On Wednesday afternoon and evening we got hit with the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. It wasn't too bad here in Ithaca - there was flooding in the low-lying areas, and Cornell was closed on Thursday morning, but we got off really lightly compared to surrounding areas.
Anyway, it was dumping rain when I went home Wednesday night, and my fridge/freezer/cupboards were abnormally empty. Having a sore back for a week and a half folllowed by a trip to CA apparently had cut into my grocery shopping. I opted to go right home instead of going to Wegman's, since that area seems to flood.
Rainy or cold weather makes me want to cook, so I decided to bake a chocolate chip coffeecake for the students. I had in mind something like the Hobee's blueberry coffeecake, but with chocolate chips. I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It was pretty simple - a sour creme coffeecake batter is layed with a mix of chocolate chips, sugar, and a bit of cinnamon. I was lazy and didn't separate the eggs, but other than that I followed the recipe.
It came out pretty well. My sense of taste is off due to a cold, and perhaps I was still imagining the really cinnamony Hobee's coffee cake, so it seemed chocolately but somewhat bland to me. If I make it again I'll add a lot more cinnamon. The students really liked it. They're an easy crowd, but this was definitely above-average to them. When I bake with chocolate I don't always share with them, so perhaps that is the reason for the compliments.
I also made some diet rice pudding. This one is a winner, even to my malfunctioning taste buds. It assumes you don't have any leftover rice on hand. (I rarely do since I don't cook it often) If you do use leftovers, skip right to the second step.) Here's the recipe, adapted from one I found on the internet.
Old Biddy's Diet Rice Pudding
1/2 cup short grain rice
2 cups water
2 cups milk
Splenda and vanilla (to taste)*
Cook rice in water until all water is absorbed. Add milk and simmer on low heat until thick (about 30 minutes) (If you're going to use sugar and/or raisins, add it with the milk)*. Stir occasionally. Transfer to bowl and let it cool for a few minutes. Add in Splenda and vanilla.
Mmmm mmm mmm - so creamy! The texture is great. I'm not crazy about the artificial sweetener, though. Even so, it didn't last long. When I make it again I'm just going to use an absolute minimum of sugar. Continuing on the more spice theme, I'll probably add come spices (cinnamon + nutmeg, or throw a chai teabag in there while it cooks)
* I think that 1/3 to 1/2 cups sugar ought to be about right if you are going to use sugar rather than splenda.