First, for the cat update. Sadly, my cat Emily(see above) passed away almost two months ago. She had cancer and was old(14 1/2, to be exact, which is pretty old in cat years). Emily was the very first pet I had and she was so beautiful. Toward the end of her life, she became a cranky old lady, not wanting to play with her 3 (non-biological) feline brothers.
Emily apparently was meant to be an only cat, because when my family adopted Chandler(R.I.P.) and Cameron, she hated them and would fight them if they interacted with her. Jordan, on the other hand, she liked, but maybe that was because we took Jordan in as a kitten and Emily didn't see him as a threat.
Every cat has a backstory, and Emily is no exception. In 2004, she lived with her biological feline brother at a neighbor's house on my block. They moved away and threw Emily out onto the streets, taking just her biological brother. Emily was living outside for 6 months. Another neighbor was feeding her cold cuts but couldn't take her in, as she had several other cats already.
My mom(R.I.P.) noticed Emily and introduced me to her. I wasn't always a cat lover. Up until that point when I met Emily, I hated animals as a result of a traumatizing incident in Kindergarten when the class gerbil bit my finger(what? I was only 5 at the time). Emily made me love cats. She was there for me in my formative adolescence and college years.
And now the newest feline member of my family: Misty! She is 3 1/2 years old and my family adopted her a month ago from the local animal hospital(they always have cats up for adoption). Misty is special in that she's a black cat and those sort of cats are least likely to be adopted(maybe it's due to the superstition of black cats being bad luck, black cats not being very photogenic, just plain bias against darker-colored creatures and people, or all of the above).
Misty's backstory: She was dropped off at the animal hospital when she was just 6 months old and unlike today, she was emaciated. But she bulked up and was brought back to health. The people at the animal hospital didn't call her Misty- they referred to her as Beauty, because she is one.
Beauty was up for adoption for 3 years! She wasn't the original cat my dad and I wanted to adopt. After we put Emily to sleep, we saw an adorable 3-week old female orange kitten. But we couldn't take the kitten home because she was too young to be tested for FIV and feline leukemia. It turned out the kitten was FIV-negative and feline leukemia-negative, but apparently someone else adopted the cat before we could, even though we said we'd like to adopt her if she passed those tests.
But all was not lost as two days prior, my dad told me about a female adult black cat up for adoption. I tried interacting with Beauty from her cage, but she wasn't very responsive or playful to strangers. So I just brushed Beauty off as not a very playful cat. But I really wanted to adopt a female cat that day, so I settled on her.
I like giving my cats human names and the name Misty is very similar to Beauty. Misty is in fact a very playful girl- and a big one too! She weighs 15.3 pounds, which is due to both her large frame and obesity. Misty scares the boys(Cameron and Jordan) off due to her size so they don't mess with her.
Enough about the cats, now I'm going to talk about the rice cakes. Every time I go to the supermarket, I always see so many different flavors of puffed rice cakes(the Quaker brand, not the recipe I made)- from chocolate rice cakes to even buttered popcorn-flavored ones!
But I also noticed on the Internet different colors of rice- red, black, brown, white, yellow, pink, etc.. In addition, riced vegetables are all the rage these days, so there's cauliflower rice, which can be purple, orange, green, or white; and even riced beets! You can also make riced vegetables from spiralized veggie noodles too, although when I tried doing that, I ended up with something resembling mashed vegetables more than rice.
I wanted to combine as many colors of rice as possible into a rice cakes because the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of rice is rice cakes. But the rice cakes turned out to look more like latkes than anything else. Coincedentally, Hannukah this year starts on Christmas Day, so like the invention of corn flakes(which was accidental), I accidentally found a new purpose for this recipe- for latkes made from rice and not potatoes!
The latkes didn't hold its shape together. But that really didn't matter because they tasted so good! My dad said they tasted like vegetables, which is true, given 4 of the 6 rices in the latkes weren't rices at all- they were riced vegetables.
Like potato-based latkes, they pair well with applesauce and they reminded me of the latkes my mom used to make me!
Did you know Bhutan red rice is Bhutan's only export!?
HELPFUL LINKS: Bhutan Red Rice: https://www.amazon.com/Lotus-Foods-Heriloom-Bhutan-Gluten/dp/B00198C8BG/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1482101477&sr=8-2&
Forbidden Black Rice: https://www.amazon.com/Lotus-Foods-Heirloom-Forbidden-Black/dp/B00198C89I/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1482101527&sr=1-2&
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
A food processor
A microwave-safe bowl with lid
A cheese grater
A large bowl
A frying pan
For the rice cakes:
12 oz. butternut squash noodles
3/4 cup riced beets
Purple cauliflower rice
3/4 cup broccoli rice using 1 1/2 stalks
1/2 raw onion
Bhutan red rice(see HELPFUL LINK)
Forbidden black rice(see HELPFUL LINK)
2 beaten and lightly whisked eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. All-purpose flour
Olive oil for frying
Applesauce to dip the rice cake latkes in
1. Put the butternut squash noodles in the bowl of the food processor. Put the lid on the bowl, plug the food processor in, and pulse the noodles until they look something like rice.
2. Transfer the pulsed butternut squash into a microwave-safe bowl. Add the riced beets and purple cauliflower rice into the microwave-safe bowl.
3. Grate the heads of 1 1/2 stems of broccoli against a cheese grater using the largest grates on the grater(this will make the broccoli look like rice the most), until you get 3/4 cup of riced broccoli. To make it easier for you, you can also break the broccoli apart into smaller pieces and grate it that way.
4. Put the riced broccoli into the microwave-safe dish.
5. Put the lid on the microwave-safe dish and microwave the riced vegetables for 8 minutes to soften them up.
6. Put the softened, riced vegetables into a large bowl.
7. Cook 1/4 cup of raw Bhutan red rice and 1/4 cup of raw forbidden black rice in 2 separate saucepots. Follow the directions on each bag of rice.
8. Put the cooked Bhutan red rice and forbidden black rice into the large bowl.
9. Add the next 7 ingredients into the large bowl.
10. Mix all the ingredients up until you get a firm mixture.
11. Pour olive oil into a frying pan and spread the oil throughout the inside of the pan.
12. Turn the stove on to heat the oil up. Once the oil is heated up, spoon the rice mixture into the frying pan. Flatten the rice mixture into patties using the back of a spatula. Cook the patties for 1-2 minutes before flipping them over with the spatula. If the patties break apart, just move the broken apart patties into a new patty using the spatula.
13. Cook the patties on the other side for 1-2 minutes before putting the latkes onto a plate. Repeat for as many batches as needed to use all of the rice mixture(I needed to make 4 batches).
14. Dip the latkes into some applesauce. Bon appetit!