Cuban-Style Arroz con Leche

Growing up, my grandmother was the queen of Cuban desserts. I have a tremendous sweet tooth so I know good desserts when I taste them and I have yet to find anything remotely as delicious as my grandmother’s Arroz con Leche (rice pudding, my favorite), Flan or Natilla (and I live in Miami, where Cuban bakeries and restaurants are a dime a dozen).  Hers were simply in a league of their own.  Sadly, I don’t have my grandmother’s recipe, so being my perfectionist OCD self, I decided to google Arroz con Leche recipes and found one that I really liked and made a few adjustments. I know there are many recipes out there that only use cow milk, however, I cannot imagine making this dessert without condensed and evaporated milk. This recipe is super easy to follow and will make for a very sweet and creamy Arroz con Leche.

3/4 cup of short grain rice

2 cups of water
Zest from one lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 14 oz. can of condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Ground cinnamon for garnish

Cook the rice in a saucepan with water, lemon zest, and a 2 cinnamon sticks. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed and rice is tender. Drain any excess water and remove the cinnamon sticks.

Add the evaporated milk, condensed milk, salt, and vanilla extract to the rice and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness. Should start to look like this:

Remove from heat and serve in smaller jars or bowls for individual servings if you wish. Top with ground cinnamon and chill in the refrigerator overnight (some like to serve it warm, I prefer it chilled). A delicious refreshing summertime dessert!

Have you ever made homemade Arroz con Leche?  I would love to know if you have a different recipe?My Signature








Gifts for Dad

Father’s Day is this coming Sunday, and if you’re still trying to look for some creative and different gifts for all of the special dads, grandpas, uncles, etc, in your life, here’s a quick list:

For the ice-cream loving dads, here’s a gift I think is pretty unique.  eCreamery’s Father’s Day Gift Packs. They offer very creative packaging with names such as Property of Dad and My Dad My Hero, and you can choose from a variety of flavors like Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cups & Fudge Swirls, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies & Cream and Brownie Batter.


Father’s Day Classic Collection, photo courtesy of

For the man who enjoys wearing some bling, here is a very original braided leather bracelet, available at You can personalize by choosing the names of the children.


Men Braided Leather Bracelet with Small Custom Beads in Silver, photo courtesy of

I love the idea behind You can choose crates for all types of hobbies, from the chef to the sports fanatic. Man Crates has your manly-man covered.

Man crate

Beer Aficionado Crate, photo courtesy of

Another cute gift for dad from his young kids is the What I Love About Dad Fill In The Love Book Journal, available at Amazon. This is a great way for the little ones to express what they love about their dads:


What I Love About Dad Fill-Inn Journal, photo courtesy of Amazon

For those dads that enjoy some snacking while watching TV or hanging out outside here’s a good choice, Man Snack Bucket, available at


Man Snack Bucket, photo courtesy of

For the dads that love to plan trips and travel (like my hubby), here’s a great idea, the Atlas Obscura, available on Amazon:


Photo courtesy of

And last but certainly not least, here’s a cute idea for Dad from his little girl, a key chain and necklace set, available on Amazon:


There is The Girl she Stole My Heart she Calls me Daddy – Daughter Keychain, Necklace Set – Father’s Day Gift

I hope you find some good gift ideas here. Wishing you all a wonderful Father’s Day with your loved ones.

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Gilmore Girls Road Trip

A few years ago, my daughter and I binge watched Gilmore Girls on Netflix. We have a very close relationship so naturally we immediately fell in love with the show, all of the characters and the fictional town of Stars Hollow.  As I like to say, she is the Rory to my Lorelai. Since we love to travel and Spring Break was approaching at the time, my daughter planned a Mother/Daughter Gilmore Girls road trip, visiting some of Connecticut’s most picturesque small towns (similar to our own Gilmore Girls Fan Fest).

We flew to Hartford and then ventured through Litchfield, Kent, New Milford, Washington Depot (which inspired the show’s creator Amy Sherman-Palladino to develop Gilmore Girls during her stay in town) and back to New Haven. My daughter put a lot of thought and planning into this trip and came up with the perfect itinerary.  The only thing I would suggest to do differently would be to maybe go in the fall, as in March the weather was cool and cloudy.  We had so much fun, here’s how our trip panned out.

