Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Ever since I got back from Portugal I’ve been in an international state of mind. It’s still pretty cold in Philly and I wanted something hot and sweet. I decided to toy with the idea of making a rice pudding and found a Mexican recipe for arroz con leche. Luckily, I had most of the ingredients in my fridge and although it was a lengthy cooking time, it was very easy to make. Also its funny how many cultures eat similar variations of rice pudding – North Indians make a twist on this called Kheer with cardamom. (Had to toss that tip out there since Jess is obsessed with cardamom these days, did you try her cookies?)

  • 1 tsp almond extract (my 1st batch I definitely put too much-yikes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white, long grain rice
  • so the recipe said 7 cups of water I did like 3 cups I don’t get why you need 7 but just letting you guys know.
  • 1 handful of raisins (optional)
  • 1 handful of slivered almonds (optional)
  • 1 14 oz can of sweet condensed milk
  • 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Put the water, rice, and cinnamon in a medium-size heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and cook until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Strain out the excess liquid and reserve the rice. Return the rice to the saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk (Along with the extracts I added to the original recipe, this is also where you could add the cardamom seeds-remove from pods) . Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick, about 20 minutes. Add the raisins & almonds and stir well. Transfer the pudding to a serving bowl. Dust the top of the pudding with ground cinnamon to look pretty and serve!

FYI: this recipe is GLUTEN-free, Vegetarian, and serves 4-5 people.

Happy Eating, XO.

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Foodie Fav: Cinnamon Twists

Valentine’s Day is coming up (don’t act like you forgot gentlemen) and while flowers are really nice, we’re pretty sure your girl wants some sweets too. Cue these super easy and super cute cinnamon twists from Lil Luna. So easy, even a man can make them. (Yes, we went there.) Throw them in a Ball jar to make them gift worthy and you’re as good as gold. Ok, maybe not gold. You should probably go get her that gold necklace as well, just to be safe.

  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Roll out the crescent rolls so they make four rectangles (as opposed to the triangles they want to be), pressing the inner edges together to bind them. Mix your sugar and cinnamon together and set aside. Brush 3/4 of your melted butter on to two of the rectangles, and sprinkle with 3/4 of the sugar mixture. Take the two un-buttered rectangles and lay them on top of the sugar coated ones, pressing the edges to seal them.

Cut both rectangles in to six strips (I found a pizza cutter is the easiest way to do this). Brush on the remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Lil Luna suggests baking them for 8-10 minutes but I found that mine actually took around 20 to get a nice golden brown. I was able to try a bite of them at the party and they really are heavenly!

Cinnamon Twists

 

Happy Eating, XO.

Tricked Out Toast

We always like to keep things interesting and fresh, and toast is no exception. No longer will we settle for just butter or jelly! Here’s just one version of making toast a little more exciting (and filling!). If you have any other interesting toast toppings you use, let’s hear about it!

  • 2 pieces of health nut bread (or whichever kind you choose)
  • 1/2 of a pear, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Dash of cinnamon

I’m sure you know the drill here – toast the bread, spread on the ricotta cheese, layer on the pear, drizzle the honey, and dash on the cinnamon. Viola! A delicious and filling breakfast.

Tricked out toast
Now Sonia claims she does toast better: mashed avocado, sea salt and a boiled egg. My sweet tooth thinks, I prevail. Team #trickedouttoast

Happy Eating, XO.

Apple Cider Donuts

For a couple of years now, it’s been a tradition to go to Beardsley Cider Mill and get their hot-out-of-the-oven, mouth-watering, earth-shattering apple cider donuts. But I couldn’t stand the thought of eating them only once a year.  I need them in my life like I need another pair of shoes – and I always need another pair of shoes. So I bought a donut pan (shout out to HomeGoods – $9.99!) and tried to recreate them myself. I’m now sharing them with you because trust me, you need them your life too.

And I’m sure Santa wouldn’t mind these with milk instead of cookies this year either.

Donut batter

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice

Sugar coating

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease your donut pan. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Once blended mix in the apple cider, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and butter. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake them for roughly 15 minutes or until golden brown. Just like a cake or cupcakes, when they feel spongy, they’re done.

While the donuts are baking, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon for the coating. Once the donuts are done and have had a chance to cool, very lightly brush on the butter and toss the donut in the coating. (Warning: do not use a ton of butter for the coating. It will make the donuts soggy.)

Apple cider donuts

Happy Eating, XO.

Apple Spice Cocktail

In the spirit of traditions, every Thanksgiving I make a new “signature” cocktail to kick off the meal. I don’t have an ounce of “mixology” in my body, so I take to Pinterest for inspiration. Last year I made Lauren Conrad’s Pilgram Punch (which was dangerously good). This year I made an apple spice recipe from Love and Lemons and it was delicious! I made a few tweaks based on ingredients I already had (waste not, want not) and let me tell you, it went down nice and easy. This is an easy drink to make for all of those upcoming holiday parties.

*Disclaimer – the “base” for this drink needs time to steep and chill, so be sure to make it the night before.

  • 18 ounces apple cider
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 star anise pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 18 ounces Stoli Premium Vodka
  • 6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
  • crushed ice
  • 12 oz. bottle of sparkling water (optional)
  • 1 red apple, sliced for garnish (they are sooo good to eat after you’ve finished the drink)

In a small saucepan simmer the apple juice with the cinnamon sticks and star anise. When it barely comes to a boil, remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes, then chill for a couple of hours (or overnight).

When your’e ready to start making cocktails, remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise and set aside for garnish.In a cocktail shaker, shake the spiced apple juice, vodka, lemon, and ice together (work in batches if you need to).

Pour into glasses, add a splash of sparking water, and garnish with apple slices, cinnamon sticks and star anise pods.

apple spice cocktail

Happy Eating Drinking, XO.