Tag Archives: frugal

Baked Rice Pudding with Cinnamon

Baked Rice Pudding

Not the prettiest picture. But pretty tasty.

This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I have called: Cheap Fast Good by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks because it has a lot to read and not just hoity toity recipes that require you to make a special trip to the store.

The other day I made pesto fish. Tilapia marinated with pesto and baked in the oven and then served over white rice. Served with pineapple wedges. Pretty looking dinner. Very easy on a busy night. Anyway, when I make rice I make way more than I have to so I can make leftovers with it. Namely RICE PUDDING. It’s one of my favorites.

So this recipe was adapted because I never have whole milk. I often have skim milk and I always have sweetened vanilla almond milk. So I adjusted the sugar, vanilla, and  rice because of the almond milk substitution.

Here’s MY recipe. The original follows below. By all means, if you have whole milk, follow the original.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 1/2 cups already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups vanilla almond milk (sweetened)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice is rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

I ate mine with Adrian standing at the stove with the steam billowing off the spoonful of rice pudding thinking, “I’m sure this is going to burn my mouth.” So right before we ate it I told Adrian I had to put something in it. He pointed his finger up at me and said, “I know! ICE!” I said, “Oooh, that might not be the right choice. Let’s try some milk.” So after adding a touch of milk it was just the right temperature. He ate two helpings. I had two helpings. And then scraped some more right out of the pan with a big wooden spoon.

Here is the exact recipe from the cookbook.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 cup already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups whole or 2% milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice and raisins in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice and raisins are rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and raisins and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

ENJOY either way.

French Onion & Sauteed Mushroom Lasagna – Vegetarian

 

vegetarian lasagna

vegetarian lasagna

I love lasagna. I love the tart tomato flavor. I love the creamy ricotta. I love the stretchy Mozzarella and the chunks of ground beef. But every once in awhile I like to make a different version of lasagna. This one was one I dreamed up because I had onions and mushrooms to use. It’s completely vegetarian as I have it written. AND, meat lasagna is very expensive to make. If you find onions and mushrooms on sale or on the ‘must sell produce rack’ even better!!

 

French Onion & Sautéed Mushroom Lasagna

(Vegetarian)

Ingredients and Directions:

ONIONS

1 T oil

1 T butter

2 large Vidalia Onions sliced

s&p

½ C Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc (or veggie stock, or water)

1 T chopped garlic

 

In a large nonstick pan place oil and butter. Once melted, add the sliced onions. S&P

Sautee until soft. Place lid over onions to help soften. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat (if you have a gas stove) and add ½ C wine/stock/water. And garlic. Place lid over onions and turn on the heat again to medium low. Cook until as soft as you like. Remove from pan into bowl.

 

MUSHROOMS

1 T oil

5-6 cups sliced button mushrooms (can use any mushroom you like, button is cheapest, portobello has the most flavor and can be found on sale often.)

s&p

½ C Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc (or veggie stock, or water)

 

Add oil to same nonstick pan. Place mushrooms, S&P and sautée until browned. Turn off heat, add wine/stock/water, place back over heat and put lid on. Steam/sauté mushrooms until soft as you like. Add onions to the mushrooms and stir to combine over low heat.

 

At this point preheat oven to 350º F

 

FILLING

15 oz ricotta

2 C shredded Mozzarella

1 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use more if you like spicy bits throughout)

2 eggs

 

In a mixing bowl place all these ingredients and stir to combine.

 

WHITE SAUCE

1 ½ C milk (skim is fine)

1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (not required but adds a little something.)

3 T butter

3 T flour

 

Remove onions and mushrooms to bowl. In same pan place butter, melt it. Add flour. Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes. (be careful to scrape bits of onions and mushrooms from the sides/bottom of the pan — = flavor!!!) Once it’s sizzling and tan in color, slowly whisk in milk. You can add grated nutmeg to milk, as I have, or wait and add it to the sauce in the pan. Cook until slightly thickened. It will continue to thicken so be sure to turn off your heat when it is slightly thick. If your pan is too large you may need to pour this mixture into a small saucepan in order to whisk smoothly. I did.

