Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lots of Snow Means Lots of Cooking

Hi all! In my neck of the woods we've received another decent snowstorm! Over the course of last night and this morning we got about a foot of snow. One way I tend to pass the time when it's snowy and I'm in the house for most of the day is by trying out new recipes. Today, I tried two - dinner and dessert.

For dinner I made a recipe I've had my eye on for a little while now. I found it over on one of my favorite blogs, No Meat Athlete. You can find the recipe in this post. Mac n' Chard made a really tasty and filling dinner tonight. Similar to the last pasta dish I made, this sauce includes ground nuts; it also incorporates cooked veggies and spices. Another plus is that this dish has a whole bunch of vitamin-rich chard in it. Obviously, this meal tasted nothing like your traditional mac n' cheese, but that's okay. It was really delicious in it's own right, and is a great new way to enjoy pasta. Especially on a cold snowy night, this really hits the comfort food spot.

Prior to making dinner, I put together some dessert. I made my first attempt at Rice Pudding. When I was looking through recipes for this, I couldn't find any that sounded "right" to me. They all seemed overly complicated. So I said to myself, why not just make a sweet risotto? And that's what I did. This came out really creamy and yummy, and according to Mark, it was pretty close to the real thing. I'm glad this recipe made 4 portions so I can enjoy it again tomorrow.

Rice Pudding
-3 cups plain rice milk
-3 cups vanilla almond milk
-1 tbsp Earth Balance
-1 cup arborio rice
-1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
-1/4 tsp cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
-1/2 tsp vanilla

-Combine the rice and almond milk in a small pot and warm over medium low heat.
-In a large pot, add the Earth Balance and put the heat on medium. Once it is melted, add the rice and stir to coat.
-Add a ladleful of milk to the rice in the large pot. The milk should just bubble, not too fast. Stir the rice and milk mixture very often. Once the milk is absorbed, add another ladleful. You will repeat this process until the rice is cooked and tender and you are out of milk. This should take around 30-40 minutes, but the important thing is that the rice is cooked; don't worry too much about sticking to a particular time.
-Approximately halfway through cooking, add the sugar and cinnamon and stir well.
-With your last ladleful of milk, add the vanilla and stir well.
-Once the rice pudding is done, spread it into a shallow dish to come to room temperature.
-Once cooled, scoop the rice pudding into individual dishes and top with a dash of cinnamon. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

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