Today was absolutely beautiful. The sun was out, the skies were clear and the temperature had to be close to 75 degrees for most of the day. It truly is beautiful in Santa Barbara this time of year.
Although we celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday because my Dad was supposed to work today and Mike and I were supposed to travel north to see his sister for the holiday, it turned out that both work and travel fell through. So we had two Thanksgivings - what a treat. Last night we had a fabulous dinner (feast, more like) at Restaurant Julienne: lobster bisque, roasted eggplant and buffalo mozzarella flatbread, beet and carrot salad, cauliflower fritters, grilled halibut w/ celery root puree, winter squash gnocchi w/ grilled treviso, and rabbit five ways w/ mushroom gravy. YUM. Tonight we had a simple yet remarkable dinner at home: homemade spinach and artichoke dip on crostini, grilled steak, baked garnet yams, and chopped salad. For dessert, we made coconut rice pudding. Double YUM.
Not only is my Dad a huge fan of rice pudding, but my Mom and I wanted an excuse to try our new favorite ingredient: coconut sugar. I made cinnamon rolls with it the other day and now we can't stop talking about all of the recipes we can incorporate it into. The possibilities are endless - starting now.
Not only is this coconut rice pudding dairy-free, but it is also low-glycemic thanks to the small amount of coconut sugar used to sweeten it. What a wonderful excuse to make this yummy dessert more often - and to savor leftovers for breakfast.
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water
10-12 whole cloves
6-8 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 cans whole coconut milk
1/2 cup honey or coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine rice, water, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon in a heavy pot. Cook over medium-low heat until water is absorbed and rice can be fluffed with a fork.
Add coconut milk, coconut sugar and vanilla and stir well. Continue to cook over low heat until desired thickness is reached.
Enjoy warm or chilled and topped with fresh berries.