“Wait, I think I heard their covers rustling. Oh yes, I'm sure of it
Scan the hallway for scary kitty cats
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Is the coast clear? I'll make a run for it.”
The happiest creature God gifted to the world, and we're lucky enough to have him, as a part of our family. Mornings at our house often start before our alarms, with the sound of snorts and sniffs at the edge of the bed. A few spins for good measure
“Good morning to you too, Z. Ready to start the day?”
Slowly we make our way toward the kitchen, I turn on the radio, and open the back door
“All right little one out you go. Focus, focus, don't get distracted by shiny things and forget what you need to do in the yard.”
By the time he's found his way back inside, there will be a couple of kitties perched on the counter waiting patiently for their morning treats. His pal Wally will be starting to stir, and the day has officially begun.
“The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there” ~Monica Baldwin
Mornings are my favorite — the first few hours bringing with them an unmatched stillness, as well as our daily rituals.
In the summertime, when there are blue skies and sunshine, it's easier to get out of bed. In the darker, grayer months of winter, I find it takes a certain resolve. The lights of the kitchen are reflected in the windows, there's a chill in the outside air, and the warmth of my electric blanket is sure hard to leave.
In the first hour of the day, I'll often start breakfast, and sit at our kitchen counter reading, watching as the light comes into the sky. My husband always begins by making something hot to drink, often it's coffee, though nothing fancy, dark and rich, poured into his favorite mug.
I like the way it fits into his hand, just so.
Admittedly, neither of us are morning people by nature, although certainly, we function out of necessity. I dislike the feeling of being rushed, as well as that of being late, which makes these first quiet hours of solitude feel like a gift.
After them, the day's possibilities somehow seem a brighter
This creamy rice pudding is a nice change of pace from our more traditional bowl of oatmeal. It has a delicious nutty, slightly sweet flavor that isn't too rich and is wonderful whether it's served hot or cold.
I love this recipe for many reasons. It's easy to throw together, using cooked rice that's essentially re-heated in a pot of milk, as opposed to other versions which call for cooking it in the milk instead. The final product is soft and creamy while maintaining its characteristic chew.
Make it your own with different fruit and nut toppings, along with a drizzle of liquid sweetener.
I'll admit experimenting with the flavors of figs and pistachios was a lot of fun. With fresh figs hard to come by most of the year, I appreciated having a process for poaching dried. Pistachios weren't something I'd have thought of, though they proved a nice complement
~ Adapted from Seven Spoons
Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding with Honey-Poached Figs and Pistachios
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup honey (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 10 - 12 figs
- Creamy Rice
- 3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
- 1 ¼ cups milk (or nut milk)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped (optional)
- Poach the Figs
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the water, honey, and salt to a boil.
- Lower the temp to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has begun to reduce (~20 minutes). It will be ready when it's thickened to a consistency of a light syrup.
- Add the figs to the simmering honey syrup. (They should be mostly covered by the syrup)
- Simmer until tender (~ 8 to 10 minutes) periodically turning them and stirring gently, helping to make sure each side is poached evenly.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a plate. Once they've cooled enough to touch, carefully remove the stems and cut each in half or quarters.
- Make the Rice
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the cooked rice, nut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the mix has begun to thicken (~ 10 to 12 minutes)
- (The final product will be a looser, without all of the milk being absorbed. It will continue to thicken once it's removed from the heat)
- Remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly and firm up a bit
- To serve
- Divide the rice between 4 bowls.
- Top with the poached figs and the chopped pistachios.
- A little bit of the syrup poaching liquid is a wonderful addition drizzled on top.