Rice Pudding


I've been making rice pudding for Christmas for the last few years.  I like that it is simple and can be made ahead of time.  I have a couple of recipes I like, this is just one of them. I like using arborio rice for rice pudding, though this recipe calls for regular white rice.  Sometimes I like to eat it warm.  This recipe folds in whipped cream, which is yummy, but I don't think is traditional if you want to make what your ancestors made.  Our ancestors had rice pudding with less fat and sugar, and is good, just different.I like to add almond extract as well, or sometimes I do cinnamon....there are lots of variations.

Rice Pudding


8 cups of milk (taste better if it has more fat in it, but still okay with less fat)
4 cups of COOKED medium grain rice (I have used long grain and been fine.)
3-4 cups sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract


Add milk, rice, sugar and salt into a large pan and mix together.  Into a separate bowl, crack the 2 eggs and mix well.*

Cook rice mixture on medium heat for 45 mins to an hour, stirring often.  Mixture should thicken.  Take pan off heat and let cool down a bit.  Then slowly the warm rice pudding mixture to the eggs, one tablespoon at time, until you have equal parts rice pudding to egg ratio, if you haven't already added the eggs. Slowly incorporate the egg picture into the rice pudding in the pot. 

Cook the rice on medium heat again, bringing it to a boil, stirring constantly.  When it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and pour rice pudding into a glass container.  Cover with saran wrap, or a lid and refrigerate for 6-24 hours. 

Whip up 4 cups of whipping cream with extract.  Mix the whipped cream with the rice pudding until it is fully enveloped.  Keep pudding refrigerated until ready to serve.  Last for about a week in fridge. 


*I often add the eggs at the beginning, and cook the eggs with the milk and rice and don't have any problems.  However, most recipes choose to add the eggs later on, but I find it more time consuming and haven't noticed a quality difference, though to be honest, I haven't made it both ways back to back, so maybe I would notice if I did. 

Tacos de Rajas de Poblanos and Cooked Red Salsa tacos


My title might be off, but I think that is what my friend said when she made these for us.  These are easy and simple and pretty yummy.  Rees & I both really enjoy the combination of corn and poblanos together.


Corn tortillas, heated
4 oz of cream cheese, in cubes
3-4 Poblanos
1 zuchinni, diced (optional)
1 cup Frozen or fresh corn
Salt & pepper to taste


Roast the peppers or char on the stove top then peal the skin.  There should be some black spots around the pepper before you take them out of the oven.  (i really prefer to do this in advance so the peppers can really cool down before I try to peel the skin off)  Slice the peppers. Saute peppers, corn in a pan with a little bit of oil.  Add cream cheese and stir until the cream cheese has melted and mixed with veggies.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture inside a tortilla and eat like a taco.

*note: sometimes I like to add a small amount of oregano or cumin for a change and we like that too.

My friend Lilia also made a red salsa to serve in tortillas.  These were good too.

Cooked Red Salsa Tacos


1 pound fresh tomatoes, whole
1 serrano pepper, whole
1 clove of garlic
1/2- 1 cup queso fresco, cubed

Refried beans


Boil a few red tomatoes with 1 serrano pepper and 1 clove of garlic, strain from water but save water in case you need to thin out sauce.  Puree it in a blender, salt to taste.  Add more water if you think it is too thick.

Put mixture into a pan and add cubed queso fresco.  Cook on med-low until everything is heated.  The cheese doesn't need to melt.  Spoon refried beans into tortilla along with some red salsa and fold like a taco.  Enjoy.

Mini Cheesecakes with Raspberries


A friend has made these for me a couple of times now and has mentioned how easy they are for large groups.  I like the sound of that.  I think they are yummy.  She has made them as individual cute little mini cheesecakes, and she made them in one large pan and cut them into squares.  Both worked great, one is 'cuter' and the other way faster.  You choose what works best for you. I want to make these for a sister I visit teach and if I do, I'll try to get a picture so you can see what they look like.

