Kumquat season!

I took a trip to visit my grandmother over the weekend, and came home with bags of kumquats from her tree. After trying two methods of candied kumquats and making a batch of kumquat gin, I still have pounds of fruit left and more ideas for how to use it. This Bon Appetit Instagram is right up my alley, and this marmalade with vanilla bean and cardamom sounds delicious too. And I think I’ll try to substitute kumquats for the clementines in this roast chicken recipe from Jerusalem. Do you have any favorite kumquat recipes?


(image via here)


(image via here)


Thin Mints

Sadly, there’s a lack of Girl Scouts in my neighborhoods, which has meant a few Thin Mint-free years for me. Little did I know that all that’s standing between me and an ice-cold, after-dinner minty treat are three ingredients: Oreos, semisweet chocolate, and mint extract. (Thank you for changing my world, Top With Cinnamon!) I only worry that now that I know how easy it is to whip some up, I won’t be able to ration them into disciplined three-cookie servings. (Did you know February 8th was National Girl Scout Cookie Day?!)


Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

For Christmas, Melissa and Sam gave me a collection of cookbooks (in addition to other goodies like hand made fleur de sel caramels!) from my favorite chef, Ina Garten. Naturally, I just had to test out some recipes over the holidays. I made rum raisin rice pudding (which tastes just like the Haagen Dazs ice cream flavor!) from this Barefoot Contessa cookbook and practically licked the bowl. If you like rice pudding, you MUST try this!


  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 3/4 cup white basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cups half-and-half, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


In a small bowl, combine the raisins and rum. Set aside.

Combine the rice and salt with 1 1/2 cups water in a medium heavy-bottomed stainless steel saucepan. Bring it to a boil, stir once, and simmer, covered, on the lowest heat for 8 to 9 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. (If your stove is very hot, pull the pan halfway off the burner.)

Stir in 4 cups of half-and-half and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, until the rice is very soft. Stir often, particularly toward the end. Slowly stir in the beaten egg and continue to cook for 1 minute. Off the heat, add the remaining cup of half-and-half, the vanilla, and the raisins with any remaining rum. Stir well. Pour into a bowl, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Serve warm or chilled.

rum raisin rice pudding

{Image from here}