I know. I know. Rice pudding? It”s not really something that gets people clambering up walls and banging on doors. When I was growing up rice pudding was our go-to when we had leftover rice hanging around. We”d heat it up with some sugar, milk and raisins mixed in. I always looked forward to it. I realize that, that rice pudding, although good, is nothing to write home about. Let me reassure you, this is not that rice pudding – this is post-worthy rice pudding. If rice pudding could be considered gourmet, this would be it.
I always love little flecks of vanilla seeds in white desserts and they make this pudding look like something special (or like dirt if you”re unfamiliar with vanilla beans). Since vanilla beans are so expensive I like to use them in recipes where they really shine. And, that”s just what they do in this recipe. The cream and vanilla give this such a creamy-dreamy-vanilla flavour and consistency. I love it warm but you can also serve it cold with a little bit of extra milk mixed in to get the consistency you like. It”s hard to describe just how delicious and comforting rice pudding can be, I guess you”ll just have to try it out for yourself to know what I”m talking about. ;)
P.S. If you don”t access to vanilla beans you can substitute it with 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding
1 cup arborio rice (or other short grain rice) 3 cups whole milk 1 cup heavy cream 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded 1/2 cup sugar
Place rice in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring just to a boil then strain in a fine mesh sieve, rinsing with cold water (this is to remove some of the starch). Place drained rice back in the saucepan along with milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until rice is cooked and mixture is thick and creamy (it will thicken more as it cools). Let cool slightly and serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold with a bit of milk stirred in to loosen the consistency.
My husband has often talked about a side dish of rice and beans that he had growing up in Bolivia. Of course he had no idea what was in it so I”ve never had much to go on. I”ve tried many recipes in an effort to recreate the dish but none of them were quite right.
Last week we were out of groceries, it was killer hot and I didn”t feel like running to the grocery store with both kids in tow. So, while the kids played outside I soaked up the sun and thought about what kind of meal I could make out of our pantry staples. It”s a tough job but somebody”s gotta do it. ;P
This was the recipe I came up with based on what we had on hand and what sounded good to me at the time. And you know what? I nailed it. I”m sure It”s not exactly the same as the original but my husband loved it and said it tasted just like he imagined. And now I know why he talked about it so much; it”s delicious in its simplicity. Forget all those involved recipes I tried before, simple is almost always best.
This is one of those recipes that tastes great served warm or at room temperature so it”s perfect for those lazy BBQ dinners. But, I also plan on serving it often alongside our favourite Mexican meals.
Mexican Rice with Beans
3.5 cups hot cooked rice
1 can black beans (1 cup)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies
1 cup tomato sauce, warmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Stir all ingredients together until evenly mixed and cheese is melted.
My sonny boy and I have not been feeling very good these days. We pace around the house sniffling and sneezing and saying, “Owie. Owie”. Well, that last part is only him, although I must admit that sometimes I’m tempted to chime in.
These hazy days make eating not so much fun and it has been a struggle for Max to get anything down his poor little swollen throat. So, I figured it was time for some warm and hearty soup.
This Ham and Rice Soup is comfort in a bowl. It’s creamy, chunky and satisfyingly delicious. A warm bowl of yummy goodness to soothe those aches and pains and gain some strength back. It’s definitely not low calorie, but that’s what you need to keep the meat on your bones. :) It’s also a great way to use up any leftover rice or ham that’s stored away in your fridge.
Creamy Ham and Rice Soup
6 Tbsp. butter
1 green onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1/3 cup flour
3.5 cups chicken broth (2- 14oz cans)
1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
2 cups leftover cooked rice
1 cup half and half cream
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium size saucepan cook green onions and carrots in butter to soften. Add flour and stir until thoroughly combined with butter.
Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 min.
Add ham, rice, cream, salt and pepper. Heat through, but do not bring to a boil.
* 3.5 cups water plus 2 bouillon cubes may be used in place of the chicken broth.
In other news, I have entered two of my recipes into the Foodista recipe contest. The winning recipes will be published in their upcoming cookbook. Voting is open until the end of March. To vote for me click on the icons at the top right of the page. And, if you have a recipe entered let me know, so I can vote for you!
What is your favourite food when you have the sniffles? Have a great weekend everyone!