Forgive me, but I can hold out no longer.


I’ve thought positive thoughts. I’ve remained peaceful and stoic. I’ve even purchased a bathing suit in desperate watchful anticipation of temperate days to come.

Despite noble attempts at quiet endurance and meditative positions, I’m caving to my craving: some decidedly cliché, indisputably necessary weather-induced whining is due.

Oh ancient people of Wisconsin, why did you settle in this frigid, icky wasteland of a climate? Why did you not barrel on through Minnesota, the Dakotas, and a several other rectangular states until you hit the sunny Pacific? Instead of the shoveling snow from your covered wagons, you could have nibbled Pinkberry yogurt and replenished your supply of Sun Tropic.

Yesterday was the first day of spring and this is the view from our combo kitchendiningingliving room.


I do appreciate winter, with its cozy mugs of mulled wine, excuses to stay inside all day and feast on elaborate breakfasts, and abundance of soft ginger cookies, but really—a 19-degree high on the first day of spring?

This calls for Cherry Amaretto Rice Pudding.


Since winter is stubbornly thwarting my plans to sip sangria on the shores of a lake and bake the world’s greatest strawberry pie, I turned a classic comfort dish to assuage my sorrows: rice pudding. Creamy, soothing, and loaded with tart dried cherries + sweet amaretto, my Cherry Amaretto Rice Pudding is a recipe to beat lingering winter and welcome spring. No matter your climate, Cherry Amaretto Rice Pudding will make you feel better about your life.


Wonderful served either hot or cold, Cherry Amaretto Rice Pudding belongs in any season. Hot, it warms to the soul and reminds you that—even in the bleakest of times—goodness, pleasure, and beauty are not to be defeated. Cold, Cherry Amaretto Rice Pudding is reminiscent of a frozen custard: rich, velvety, and elegant.

So who at this point is totally weirded out by the idea of rice and pudding united as one? I know it sounds odd, but let’s consider this recipe a trust fall, and I’m asking you to lean back and open wide. Rice pudding is a delight, and if you do not believe me, ask your grandmother: this is an old-school dessert. It also exists in different forms all over the world, so join the global party and take a bite!


Traditional rice pudding is created by cooking white rice in some ratio of milk and cream, then mixing in sugar and eggs to develop a pseudo-custard. For my version, I used white basmati rice for the creamiest possible texture. For dairy, I choose mostly non-fat milk to keep the rice pudding lighter and healthier, but still incorporated enough half-and-half to ensure the dish stayed true to its rich, comforting roots. Honestly, I could have stopped there and this rice pudding would have been fabulous.


Or….I could soak thirsty dried cherries in sweet amaretto until they gobbled every sweet drop. Good decision. I nearly devoured them all immediately, they are that fantastic. Make extra, eat as much as you dare, then pry yourself away from the bowl. Stir the survivors into your creamy, decadent Cherry Amaretto Rice Pudding, and serve generously. Spring does deserve a celebration after all.

As do you.