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. 😀