So the Chicklet has been home with a bit of a toddler-style, No-Day-Care allowed cold for the first couple days this week. I didn’t realize how tired *I* was until I decided to follow HER sleep schedule these few days at home. BOY! We slept until 10:00AM and took naps in the afternoon, even! I swear I felt refreshed…. that is until last night when she went to bed at 8:30PM and my husband sacked out next to her. There was NO WAY I could stay in bed any longer. It gave me a whole two hours of down time…. no baby latched to my leg as I attempt to walk, to dishes to do, lunches all packed, checkbook balanced (yes, we do that!), etc. TWO HOURS! Lord, have mercy!
So… what did I do? I sat on the couch and watched Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (re-runs, at that!) with a complete lack of brainwaves. Pitiful, right? Yes, but completely delightful too. Sometimes I think a little mellowed out time is good for all of us. I’m not so sure the TV is a necessary component of that, but it was nice to watch someone else’s chaos for a bit rather than muddling through my own. (Ah… if only there were little elves and fairies who graded papers and tests at night…….)
To make the Chicklet feel a little better, I have been back in the kitchen backing and cooking. Tuesday, I had just put some rice in the rice cooker (my mommy-doesn’t-have-to-watch-it-boil gadget) when my husband walked in the door and announced that he was taking us out for dinner. Hey! Who am I to argue? I was up and prepping the diaper bag before he could change his mind. The only “problem” was the cooking rice. I knew we could leave the rice cooker on as it would just switch to “keep warm” mode once the rice was done…. but what to do with that “leftover” rice?
What do you do with leftover rice?
At our house, the leftover rice is most frequently used up by:
- packing it in lunches with leftover stir-fry
- served up for snacks (or packed in lunches) as onigiri (even the Chicklet likes her onigiri!)
- compressed in to a gluten free version Spam (or sometimes ham) Musubi mold the next day
- made in to fried rice
- converted into a quick rice porridge (although to be honest, it’s not as good as when made with fresh rice grains)
- Calas – we use a variation on this recipe, but we add more vanilla, some cream cheese and cinnamon and then we fry it up a little longer so the outside bits are a bit crunchy too.
It’s that last one that might be new to some of you. Calas are great and really rather easy (if you don’t mind frying things in oil). While the recipes you find online will vary with the amount of eggs (sometimes 2, sometimes 3, etc) or the amount of flour required (sometimes as little as 6 Tablespoons or as much as 1 cup) even though they have the same amount of rice (typically 2 cups of leftover rice), it’s easy to convert the recipes to gluten free. Select the one that has less flour in it as that will make it easier (we really like the one linked about), and have a go. Once you see how easy and delicious, start changing that recipe to match your tastes! For example, for the recipe linked above, we do the following now:
Makes 12 Tablespoon sized Calas
1 cup leftover cooked rice
3 Tablespoons GF Flour Mix
3 teaspoons of sugar or 2 teaspoons of agave nectar
2 Tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar for coating after frying or honey for drizzling after frying
- Mix together all ingredients (minus vegetable oil and topping of choice) in your mixer well. (OR … if the presence of rice kernels in a doughnut are enough to make you cringe, then mix it together in your food processor as the blade will chop those bad-boy rice kernels in to smitherings. You may want to watch this as when I’ve done it in the past, I have added a 1/4 cup more of leftover rice to the mix just to make sure it’s not to mushy to form blobs for frying.)
- Heat your frying oil to 350F. Drop (carefully!) the calas by the tablespoon into the hot oil and fry until deep golden brown on the outside. (A tad longer if you like to have a little crunch… oh-so-good!). Drain on paper towels after removing with a slotted spoon. Dust with powdered sugar or shake in a bag with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar or drizzle with honey.
- Enjoy while warm!
To make COCOA Calas: add 1/4 cup of unsweetened dark cococa powder to your mix. And keep that cream cheese there – it adds to the yummy goodness and smooth taste of the calas.
Yes, I know. Cream cheese is NOT a standard calas ingredient. But, go with me, will ya? It’s DELICIOSO!
Happy GF eating!