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Raise a Spoon for Vanilla Pudding

One of my earliest food memories is devouring a bowl of pudding with my mom. It's one of those snacks that's great when you're 3 or 30. Today happens to be National Vanilla Pudding Day and to celebrate I say we all go out and raise a spoon (full of pudding of course!) in honor. You could go the pre-made, or instant route, but if you've got the time, why not give a smooth homemade version a chance? Serve it with vanilla cookies or animal crackers and you'll be set. For the recipe,

Vanilla Pudding
From Real Simple March 2005

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Pour 1/4 cup of the milk into the sugar mixture, stirring to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk and the egg yolks. Cook the pudding mixture over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until thickened, about 15 minutes. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Scrape the pudding into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the surface to make an airtight seal and prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

Yield: Makes 4 servings (2 cups)

CALORIES 273(39% from fat); FAT 12g (sat 7g); PROTEIN 5mg; CHOLESTEROL 130mg; CALCIUM 151mg; SODIUM 127mg; FIBER 0g; CARBOHYDRATE 36g; IRON 0mg

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