Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grandma's Rice Pudding

Today's post is a tribute to my grandma, Eleanor Mittermaier, who passed away last week after living a beautiful life for 91 years. In the About Me section of this blog, I mention that I was raised among cooks. Grandma Mitt(ermaier) was one of them. In fact, the photograph of me as a kid on that page was taken in her kitchen — she let me lick the beaters! It's no wonder I loved her.

Grandma Mitt had a legacy of her own, and she was special to so many. Among her many talents, she was known for was her ability to whip up a killer rice pudding.

Grandma's recipe and her fabulous retro tablecloth

It was a dish that could often be found in her refrigerator, and I can picture my grandpa enjoying it after a day at work and a home-cooked meal. My grandpa worked in the same building as my dad in the latter part of his life (Retirement? Not for old Joe!). Often, Grandma Mitt would send Grandpa to work with a fresh tray of rice pudding (and maybe a Tupperware of fruit salad that she threw together) to pass along to my dad. She took care of her sons long after they flew the coop!

This rice pudding is a simple, old-school, and delicious dessert. It's consistent and reliable, but surprisingly not too sweet or heavy. It's made on the stovetop, so even your oven gets a break with this one. And the ingredients are easy and cheap too.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Baked Berry Oatmeal

Breakfast is important! We all know that. You know what else is important? Not feeling like you're eating the same boring thing for breakfast all the time. And how about not feeling like you're having a carb fest to the tune of pancakes, bagels, waffles, or toast. That's important too.

You want protein? Check! Fruit? Check! Dairy? Check! A little fat (everyone needs a little fat!)? Check! And grains? Check, friends! It's a well-rounded breakfast delight that shouldn't send you into a carb coma an hour later.

I am in love with this recipe for baked berry oatmeal — something I found on Pinterest, my other new love. It's easy to throw together, and likely with items you already have in the pantry/freezer (assuming you have a bag of frozen berries lying around). I made mine with cranberries I had lingering in the freezer from the holiday season, but the original recipe called for raspberries. I think this is the kind of thing you can experiment with — I suspect any frozen berry will do!

Enjoy this item warm on the weekends or serve at a brunch. Or eat it leftover, as I did this morning at work, and enjoy it at room temp.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Homemade Pretzel Dogs

I have news. I am the proud new owner of a "real" camera, and I am amazed at the quality of the photos. And I don't even know how to use it yet! I'm really looking forward to the challenge of learning how to use it, and I'm acutely aware that I haven't even scratched the surface! So, there's that.

Then there is the whole homemade pretzel dog thing. I made these for Superbowl Sunday. Please know that I'm a lifelong fan of the NY Giants. And that having pretzel dogs as the fuel to get me through that nail-biter was perfection!

You take half a hot dog, sandwich it in homemade soft pretzel dough, and cook up a delicious and simple treat.

Just look at those delicious pigs in their cozy, pretzel blanket.

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