Old School Rice Pudding

The photos can’t possibly do this rice pudding justice, but it’s the best I’ve ever made!  I highly recommend making this at least 6-12 hours before you are serving it, preferably a day ahead of time.  When it’s fully chilled, the flavor really deepens and becomes perfectly sweet and creamy.  Just believe me!  I use homemade vanilla and I doubled the amount of vanilla I added.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3cup medium grain rice or 34 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1cups water
  • 1teaspoon salt (heaping)
  • 4 cups whole milk (I use 2%)
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • whip cream (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring rice, water and salt to a boil over med-high heat.
  2. Simmer covered until water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes).
  3. Stir in milk and sugar and cook uncovered over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently–especially towards the end of cooking.
  4. The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge-like consistency.
  5. DO NOT OVERCOOK or the pudding will be solid instead of creamy once cooled.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  7. Pour into a bowl or cups. (I use ramekins for a nice portion).
  8. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the top if you like.
  9. COVER with plastic wrap directly on surface “IF” you don’t want a skin.
  10. CHILL approx. 6 hours or more, preferably overnight for best flavor.  Serve with whip cream if desired.

Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells

This is really good.  It smells like an Italian restaurant.  If you need to reduce the calories or fat, just substitute part skim ricotta instead of whole fat ricotta.  It’s creamy and wonderful.  Don’t skip the broiler step as it slightly chars the shredded mozzarella topping and gives it a great flavor!  Next time, I’d chop some fresh parsley on top.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells (about half a 12-ounce box)
  • One  24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • Two  15-ounce containers ricotta
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Set an oven rack to the highest position and heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  3. Spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of a large broiler-proof baking dish.
  4. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the shells and place them on top of the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle the shells with the mozzarella and bake until heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until cheese begins to brown, 2 to 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with the salad, if desired.

NOTE: If you want to sneak in an extra helping of green vegetables into this dish, chop up cooked green beans, broccoli, or asparagus and fold it into the ricotta mixture along with the spinach.  

Food.com’s Honey BBQ Chicken Wings

 

I will never lose this recipe.  It makes perfect honey BBQ chicken wings.  They are to die for.  It’s a perfect sauce and just enough sweet and savory flavors.  I won’t try another chicken wing recipe!  Just make them and you’ll see for  yourself! 🙂

For anyone sensitive to spicy foods or who has an I.C. bladder like me, I omitted the cayenne and hot sauce and it turned out just perfect!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 18 chicken wings, that have tips discarded, and have been split into two parts: the drumette and the wingette.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1teaspoon sugar
  • 1teaspoon paprika
  • 1teaspoon black pepper
  • 1teaspoon cayenne
  • cooking spray

    SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, preferably Hickory Smoke Flavor
  • 1cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Season the wings with the salt, garlic, pepper, cayenne, sugar, and paprika.
  3. Spray a cookie sheet with a generous spray of cooking spray.
  4. Place the wings in a single layer on the cookie sheet, and place in the oven.
  5. Cook for 35-40 minutes, depending on the size of the wings, turning once.
  6. While they are baking, make the sauce by slowly simmering the sauce ingredients over the lowest heat.
  7. When the wings are done baking, carefully dip them in the sauce, and place them back in the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.
  8. ENJOY!

 

Eggless Banana (Orange Or Apple) Nut Muffins

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

These are tried and true banana orange nut muffins.  I’ve been making them OVER 15 YEARS so that says something!   This is a recipe from Rosemarie Emro’s cookbook “Bakin’ Without Eggs”.  This cookbook is sometimes hit or miss for me but it has produced some amazing eggless desserts (cookies and cheesecake, and waffles)!  

 

TIPS:

–Be sure to use quality plain peanuts, without added spices like onion, garlic, and flavoring.  Also, you can try a different nut like chopped cashews, etc.

–Use 100% quality orange juice, preferably not from concentrate.

–Use ripe bananas that are at the perfect mashable stage.  

–Use metal baking pans, avoid nonstick.  Yes they may cost more and are harder to find, but they will last forever and have better heat distribution.  Check Amazon.com or Williams-Sonoma.  

–Use muffin liners for the easiest cleanup ever!

 

INGREDIENTS:  (makes 12-15 muffins)

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1//4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup orange juice or apple juice
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup nuts , finely chopped (optional) <—We use plain peanuts here

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly butter a 12 compartment muffin tin – Or use muffin liners like I do, for the easiest cleanup ever.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir until dry ingredients are mixed.
  4. Stir in oil, orange juice (or apple juice), mashed bananas, and nuts (if using) until smooth. (You don’t need an electric mixer for this recipe).
  5. Spoon prepared muffin batter into muffin liners, filling half full.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned on top.  Check at 15 minutes with the toothpick test, if not done, add another 5 minutes, and re-check.
  7. Remove and let cool in pan on wire rack.

Easier Garlic Cheesy Flatbread

I have posted another garlic cheese flatbread before, which involved making your own dough.  While it’s tasty, that recipe does have a bit of waiting and work involved.  Tonight I tried the same theory but with refrigerated pizza crust.  It tasted just as good, if not better!  Hooray.  So here is the recipe that saves a lot of time!

OLD RECIPE:  If you want to see my previous recipe, with the homemade dough, click here.  It takes longer, but if you don’t have refrigerated pizza dough on hand, it’s a great recipe!

You will find the refrigerated pizza crust near where your grocer keeps refrigerated biscuits and crescent rolls.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 13.8 oz. refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted/softened
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup+ shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese (add as much as you want!)
  • OPTIONAL but great:  Any Italian spices you prefer: basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Prepare your 17″ x 11″ baking sheet pan by putting aluminum foil on the bottom of it.  Lightly spray with any cooking spray like PAM so your dough doesn’t stick.
  3. Remove refrigerated pizza dough from packaging.  Use a rolling pin to roll to a suitable size to fit into the  17″ x 11″ baking sheet pan, previously mentioned.
  4. Spread melted or softened butter on the top of the raw dough.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella/Italian blend cheese.  Add spices if desired.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown and cheesy looks bubbly (and happy).
  7. Cut into slices and serve! 🙂