Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rice cooker rice pudding

Edited to add: Hello, if you are one of the 30 people each day that google "rice pudding rice cooker" I have a question for you. Is this what you are looking for? Or are you wanting a more traditional recipe that uses the rice cooker? My finding the recipe was an accident, I didn't know such a thing could be done. Anyway, I would love it if you would leave a comment.

Back to the original post.

Because I am trying to lose weight I started craving tapioca pudding. Mmmmmm tapioca.

Unfortunately, I had less tapioca than I thought. So I got to thinking . . . and a close second is bread rice pudding. Bread pudding is not gluten free so went with the rice pudding.

So I got to looking for a recipe that used uncooked rice . . . because I am lazy that way . . . and found this one. is my favorite place to look for recipes because I can almost always find what I am looking for.

I have to admit, I hate-loath-and-despise raisins. I love, love, love dried cranberries. So dried cranberries were substituted but I thought cranberries and apples go well together.

This wasn't the creamy off-white I was expecting, it looked like it had been made with brown sugar (not a bad thing, just letting you know.)

Apple Rice Pudding for a Rice Cooker Recipe

by HappySphinx

1 hour | 20 min prep


2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup short-grain white rice (Carolina Gold is recommended)
3 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 pinch nutmeg
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla

1. Put the rice, salt, 3 cups of boiling water, raisins, apples, and nutmeg in the rice maker.
2. Tell the rice cooker to 'cook'.
3. When the rice cooker says it is done or switches to 'warm', stir in the condensed milk, vanilla, and butter.
4. Tell the rice cooker to 'cook' again.
5. When it switches to 'warm' again or says it is done cooking, evaluate.
6. If there is too much liquid in your rice pudding for your preference, you can tell the cooker to 'cook' again.
7. garnish with cinnamon.
© 2008 Recipezaar. All Rights Reserved.

The Verdict

Hubby loved it. The kids thought it needed something, maybe more sugar. I personally gagged at the thought of more sugar. It was plenty sweet and rich enough.

I think maybe because of the condensed milk, it had a bit too much of a caramel flavor. Since I am not too big on caramel, I wasn't crazy about it. It was good . . . . it just wasn't quite what I wanted.

a Legacy of Faith

I was very blessed to come from a family with a strong faith. We were in church every Sunday and had prayers before meals. Not that any of that made me a christian, it just laid the foundation. I will write my testimony later, this is about something I found today.

I was involved in a organization called Rainbows -- the short explanation is that Rainbows is like Masons for teenage girls. Forget all the conspiracy things you have heard about Masons. It's not true. There was alot of scripture memory work and then some of the club type stuff with positions such as secretary and so forth.

When I reached the level of Worthy Advisor (like president) during my installation my Grandfather presented me with a Bible. When he presented my Bible he gave a short speech that he had written. The words would be meaningless except that he believed them and lived them. He was a man of faith.

My granddaughter, I hold in my hand the book of books, the Holy Bible.

Howsoever men differ in creed or theology, all good men are agreed that within the covers of the Holy Bible are found those principles of morality that lay the foundation upon which to build a righteous life, and the study therein will find the way to everlasting life.

The Holy Bible is the world’s supreme record of man’s experience and faith.

In this book are laid down the principles of successful living. It’s great men loom large upon the background of the worlds history. They lived, they fought, they loved, they sinned, they repented. And they left behind them – here -- the testimony that the keeping of God’s Laws and the doing of God’s will are the things worth living for. We need to know the Bible, to learn it’s precepts, to reverence it as our great book friend.

And my granddaughter that your feet may not falter and your path be well lighted, I place in your hands, your very own personal copy of the Great Light, with the prayer that it may indeed be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.

While I miss my Grandpa, I was so very blessed.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

After Christmas

Well, Christmas is over and it went well at our house. We had a wonderful meal and then we unwrapped presents.

We gave Junior and Daisy BB guns.

yup. I'm in Texas.

It took hubby several years to convince me. He kept saying it would be fun for the kids. They wouldn't hurt themselves. They would be careful.

Just so you know, he has a BB in his chest from when he and a friend were playing and shooting each other.

I did feel alot better when Junior told me very solemnly "this is a dangerous present. I could hurt myself."

My parents had given us a Wii and a Wii fit. We actually opened it Thankgiving and so have been playing since then. It is so cool. While waiting for the meal to be ready and then after eating we all played with the wii. My in-laws had gotten the kids some wii games, not really knowing what it was. After a little bit of playing on it, they were tempted to get themselves one.

