Saturday, September 11, 2010

FDNY Fireman’s Rice Pudding

September 11, 2001.

Nine years later…

September 11, 2010.

Today is the anniversary of 9/11.

We will never forget this date.

The September 11 attacks were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by Al-Qaeda upon the United States.

So many innocent lives were lost. May we always remember those that died and those that are forever pained from this mindless tragedy.
I came across a recipe named, FDNY Fireman’s Rice Pudding.
I thought it would be fitting to post a recipe in honor of all our heroes.
God bless America!

FDNY Fireman’s Rice pudding
from DeSouter
Adapted Recipe Tutorial by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

Servings: 10
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

1 quart whole milk or 1 quart 2% low fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white rice (rinsed in cold water and drained)
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk (3/4 cup + ¼ cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins

1. Place milk and salt into a saucepan.

2. When milk is warm, add rice.

3. Bring to a slow boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly.

4. Cook until the rice is soft, about 35-40 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, blend the eggs, 3/4 c evaporated milk, vanilla and sugar.

6. Add 1/4 cup evaporated milk to the hot rice.

7. Add the raisins.

8. When rice is soft, spoon about 1 cup of the rice mixture into the blended egg mixture, then pour the mixture into the remaining rice and cook until bubbly and thick.

9. Place into a bowl, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top if you wish.

10. Refrigerate until cold.


FDNY Fireman’s Rice Pudding
An Adapted Version by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

I cook the rice in water instead of the milk. I use medium grain rice.
First, add 1 cup rice into a colander and rinse with water.

Add the rice into saucepan. Pour in 2 cups water.
Add ¼ teaspoon salt and stir.
Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. (stir once after 5 minutes)
The water should be halfway evaporated. Stir.
Cook on low heat. Cover with a lid (or aluminum foil) and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid. Stir rice.
Add 4 cups milk (or 1 quart) into the rice.

Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered. Stirring often.
While rice simmers…make the EGG MIXTURE.

In a large bowl, blend the 2 eggs,
Add only 3/4 cup (of the 1 cup) evaporated milk,

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and ½ cup sugar to eggs.
(I added more vanilla a little more sugar-about ¼ cup).

Set the egg mixture aside.

Back to the milk & rice in the saucepan:
Add the remaining 1/4 cup evaporated milk to the hot rice.
Add ¼ cup raisins.
When rice is soft, spoon about 1 cup of the rice mixture
into the blended egg mixture,
then pour the mixture into the remaining rice and cook until bubbly and thick.
Place into a bowl, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top if you wish.

Cover using plastic film wrap on top of rice pudding.
This prevents a top skin from developing on the rice pudding.

Refrigerate until cold.

Want to jazz up your Rice Pudding?
Add about ¼ cup liquor (more or less to your liking) to the rice pudding towards the end of the cooking process.

Here are some liquor suggestions:

Bacardi Gold Rum


Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pretty in Pink S’mores ~ Have A Great Labor Day Weekend!

It’s Labor Day Weekend. Last weekend for summer fun at the beach or pool!

There will be lots of burgers on the grill…

Keep the coals hot…because dessert can be made on the grill too.

How about S’mores?
The classic S’mores is made with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows.
Here's a new twist to the classic...I call it...


These S’mores are made with shortbread cookies, white chocolate, sea salt and strawberry marshmallows.

S’mores on the beach…
chocolaty, gooey, and messy…YUM..a FUN dessert!

Check out the fabulous variations of
S’mores recipes
from other food bloggers.

Pretty in Pink S’mores
Recipe by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

Serving: 1

2 Shortbread cookies (Lorna Doone)
Pinch sea salt
1 square (1/2 oz) Ghirardelli White Chocolate
1 Strawberry Marshmallow (Kraft brand)

Items needed:
BBQ grill
Aluminum foil

Have your ingredients ready.

Start your grill and wait until hot and ready to use.

Place a square piece of aluminum foil on grill. (12 in. x 12 in. approx)

Lay one cookie on aluminum foil.

Place white chocolate on top of the cookie.

Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.

Melt Chocolate slightly.

Meanwhile, pierce one strawberry marshmallow onto a skewer.

Rotate the marshmallow an inch or so above the grill grate.

Careful not to let the marshmallow touch the grate.

When the marshmallow is grilled, using a fork,

slide marshmallow onto the white chocolate.

Top with another shortbread cookie.

Remove aluminum foil from grill.

Place S’more on a plate.

Squeeze the two cookies together slightly.

The marshmallow and white chocolate will ooze out.

That’s ok. That’s the markings of a great S’more!

Have napkins ready….you’ll need lots of them!

Enjoy making your Pretty in Pink S’mores!

