Lately, (read: every single night for the last two years) the Peanut asks for a special treat after her dinner. The whole "special treat" has been both a boon and a bane in our little household. A boon because she'll sit and try new things, a bane because she's sometimes so focused on her treat that she'll claim that she's full well before she actually is.
On the other hand a treat for her includes a big bowl of frozen fruit so it's not all cookies and cake. Had I to do it all over again I would have never mentioned the term "special treat"; it was born from a moment of desperation that had nothing to do with dinner (trying to coax the Peanut away from the way past closing time playgroup room) but has since become a major part of our dinnertime lexicon.
Growing up, we didn't do dessert on a regular basis; after my Dad's first heart attack the household menu changed drastically, also my Mom was never really a baker, so desserts were in the cake mix aisle at grocery store or related to going to Grandma's house (chocolate cake with Peanut butter icing) until my parents started cooking their own Chinese food in a wok, using recipes from one of my Mom's co-workers. Somewhere around that time my Mom picked up a huge cook book full of recipes from different parts of the world, one of the dessert recipes in there quickly became a regular.
I'm just going from memory here, so amounts may vary but this recipe is so simple and actually lends itself well to improvisation. There are also no photographs (sorry). What you'll be making is a no bake rice pudding so you can plan to make extra rice when you are cooking a rice dish or use up leftover rice from dinner.
What you'll need:
left over cooked white rice (about 3 to 4 cups)
1 can fruit cocktail drained
1 medium sized carton of whip cream
sugar and vanilla for making whipped cream
What you do with it:
Mix your whipped cream until it's light and fluffy. Drain your fruit cocktail and mix it together with the cooked rice. Then fold in your whipped cream. you want the the rice to be well coated with whipped cream but not overwhelmed by it. Let it sit refrigerated for a few hours as the rice with absorb the sweet cream as well as some of the fruit flavours. You can also substitute cool whip if you like but I like the real thing.
As for improvisation you can add a little cinnamon or nutmeg to the cream and substitute other types of canned fruit; all peaches or all pears or use fresh fruit, cut up apples, pears and peaches with seedless grapes. The pudding is light and refreshing so it's a wonderful summer time dish that would be a great finish to a BBQ meal
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