Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brown Rice Pudding

I've been making a few rice puddings, but this is the first one that came out the way I wanted to eat it.  I know it doesn't really seem like a rice pudding (if you want it to be thick and more pudding-y, use some sort of glutinous rice like sushi rice as a replacement in this recipe - that works really well for super thick rice puddings). This recipe is actually sort of soupy.

Stacey's Brown Rice Pudding Ingredients:
1/2c short grain brown rice, organic
2c whole milk, organic
1c water
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp salt
1/4c peanuts (optional)
1/4c golden raisins (optional)

4-qt stockpot with tight fitting lid

Put all the ingredients except for the peanuts and raisins into the stockpot and bring it to a boil with the lid off.  Once it comes to a boil, put the lid on and let it simmer over low heat for 50 minutes.  If you're going to put in the raisins and peanuts, you can do it now.  Put the lid back on and continue to let simmer another 10 minutes.

I think I'd prefer it without the peanuts, but you might like it.  Slivered almonds would probably be good too.


Monday, January 9, 2012

The New Adventures: Meet Mo the Mannequin

So, if you saw my last silly post, you'd know that I've given up using copyrighted, non-licenseable characters.  Here is one of the new characters I'll be using until my custom action figure from thatsmyface.com arrives in the mail. I hope to one day make these into children's books, so if you have any suggestions or feedback, lay it on me. :) I hope you enjoy this. And if you have kids, maybe they have feedback too?

Also, this "reads" better if you click on the first image and view it via the picassa image viewer, because then it's like every photo gets its own page and it feels more like a picture book. 






















































The end




Director's commentary: This wasn't actually what I had planned, but my reaction was pretty similar to Manny's when I dropped my little horsie and the tail fell off.  :) And props to the boyfriend for coming up with the idea for "the end."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chocolate Drizzled Potato Chips

I made these the first time where I completely coated the chips, like I'd seen them do in some chocolate shops.  I really felt like it was too much chocolate so that I couldn't enjoy the chips.  And I really love chips almost more than chocolate.  I know, I know, calm down. Anyway, so I felt this was a much better way of enjoying both.

Stacey's Chocolate Drizzled Potato Chip Ingredients:
1 bag Sea Salt Kettle Chips (not the giant bag, and not the snack bag - the regular bag?)
Mix of Milk and Dark Guittard Chocolate couverture

I just tempered about maybe 12 ounces of chocolate to do this and also dip some TJ's jo-jos for a party I went to.  I spread the chips out evenly on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap and then using a fork, I drizzled the tempered chocolate over the chips.  After the chocolate on the chips cooled for a bit and hardened (maybe 5-10 minutes), I turned the chips over and drizzled the other side.


I liked this version much better than the chocolate dipped chips.  These had the right ratio of sweet : salty and chocolate : chip.  Seemed like it was a hit at the party too.  :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Caramel Popcorn

This is a modification of a recipe I found on allrecipes.com for My Amish Friend's Caramel Corn.

Stacey's Caramel Popcorn Ingredients:
5-6 quarts plain popped popcorn, organic
2 tbs sunflower oil, organic (for popping)
1-2 tsp salt

2 cups dry roasted almonds, local (optional)
1 cup dark brown sugar, organic, loose and unpacked
1 cup white sugar, organic
1/3 cup light corn syrup, organic
6 tbs butter, organic
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

First I popped the popcorn in my Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper (which I love for popping popcorn). It took 2 batches to make all the popcorn and I used 1 tablespoon of oil for each batch. Probably 1/3-1/2c of kernels for each round.  Just enough so that 80-90% of the bottom of the pot is covered with kernels with no overlap. Overfilling is bad.

Then I preheated the oven to 275F and spread the popcorn and the nuts in a jelly roll pan and a 9x13 metal cake pan lined with foil.  I really wish I had a roasting pan.  It would have been awesome. Instead I fought to not make a giant mess when I had to stir in the caramel. :)

Next, I put the sugars, corn syrup, butter and vanilla paste in a pot and cooked it until it was boiling and I didn't see anymore sugar granules.  I removed it from heat and then added the baking soda and stirred to combine.  Then I poured half of the mixture over each portion of popcorn and stirred as well as I could with a heat-safe rubber spatula. 

I put both trays in the oven and then stirred them every 10-15 minutes for about 35 minutes so that they got an even coat.  Then I took them out of the oven and let them cool. 


My friends really liked it.  "I want the recipe!" demanded my friend Helen.  So, here. :) 

Happy New Year!