This drink is a tasty snack popularly served in Central America. It is a thick and sweet drink, with a consistency similar to a smoothie or eggnog. It can be served hot or cold.  

  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 2 ½ tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • Cinnamon powder to taste 
  • 5 cloves (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

  1. Place ½ cup of rice in water (enough to more than cover than rice) for 1 hour. Once the rice is thoroughly wet, drain out the water.
  2. Mix the sugar with the cornstarch.
  3. Finely grind the wet rice (using either a mortar and pestle or a blender) and then strain it, along with the milk, through a sieve.
  4. Dissolve the sugar and cornstarch mixture in the strained milk. Add the cinnamon stick (plus the cloves or raisins if desired).
  5. Over medium heat, heat the mixture for about 30 minutes, stirring continuously, until it boils and thickens slightly.
  6. Pour it into a serving container, and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Serve hot or cold, as a drink or soup.

Serves 8


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Arroz con frijoles y unos amables ratones / Mice and Beans  (English or Spanish)
by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Rosa Maria is planning for her youngest grandchild's birthday party, but strangely, important things ­ like her wooden spoons, her big bolsa for grocery shopping, and even her mousetraps ­ keep disappearing. Readers will delight in uncovering the clues as to where her things are going!

Sopa de piedras / Stone Soup  (English or Spanish)
by Marcia Brown, translated by Teresa Mlawer
This old French tale tells the story of three weary soldiers on their way home from war. While passing through a town, the hungry men ask for something to eat. When the selfish villagers hide all their food, the soldiers find a clever way to get a meal. 

Si le das una galletita a un ratón / If You Give a Mouse a Cookie  (English or Spanish)
by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
The reader is taken through a child's day through a mouse's seemingly unending requests and activities when he is offered a cookie. 

Everybody Cooks Rice (English)
by Norah Dooley, illustrated by Peter ThorntonA child is sent to find a younger brother at dinnertime and is introduced to a variety of cultures through encountering the many different ways rice is prepared at the different households visited. 

Nana's Rice Pie (English)
by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, illustrated by Joyce Haynes 
A young girl complains that she is tired of living on a rice farm, until her grandmother reminds her of all their blessings and coaxes her into helping to make a pie for her father. Includes recipe. 

How Do You Raise a Raisin?
by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Craig Brown (English)
People have been gobbling up yummy, nutritions raisins for centuries. Ancient Greeks and Romans awards them at sporting events and astronauts have taken raisins into space. Find out how grapes become raisins, who introduce the seedless grape, and the many uses for raisins.