Listening to Junior yell "Papa, hit Meme really hard! Go on! Hit her!" seemed a bit odd but they were playing the boxing on the Wii. Then it was funny watching all compete on the Wii fit with the balance games.

All in all, it went really well. I did want to post some recipes, and I may do that even though it is after the holidays.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Because I am procrastinating the bazzillion things I should be doing . . . I decided to enter a contest.

Sagerats is having a contest that you can see
by clicking here. To participate in the blog contest, you just answer these questions.

  1. Why did you start a blog?

    To be honest, I don't remember. I guess it seemed like a good idea, although I didn't really get busy with the blogging until a few months back.

  2. What did/do you hope to accomplish with your blogging?

    To have the entire blog world love me and have Le Creuset donate a set of their cookware and . . .
    Not really.

    Ummm, I don't know that I really have a purpose, I just write because I have to. Something makes me write. I write online because I enjoy the occasional validation but I have also done journaling at others times.

  3. Have you found you don't post as much as when you started?

    it varies. It depends on whether or not I have something postable or not and if I have time to do so.

  4. If yes, why not?
    Ummm. Doesn't really apply.

  5. How important are comments to you?

    I enjoy the validation, but I have been doing this for a few months with not very many comments. I know there are some who are reading but not commenting . . . You know who you are.

  6. Do you ever find yourself wishing people would not always make comments that agree with you? Um, right now, I am just wishing more would comment.

  7. Do you comment on other people's blogs alot, sometimes or very little? Probabaly sometimes. I don't like leaving comments on those who have 60+ comments because it tends to get repetative. Usually, I just leave a comment if I have something to say. If I don't, I don't.

  8. What determines why you don't post a comment on someone else's blog?

    If I don't have something to say.

  9. What determines why you do post a comment on someone else's blog?

    If I do have something to say.

  10. Do you have more than one blog? Where?

    I suppose I do, although the other one isn't active. Right now I am just using it to post recipes for a post I am working on but is taking FOREVER. Most of the posts that are there I have moved here.

  11. Do you read random blogs off random blogger or off friends lists?

    Yes, I have found some really good blogs that way! I mainly do it when the blogs I keep up with are not posting very much.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Classical Christmas music

Ok, I just have to brag for a moment.

I was listening to XM classical Christmas (through our satellite) and Nutcracker came on. Junior was excited and said "It's the Nutcracker!" I asked who wrote it and he said "Tstashtotkee"

(In fairness Tchakovsky is very hard for many adults to say)

Then he said "He wrote some really good songs before he died."

Yes he did, Junior.

I might should mention Junior is 5. Kind of cool that he likes Tchaikovsky at 5.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pet Peeve

Hi, this is just a quick little not to introduce you to my pet peeve. I am so grateful to the many bloggers who don't do this. Some of you have the same music taste I do, while some do not.

How do I know?

Because when I go to your blog I am treated to an automatically starting snippet of music.

Now I love music. I truly do. I understand the quote "music tames the heart of the savage beast." I have used music to enhance my mood and to alter it.

But that is by my choice. Sometimes listening to your music just isn't convenient. Like right now, I have my own music playing.

Yes, I can and do turn my speakers off. Which means I can't listen to something else on the computer. Unless I turn the music off at each site. every. time. it. loads.

I hearby promise not to put one of those music thingies on my blog. If I find music that I just have to share, I will do something other than one of those thingies.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tomato Soup

I love, love, love tomato soup. I love soup with tomatoes in it. I love tomato-bread soup but it's not exactly gluten-free since it uses about half a loaf of french bread.

So I made Mom's tomato soup which is so much better than the stuff in a can. It's a chunky thick soup, more of a stew consistancy. And it is so stinking simple that a five year old could make it. . . if you let him use a knife.

I would have taken pictures of the soup but . . . we ate it. Even Junior who hates cooked tomatoes and onions, liked it . . . sort of. He liked it on the grilled cheese sandwiches when he dunked them. Considering how full it is of onions and cooked tomatoes, that is high praise indeed.

Tomato Soup

  • 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes (you can use another type but I prefer diced)

  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup

  • 1 onion diced (approx 1 cup)

  • 2 bell peppers (approx 1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoon sugar (or up to 4)

  • 1/2 teaspoon basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley

  • salt and pepper to taste

Put it all in a large pot and heat over medium high until onions and bell peppers are tender. Serve with grilled cheese.

If its too thick for you you could thin it down with water or broth or something.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Picky kids

As anyone who has been around kids very much can tell you sometimes kids are a little picky. I am lucky that my kids aren't incredibly picky . . . well for the most part.