Have a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Peace in Baking,

Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HELP Erika! (Food Blogger: The Ivory Hut)~ Her Home Burnt Down 8/31/10

Dear readers,

I’ve occasionally visited a food blog called The Ivory Hut. This is Erika’s blog. An unfortunate thing happened to Erika and her family on Tuesday, August 31, 2010. Her home burned down to the ground.

I read this on Erika’s twitter stream:

“Our house burned down last night. Barely made it out alive. Homeless, possession-less. But we're all safe and together. Still richly blessed.
7:05 AM Sep 1st”

I’ve never met Erika. But, that won’t deter me from doing the right thing to help a fellow blogger….or ‘sweet sister’ as I’ve seen it put.

You are welcomed and encouraged to help Erika in her time of need. ANY donation AMOUNT will help. As a collective force, we can all help Erika rebuild.

The lovely thing is…Erika feels blessed. Blessed that her family is alive and safe. It’s true …things can be replaced, but family cannot. She is spiritually in the right place.

If you cannot donate at this time, please send Erika and her family a silent blessing. But remember…ANY donation amount is appreciated!

There is a website called ‘Friends of The Ivory Hut’ which is dedicated to helping Erika and her family.

About Friends of The Ivory Hut
Friends of The Ivory Hut is maintained by Maggy Keet of and Alice Currah of This site was created to help our sweet sister in a deep time of great need.

Maggy Keet of

If you have any questions about the site, ‘Friends of The Ivory Hut’,
please email
Alice Currah of

HOW you can donate!

• Send donations via Paypal
(see payment details on website, Friends of The Ivory Hut)

Or by

You can send donations in the form of checks or gift cards to places such as Walmart or Target, please mail them to:

Maggy Keet
re: Erika
354 East 91st St #2004
NY, NY 10128
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I want to say ‘Thank You’ to Maggy and Alice for their efforts in getting this fundraiser off the ground for Erika!

I am spreading the word, as I hope all of you will too.

Let’s help Erika rebuild!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You can read Erika’s story on her blog, THE IVORY HUT that she was able to share with us. She was able to write this using a friend’s computer.

See Erika’s story below:


Added Sep 1, 2010

Last night, my head was preoccupied with last minute work on a special project and putting the finishing touches on a post. My husband Tom and I had also been discussing the logistics of possibly attending BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco. These were the things that weighed on my mind.

A mere hour or so later—and instant, really—we were outside, in our shirts and shorts, watching our house crumble as it was engulfed in flames. I’ll never forget that hissing and crackling noise as my husband’s home of almost 30 years practically disintegrated before our eyes.

But we were safe. All of us. Our son Tim, without hesitation, ran back inside when he realized his grandmother was sleeping upstairs. By the time he got to her, it was too late to try and exit the house the same way he came in. Fortunately, Tom had devised a fire escape plan years ago, and Tim was able to bodily carry his feeble 82-year-old grandmother out the window, onto the roof, and eventually down on the deck. The sight of this brave son of mine carrying his grandmother as he ran down the lawn and away from the house is one I will never forget.

Obviously, none of us slept last night. We are fortunate to belong to a congregation that is as close to us as family, and one of our dear friends drove to our house last night to pick us up and take us to her home, which is where I sit right now, typing this.

The magnitude of the loss is almost too much to comprehend in its entirety. So last night, I mentally walked through all the rooms in the house, taking stock of what was valuable in that room, and then systematically making peace with the loss. I said goodbye to my new MacBook Pro, my 500GB drive of photographs, another 500GB drive of music files. My purse, with all my identification cards, and all the car keys—car keys that are useless anyway, since the flames have likely taken our cars too. Our passports and birth certificates. My husband’s prosthetic leg, without which he is unable to freely move around. Our shoes, all our clothes, and our musical equipment. My engagement ring and my wedding ring, and a gold bracelet passed on to me by my mother on my wedding day.

My baby pictures, which are the only remaining proof that once upon a time, I was actually cute. My iPod Touch, the value of which is immeasurable because it held all my half-finished songs, poems, and writings.

But when I weigh it all against the value of being able to hold my husband’s hand and my son’s hand last night as we said a family prayer of thanks for our survival, as well as a petition for strength to deal with the days to come, and the fact that this morning, I woke up to a day with both of them still with me, then I still think I got the better end of the deal.

Oh, and I’m sorry there are no photos in this post. You see, my beloved Canon 5D and all those lenses I had? They’re gone too.

Which stings, I’ll admit. But all I have to do is throw a glance my family’s way and yep, I’m still blessed.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I pray for Erika and her family as they try to rebuild their lives…

Peace and Love,

Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul




Thank You.

~ Carmen Ortiz - blogger (Baking is my Zen)