Mini Cheesecakes with Raspberries

    For the crust:
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 ounces crème fraîche
  • 2/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
    For the raspberry sauce (optional - save time and use raspberry jam instead)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 12 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed 
  • fresh raspberries, for garnish
  1. To make the crust, line 10-12 muffin tins with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in melted butter. Divide the graham cracker mixture among the prepared muffin tins. Press mixture into each well forming a small cup. Place in freezer to chill while preparing filling.
  2. To prepare filling, in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to another bowl and set aside. Return mixer bowl to mixer, switch to paddle attachment and beat the cream cheese, crème fraîche, and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until combined. Gently fold whipped cream into the cream-cheese mixture until combined. Spoon filling into crusts and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. While the cheesecakes are chilling, prepare the raspberry sauce if using.  If using premade raspberry jam, skip to step 4.. In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, sugar and water. Add the raspberries and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture boils. Once boiling, cook and stir for one additional minute. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl to remove seeds. Cool to room temperature or chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. Remove cheesecakes from muffin tin by gently pulling up on the plastic wrap. Remove from plastic and drizzle with raspberry sauce. Garnish with fresh raspberries, as desired.  I would saw 1 raspberry per tart.

Tropical Coconut Cake with Mango Sauce

My friend made this cake for a gathering and I thought it was so yummy and requested the recipe.  Hope you enjoy it too! It is a semi-homemade recipe. 

Tropical Coconut Cake with Mango Sauce

1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 pkg unflavored gelatin
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Puree mango and lime juice in blender until smooth.  Set aside.  Heat over to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans.  In large bowl, beat cake mix, oranges, butter, oil and eggs; pour into prepared pans.  Bake 27-32 min.  Remove cakes from pans and cool on wire rack.  While warm, poke holes in top with wooden skewer; brush with pineapple juice.  In medium bowl, whip cream (if want it sweeter, add sugar and vanilla to taste); stir in gelatin and pineapple.  Place one cake layer on platter; spread with cream mixture.  Top with second layer; frost sides and top.  Cover all with coconut.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before eating.  Serve with mango sauce.

Note per my friend: I would recommend doubling the mango sauce (eg: 2 mangos & 4 tsp lime juice) to serve with the cake.

Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta


Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta - Orzo Pasta and fresh Asparagus tossed in a garlic butter sauce and parmesan cheese.  It's a 20-minute, garlicky and cheesy pasta dinner! Get the recipe on diethood.com
photo cred: www.diethood.com
Though a bit rich and slightly on the heavy side, this was good. I think I'd serve it as a side, however, and not a main dish, simply because of the comments above. Oh, I also added mushrooms just do give it something more.

Garlic Butter Asparagus Pasta

1 c dry orzo
1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into inch pieces (or longer, but my girls eat it better if it's cut)
mushrooms, sliced (I never measure these, but just throw a bunch in)
4 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c parmesan
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp fresh parsley
s&p, to taste
shredded parm for garnish

Prepare orzo according to the directions on the package. Add the asparagus tips to the orzo the last 2 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and drain.

Add butter to a skillet and melt over medium heat. Stir in garlic and mushrooms and cook 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently, careful not to burn or the garlic will become bitter.

Add orzo and asparagus to the skillet; stir in cheese, milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat, garnish with parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetite!

Garlic Shrimp and Sundried Tomatoes with Pasta and Sauce


shrimp pasta, seafood pasta, Italian pasta recipe, shrimp recipes
photo cred: juliasalbum.com 
We had this last week and it was easy to gobble up. I did make a change, and that was to run the sun-dried tomatoes through a food processor, because I'm not a fan of the texture when they are in big chunks, and that solved the problem. 

Garlic Shrimp and Sun-dried Tomatoes with Pasta and Sauce

1/2 lb shrimp
4 oz sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c milk
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 c parmesan cheese
8 oz pasta, I used angel hair, the original recipe called for fettuccine

In a large skillet, saute minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in oil (I used the oil from the tomatoes) for one minute until garlic is fragrant.

Add shrimp, sprinkle with salt, paprika, and cook on medium heat for about 2 more minutes.

Add milk, basil, and crushed red pepper to the skillet, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Whisk in the parmesan cheese to melt, and turn to lowest heat until completely melted. Remove the sauce from heat, add more salt, basil and crushed red pepper if desired.

Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse. Add pasta to the sauce and mix together.

Bon Appetite!

Brazilian Shrimp Soup


photo cred: www.jocooks.com 
We had this last month some time and we all enjoyed it. Unfortunately since I didn't post this right away I can't remember if there was anything we wished different. It was really easy to quick to make.

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c long grain rice
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
4 c water
1 c canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and cut into inch pieces
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 c chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot heat the olive oil over low heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and cook stirring occasionally until the onion and pepper are soft.

Add the rice, red pepper flakes, salt, tomatoes and water to the pot and bring to boil. Cook until the rice is almost done, about 10 minutes.

