I love junk food, I really do. Especially treats. If I could, I would live on ice cream, and cookies, and cake. I mean I have lived on these things for short periods of time (like, every holiday season), but I realized I needed to stop choosing the most decadent of treats ALL THE TIME.
Okay. So. Here are three things that are keeping me from strapping on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s like it’s a feedbag. None of these things are super-healthy, but they are slightly less UNhealthy and still feel like treats to me:
Plain Greek Yogurt & Whipped Cream
I eat this once a day. The yogurt is fat-free, and it’s pretty good for humans to eat for food. The whipped cream is less of a food, but adds deliciousness. If I am having a day when I really wish it was cake or pudding, I add some jam before putting the whipped cream on.
Hot Cocoa: A Delicious, Unseasonable Treat. With Whipped Cream
This is something I try not to have every day because it’s sugary enough to make me a little jittery. But it does take away the sad feelings I have a couple hours after dinner when I realize there is no cake for me to eat.
Rice Pudding. It’s In There Cooking, You Can’t See It.
Rice pudding. Let’s talk about it. People seem to love it or hate it. I love it. So does my husband. The kids hate it. PERFECT. More for me. I mean, US.
Don’t feel sorry for the kids, they have their own treats.
The rice pudding I make is super-simple and a couple things I like about it are that it is very delicious cold, which is how we like it, and that I can make it with 1% milk. It’s not a very rich dessert, if that’s what you’re looking for. Still, I find that I don’t think much about ice cream when rice pudding is around. Here’s the recipe (adapted from BH&G cookbook):
6 cups milk (I use 1%)
2/3 cup long-grain rice (I use jasmine)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coconut flavoring (optional)
Just put the rice and milk in a pot (I add 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean which is optional and I’ll discuss below. Completely nonessential, but fun.). Cook covered on low heat for like, three hours. Basically, forever. Make sure to stir it regularly and you can expect the bottom to get a little scorched no matter what, but seriously, do stir it. Also, I skim it (yuck). When it’s slightly thinner in texture than you like, take it off the heat and stir in sugar and flavorings. Cool and eat it. It thickens up considerably as it cools.
Here is the information about the ground vanilla bean: I like to have this on hand now that I know about it. I think it’s a great, economical way to make stuff look like you tried a lot harder, which is especially fun if you’re taking it somewhere, but hey, the family might like to feel a little fancy, too. Here is what it looks like:
Here is what you’ll find inside the jar:
Basically, I don’t see myself as ever being the kind of person who will go buy vanilla beans and use them in the place of vanilla extract. But, I am definitely the kind of person who would beef up vanilla extract with some of this. I paid $9.95 for the jar at Williams-Sonoma, and a little goes a long way.
The final order of business is Heat Wave, Day Three. I thought it would be storming by now, but it isn’t. I went for my walk at 1:00 today because I expected storms later. As it turns out, this was not the best choice since (1) no storms and (2) it’s 4:50 and I still don’t have my appetite back. I DEMAND AN END TO THIS.