Stuff This, Too!!

With the Holidays coming up, I though I would devote more of my space to desserts. I would like to start with the Mother of all New England Holiday desserts, Rice Pudding.

Old Fashioned Baked Rice Pudding

3 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. uncooked short grain rice
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. raisins
1 t. vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine milk, rice, sugar and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour into a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add raisins and vanilla; cover and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Store in the refrigerator.



Baked Apples. Remember those when you were a child? I sure do. My Dad and Mom used to put cored apples, smeared with cinnamon-sugar on the inside, in the oven and cook them until they were just about soft. Taking them out of the oven, we immediately scooped vanilla ice cream in the middle and loved them. I started reminiscing about those baked apples and my artful mind got to work. I grabbed some apricots(on sale of course)and started preparing my rendition of that memorable childhood dessert. I love fruits of all kinds and try to come up with ideas that would not only appeal to us adults, but children as well. I think you will put this dessert in your list of favorites once you try them.

Yankee Sweet and Salty Stuffed Apricots

Want that little extra “oomph” with the creamy sweet rice pudding? Well, ya’ come to the right place. The subtle addition of smoke flavored bacon is the perfect addition to the crunchy and sweet topping. Peaches also work just as well here.

1 strip smoked bacon(I buy mine at W.A.Bean and Sons online-the   best!), chopped finely
4 apricots , cut in half and pitted
1 c. cooked rice(try jasmine rice )
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. real maple syrup
1/4 c. plus 1 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. vanilla cookie crumbs
1 T. butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Over medium high heat, cook the strip of bacon until done but not crispy; drain the grease and remove to a bowl. With the same skillet, add the 1/4 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c. apple cider or juice. Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 3-5 minutes. Add the sliced apricots or peaches, cut side down and continue cooking, basting at the same time, for 3 minutes. Remove apricots from syrup and onto foil lined baking pan. Divide skillet glaze among the apricots, pouring into the cavities.
Meanwhile, combine rice, heavy cream, maple syrup and 1 T. brown sugar and combine well. Divide rice mixture into the pit cavity of each apricot. In a small bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, melted butter and reserved bacon bits. Sprinkle the top with this mixture and bake for 20 minutes, or until the apricots are barely tender, yet holding their shape.