Daisy's current list of dislikes are:

  • corn dogs with mustard(that's easy to avoid)
  • spicy hot food, ditto
  • raw tomatoes
  • raw onions
  • nuts, a little harder to avoid
  • sour cream, she doesn't mind it mixed in, just not glopped on

Junior on the other hand had an ever growing list of food dislikes. To be honest most of them we ignore because otherwise all we would eat as a family is cereal. A current approximation (I know we have missed some) contains (in the order we thought of them):

  • onion, raw and cooked-- SHHH! most of my cooking starts with onions
  • cooked tomatoes, (puh-leeze he could eat his weight in raw tomato)
  • spicy food, this one I give in on
  • mushrooms, we don't eat them often and don't tell him when it is in the food. If he can't see it, he doesn't notice.
  • coconut, (this is a new one to me)
  • mustard, we do mostly avoid it anyway
  • mayo, I don't use it much in cooking but he wouldn't notice it
  • french fries, Seriously, was he switched at birth?
  • green apples, he keeps insisting he likes red delicious but on the rare occasion I buy them he won't eat one because it "doesn't taste good"
  • he is not real big on meat, so typically whatever meat we are having we hear "I hate . . . " -- but he still has to eat some
  • pickles, this one is easy to avoid
  • black pepper, he just can't see it
  • sour cream - just its existance bugs him
  • hot dogs -- I don't like them either so this one isn't a big deal.
  • black olives, this just leaves more for the rest of us

All of this reminds me of a point I wanted to make. There are two types of people those who like (or tolerate) marshmallows on sweet potatoes and normal people those who don't.

I honestly thought I didn't like sweet potatoes until I made them mashed. See I had a rule for myself I wouldn't feed my kids anything I wouldn't eat myself when they were babies. So when I made a sweet potato for Daisy (boiled and mashed) I tasted it and it was good.

So now I use sweet potatoes alot, but I still don't like them with marshmallows.

I have a theory that there are many others who "don't like sweet potatoes" because they have only tried them "candied." I know there are many who don't like it with marshmallows.

The difficulty is when you live in a divided household. My mostly wonderful husband insist that it's not Thanksgiving or Christmas without candied yams. I think they are disgusting. So each year we have 2 types of sweet potatoes, with and without. But HE has to cook the with - or have his mom do it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bunny Babies

As I said, we had the seven that survived from the second litter (the first litter died).

There were 2 remaining rabbits that might be mamas.

Pie I don't think became pregnant. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that she didn't. She also hasn't been acting very perky, so I don't know how healthy she is anyway. Kind-of like a cranky old lady, everytime I walk out there she glares at me.

Flopsy had a rough day of it yesterday. She gave birth to a large baby that died and had alot of swelling and bruising. This morning she had 2 more babies and only one lived. That one wouldn't have made it except I found it before it froze to death. Flopsy had made a nest and pulled some fur in the nest box and then had the babies on the cage floor. I brought the kit in and it spent some time on Daisy's tummy to warm up. I then took it so she could eat some breakfast.

The plan is this: This kit and the runt from the other litter will be come nest mates. The runt hasn't been getting fed, sometimes they just aren't strong enough to fight for a nipple so this way he/she won't have to fight.

Some general info, these are Californian rabbits, they are all white with black ears and feet. They grow to be about 8 lbs. Rabbits are not rodents, they are Lagomorphs which includes only rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs); it has something to do with a difference in the teeth and maybe some other things.

Here is a picture of the little ones, they are a little over 24 hours old and have just been fed. Their little bellies are swollen like they just ate a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. Yes the do look a bit like a tailess mouse or rat although their ears are a bit bigger. Their ears don't look like rabbit ears yet. They do have a bit of hair, like a peach fuzz on their skin and that is the odd silvery sheen they seem to have. They aren't really cute yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good mommy

I bet you thought this post would be about me and how I am a good mom but you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

I don't think I am a bad mom but this post is about bunnies.

This year we are raising bunnies for 4-H, so we have 4 females and 2 males (2 of the females we knew were good, 2 we weren't too sure about and we weren't sure if either male would be able to . . . perform his duties.)

Anyway, contest is in Febuary and Daisy has to be able to take a pen of 3 or 4 rabbits that she has bred and are 10 weeks old (or maybe its 12, I don't know). So because we didn't know which males would be potent and which females would be fertile, we bred them all. Let me say right now, anyone who asks what we will be doing with all these rabbits, will get some in the mail.

Unfortunatly, the time for them to kindle (have their babies) is during a vicious cold snap for us. Yesterday was in the 40s and last night it was 29. Our average low this time of year is 40. Luckily, the electritian I married but up heat lights and we have the rabbits protected from the wind, it is about 10 degrees warmer in their spot than the rest of the yard. But anyway . . . .

