Monday, March 7, 2011

Impromptu Rice Pudding

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved rice pudding. The texture. The taste. The way that it's good hot or cold. All of it. My mom used to make the Betty Crocker version from the old-school, big red cookbook. Mmmm. Good memories. It's not exactly the quickest recipe but, when I do make it, I usually end up eating it within a day or two. All of it. By myself. It's a good thing that it is a little labor- and time-intensive or I would make it much more often. I know that they sell prepackaged version at the grocery store but I love it so much that I can't buy it. I would eat way too much of it if it were that easy to replenish my stash.

Anyhoo, I had a little epiphany last night. I had rice left over from dinner and I got to thinking...could I pull off a quickie rice pudding if I mixed a bit of this with cinnamon and a little vanilla pudding? I always have Sugar Free Snack Pak puddings in the cabinet - vanilla for me and chocolate for Jason, of course - and cinnamon is a staple at our house, so I was in business. I mixed 1/2 a cup of rice (mine was medium grain so it was a little more tender than long grain rice), one vanilla pudding cup, a couple healthy shakes of cinnamon and a splash of skim milk to thin it out a bit as the sugar free puddings are lusciously thick. It was magic! I enjoyed it equally at room temperature last night and chilled this morning. Note: That means I actually exercised the restraint to save half of it just for the sake of trying it cold. Yes, I am that dedicated to my craft.

The moral of the story is this: If you ever find yourself with a few extra ingredients on hand, throw them in a bowl, add some cinnamon (my husband can tell you how many times I've added this spice to off-the-wall things "just to see if it works") and see what happens. You may just pleasantly surprise yourself. I certainly did.

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