Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rice Pudding Comfort

There is nothing more comforting than a good old fashioned rice pudding with the added flavour from flecks of vanilla seeds putting it in to a 'must' for a winter dessert option. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top, and it won't last long with children and adults alike. The best thing of course is that it is completely, deliciously gluten free.

Since going to the States last year and eating copious amounts of deli rice puddings (which I could safely trust were gluten free) I have been trying to replicate the taste and texture back home. I've googled recipes and tested them out with the family who were happy to oblige, but they are happier now that I have found the perfect recipe!

Over the weekend my partner and I took a trip up north and for breakfast yesterday we went to my favourite breakfast cafe. They had rice pudding in their chiller, which is not something you often see in New Zealand. I ordered it, and it was heavenly, so I told the chef of my appreciation and she offered the recipe to me. I was delighted - well, I guess the ingredients are predictable for such a basic pudding but it was the method which was new to me. And double the quantity of milk too.

Rice Pudding

1 cup of short/medium grain rice (preferably Arborio)
2 cups water
pinch of salt

Simmer in a large pot for 25 mins

Add 2 litres whole milk

Simmer further 25 mins

Mix together: 3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornflour
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 cup cream

Add to rice pot and cook for a minute.
Cool and refrigerate. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Doggy drawings

Oh my goodness - it has been so long since my last post that I had forgotten my blog password! So yes, I've been sidelined with the start of a new school year and back to the busy routines of classes, sports and appointments. This year we are at four schools between the six of us (that's three boys at primary, the two teenagers at single sex high schools and me at a coed public school).

I have a vision to make time for my art and become a better illustrator. One of my goals is to teach kids how to cartoon and develop their own style. My own children are really fabulous at cartooning as we've done lots of doodling together and they like to watch me at work. Last year I went into a few schools and did a few 'visiting artist' lessons. Wow, I loved it! The kids were so receptive and experimental. One class sent me a 'thank you' card with drawings that the kids had worked on after my lesson...some were really cool. I hope I inspired them to keep up with it.

I've been asked to illustrate a small publication about a Sydney Silky X dog. Today I got started on it after being sent a photo of the star himself. I'm not a dog person, but I have to admit he is pretty cute.

I tried out a few eyes to start with. Since the dog has such big eyes I thought I needed to do a slightly different style to the one I normally do as two small dots would be lost ...

 See what I mean? Still looks like a dog, but not this dog!

Noses are a bit of a challenge - you don't want them to look too snorty/snouty...

Nearly there, just need to reposition the features.

The doodle paper. I had lots of advice from my children on what they thought the dog should look like and which version they preferred.

The perspective between the eyes and the nose were slightly off with this one.

Finally, happy! He comes alive with some scruffiness and the magic of Copics. This drawing is 1 inch high would you believe? Now to put the dog into action for the story lines. I think I have about twenty to do so may post a few over the next few weeks.