Mom’s Rice Pudding

My Mom’s rice pudding is used quite often to torment other family members on Facebook. When she makes it, there is always one family member that is miles away and the post reminds them what they are missing.

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Found this photo on Granny Canuck’s Facebook from last year.

We had a good portion of my family up here for Ducks Unlimited dinner on Saturday and Sunday was time to have family dinner at my aunt’s house. After some convincing, it was decided the rice pudding should be the dessert.  Plus, I needed a blog post and no one had her recipe so we did our best to write it down as she went along.

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The ingredients we start with, don’t use converted or instant rice.  Only long grain and good quality preferred but this is all that Northern in Moosonee had.
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I love my aunt’s new Samsung gas cook top.  I keep telling myself; one of these days.

 

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Hey Mom, LOOK!

 

The Stuff You Need

  • 3 cups long grain rice
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cans of Carnation condensed milk, not sweet milk.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon and nutmeg optional for serving

 

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After the first boil and just added the can of Carnation milk.

 

The Stuff You Do

Granny Canuck eyeballs everything and works this recipe by feel, look and taste so this is just a rough guide of her magical rice pudding.

  1. Put the raisins in warm water to rehydrate them a little.
  2. Put a large pot of water on to boil and add the rice.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 8-10 minutes.  Then drain and rinse rice with cold water.  Don’t worry that the rice is not cooked, we are just removing the starch.
  4. Add 4 cups of water in a pot and add the rinsed rice.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce till the rice is just cooked, don’t worry there will still be a lot of moisture, this is the pudding part.
  6. Add 1 can of Carnation milk and sugar.  Cook stirring frequently as not to scorch the bottom for 5 minutes adding more milk if necessary to get a creamy texture.
  7. Remove pot from heat add, salt, nutmeg, butter, vanilla, drained raisins, and stir to combine and melt butter.
  8. Serve warm with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.  You can also add a splash more of Carnation milk like I do.

 

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Here are the notes from our day and as you can see on the bottom, there is still family bantering between Tasha and Harvey!

 

 

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Adding the raisins at the very end and getting ready to taste!

 

 

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The final product of warm and creamy rice pudding!

Hope you enjoy making this; as much as we had fun making this blog post and sharing.

 

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Greek Dinner for 100?

It has been a few days since I’ve posted, but I do have an excellent excuse.  When we lived in Moosonee many years ago, Mrs. Canuck and I were on the Ducks Unlimited Committee and every year in February there is a dinner and auction for fundraising for Ducks Unlimited Canada.

While on our trip to Barrie and Orillia, my aunt who is the co-chair of the committee, called us and dropped the thousand dollar question.  “Would you be willing to do the dinner this year.”  I can’t say I was surprised, as it was mentioned before; but now an answer was required and all I could muster was “I’ll call you back”.

30 minutes later, we had a menu idea and called back to say “Yes, we’ll do it”.  The remainder of the 300KM to Barrie was further discussion of the menu for over 100 people.  We were settled on a decision and planned a Greek dinner theme.  Ideas of souvlaki, rice were tossed out but the final decision was:

  • Olive Bowl
  • Greek Skewer with feta, tomato, spinach, and olives
  • Greek salad with romaine lettuce, red onion, tomatoes and cucumber
  • Greek pasta salad with feta, peppers, olives,  tomatoes, and cucumber
  • Herb roasted chicken
  • Roasted diced potatoes, skin on
  • Baby carrots in a honey butter glaze
  • Pita and tzatziki

I had my camera with the new lens on it and all set to take some photos as we moved along.   As my luck would have it, I forgot the memory card in the laptop but I managed to get a few photos with my iPhone.

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Feta, Olives, Cucumber, Spinach and Tomato Skewers made by the Duck Committee.
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My first dinner cooking for 100 and also cleaning, cutting, and roasting 50lbs of potatoes.
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Over 260 pcs of chicken, seasoned and ready to be baked in the oven.
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Fresh vegetables for the Greek Salad, clean, diced and sliced.
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Warming the pita, over 80 pitas brushed lightly with butter and warmed in a pan.
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The final plate of all the Greek goodness.

