Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger: Aran of “Cannelle et Vanille”
I adopted Aran of Cannelle et Vanille. A friend on Facebook shared this gorgeous blog with me because she knew I was gluten-free, and I am so glad she did! The subtitle is “Food, life and photography,” and it is just that — a blend of musings, wonderful pictures, and stories of cooking and baking, as well as recipes.
After choosing to adopt this blogger, I got a little nervous–what if I couldn’t find some of the less common ingredients in this small(ish) town? I couldn’t remember having seen hazelnut flour, for instance, when I’d been out and about, and I didn’t think I’d be able to order anything in time for the deadline, though I’ve been dying to try my hand at some of those recipes for a while. Well, I needn’t have worried–just a couple of days ago, Aran posted a tempting recipe (scroll way down) for Coconut Rice Pudding (aka Arroz con leche), and with the exception of the lady apples, I knew I could find what I needed to make the dessert. Arroz con leche has never been one of my favorites, but something about that coconut milk was calling my name!
The magic of this recipe is the smell… or the taste… or the way you feel when you eat it… or all of those things–it’s just magical in general. And, best of all, it really does take just 30 minutes or so to put together. The arborio rice cooked up just the way it was supposed to, in around 15 minutes, and while it was doing its thing, I measured the coconut milk, the whole milk, and the sugar; zested (if that is a verb) my half lemon; and scraped my vanilla bean (definitely the best part!).
When the rice was ready, I added in the next ingredients and then waited another 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Let me tell you, the whole kitchen smelled tantalizing.
The instructions said to eat the pudding lukewarm, but my husband and I just couldn’t wait. Since I had no access to lady apples (a shame, since they looked so pretty on Aran’s blog), I substituted an Empire apple (my only substitution), slicing it very thinly, and topping it with the chopped pistachios and brown sugar, as instructed. At that point, we proceeded to down the (very) warm dessert. I wish I were better with words, so that I could truly describe what I felt when I lit into this, but words fail me. It really was that good! All I could think was, “This is comfort food,” and then, because I have trouble staying in the moment, “I can’t wait to make this again!” It was smooth, creamy, nuanced, yummy… please make it for yourself! I just know that you will love it as much as I did.
Thanks to Aran for getting me in the kitchen to make a fabulous dessert, and for her beautiful blog. And thanks to Book of Yum for this experience!