, slightly larger than the US state of Arizona. If you compare that to the United Kingdom, 67 million people live there, and it is about 94,350 square miles. So, the UK is smaller than Italy but has a bigger population! 
  • The Italian flag is green, white, and red. These colors represent hope, faith, and charity.
  • The average Italian eats close to 55 pounds of pasta annually. If you think about how light pasta is, that is a considerable amount! There are more than 500 different types of pasta eaten in Italy today. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Italy?

  • Kids begin school at 6 years old. They grow up speaking Italian, but they learn English in school, so many become bilingual in Italian and English.
  • The most popular sport for kids is football (soccer). The Italian word for soccer is "calcio," the same word they use for "kick." A favorite of younger kids is "Rody, the bouncing horse," a plastic horse that a small child can hop onto and bounce around the room. Rody was invented in Italy in 1984.  
  • The family ("la famiglia") is a central characteristic of Italian life. Children have great respect for their older relatives. It is traditional to name the first male child after the grandfather and the first female child after the grandmother.
  • If kids live close to school, they can go home and have lunch with their families! Lunch at school might be pasta, meat with vegetables, a sandwich, or a salad with lots of ingredients. Families typically eat dinner later (7 to 8 pm), so kids end up staying up later, too!
  • Between lunch and dinner, kids often enjoy "merenda," which is an afternoon snack that translates to "something that is deserved." It is really a mini-meal that can include both savory and sweet foods. Examples of savory foods are a salami or mortadella sandwich, a slice of rustic bread rubbed with a cut, raw tomato, or "pizza bianca" (white pizza without tomato sauce). Types of sweet foods eaten during merenda are "gelato" (a lower-fat type of ice cream), any kind of cake, or biscotti dipped in warm milk.

That's Berry Funny

What do citrus fruits like to eat? 


That's Berry Funny

What do you get when you cross a brontosaurus with a lime? 

A dino-sour!

Lettuce Joke Around

What is a seagull's favorite herb? 


The Yolk's On You

How do you fix a broken tomato? 

Tomato paste!

The Yolk's On You

What did the butter say to the bread? 

"I'm on a roll!'

Lettuce Joke Around

Which cheese surrounds a medieval castle? 


That's Berry Funny

Why did the tomato blush? 

Because he saw the salad dressing!

The Yolk's On You

How do you get a mouse to smile? 

Say "Cheese!"

The Yolk's On You

"Knock, knock!

"Who’s there? 


"Noah who? 

"Noah herb named Basil?

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