Move Over Kozy Shack…

A few weeks ago my daughter discovered the classic children’s book The Poky Little Puppy. It’s been her number one choice for afternoon reading and bedtime story ever since. She never tires of hearing about the puppies heading roly-poly, pell-mell and tumble-bumble down the hill. She tisk-tisks when the fresh puppies get scolded by their mamma and is delighted when the poky puppy gets to eat up all the rice pudding and chocolate custard. But I’ll be honest with you, The Poky Little Puppy is beginning to get on my nerves. Seriously, the same book every night for weeks on end— I challenge you not to grow weary too! But she loves the story, so we read it again and again and again. Anyway, thanks to a certain little puppy I’ve been thinking about rice pudding lately.

In my mind there really is no middle ground when it comes to rice pudding, you either love it or you don’t. And the same goes for whether you prefer it with raisins or you think it’s at it’s best unadulterated. Personally I can’t think of a more soothing dessert than a bowl of rice pudding (without raisins) topped with a nice dollop of whipped cream. Mmmm…

In the past I’ve made rice pudding with brown rice and coconut milk, and while it wasn’t bad it certainly wasn’t the rice pudding you remember from childhood. But this recipe is. It’s rich and creamy and not overly sweet, really it’s near rice pudding perfection with one exception… it only makes a small quantity of rice pudding! Now perhaps in your house this isn’t an issue, but in mine things could get ugly pretty quickly if someone feels they haven’t gotten their fair share. Naturally my solution was to double the recipe which not only made enough to satisfy the crazies I live with, but also gave me enough to share with my visiting parents. Happiness reigned! Oh and that night my mother got the pleasure of reading The Poky Little Puppy to her granddaughter before bed. It was a win-win situation all around…

Classic Arborio Rice Pudding
When it comes to rice pudding my family is a bunch of purists. In other words— no raisins, ever! But feel free to add them to yours if you wish. 

1 cup water
a pinch salt
1/2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup Arborio rice
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
whipped cream, for topping

  1. Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, return to a boil, cover and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has absorbed most of the water but it still al dente, about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile bring the milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the warm milk mixture to the cooked rice and continue to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the rice absorbs most of the milk and mixture starts to get thicken, about 15-18 minutes.
  3. Transfer the pudding to a serving dish. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface, and allow to cool until set. Serve warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of whipped cream, or chill for a later date.

*adapted from the food network

Homemade Whipped Cream
It’s so easy to make your own whipped cream it’s really not worth wasting your time (and money) buying it.

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Put all the ingredients in a medium high-sided bowl. With a hand mixer on low, whip cream until it begins to firm up. Slowly increase speed to high and beat until the whipped cream holds it’s shape when you lift out the beaters. Use immediately and enjoy!

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