Bunny mamas like having a nest box and a bunch of hay. They gather this hay in their mouths and move it and smoosh it and work at it until they have a lovely hay nest. Then they pull fur off their chest and tummy --I know is sounds awful doesn't it, but apparently the hair is loose--and use that as a padding between the babies and the hay and as a blanket.

First mama is named Dumpling, as a first time mom her skills were . . . lacking. She built her nest outside of the nest box and then sat in the nest box herself. She didn't pull very much hair at all, 2 or 3 tufts which wasn't nearly enough to keep them warm. Her babies were born tuesday morning, before the cold snap all outside the nest box. Baby bunies have no hair and cuddle together to keep warm but 2 of them had lost the others and so all were pretty cold when I found them. I took them in, got them warmed up and then put them back in the nest box. That night as it got cold, I brought the nest box in and they slept in the house. I took them out that morning and thought she would keep them warm (I don't know why I thought she would keep them warm in the day when she wouldn't at night). Anyway, when I went out to check them later, they had frozen to death. A lot of first time bunny mamas lose their babies so . . . .

Nim is our next bunny mama; she was like a kid with a new toy when I put her next box in. She would hop in, then out, then in, then out. She built a lovely nest inside the box, pulled lots of fur and we were able to see her as she was finishing giving birth (nothing graphic to see). She has a lovely litter with visitation rights. I take the babies out a few times a day and let her see and nurse them for about 30 minutes before I bring them back in. She is a wonderful mama even though she is a first time mom; oddly enough she and dumpling are sisters so I don't know why one is a good mom while the other . . . not so good.

Flopsey and Pie are the other girls. Flopsy has warted the hay so much, she has a large pile of it under her cage. When I put a cardboard liner into her nest box, she was finally able to build her nest to her satisfaction. She hasn't kindled yet, it should be today sometime, I keep checking about every 2 hours so we don't have another litter freeze. Pie hasn't built her nest so she may not be fertile . . . or maybe just didn't get pregnant.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bad Mommy Award

Some days things just don't seem to be going well and the mom's response is . . . not what it should be. You know, those days you are sure you are about to get the Bad Mommy Award. Or maybe it's just me.

The other day I got very irritated . . . ok, angry at Junior. It was his Taekwondo testing/graduation and he had way too much energy. To make a long story short, I ended up having to fuss at him a good portion of the time, so my nerves were already frayed.

Since my in-laws were able to come, we were planning on going out to eat after we left. On the way out the door, after getting on my next-to-last nerve, Junior saw a snack machine. A snack machine. In my family, the vending machines send out a siren's call. The idea of putting coins in a machine and getting out anything - stale crackers, Dr. Pepper, stamps, any unknown item - has facinated various members for generations. Most of us have grown out of it, but there are some nameless family members who dare not walk by a slot machine.

Anyway, as I was saying, Junior was already on thin ice with me and saw the vending machine.

He asked to buy something.

I said no.

He stuck his lower lip out and whined and sulked and acted like a baby instead of a 5 year old boy.

It is a new behavior that just drives me nuts. No, I never give in to it, mostly because it just makes me want to say no to anything.

So I took him into the ladies room and spoke with him.

My kids say I yelled.

I wish.

That would be better than admitting I used the "mean voice."

You know, the voice that you can almost whisper.

The one that tells your child that they are going to be miserable if they don't listen to you.

The one were you speak low enough so that other people won't hear.

I really, really hate when I use that voice.

All the venom, but none of the volume of a yell.

I said something about how he was acting like a baby; he was old enough to know better; I was very unhappy with how he behaved during the taekwondo thing; and he was going to get a spanking if he didn't stop acting like that. All through tightly clenched teeth.

I did appologize later that night. Just like he had to apologize to his teachers the next day.

I still feel bad though.

Maybe, that is the key. A bad mommy wouldn't care, wouldn't appologize.

But would a good mommy use the mean voice?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Let's be scientists -- December Module

I just got the newest Old Schoolhouse Module -- Let's Be Scientists and it looks great. Rather than focusing on one specific branch of science, this gives you a great overveiw. There are sections on weather, astronomy, chemistry, and anatomy.

Let's Be Scientists also has great experiments like "Ice Cream in a Bag" and "How Do Your Taste Buds Work". There is also an introduction to gross science which most kids will love.

As always, there are great quizzes, copywork and coloring pages. There are also recipes included that I can't wait to try.

Check out Let's Be Scientists.