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I love the Holidays. I mean, I REALLY love the holidays. I am one of those women who suffer through the summer counting down the days until the weather cools down and the days get shorter. I’ve lived in LA my entire life and I swear it feels like every summer is hotter and longer than the last. But it’s November now and we are finally getting our version of cold weather. I won’t rub it in, I know 60° isn’t what most people consider winter but I’ll take what I can get! If I could convince my husband to decorate for Christmas November 1st, I would do it.
So when I went to Ralph’s and saw the Glade’s Winter Collection had arrived, I was so excited. I love walking in and seeing all the cute seasonal items. I’ve always thought that setting a scent atmosphere is so important in creating a mood and it’s important for me that my family and guests feel that when they enter our home. I continually transition Glade’s® seasonal products throughout the year and, by far, the Winter Collection is my favorite. Apple Cinnamon Cheer™ is my go-to Christmas scent. So of course I just had to get the candle, wax melts, plug-ins (which I’m addicted to with a smelly bulldog in the house) and the aerosol spray. The aroma of cinnamon immediately takes me back to all of my favorite Mexican holiday foods. I actually never realized how prominently cinnamon or canela is used in Mexican holiday cooking until I sat down to write this. Café de olla, empanadas de manzana or calabaza, mole, & tamales dulces, just to name a few.
But since I really want to include Nina Rose in this year’s holiday (at nine months old, this girl still doesn’t have a single tooth!) as much as possible, there is one Christmas tradition that is so perfect for infants discovering table foods – Arroz con Leche! My Abuelita Carmen makes this every year for Christmas and when we were little, my Dad would make this for us on special occasions, or now that I think about it, maybe when he wanted to use the rest of the milk by the expiration date!
Arroz con Leche is simple to tailor to different dietary needs by using non-dairy milk, brown rice, agave or other sugar substitutes, all with great results. But this girl likes her Arroz con Leche the old-school way! I actually ended up asking my other Grandma for her recipe because, as some of you may have experienced, most Latin family recipes are passed down by instruction or orally and I didn’t have a written recipe. Luckily for me, my Grandma Zita is amazing at being able to explain a recipe over the phone and the arroz came out perfectly.
Feel free to add raisins or different spices to your liking. I’ve always wanted to try adding a dash of cardamom, or maybe something a little spicier but in the spirit of Christmas traditions I stuck with the original recipe.
Grandma Zita’s Arroz con Leche
- 1 cup of washed short grain white rice
- 5 cups of milk (I used whole milk)
- 1 4oz can of sweet and condensed milk
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Ground cinnamon for garnish
- In a bowl or colander wash milk until water runs clear.
- Add washed rice, milk, condensed milk, and cinnamon sticks to a heavy pot.
- Bring mixture to a soft boil or medium heat, stirring slowly the entire time.
- Once mixture is boiling turn heat down low and stir slowly until rice is tender and milk has thickened.
- Remove cinnamon sticks and serve with ground cinnamon as a garnish
If you like your Arroz con Leche a bit soupier add milk towards the end otherwise it will be very thick.
I hope you enjoy this family recipe. You can save on Glade® products with coupons. Find coupons for Glade® on 12/7/14 in most Sunday newspapers in the coupon section, you can also find digital coupons for Glade on coupons.com