Happy New Year!

Did you celebrate the New Year in any special way? Dinner, family, friends? Jim and I were feeling a little under the weather (sadly a New Year’s tradition with one of us, usually) so we laid low and watch reruns of Seinfeld on my laptop. So exciting. :)

As cliched as it is, it’s resolution time. Even when you aren’t into resolutions it’s hard not to feel inclined towards the idea of a fresh start. We all have things we’d like to try/do/improve upon and the beginning of a new year (and decade!) seems like a perfect time to reassess and take stock. So here goes:

Beautiful tattoo work by Ximena Quiroz of Skeleton Key Tattoo in Portland

1. 2010 will be the year I truly dedicate to my yoga practice. Some of you may know that I have been a serious budding yogi for some years now, but developing a true home practice and branching into the study of yoga history and theory has been lopsided at best. It has come in fits and spurts and always ends up falling back into asana sandwiched in between the other random things I let get in the way. This year I’m committing to a true, robust practice, integrating yoga into my daily life.

2. Potty-mouth begone!
It may come as a surprise, but I am the owner of a serious potty-mouth. I can even make Jim shake his head and he works at a car dealership. My goal is to tone down the cussin’ to well-placed expletives that accentuate what I’m saying rather than make me look like I have a limited capacity to express myself.

3. I’m going to start working on another cookbook. A full-on, real meals and the whole she-bang cookbook, not just desserts. I do have a focus, but I’d rather not say anything right now. Things are still in the early stages and with this, yoga and my day job, I’m going to be busy and probably very absent from the blog-o-sphere. I will probably turn into one of those twice-a-month bloggers for some time. But I will definitely keep you guys up on the progress, as well as put a shout-out when I’m looking for some testing assistance.

And now, for some food. When I was a kid, I ate a lot of Jell-o products. While it grosses me out to think of eating it now, I have very fond memories. My grandfather would make cherry Jell-o with cans of fruit cocktail suspended in them and boxes of Jell-o pudding and my great-grandma was the queen of fancy multi-layered Jell-o molds.

Recently I was overtaken by a craving for pistachio pudding. I’ve recently become a pistachio eating fool, but this memory of eating a creamy, pistachio flavored food seemed confusing to me. Did my grandpa make pistachio pudding? Does pistachio pudding even exist? It sounded weird. Sure enough, a cruise down the pudding aisle revealed the pistachio pudding does exist and the quest for a homemade version began.

A quick survey of the internet showed that not many folks have bothered to make such a thing at home. Most recipes were cringe-inducing dishes involving packages of pistachio pudding and buckets of Cool-Whip. Blorch. I was on my own.

I almost cried when I tasted it, so creamy and delicious, it was like being punched in the face by nostalgia, but even better than I remembered.

Pistachio Pudding

1/2 cup shelled pistachios, finely ground (I used a coffee grinder that we use exclusively for nuts and seeds and it worked great)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. corn starch
2 cups milk of choice (I used soy for the fat content)
1/4 teas. vanilla

Grind up pistachios and best as possible. You could also try a blender, but I did mine in batches in a coffee grinder. In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch until well blended. Add the ground pistachios and mix. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook pudding on medium/high heat, whisking often, until it comes to a light bowl. Whisking constantly, let lightly boil for about 2 minutes. Lower heat and continue to whisk constantly for 5-8 more minutes, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. If you’re having problems with the pistachios clumping up a bit, you can always blend a little with a handmixer. Remove from heat and add vanilla, mixing well. Transfer to heat resistant bowls. Let cool completely before eating.

Makes four 1/2 cup servings.

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13 Responses to happy new year!

  1. kilax says:

    I have had to work on my potty mouth too! Don’t worry, once you start, you will feel weird when you drop a 4-letter word.

    And the benefit is, when you use them, they will have that much more meaning 😉

  2. Josiane says:

    Oh my, I have to make that pudding! With rose water instead of vanilla, I’m sure it’ll instantly take me back to Iran… Yum!

    I’d love to test for you! Especially as you may need testers after we’ll be done with Celine and Joni’s project, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be in testing withdrawal at that point. :)

  3. Aimee says:

    Oh my gosh! We used to love pistachio pudding…it was the favorite flavor of our entire household! I cannot wait to try this recipe!

  4. Courtney says:

    Happy New Year! Good luck with your goals–I will miss your posts, but will look for your call for testers…I would love to be a tester for you!

    I have never had pistachio pudding, but my grandmother makes it for every church potluck she goes to, and every time she tells me that over the phone when we talk, I say something like, “pistachio pudding?! What is that?!” It is good to know that it really does exist and that other people really do like it :-) I may have to try it myself and let her know…Although I think her version involves cool whip or something like that, lol.


  5. Ben says:

    Man I love that stuff
    Haven’t had it in years.
    Going to buy the ingredients next grocery run!

    What do you suggest for blending:Coffee grinder (used for coffee) or Magic bullet with the non choppy blade?

  6. Lee Ann says:

    The pudding looks so good.
    I’ve been craving Spumoni, the Italian pistachio/cherry/chocolate ice cream . I never thought about grinding up the pistachios. Can’t wait to try it.

  7. Vaala says:

    Happy New Year too!! I was nearly jumping out of my seat with excitement to read that you are writing another cookbook. Yours are my favourites when it comes to baking and the first ones I look through when picking what to make ’cause I know they will always work out.

  8. Beth says:

    Happy New Year! I’m bummed to see you won’t be posting as much, but the cookbook excuse is a damn good one. Good luck!

  9. Stacey says:

    The pudding looks amazing! Thanks so much for giving us your recipe for it.

    And Yay! that you’re working on another cookbook!

    Happy New Year!

  10. OMG is all I have to say to this pudding. It’s gorgeous. Such a good idea.

  11. hahaha, blorch! yeah, online shortcut recipes are um… interresin sometimes. but your pudding looks nothing short of WANT worthy. pistachios are the best. 😀