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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cravings ... and change!

Lately I have been craving rice pudding.  The problem:  I want something that tastes like what great grandma made.  I was blessed to have had my great grandmother in my life until I was 25.  She's the one that gave me my love of baking.  Every holiday I would be in the kitchen baking with her.  She would show me how to make whatever sweet we were making.  I treasure those memories, but the problem with memories is that they are not always reliable.  What is also unreliable is great grandma's recipes.  *laughs*  How many of you went looking for that remembered, treasured recipe that you want to make????  Well I did and I happen to have all of her "sweets" recipes as she called them.  And how many of you have pulled out one of those recipes and realized that something's missing?  OK on her recipes she left out MAJOR parts.  I understand the why, because I do the same thing sometimes.  But NOW what can I do.  As I said, the memory is not always reliable.  Unfortunately the recipe I'm looking at only contains ingredients.  And I mean ONLY ingredients.  Instructions I could probably figure out BUT not amounts of each ingredient.  I love you grandma BUT  now off to find a recipe and hope that I can get it or that it is close to great grandma's because THAT is what I'm craving.


Then there is a another small problem.  I want something different.  How is that possible? It just is.  When you taste something, at the base I want it to be grandma's but want it different enough to make it mine.  What is different enough to make it mine?  Cinnamon!!!  I LOVE cinnamon.  I will put it in everything I can put it in.  The result of the old, which is VERY close to great grandmas recipe, and the different which makes it mine is this:  
Cinnamon Chocolate Rice Pudding Recipe
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis: 
Chocolate Rice Pudding
Ingredients
5 Cups Whole Milk
2/3 Cup Arborio Rice
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoons Orange Zest 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Cinnamon Chocolate Chips



In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the milk, rice, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla extract. 
Bring the milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. 
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens, about 35 to 40 minutes. 
Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and the cinnamon chocolate chips and stir until melted. 
Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Spoon the rice pudding into serving bowls. Cover and refrigerate for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and up to 1 day ahead.


I love the taste of almonds and chocolate, so I think the next time I make this I'm going to try using 2 1/2 cups of whole milk and 2 1/2 cups of dark chocolate almond milk.  Will add some richness to the chocolate flavor.  
You can also just take it off the burner, omit the chocolate and you have regular rice pudding.  Take the recipe and make it your own!  Remember the BEST ingredient is YOU! Enjoy!!!!!