Stir the coconut milk into the soup. Bring to a simmer and then stir in the shrimp. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just done, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the black pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.

Bon Appetite!

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado Salad


photo cred: greenvalleykitchen.com 
Made this last week. I enjoyed it, and Josh ate the rest of the bowl full, so the girls never got to try it...so it's safe to say he liked it as well. It's a quick, yummy and fresh salad.

Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado Salad

1 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded then cubed
1 avocado, cubed
4 oz feta cheese
2 tbsp minced red onion
2 tbsp minced parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
s&p to taste

Throw together the tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red onion, and parsley in a bowl and mix. 

Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and black pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently.

Bon Appetite!

Raspberry Coconut Tart


Raspberry Coconut Tart
I made this for Thanksgiving. We really enjoyed it, I just wish I had a tart pan for it. It was yummy, tart, and pretty simple to make, though it is a bit time consuming. Anything with coconut pretty much makes me happy. Mine came out a dark vibrant red, and not mauve like this one. I'm curious why.

Raspberry Coconut Tart

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
9 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c shredded sweetened coconut

Fresh Raspberry Coconut Filling
3 c fresh raspberries
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 c shredded sweetened coconut
2 tbsp water
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, into small cubes
Additional raspberries, lemon peel curls, and powdered sugar for garnish

For the crust, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture looks like small pebbles and there are no pieces of butter larger than the size of a pea.

Add the egg a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Once all the egg has been added, process until the dough forms large clumps. Turn the dough into your tart pan (I used a pie pan since that's what I have) and use your fingers to press it into an even layer all over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (I use the bottom of a measuring cup to press this down). You can run a rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough.

Place the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 375 F. Pierce the dough all over with a fork, then cover the crust with aluminum foil, pressing the foil tightly against the crust and covering the sides. 

Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Carefully remove the foil and return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wired rack and allow to cool completely. 

For the filling, combine raspberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, about 5 minutes, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to thicken. 

Remove mixture from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Plae in a food processor or blender, process until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Return mixture to pan. 

Whisk together egg yolks, coconut and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into raspberry mixture; bring to a boil over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes. 

Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Place curd into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. 

Chill curd in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

To assemble tart, spoon filling into cooled tart shell and spread into an even layer with spatula. Arrange additional raspberries over filling and garnish with lemon peel curls. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.

Bon Appetite!

Raspberry Chocolate Cups


I made these for our Christmas birthday dessert for baby Jesus, and we all really enjoyed them. I need to have a reason to make some more soon. They are also really easy to make!

Raspberry Chocolate Cups
Makes 6 muffin cup servings

Chocolate Cups
7 oz dark chocolate (55-70% cocoa)
6 aluminum muffin cups (refer to note at bottom)

Raspberry Puree
5 oz fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar

Chocolate Raspberry Filling
7 oz dark chocolate (55-70% cocoa)
1 1/4 cup whipping cream, cold
Raspberry puree

Fresh Raspberries
Powdered Sugar

Prepare the chocolate cups. For tempering the chocolate divide the chocolate into 2 parts, 5.5 oz and 1.5 oz. Place the 5.5 oz chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over simmering water. Heat the chocolate until a thermometer reads 105-115 degrees F, then take the bowl out of the simmering water. Add the 1.5 oz chocolate into the melted chocolate and stir until smooth.

Fill each cup a little less than half with chocolate and rotate to coat all sides of the cup with quite a thick layer of chocolate. Pour the excess chocolate back into the bowl. Scrape the top edges and place them upside down on parchment paper until you prepare the rest of cups. If necessary melt the remaining chocolate again over simmering water, if too stiff.

Scrape the top edges again if necessary and refrigerate the cups for at least 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Cups can be prepared a few days in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to be filled.

Prepare the raspberry puree. Place raspberries and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-10 minute and remove from heat. Sieve to remove the seeds. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the chocolate raspberry filling. Place chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt over simmering water. Add raspberry puree and stir to combine.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the cream into chocolate mixture until incorporate. Fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining whipped cream. 

Assemble the cups. Make a small cut at the end of each mold if necessary, and tear them off to reveal the chocolate cups. Fill the cups with raspberry chocolate filling. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set. 

Before serving, top each cup with fresh raspberries and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Note: I had the cupcake aluminium liners on hand, so I used those, but they are flimsy. They worked, but it would definitely be easier to use the Durable aluminum cups

AND...for those who enjoy watching a How-to, you can view it HERE.

Bon Appetite! 

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