Tag: dessert

Toasted Rice Pudding Recipe with Lime, Coconut & Pistachios

Last night, the hubs and I whipped up a delicious rice pudding recipe that I just had to share.  It was that good!  However, this was not your typical rice pudding.  For one, it had a pronounced toasted flavor.  In addition, we dialed back the sweetness, adding a tropical flair with lime and coconut.  Finally, we added a little crunch with crushed pistachios.  At the last minute, it dawned on us to pair our dessert with Amaretto on the rocks, which really took our indulgent treat to the next level.  Here’s how we made it…

Ingredients:

1 cup aborio rice

4 cups coconut milk

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1 handful of pistachios, shelled and crushed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lime

2 tablespoons agave nectar–or to taste

Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

A note about the ingredients…

I chose aborio rice, because I’m partial to its texture–somewhere between white rice and brown.  It’s also a slightly shorter grain.  However, a different variety will work too.  Similarly, I chose agave nectar as a sweetener, because it easily dissolves in a liquid mixture.  Still, sugar or even honey will get the job done as well.

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine the coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature) with the dry rice, browning it.  In all fairness, we basically burned it, because we like the sort of thing.  If you don’t, stop when the rice turns light to medium brown.  Once your rice is toasted to your liking, add 2 (of the 4 cups) of coconut milk to the pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover and simmer on low.

Stir in the remaining coconut milk, vanilla extract, and agave nectar.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  As a general rule, I use about 1/3 the nutmeg that I do cinnamon.  It’s much more potent.  Once your rice pudding is seasoned and sweetened to your liking, chill it in the fridge.  If you can, let it sit in there over night.

Serve in small bowls with a dusting of lime zest and crushed pistachios.

Again, I highly recommend enjoying your rice pudding with some Amaretto, an Italian almond liqueur that’s syrupy, mild, and dangerously drinkable.  Its warm, sweet flavor compliments the spice and citrus of this rice pudding recipe.  Served over the rocks, it’s slightly less sweet and well matched by this not-so-sugary dessert.

3.14 Pie Recipes for Pie Day

Happy Pie Day!  I’m not much of a baker, but pie is perhaps my favorite dessert.  Here are 3 of my favorite pies with links to their recipes.

1. Pinwheel Cherry Pie

Pinwheel Cherry Pie | Pie Day | Via Motley Decor

Leave it to Martha Stewart to put a pretty twist (or spiral, rather) on the cherry pie.  Still sweet and tangy, the flavor we all know and love remains true to its roots in the pinwheel cherry pie.

2. Almond Pear Pie

Almond Pear Pie | Pie Day 2016 | Motley Decor

Both almonds and pears impart their delicate yet decadent flavors to this round masterpiece of a pie.  It’s pretty too.  Isn’t it?  Find the recipe at My Recipes.

3. Mixed Berry Pie

Mixed Berry Pie | Pie Day 2016

Can’t commit to a single berry?  I’m with you!  Luckily, the mixed berry pie doesn’t make you choose.  Thanks to Taste of Home for the recipe!

0.14 Add Brie

If you were wondering how I was going to give you 0.14 of a recipe and really commit to the Pie Day theme, it’s the same answer to how I do most things–with cheese!  Do yourself a favor a melt a little brie over your next slice of pie (particularly if it’s a berry pie).  You won’t be sorry.

Piece out!

3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine’s Day

Desserts are practically mandatory on Valentine’s Day.  Sweets have become synonymous with this pink and red, heart-studded holiday.  This a challenge for folks like me who like to entertain, but are intimidated by baking.  Fear not!  This Valentine’s Day, I’ve conjured up 3 extremely easy desserts that don’t require careful measurements or an oven.

Easy, No Bake Dessert #1: The Chocolate Board

You’ve heard of a cheese board.  Why not apply that same concept to dessert?  Build your own fruity, nutty, and chocolaty crostini with a chocolate board.

Chocolate board & other easy no bake desserts for Valentine's Day on Motley Decor

For this one, I used tea biscuits and brioche toasts as a base.  The three ceramics contain caramel, cookie butter, and Nutella.  Sliced strawberries and pomegranate seeds provide a dose of acid, while almond and pistachio pieces contribute a nice textural contrast.  A sprinkling of sea salt brings all of the flavors to the forefront.

Introducing the Chocolate Board + 2 More Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day on Motley Decor

Still, dozens of variations come to mind.  Cookies would make excellent vessels.  Nut butters, honey, and melted chocolate are easily spread over them.  Raspberries always pair well with chocolate–as do hazelnuts.  And how about sprinkling some orange zest over it all?  What about adding jam or yogurt chips?

3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day | Chocolate Board | Motley Decor

This easy dessert requires zero cooking and allows for variety and customization.

Easy, No Bake Dessert #2: Ice Cream with Fresh Fruit

Here’s another super low maintenance option: delicious ice cream with fresh fruit.  Just scoop, chop, and sprinkle.

3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day on Motley Decor

In this example, blueberry ice cream combines with strawberries (conveniently sliced to look like hearts) and pomegranate.  But, again, you can substitute nearly any flavor of ice cream (or sorbet or gelato) and swap in nearly any fruit or berry.

