Friday, January 25, 2008

Rice Puddin'

I must admit, I used to love the smell of rice pudding only for its cinnamon sprinkled on top. Once I tasted it, I had an entirely different feeling about it. How could something that smelled so wonderful taste so awful?

Over time, though, I grew to LOVE rice pudding. I go through phases where I will eat an entire container in 2 days. Once I decided to try making my own, I started with the basics. And that's where I've stayed. :)

This version is super simple, but time consuming. It basically involves letting rice, milk & sugar simmer on the stove for over an hour. I never exactly time how long it takes (one of my worst tendencies when it comes to cooking), rather I watch it until the milk is mostly soaked up. It will thicken a little more once you take if off the heat, but you should get it close to the consistency you desire before you remove it from the stove.

I would love to hear if anyone has any variations. Most of the recipes I see just vary in amount of each of the ingredients. Oh, I've forgotten to mention the biggest secret to my rice pudding...skim milk.

I know, I know, skim milk does not a rice pudding make. But it's all I ever have in the house, and honestly it thickens up pretty well. And it's a guilt-free dessert! So if you'd prefer a dessert that actually tastes good (just kidding!) feel free to use whatever milk you'd prefer.

Rice Pudding

1 3/4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tbsp sugar (more if you like it really sweet)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pour milk, rice, sugar, and vanilla into a saucepan on the stove. Mix together & begin heating on medium until the sides of the pot begin to bubble. Just before the mixture is going to boil, turn the heat down to low or medium-low (whatever keeps the pot at a low simmer) and keep an eye on the pot for the next hour, stirring occasionally.

Add cinnamon either a few minutes before you take the mixture off the heat, or sprinkle it on top to serve.

Serves 2 (or just one if you're me!)

I actually accidentally ate most of this hot off the stove. Many people eat it warm, and it does taste good this way. I prefer it cold, but I find that I can rarely wait that long. You really just need to be patient & keep an eye on the pot. Oh, I will mention though that at some point during the process I walked away from the stove for a while & came back to a nice thick skin on the top of the I skimmed it off, threw it out, and continued cooking. I know, gross, but just remember, little mistakes often don't have that much of an impact.

Hope you enjoy!

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