This was our first experience having to plan and execute a menu for over 100 people and while at times it was stressful, all the time it was enjoyable and most of all we had fun.

It would have not been possible without Granny Canuck and Mrs. Canuck working together to help with the menu, cut, wash, dice and bake.  Mrs. Canuck worked her magic with desserts of carrot cake and cream cheese icing and Granny Canuck made her fantastic fruit salad which was the first to go.

This morning having coffee with the D.U. members, we were already discussing the menu for next year, the 30th anniversary and already looking forward to the 2018 event.

 

Tasting Love – Cherry Compote & Ice Cream

 

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Cherry Compote & Ice Cream

 

One of the things I believe is, you can taste the love people put into their food.  If you don’t believe it, have Mom cook you a meal and if Mom isn’t around, find someone who is passionate about food and watch them cook and then taste their food.  Now find someone who hates being in the kitchen or looks at cooking as a chore and let me know which meal you prefer.  I am sure there is a portion of it is knowledge and time in the kitchen, but an ingredient you can’t buy is love or passion.

Prime example.  Take sliced beef, toss it in a pot with mushrooms and onions and soya sauce and make a pot of rice.  Sure sounds like a boring weeknight meal that anyone can put together.  Now, toss your Mom into the mix and you have this delicious dinner that is hearty and warming, seasoned perfectly, extra tender beef and even the Minute Rice is divine.  I’ve tried and for some reason, this can not be reproduced in my kitchen with my hands.  We have the same pots, buy the beef at the same place, use the same soy sauce and even the same blue box of Minute Rice.  The only factor is, Mom.

See where I’m going here?

Today is Valentine’s day and posted above is one of the treats I made for Granny Canuck and Mrs. Canuck around the campfire one summer, long before I started this blog.  After a long day in the sun and wanting some ice cream, the desire came just as the sun was setting at the taste of BBQ steak was starting to leave our taste buds.  We needed something sweet and needed it quick.

I ran into the camper eager to find something that involved ice cream and came across the in-season cherries we bought fresh the day before at the local market.  Looked on the counter and saw a bag of granola and within seconds I had it.  Sweet, cold, hot, creamy, crunchy all in one and knew it was going to be a hit.

Here is a quick rundown of what I did and to be honest what I would do again if I were to make it, as I didn’t write it down and going by my very limited memory.

Stuff You Need

  • cherries, a good bag full
  • 1-2oz orange liqueur, optional orange juice
  • sugar to taste, optional stevia sweetener.
  • good premium ice cream
  • granola, we get unsweetened stuff usually from the local bulk store or Kashi.

Stuff You Do

  1. Pit cherries and place in a pot with sugar and liqueuer or orange juice and place over medium heat or in our case, warm coals on an open fire.  If you are using stevia or artificial sweetener, leave it out until step 2.
  2. Cook cherries until they break down until it’s thick and syrupy.  If you are using stevia or artificial sweetener, you can add it now.
  3. Let mixture cool a little as not to instantly melt the ice cream.
  4. Assembly, ice cream, cherry compote, granola and garnish with a fresh cherry.
  5. Last but not least, enjoy!

 

A special tribute to my Valentines of a picture I did many years ago on our anniversary and today and each and every day it remains true.

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Got Sticky Buns?

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One of the things I remember as a treat growing up was the days Mom decided to make fresh bread. When she was making fresh bread, we always knew at the end there was going to be a tray or two of sticky buns!  Going through my Facebook photos this came up as a memory 6 years ago today.

I can’t give you the recipe for these buns because even if I did they would never turn out like my Moms.  If you are looking to try your own she just uses a basic bread recipe, some butter, brown sugar and cherries on the bottom.

She’s tried to teach me, she’s lead me the whole way, but they are never the same. My wife has recently started baking them again and for the sake of spending a few nights on the couch, I will say they are tied.  Either way; they are gone in minutes out of the oven!