Blueberry ice cream with strawberries & pomegranate | 3 Easy, No Bake Desserts for Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

Pump up your presentation by serving the ice cream in vintage teacups with demitasse spoons.  Don’t have napkin rings?  Bracelets will do the trick.

3 Easy No Bake Desserts | Valentine's Day Dessert Ideas | Motley Decor

Easy, No Bake Dessert #3: The Perfect (Poached) Pear

Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone, Caramel, Pistachio & Sea Salt | 3 Easy, No Bake Desserts on Motley Decor

For dessert #3, I poached pears in wine and served them alongside marscapone cheese, drizzled the entire plate with caramel sauce, and then finished with crushed pistachios and sea salt.  The pears are like flavor sponges, absorbing the essence of the wine and manifesting it in a soft, slightly gritty body.  The marscapone cheese delivers richness and creaminess.  Caramel ushers in the sweet (since I used a dryer poaching liquid), intensified by sea salt.  And the pistachios give you something to crunch on.

Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone, Caramel, Sea Salt & Pistachios | 3 Easy Desserts for Valentine's Day | Motley Decor

Unlike the first 2 suggestions, this dessert actually requires cooking…kind of.  Let me put it to you this way: if you can boil water, you can make this dessert.  Here’s the recipe for this particular incarnation with ideas on variations following…

Ingredients:

2 pears, skinned, with the bottoms cut off (so they stand upright)

Poaching liquid: 1 bottle red dessert wine, 1 bottle dry sparkling white wine

2 tablespoons marscapone cheese

Caramel sauce to taste

1 handful of pistachios, crushed

Sea salt to taste

Directions:

In a pot slightly taller than your pears, bring your poaching liquid to a boil.  Add the pears (they should be mostly submerged), cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  How long you poach the pears with depend on how ripe they are.  Since my pears were pretty firm, they simmered for about 45 minutes.  However, you should check them at around 30 minutes to be on the safe side.  When done, they’ll be soft enough to cut with the edge of a fork.

Remove the pears from the liquid carefully and place on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess liquid.  At this point, I prefer to let them cool so that their heat doesn’t instantly melt the marscapone.

On a plate, drizzle caramel, then stand the pears side by side in the center.  Add two scoops of marscapone to opposite sides of of the pears and drizzle more caramel.  Add a dusting of sea salt and a handful of crushed pistachios.

Ta-da!

Recipe: Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone, Salted Caramel & Pistachios on Motley Decor

Wine-based poaching liquids are a popular choice, but not your only option.  Truth be told, I only used a 50-50 mix of dessert and sparkling wine, because I happened to have it on hand.  In the past, I’ve used Moscato made sweeter with simple syrup and even spiced cider.

This was also the first time I used marscapone, caramel, and nuts.  Previously, I’ve leaned on vanilla ice cream and a little cinnamon.  Next time, I’ll try ricotta, blueberries, and walnuts.

In cooking–as in Jazz–improvisation elevates the art form.  So, make it your own!

 

Milk and Cookies Aren’t Just for Santa

Traditionally, milk and cookies are left out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  However, that doesn’t mean that you and your guests can’t also indulge.  Substitute spiced rum milk punch for regular milk and serve equally spicy cookies for a holiday-appropriate dessert and cocktail combo.

Having grown up in New Mexico, I have a special bias towards the state’s official cookie of Christmas: the biscochito.  It’s akin to an anise-flavored sugar cookie.  The spice in the cookie pairs well with the spiced rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg of the punch (recipe below).  However, it’s not your only option for milk and cookies.

Norwegian pepper cookies–laced with generous doses of cardamom and (you guessed it) pepper–are another great choice.  I was introduced to these last year by Brookie’s Bites.

I’ve linked to recipes for both cookies rather than providing my own, because baking is not something I excel at.  I do, however, make a mean rum punch.  Here’s how I like to make it…

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon milk

1 cup spiced rum

7 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Cinnamon and nutmeg

A crock pot

1 day lead time (for best results)

Add the milk, rum, sugar, vanilla, and a dusting of the spices in the crock pot and stir thoroughly.  Set to medium heat to avoid boiling the mixture and burning off all of the alcohol.  Instead, the punch should be just steaming.  Once steaming, let it continue for about 20 minutes.

At this point you have 3 choices.  First, you can serve the rum milk punch right then–hot and in mugs.  However, if you have the patience, let the brew return to room temperature, transfer it into a sealed container, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  (Most liquid things taste better after spending the night in the fridge.)  On the following day, you can either enjoy it cold or heat it up again.  The third option is to freeze it.  When serving the next day, use a fork or something sharp to break up the snowy concoction and serve it like a slushy.

A few notes…  However you decide to serve the spiced rum milk punch–hot, cold, or slushy style–make sure you garnish with a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg.  Also, experiment with the amount of rum, sugar, and spices to tailor the recipe to your preferences.  I tend to enjoy just a little sugar and a lot of spice.  Finally, when you heat milk, a thin film forms on the top, but it is easily removed (because it can be a little unsightly).

Hope you enjoy this spicy, adult version milk and cookies!

 

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