Creamy Comfort Food – Vanilla Rice Pudding

The strangest thing is happening to me…..I’m becoming my parents!
Let me try to explain.

As a kid I HATED tomatoes!  I wanted NOTHING to do with them.  DISgusting! Today I made a HUGE bowl of homemade pico de gallo from the tomatoes we grew in our garden!

Mmm….mmm…..mmm!!!  I could have eaten the whole thing!

I made it JUST the way *I* like it.:

One BIG white onion, chopped fairly small
1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
4-6 cloves of garlic chopped super fine
1 jalapeno (SEEDED!) chopped super, super fine
 juice of two limes
salt and pepper
& LOTS OF chopped TOMATOES!!!!  

What an absolute TREAT!  Homemade salsa (or pico) is a treat by itself, but throw in home grown ‘maters and it’s an uber treat!

Well, based on that first paragraph you’re probably wondering if I’ve gone a little mental and forgotten the TITLE of this post! Don’t worry….I’m getting to that. :-)

So I HATED tomatoes as a girl…and I also HATED Rice Pudding!  Ewwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!  

Now I’d say it’s probably pretty common for kids not to like TOMATOES….but most people I knew (including  EVERYONE in my family) LOVED my Mom’s rice pudding…..except me!  My Dad would think he’d died and gone to heaven if my Mom made rice pudding.  Shucks, he was even happy with pouring some milk on plain old cooked rice and adding a little sugar.  *gag*  The idea of making something like rice, that you typically eat with chicken (or whatever), into a dessert made me want to…..well., let’s just say it wasn’t my cup of tea and leave it at that.  (And I wonder where my youngest gets HIS picky eating from!!)

Well, fast-forward a few years (ok…a LOT of years) and here I am today…..CRAVING the thing I used to HATE !!  How does THAT work? Like I said….I am becoming my parents.  Which when I really think about it, really isn’t a bad thing at all! :-)

So back to the pudding made from rice.  For some odd reason, for the last couple of weeks now, I have been thinking about making Rice Pudding. I have never made Rice Pudding in my life! I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that we eat so much more rice now that we are following a gluten-free diet. I’m always on high alert for different things to do with the gluten-free staples we cook with now.  Rice, potatoes, meat, poultry, etc. Combine that with the fact that the weather is JUST beginning to turn a bit colder, and I’ve had visions of rice pudding bowls dancing in my head.

So, since I’ve never made rice pudding before…I turned to my friend Google to see what we could come up with. Like any recipe out there…you can find a thousand and one different ways to make something…but I was looking for the traditional, creamy, thick, sweet variety and found a handful that I think fit the bill perfectly!

The one I am going to try this weekend I found at

Creamy Rice Pudding

4 cups milk (2% works well) (and of course I have to ask myself, if 2% works well, wouldn’t WHOLE milk worked even better? lol. It’s a character flaw, what can I say?)
1/2 cup arborio rice (do not rinse) (many of the recipes I read use arborio rice, some use basmati, my Mommy always used plain long grain rice from our pantry. :-)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional – if you omit, simply increase the vanilla extract to your taste)
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk to a boil with rice, sugar, butter, vanilla bean seeds and salt. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until rice is very tender.
2. Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly add 1/2 cup of hot pudding to yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Slowly whisk egg mixture into remaining pudding in saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes, until pudding thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cream and vanilla extract. Transfer to a shallow dish and chill 4 hours, up to overnight, pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface to avoid a pudding “skin”.

And here a couple more similar recipes….just for
comparison/inspiration’s sake:


Can’t wait to make this!  Is it the weekend yet???? :-)


Made this over the weekend… of my efforts below.  Decided to try Cristina Ferrare’s “Fourth-Generation Rice Pudding” from her new cookbook “Big Bowl of Love”.  I used to watch her all the time when we lived in L.A. on the morning show there, so I felt I owed it to her. ;-)
EASY to make (although it does take time)…and SO DELISH!!  
Give it a try!  Perfect Fall Dessert!

And that’s today’s….

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  1. Jere Schmeidler says

    Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice. It is named after the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley, where it is grown. When cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy, and chewy, due to its higher amylopectin starch content;[1] thus, it has a starchy taste but blends well with other flavours. It is used to make risotto, although Carnaroli, Maratelli and Vialone Nano are sometimes used to prepare the dish. Arborio rice is also used for rice pudding.:

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