Friday, January 15, 2010

Sierra Storm Cranberry-Nut Rice Pudding

By The Writing Gourmet

The New Moon has arrrived and Mecury Retrograde is over. It's time to celebrate, sort of. Living at Lake Tahoe has its perks such as snowstorms. Yes, I do love the oncoming of a storm. It's surreal. I can feel it in the air. And when the winds increase late at night with a promise of fresh snow it's an awesome feeling inside and outdoors--surrounded by Mother Nature's finest. It's also fun to wake up in the morning to peek outside to see how much snow is on the ground. That's the fun part...
So as locals and tourists anticipate the series of storms headed to the Sierra, I was in the mood to bake up a batch of healthy rice pudding complete with fresh cranberries and walnuts. Cranberries are a winter food and nuts--isn't that what squirrels gather before Old Man Winter comes knocking? Brown rice boasts more fiber than white rice, and the creamy texture of pudding offers comfort to ward off sensing these turbulent times.

Sierra Storm Cranberry-Nut Rice Pudding

* * *
3 cups whole grain cooked brown rice
2 cups low-fat 2% organic milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups fresh whole cranberries
3/4 cups walnuts, chopped
3 - 4 tablespoons premium maple syrup
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon and granulated sugar
2 tablespoons allspice

Mix cooked rice and milk in saucepan. Over medium heat bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook about 20 minutes, add syrup, stir frequently till creamy and before it will stick to the pan. Use the spices last not during to preserve its flavor. Add nuts and berries (rinse and mix with sugar to taste) when you take the pudding off the stovetop. Pour into round dishes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar for a snow powder effect. Let cool and and refrigerate. I suggest warming up when you indulge.

Okay. I did do the taste test. The combo of tart whole cranberries and crunchy walnuts is different. Do take the time to cook the pudding more than less for a smoother effect. Overall, this warm spicy custard-type rice pudding has a sweet warming touch that's worth the effort.
Tomorrow morning I'll wake up to a cup of coffee, a bowl of warm rice pudding, and fresh orange juice. After the feast, it's to the store to get prepared for the snow-rain series coming around the mountain. I don't like to eat canned food so stocking the pantry is not one of my fave tasks. More bottled water, dried fruit, nuts, granola, low-sodium soups, pastas are a few of the items that can do the job if there is a power outage.
And chocolate--like Intentional Chocolate--is calling my name. Remember, it's got mood-boosting compounds, such as serotonin and PEA "the love drug" and others. Ah, dark chocolate in all forms is a must-have during a storm. The rice pudding? It will be gone before we're buried in snow by mid week.


  1. Yes, indeed, it seems storms will be coming your way starting the evening of the 16th or 17th perhaps? I'd love to see the snow coming down where you are. This version of rice pudding with condensed milk reminded me of how much I like Kheer, and East Indian rice pudding made with pistacios and usually cardamon.

  2. I can feel it in the this part...Will you come shovel with me at the end of the week? Chocolate provided/free swim. That goes for anyone. SF Bay Area/coastal regions in NorCal will most likely get flooding, as predicted in my 2010 predictions in Oracle 20/20 magazine.
    Ah cardamon...Getting into spices. That does sound good.