Bedtime Banana and Coconut Rice Pudding

Bedtime Banana and Coconut Rice Pudding

IMAG0644

Banana and Coconut Rice Pudding

Every now and then, I fall victim to insomnia.  My mind starts racing, I toss and turn in my bed, and often, my stomach starts growling.  When things like this happen, I know enough to give in, get up and go do something.  Some nights, I’ll put on an intriguing movie to get lost in, or I’ll pick up a fascinating novel and read it cover to cover. Other nights, I go into the kitchen and start creating.  This is one of those nights.

I love tropical fruits like mangos, bananas, coconuts and pineapple.  There’s something so refreshing about biting into a juicy, sweet, chunky piece of fruit, and rich flavorful coconut milk feels like silky cream on my tongue.  This is probably why fruit is always in my refrigerator, rice can always be found in my pantry, and lately, all types of coconut products can be found in my home.

Haupia, from my Instagram feed

Haupia, from my Instagram feed

When I was a kid, my favorite desserts weren’t cookies and cupcakes, but all the Asian ones: Thai mango and sticky rice, Vietnamese che chuoi (tapioca and banana pudding), Japanese mochi (sticky rice cakes) and Hawaiian haupia (coconut gelatin).  [If you follow me on Instagram or Pinterest, you’ll see all my favorite foods and more].   Even in a restless state of mind, I remembered all of my favorite childhood desserts, raided my cupboard and threw together this easy banana and coconut rice pudding.  The result is a thick, custard-like dessert, with flavors of coconut, banana and almond to enjoy.

I used Trader Joe’s coconut milk, the kind that comes in a carton and is kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.  It’s less fattening than the canned milk type and cooks the rice well.  Because I love the way almond and coconut mix, I used almond extract, but vanilla will do if that’s what you have on hand.  For the rice, I use Calrose premium rice.  I like it’s chewy, thick texture, and find it similar to tapioca pearls.  The rice cooks quickly, in about 20-25 minutes, and you’ll need to stir it frequently.  Towards the end of cooking time, the pudding will thicken quite a bit, so keep your eye on the pot!

This dessert is enjoyable warm or chilled.  The aroma of cinnamon and coconut is pretty irresistible, and will offer a nice, soothing fragrance to your home.  Sweet, sweet dreams, my friends.

IMAG0640Banana & Coconut Rice Pudding
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rice, uncooked
2 cups coconut milk (beverage type)
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 banana, peeled and split lengthwise, then quartered

  1. Add the rice, coconut milk, cinnamon and almond extract to a pot over medium high heat.  Taste the milk and adjust sweetness or cinnamon as desired.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and allow to gently simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
  2. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the bananas.  Continue to stir to prevent from sticking.
  3. Allow to cool, then serve warm or chilled.
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Rice, Rice Baby: How a Bowl of Rice Saved Me $500

Rice, Rice Baby: How a Bowl of Rice Saved Me $500

Dry Rice - its a beautiful thing!

 

At the risk of pushing a stereo-type, I will come out and say that yes, I am Asian and yes, I love rice.  Okay, insert your jokes while I move on with the rest of my story…

Splash! As soon as it happened, a gasp escaped from my mouth and panic washed over my face.  I dropped my HTC Evo into a sink filled with water.  In a split second, the shock wore off and as I realized what was happening, I fished the phone out of the water just in time to see it shut off before my eyes.  Like a fool, I tried to turn it back on.  I was manically pushing the power button only to see a blank screen respond. 

One of the worst things you can do when your phone meets water is to turn it on.  In fact, your phone shuts off as part of a self-preservation mechanism.  The right thing to do is to take the phone apart, remove the battery and let it air dry overnight.  The best way to do this is to submerge your phone in a bowl of dry rice.  Rice has amazing absorption abilities, and if you’re patient enough, all the water in your phone will be absorbed (or perhaps, absolved) by the rice.  If you don’t believe me, just look at this site and this site and this site.  It really works!

Since I can’t be without my phone for 24 hours (who am I kidding, more like 24 minutes) I had my old phone re-activated.  And since I had to learn all of these things the hard way, I am providing a list of tips for you here:

  • Always keep your previous mobile phone handy.  You just never know.
  • If your mobile phone hits water, shut it off immediately.
  • Take the phone apart and bury it in dry rice.
  • Allow the phone at least 24 hours to dry properly.
  • Back up your phone and contact lists regularly.  There are a number of online services or your provider may offer a few solutions. 

It probably goes without saying, but don’t rest your phone on the side of a sink.  Particularly if it’s filled with water!  I’m off to re-activate my phone and de-activate my old phone.  Wish me luck!