ETSY_Gilmore Girls Bundle-07

Day 1, Hartford

We stayed at the Residence Inn Hartford Downtown and explored Hartford in search of “Emily & Richard’s house” and “Chilton”, where Rory went to school. We decided to also do a bit of sightseeing as this was our first time in Hartford. During our drive through town we stopped at Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery and Pastry Shop for a snack. This is a beautiful, genuine, Italian neighborhood bakery, which we loved and sadly do not have any of in Miami. We also visited the Mark Twain House & Museum, the Old State House and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. In the evening we drove around West Hartford and had dinner at Barcelona Wine Bar.  Very yummy tapas.

residence inn

Residence Inn Hartford Downtown


Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery offers a very large selection of goodies!


Mark Twain House and Museum


Connecticut Old State House


Wadsworth Atheneum

Day 2, Litchfield

Litchfiled was definitely a quaint little town. We stayed at the very cozy Litchfield Inn and drove around searching for “Kim’s Antiques”. We found many charming shops in the center of town, in particular, Litchfield Candy Company.  We took some pictures of the First Congregational Church, visited the Shrine of Lourdes and finally stopped for a late lunch at the West Street Grill.

litchfield inn

The Litchfield Inn


Lobby of Litchfield Inn


Litchfield Candy Co.


Tons of goodies to choose from


First Congregational Church


Lourdes Grotto


Lunch at West Street Grill


Shops and restaurants on West Street


Another cute shop in town


A very charming art, antiques & furnishings store

Day 3, Kent

The drive to Kent took us through some hilly roads so please have your GPS handy and definitely do not drive at night, unless you know the area. We stayed at The Inn at Kent Falls, a very beautiful B&B, which has sadly been permanently closed since our visit. We also strolled along Main Street, where most of the shops and eateries are located. We had some warm coffee and picked up some specialty chocolates at the Kent Coffee and Chocolate Co. and then stopped in at the House of Books. Very quaint little town, with many beautiful Victorian homes.


Welcome to Kent


The entryway into the Inn


The bathroom in our suite


The homemade breakfast served each morning


The beautiful farm kitchen


A visit to the House of Books

Day 4, New Milford & Washington Depot

New Milford was the least of my favorite towns, however, this is where we found the gazebo, similar to the one in Stars Hollow, on the New Milford Town Green.  We walked around and took in some of the shops and eateries on Main Street and Bank Street.  Before heading out, we drove up to the Canterbury School, which my daughter says appeared similar to Chilton, where Rory went to school.


The gazebo on the town green


The Canterbury School


A church in town


The New Milford Public Library

We then headed to Washington Depot, the town that inspired the show. We stayed at the famous Mayflower Inn & Spa, which is absolutely gorgeous, I highly recommend a stay there.  While exploring the town, we had some coffee at Marty’s,  the “Luke’s” of the town and we also stopped in at the Washington Food Market, which resembled a small market like “Doose’s”. Washington Depot has many charming shops and restaurants, we also visited The Hickory Stick Bookshop  which is a beautiful, independent book store that also sells cards, gifts, plush and toys for kids.  Later in the evening, we had dinner at Community Table, which had amazingly fresh and delicious food.


Mayflower Inn & Spa, simply stunning property

Mayflower Collage

Welcome sign, Do Not Disturb sign and brunch


Our beautiful room


Marty’s Cafe


Not quite Luke’s Coffee Shop, but it was cozy and yummy

food market

Washington Food Market, similar to Doose’s


Yummy meals at Community Table restaurant


Hickory Stick Bookshop had lots of great books, cards and stationery gifts as well

Day 5, New Haven

A stop in New Haven was a must, as we had to visit Yale, where Rory went to college.  We stayed at the New Haven Hotel and explored the campus and its surroundings, including the shops on Broadway and of course the Yale Bookstore for t-shirts. We also had pizza at Pepe’s Pizzeria,  still considered one of the best pizzerias in the country.  I must say our pizzas were delicious. In the evening we stopped by Atticus Bookstore and Café for some coffee, scones and pretty postcards.


Yale University


More of Yale



We truly enjoyed our Gilmore Girls adventure. Have you been to any of these Connecticut towns? I would love to know what you enjoyed most.

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