pumpkin rice pudding

Pumpkin Rice Pudding | daisysworld.net

I have been a big fan of rice pudding since I discovered it at Rice to Riches, in New York City. Sweet and creamy,  it is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I love its versatility since it may be eaten warm, right out of the pan, or cold, after chilling in the fridge for an hour or so. Rice pudding makes a wonderful dessert, afternoon snack, or as a delicious alternate to oatmeal in the mornings. It is also easy to customize with a variety of spices and other flavorings. (For inspiration, check out the Rice to Riches website as they offer over 30 flavors!) Rice pudding is cooked in one of three ways: on the stove, in the oven, or in a crockpot. I prefer to cook mine on the stovetop because it is ready in about 30 minutes and has a softer and creamier consistency. Continue reading

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orange mocha mousse

Orange Mocha Mousse

Brint: You know what would help you sort through these important issues? 

Derek: What?

Ridiculously Good-Looking Male Models, in unison: ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCINO!!!

– quote from Zoolander, one of my favorite movies

Ok, so this isn’t a frappucino, because who needs the brain freeze in this weather? But, maybe Derek, Brint, and the rest of the ridicously good-looking male models were on to something. If you’re pondering a big decision or are conflicted about something, don’t you think having an orange mocha treat would help you think more clearly?  Well, I think this Orange Mocha Mousse definitely would.  Not only because of the yummy combination of flavors, but did I tell you there’s also booze in here?  Well, just a couple of tablespoons of orange liqueur, but  you’re making it, so nobody will know if your hand slips while pouring the booze in and you “accidentally” put more in than the recipe calls for.

Anyway….on to the ridiculously delicious-tasting mousse!

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vanilla bean custard with roasted berries

Vanilla  Bean Custard with Roasted Berries

Every cook should have a homemade custard recipe in his or her repertoire.  It is the base for so many desserts and yet, is fairly simple to master.  The key is to temper the eggs with the milk so you don’t end up with bits of scrambled eggs.

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meyer lemon pudding with chantilly cream, raspberries, and pistachios

Meyer Lemon Pudding

Are you looking for a light and refreshing dessert, perhaps for Easter brunch or a springtime garden party? Why not serve this Lemon Pudding in pretty little cups or goblets? Dress them up with some lightly sweetened cream, raspberries, and a sprinkling of pistachios and you’ve got a simple, yet beautiful treat that can be made ahead of time. The bright meyer lemon flavor is just right, slightly tart and not very sweet. I love raspberries and lemon together, not only for their delicious flavors, but also for their striking color combination. It is a pairing that definitely screams spring!

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meyer lemons: mini-lemon and vanilla cream parfaits

Mini Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Cream Parfaits

Starting today, and throughout the coming week, I will be featuring my organic, home-grown meyer lemons in various recipes. I’ve just harvested about 20 lemons today and there are probably another twenty ripe ones on my little tree that I will juice and freeze to use in the next couple of months.

When I think of lemons, the first thing that comes to mind is lemon curd. I love slathering it on a scone or using it as a tart filling, but most of all, I love eating it straight out of its container, a spoonful at a time.  This particular recipe, from Spago Restaurant’s pastry chef, Sherry Yard, has been my go-to recipe for lemon curd for a while now.  It is from her first book, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts.  This lemon curd is a beautiful pale yellow in color with flecks of zest and has just the right amount of tartness.  It is the featured component of these Mini-Lemon and Vanilla Cream Parfaits, which also have layers of buttery graham crackers and vanilla bean whipped cream. Continue reading

mascarpone rice pudding with dried tart cherries

On one of my recent trips to New York City, I discovered Rice to Riches, a modern, Jetson-inspired store that serves only one thing – rice pudding.  The gourmet rice pudding at Rice to Riches comes in 21 designer flavors with whimsical names such as Fluent in French Toast, Cinnamon Sling, and Sex, Drugs, and Rocky Road. There are a variety of toppings to choose from – toasted buttery pound cake, espresso crumble, toasted coconut, and graham crackers, to name a few.  The bright, bold color scheme – orange, pink, yellow, and white – along with the irreverant slogans makes Rice to Riches a fun and kitcschy hangout.  The rice pudding is served in the coolest custom-made plastic containers with long curved spoons.  I loved those containers so much, I had to buy a pack of them.  They are cool, aren’t they?

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pumpkin bread pudding

pumpkin bread pudding
This bread pudding is so fantastic that I’ve decided to serve it at next month’s Thanksgiving Feast instead of pumpkin pie.  It is such an easy and quick dish to make, yet so satisfying.  The rich, warm custard has just the right amount of spices and pumpkin flavor. Garnished with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, this is the perfect fall treat!

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