The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

Growing the Cocoa Bean  |   Varieties of Cacao  |   Crop for Shipment  |   How to Make Cocoa Powder
Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
Eating Chocolates  |   Growing Chocolates  |   Chocolates just for kids


Rice for Dessert

Rice is not a traditional dessert dish in my home. But it's hard to argue with a sweet, creamy, steaming bowl of good rice pudding. Perhaps it is childhood memories of winter in Minnesota that has me associating this dish with a satisfied, comfortably full belly. The smell of sweet milk and cinnamon and that unique texture of the rice on my tongue brings back memories of a warm kitchen on a cold Minnesota winter day, the wind howling outside while the warm coziness of a sweet smelling kitchen kept us warm and snug. Unless you have experienced the below zero temperatures that is part of what winter in Minnesota means, it's hard to truly appreciate the warm snugness of a truly cozy kitchen.

When winter howls cold and fierce outside your door, I hope one of these recipes can keep you warm and snug with the ones you love. Creamy Rice Pudding 2 cups cooked rice 1/3 cup raisins 2 1/2 cups milk, divided 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons butter 2 eggs, beaten In a large saucepan, mix together the rice, raisins, salt and 2 1/4 cups milk. Cook over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the butter, sugar, eggs and 1/4 cup milk to the pudding mixture. Heat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the mixture thickens to pudding consistency.

Remove from heat and add in the vanilla extract. Put in serving dishes and sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Serves 6. Pineapple Rice Pudding 3 cups rice 3 cups milk 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) crushed pineapple 3 eggs, separated 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup flaked coconut In a large saucepan, mix together the rice, milk, sugar and butter. Stirring occasionally, cook over medium heat for 25 minutes or until the mixture is thick.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and add some of the rice mixture into the yolks. Add the yolk mixture to the rice mixture and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and blend in the pineapple and cinnamon. Let the mixture cool. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and then add them to the rice mixture.

Put the mixture into a greased 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle the coconut on top of the mixture and bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

A passion for baking and stories is part of everything Jill Borash does on her website, Come visit to read the baking recipes and stories, share one of your own or get recipe scrapbooking supplies to create your own story. Happy Baking!


The Gentle Art of Frying - A stranger approached the Abbey, or so the story goes, and hammered on the old oaken door.

How to eat well on a tight budget - Just about everyone wants to eat better, but budgetary constraints sometimes make healthy eating a difficult goal.

Do you know how to choose the healthiest frozen meals - When it comes to eating healthy, fresher is almost always better.

Kid Recipes - How To Teach Your Children To Cook If you're ready to teach your children how to cook (with kid recipe), here are some simple tips for teaching them the basics, and giving them skills that will last them a lifetime.

Chinese Cuisine Whats In A Name - There's more to Chinese cuisine than meets the taste buds.