The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Emilie’s Arroz con Leche

emilie (step 2)
lidia pouring evaporated millk (step 3)
lidia stirring water (step 1)
step 2
step 4
step 5

Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.” Each week throughout the semester, a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words.  This post features Emilie who made rice pudding with her close family friend, Lidia.

Having a very large family, we are lucky that we always want to get together as much as possible.  We are all very close! I come from a Dominican family, and when we spend time together, it is usually more than 30 people crammed into my grandma’s tiny apartment, with her tiny little Yorkie yelping at us for some human food. My grandma is usually in the kitchen with her closest friends, Lidia and China, cooking all of the rich and fatty Hispanic foods you can think of such as pernil (pork shoulder) or moro (rice and beans).  After we’ve all had dinner, we eat arroz con leche, also known as rice pudding, made by Lidia. I love how sweet it is, and in particular I love its texture. It is so creamy and warm, served as soon as it is done cooking, and this particular version is very dense and thick. Its smell always brings me back to moments when my mom used to cook it for me when I was sick. It was my favorite food, and still is one of my favorites. Although my mother’s rice pudding recipe is pretty good, I have never tried any rice pudding better than Lidia’s.”                                                                                                                                                            – Emilie



  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 ½ cups of white rice
  • 7 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lime’s skin peeled
  • 24 fluid ounces of evaporated milk
  • 14 fluid ounces of condensed milk
  • 3 cups of organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • (optional) ground cinnamon for finish

Servings: 40


1.     Add the water, cinnamon sticks, and lime peel into a pot. Heat until the water starts to boil.

2.     Pour the rice into the boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

3.     While the rice is cooking, add the evaporated milk, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar into another pot and cook for about 30 minutes.

4.     Pour the milky mixture into the rice pot and cook it for 20-25 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.     Pour the condensed milk into the mixture, cooking it for about 10 more minutes.

Then, it’s ready to eat! Sprinkle some ground cinnamon over the rice pudding for more flavor.