February 2011

Easter Bunnies: Solid Chocolate

I'm so glad Valentine's Day is over. We think of Valentine's Day as being a big holiday for candy, but if you look around, most of it is pretty crappy candy. Think of the classic Valentine's Day candy, the conversation heart. Even the big heart-shaped boxes containing chocolate assortments are more a novelty than a real chocolate treat.

Oh, but Easter. Easter is all about the delicious candy.

Today let's discuss one of Easter's least-trashy citizens, the solid chocolate bunny. Easter is fairly lousy with chocolate bunnies, of course, but most of these are hollow. The solid chocolate bunny is a little harder to find, and a little more expensive, and usually made with better chocolate.

Rice Pudding

It's goopy, it's sweet, it's soothing: it's rice pudding! Whether you like it warm or cold, rice pudding is a great dessert any time of year. And it's very easy to prepare, once you know how!

I have a lot of failed rice pudding attempts in my past. I never ate rice pudding as a child, so I had never seen it prepared. With only my adult experience of Kozy Shack rice pudding as a guide, I tried and failed with several different recipes.

Then I realized that you have to cook the rice first. That was a big "DUH" moment for me!

Rice pudding is a great way to dispose of rice leftovers. It works best with a white medium-grain rice, but really any rice will do. Lately I have taken to making it with cooked brown rice, because brown rice is a healthy whole grain, and we should eat more of those.

Don't be one of the 40% of Americans who eat NO whole grains! Have some rice pudding! (Slathering it in pudding may undercut its healthiness, but let's not discuss that.)

Foods to Serve on Valentine's Day

You might want to serve so-called aphrodisiacs like oysters or wine for Valentine’s Day, but in our family it’s all about togetherness with each other and our child, so we’re aiming for a day of red and pink treats! Here are some yummy foods to serve on Valentine’s Day.

Red fruits. These are naturally sweet treats that are abundant in crimson colors. You could serve apples, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes. Whip up a bit of fruit dip and leave it white or simply add some red food coloring to make it pink. You could always go to the store or a place like Edible Arrangements to order something special, too.