Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cozy Rice Pudding

Leftover rice can be made into so many different “second round” dishes.  I love putting it in soup, stir fry, and also – rice pudding!

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I looked up a basic recipe from America’s Test Kitchen:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2.5 cups milk (whole milk is best)
  • 2.5 cups half and half
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Bring water to a boil in large saucepan.  Stir in rice and salt, cover and simmer on low heat stirring once or twice until the water is almost fully absorbed (15-20 mins).

Stir in the milk, half and half, and sugar.  Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain the simmer.  Cook, uncovered and stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken (30 mins). Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking or burning. Pudding should continue to thicken (15 mins).

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, raisins and cinnamon.  Serve and enjoy.

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Thin to thick!  It takes a while, but is totally worth the wait!

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Now – the big switch that I made was using sweetened condensed milk instead of the half and half (sometimes you’ve got to be resourceful!).  Because of how sweet the condensed milk is, I shorted the sugar by at least half.

I also added a bit of almond extract at the end and topped with peaches.  Oh so cozy and delicious!

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Double Duty

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It almost felt like Fall to me this weekend as I was peeling, chopping, and roasting my root vegetables and squash.

I used 2 different kinds of squash, carrots, and parsnips for my weekend cooking, and it was so easy and delish!

The chopping really took the longest; everything else was a snap.  Once I had all the veggies cut into even pieces, I roasted them in the oven with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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Once cooked through and just a bit caramelized, I took half of the veggies and dumped them into my blender with enough stock (chicken or vegetable works) to get a even blend.

Then I poured the blend into a soup pot, and continued to heat through, adding a bit of ginger, honey, and additional stock until consistency was to my liking.  Additional options would have been to add cream, nutmeg, or a bit of hot sauce (depending on your preference).

Grill up a cheese sandwich and I’m ready to go!

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For the rest of my veggies, I kept them as a separate side dish to snack on throughout the week.  That’s what I call a two for one deal!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bouquet of Cupcakes!

If you’re a cupcake fan, you have to check out this video!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pad Thai

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An avid food lover, I’m often drawn to ethnic cuisines such as Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, and African foods.  I recently tried out a place called Pad Thai and it required a highlight!

They have tons of great options (including fabulous looking sushi!), but I decided to try out their award-winning Pad Thai and it was well worth it.  The flavors were amazing and I’ve been craving it every day since!

If you’re in the Cincinnati area, check it out!

Pad Thai: 11928 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45249

Monday, August 1, 2011

Italian Night

I was inspired watching the latest Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” in Naples and decided to make some Italian food for dinner.

PREP: roast red pepper.  boil water for noodles.

The first dish started as all good Italian dished do – with garlic.  To be specific, I began with a couple grated garlic cloves melting into virgin olive oil and butter for the foundation.

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Meanwhile, I had a red pepper in the oven on broil that was just about done.  I added spinach, the roasted red pepper, and fire-roasted diced tomatoes into the pan with a little salt, pepper, oregano, and crushed red pepper to season.

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Once my spaghetti noodles were cooked al dente, I tossed them into the pan and sprinkled with parmesan cheese to finish.

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Magnificent!

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Since the man is more basic in his love of Italian, I made him a homemade pizza fresh off a stone oven pan (love this pan).

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It’s Italian fest in our house tonight!