The picture was taken with my Canon 7D and 24-70 2.8 L lens and is a reminder of how most people that love to cook have that creative photography side as well.  I have since sold the 7D and most of the lenses.  I switched out to a Sony A6000 when I was traveling because it was a lighter setup with similar quality.  Unfortunately, it has been on the shelf for a while gathering dust.  However; this is a reminder for me to charge the batteries and dust off the lens and snap away.

Do you have a go-to cinnamon sticky bun recipe?  Let me know!

When Life Won’t Give You Lemons

Make cinnamon swirl loaf!

One of the challenges of working and living in Moosonee is the reduced access to fresh fruit and vegetables, like lemons. There is only a single grocery store in Moosonee and if they don’t have lemons, you have to look for alternatives and forgo that craving for a lemon loaf.

The Cinnamon Loaf – Love Foodies Recipe

The Stuff You Need

  • 2 cups All Purpose / Plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups regular sugar
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk**
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
** To make homemade buttermilk: take 1 cup or milk and add 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar.

The Sweet, Sweet Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp milk

The Stuff You Need To Do

1. Crank that oven to 350 °F  and slick up a 9-in loaf pan.

2. Toss the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, buttermilk, egg, vanilla and oil in a bowl and stir just until moistened.

3. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar.

4. Pour half of the batter into your greased pan; sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar. Dump the rest of the batter and then the rest of the cinnamon-sugar.

5. Now grab a knife and swirl that loaf up!

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry and not a sticky-gooey mess. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to wire rack and let cool, try not resist the urge to dig into it now and burn your fingers and tongue in the process.

7. For the glaze, combine icing sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency, thin or thick, whatever your inner baker desires.

Now break out the milk, tea, coffee whatever your drinking these days.  Heck, it’s winter have it with a Baliey’s and hot chocolate!

The Money Shot

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Have a SWIRL at the recipe yourself and let me know how it turns out!

Lobster leftovers?

True story.  I hate leftovers.  I can eat leftovers if they are transformed into something else, like turkey into turkey sandwich or turkey soup, but to eat turkey two times in a row?  Are you crazy?

However; I did utilize some leftover lobster shells and some meat into something simply amazing tonight.  What turned out to be a sarcastic Facebook comment, “save the shells from the lobster” turned into a some delicious lobster linguini tonight.

The Stock/Sauce

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This is my first attempt at something like this so I Googled some lobster bisque recipes to make a stock that would be later thickened into a pasta sauce.

Here’s what I did in a nutlobstershell:

  • shells from 2-3 lobsters
  • butter
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tsp dry thyme*
  • 1 tsp dry tarragon*
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 1 cup sherry wine or brandy or sherry & brandy mix.
  • 3-4 cups water
  • salt to season

Grab a large stock pot, stick it on the stove to medium-high.  Add some butter to the pan, and all the ingredients but the sherry wine and water.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes and then add the sherry wine and let reduce to almost gone.  Once that is done, add enough water to cover the lobster shells and now reduce to simmer and leave alone to let time work it’s magic.  In about an hour or so you will have the most amazing lobster broth you can use for bisque or in my case, pasta.

** No fresh herbs, so dried works.  If using fresh use 2x the amount.

The Pasta

  • linguini noodles or whatever your inner chef desires
  • lobster stock
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • olive oil
  • scallops*
  • shrimp*
  • left over lobster or add some more!*
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
** use as much or as little seafood as your wallet will allow, fresh or frozen, whatever.

Put the pot on to boil for the pasta and don’t forget to salt the water.

Take out a pot, put the butter and flour in the pan and cook till brown; the smell will be nutty and this will be roux for the sauce.  Add the stock a little at first and whisk smooth, add more and more till you get a thick gravy like consistency, whisking each time.  Add the tomato paste and heavy cream and let simmer, do not bring to a full boil just a light simmer.

Drop the pasta in the water and cook using package directions.

Pan sear the scallops and shrimp with  olive oil, salt and pepper at a medium-high heat to get a nice sear on them and take out of pan when 3/4 cooked.

Before the pasta is almost done, toss in the shrimp, scallops, and lobster meat into the sauce. Add the drained linguini into the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes to incorporate it all together and finish the seafood.

Serve with some parmesan and a warm bread stick.

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