 

ASSEMBLY

one box no cook lasagna noodles

Parmesan

½ cup Mozzarella

9×13 casserole dish

Cooking spray

Foil

 

Prepare baking dish with nonstick spray. Place some of the white sauce in the bottom. Top with lasagna noodles. Spread ricotta cheese filling over noodles. Place onions/mushrooms over cheese. Top with a heavy drizzle of white sauce. (If your white sauce has thickened during assembly, use some of the juice in your bowl of mushroom and onions to loosen it up.) Top with noodles, cheese, mushrooms/onions, white sauce and continue until you use all your ingredients. (I had 2 noodles left in the box that didn’t get used in my casserole pan. Your dish may be big enough to use all of them.) At the final layer, make sure you have some sauce on top of the noodles and place parmesan and mozzarella on top and cover with foil. If you don’t cover the last layer of noodles with sauce they will dry out and be unappetizing.

 

Bake for one hour, remove foil, bake until golden and bubbly (approx. 15 mins). Wait 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

if you have enough to make two trays you can freeze one. It freezes well. Or take leftover portions and freeze those for quick lunches.

If you have enough to double the recipe and make two trays you can freeze one. It freezes well. Or take leftover portions and freeze those for quick lunches.

 

ENJOY!

Plum Jam

Have you ever seen that cart of produce in the grocery store that has some sign on it that says, “Not perfect but still a good buy”? Well, This is how this recipe came to be. There were plums, peaches and pluots (mixture of plums and apricots), apples, grapes, oranges, etc on this cart one day at my local store. I grabbed all the decent looking fruit and proudly paid $5 for about 8 pounds of fruit. Score. But now what? I knew those plums were gonna’ be prunes in a matter of days… or at least grow fur.

Here ya’ be. Jessie’s Plum Jam.

Jessie's Plum Jam

Jessie’s Plum Jam

Plum Jam
4 C chopped, peeled, pitted plums (I had a combination of red plums, black plums, and some pluots)*
—-You can skip the peeling part because they have very thin skin, (Careful, they get their feelings hurt easily. Get it? I know. I’m hilarious.) but I found that the skin that I didn’t peel off, eventually fell off during cooking and I had to take it out of the boiling hot jam so do yourself a favor and peel them before you cook them.
2 C sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
zest of a lime
juice of 1/2 a lime (don’t use the whole lime because it might make the jam too loose)

Four cups of fruit sliced, pits removed - REMOVE SKINS

Four cups of fruit sliced, pits removed – REMOVE SKINS

Place all in a pan on the stove and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a potato masher or fork to help break up the pieces of fruit.

mash the fruit as it cooks

mash the fruit as it cooks

As it boils, foam will begin to form on the surface. Take a spoon and scrape that off and pitch it. Keep cooking until that foamy stuff no longer grows on the surface (a little is okay. You’ll never get all of it). You should be able to tell it’s getting thicker. These stone fruits have natural pectin that thickens the jam when it’s boiled.

skim off the foam

skim off the foam

Once it’s thickened slightly you can carefully ladle the mixture into clean jars. I placed both jars in the freezer once they cooled for about 20-30 minutes. I thought this might help with the thickening. I’m not sure if it did or not, but it’s what I did. Take it or leave it. The next morning I took the small jar out of the freezer and let it come to room temperature and it was delicious. A little thinner than most jams and jellies you buy at the store but that’s what I liked about it. I knew exactly what was in it. It was homemade.

unsealed ready to eat jam

unsealed ready to eat jam

Later that day, to keep myself from eating the whole jar, I made a Crunchy Layered Coffee Cake with Jam. Yes. Yes, I know. Now, I had to struggle not to eat the whole pan of coffee cake, too.

*just a note, this is a small batch of jam that I did not ‘seal’ in the jars. I knew we would eat it right away so I didn’t worry about it. My recipe is 2:1. So if you have one cup of fruit, use a 1/2 cup of sugar. If you have 8 cups of fruit, use 4 cups of sugar. If you use other fruit, you may need to use pectin from a package. Not all fruit creates natural pectin the way these stone fruits do. AND, if you use the package of pectin I think you have to use more sugar. It sounds complicated but it’s not. Just research it before you start.