Love in the Kitchen

February 09,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

I love hearts. Always have, probably always will. I just love love, so you can imagine that I love this time of year. I love wearing red, making love-y food, and placing my heart wreath on the front door. So to celebrate love and sweetness, I whipped up some vanilla pudding with R and his friend J. They both got on the stool, helping with adding ingredients and stirring. When we were done, I whipped up some easy strawberry sauce to use as decoration on the vanilla pudding. If you put a small dollop of strawberry sauce on top of the vanilla pudding, and pull a toothpick through it, you can create some cute little hearts on top of your pudding: Okay, so Martha Stewart I am not, but they’re still pretty cute, right? J and R favored the heart-shaped sprinkles on their creations: The strawberry sauce is basically warmed strawberry jam that I pushed through a sieve to make it easier to pour: You can use any old vanilla pudding recipe of course, but this is our recipe: Sweet Pea Vanilla Pudding 3/4 cup evaporated skim milk 3-3/4 cups skim milk 3/4 cup sugar 5 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla extract Mix all ingredients *except* vanilla in a heavy saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat, and stir with a whisk. Be sure to continue stirring so nothing settles to the bottom of the pan and burns. Bring the mixture to a boil, as you are stirring constantly, and then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer 1 minute, or until the mixture thickens a bit. Remove from heat, mix in the vanilla, and let cool a bit. Pour into a bowl and cover the top with wax paper or saran wrap (this prevents it from getting a "skin"). Refrigerate for a couple hours or until set. Makes 8 servings Life is sweet! SPC