Arroz con Leche

In the United States, Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated as a way of honoring our Hispanic culture, history and ancestors in this country. This is a great opportunity to remind our Lanuguitos where they come from and how, many others, with diverse Hispanic descent, also join the celebration. We are all united by our culture and the many similarities we share in the food we eat and the holidays and traditions we celebrate but there are also some differences that make each country unique. Join the fun this month by teaching your kids more about what makes us Hispanic, and how certain traditions and dishes vary from country to country.

Here is an idea how: Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) is the perfect example of how something so good glues us together, but at the same time it is enjoyed all around Latin America and Spain with very distinct and special variations. For example: some add raisins and cinnamon for flavor, others use egg as a binding ingredient, and others use water and milk to cook the rice while others also add cream. Coconut milk, rum and lemon zest are also traditional ingredients used to enhance the flavors of this dish.

I like to get creative and add nontraditional ingredients to make it fun and even more appealing for kids. You could involve your lanuguitos by asking them what they think could go well with arroz con leche. Fresh fruits, colorful sprinkles or chocolate can be good ideas. Dulce de leche or toasted nuts could be great too.
I hope you get to try this simple recipe, dress it up as you prefer and also talk about how arroz con leche is also a song and a game. Look online and you will learn there are variations in the song lyrics and the way the game is played depending on the country. Make this a complete learning experience about our folklore for you and your Lanuguito.

Basic Arroz con Leche

Ingredients:

½ cup uncooked white rice
2 cups water
½ cup sugar
A pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups whole milk
1 cup evaporated milk
Directions
In a pot over high heat bring rice, water, sugar, cinnamon stick and salt to a boil.
Once water is boling bring temperature to medium low heat and keep cooking stirring every once in a while so the rice does not stick to the bottom.
After 20 minutes or so most of the water will be evaporated and absorbed by the rice.
Add the whole milk and keep cooking and stirring for 20 more minutes.
Milk will also reduce and the rice will become sticky, soft, sweet and tender.
Add the evaporated milk to give it a more deep flavor and silky texture.
Once rice is completely tender, rice pudding will be ready to serve.

For more delicious recipe you can visit Melissa’s blog, Hungry Food Love

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Foto Melissa Bailey

About the author: Melissa is the proud mami of Little L, a wonderful and curious toddler who is growing up bilingual. She is also the author of HungryFoodLove a recipe blog where she not only shares her passion for food, but also the peace and joy that is experienced by cooking and loving. Melissa is a firm believer that some of the greatest memories can be created around food, cooking with mamá, abuela, tía y, ¿por qué no?, papá. That is why her blog is intended to be a plate full of positive and encouraging messages served with delicious recipes. Melissa is originally from the Dominican Republic born and raised there so her Latin heritage is reflected in the food she cooks. She lives in Upstate New York with her daughter Little L. and her better half Mr. B.

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