Did you know that there are rules to cooking rice? Not set in stone rules with potentially catastrophic consequences like disobeying the rules of the road. 🛑More like guidelines to follow to ensure that your rice is the most tasty and delicious that it can possibly be. Fortunately, the rules for making great rice are relatively easy to learn and to follow - and you don't need a license to do it.
These are my simple rules to follow when cooking rice:
1. Always toast your rice in a skillet with a little bit of oil prior to adding other liquids.
2. After adding liquid, bring the rice to a full boil before reducing the heat.
3. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and DO NOT OPEN IT - no matter how good it smells while it's cooking.
4. When the cooking time is up, leave the lid on the pan for 5 full minutes.
5. After removing the lid, let the rice rest for 20 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
These rules for rice can be applied to almost any long grain rice recipe. (The exception would be sushi rice or arborio rice used in risotto which come with their own set of cooking rules.) I've used this method for so long now that it's just become part of my rice routine. Using these little tricks ensures that my rice dishes are truly special.
Rice is a staple to Mexican food. It's almost absurd to think of eating a burrito or an enchilada without a side of rice and beans. It just wouldn't be right. Like going to a Mexican restaurant and NOT eating a basket of salty corn chips and salsa. That would be crazy.
Fortunately, making great, fluffy rice to accompany all of your Mexican meals at home is easier than you might think. AND if you follow my rice rules, you're almost guaranteed to have the most delicious, flavorful rice you've ever tasted.
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 tomato, quartered
1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
1 garlic clove, chopped
1-1 3/4 cups chicken broth
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
This is a very basic Mexican rice recipe. There are a lot of things that you can add to add some more flair and finesse. As for me, I like to add a squeeze a lime and a half teaspoon of cumin to my Mexican rice. I want to know what you add to your rice though. Avocado, rice, taco seasoning, onion, salsa? What have you tried?
It's time for a breakfast shake up. I've slipped into a breakfast rut and I've been eating the same exact breakfast every day for months now. I love breakfast food but if I'm being honest, I get tired of even my most favorite foods when I eat them every single day. It's not that I don't crave new and interesting breakfast foods - the problem is that I don't have the energy or brain function to generate an original idea or execute a new breakfast idea at 6:30 in the morning.
I actually was much better about preparing breakfast when my kids were at home and I felt compelled to send them off to school with a warm, homemade breakfast in their bellies. #momguilt I guess I just needed their sweet little faces looking at me from across the breakfast table as motivation because for some reason, I can't seem to muster the strength to do fix the same meal for myself in the morning.
A simple, six ingredient puffy pancake seems like a manageable task in the morning - even for me. I can even mix up the batter before I go to bed and store it in the refrigerator until morning. This is such a quick and easy breakfast treat that I really have no excuse for ever eating a boring breakfast again.
Mini Puffed Pancakes
6 Tablespoons flour
6 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup fresh fruit
1 Tablespoon orange marmalade
Top puffed pancakes with fruit before serving.
I love fresh berries but finding fresh berries is getting increasingly difficult as we move further into Fall here. I'm going to try this recipe again soon with apple slices and pomegranate seeds. 🍎I'm envisioning puffed pancakes with fresh peach slices on top for a summer breakfast. 🍑 Who's got some other topping suggestions for me? Send me your comments.
I am a girl who loves pasta. It's the ultimate comfort food for me and to be honest, my life would feel incomplete without it. I don't need fancy and elaborate pasta dishes. A simple carbonara or buttered noodle dish is sufficient. In my world, pasta is the ultimate "fast food". It's efficient cooking for sure. I can put together a simple sauce in the time that it takes to boil the pasta noodles. Plus, pasta is a meal in itself. A slice of toasted ciabatta or crusty Italian bread and a glass of wine is really all I need to make a pasta meal complete. 🍝🥖
I feel like pasta has a bad reputation. I know that it can be really nutritious, especially whole grain pasta, but I still can't escape carbohydrate consumption guilt. 😂 Why is there such a stigma around pasta? To compensate for my pasta remorse, I add vegetables and protein to my whole grain pasta so I don't feel quite so guilty about eating all the carbs. I like to cook seasonally so in the summer, it's fresh tomatoes and basil, and in the Fall, I add eggplant and zucchini to my pasta dishes. It's all about using the freshest, ingredients possible.
A true pasta lover knows that leftover pasta is just as good and sometimes even better than freshly made pasta. Leftover pasta might be the most underrated food of all time. The longer that the ingredients meld together - the better the flavor. It's the reason that lasagna tastes better day after it's made.
Taking leftover spaghetti noodles and turning them into chicken tetrazzini is a win - win if you're a pasta lover. For starters, whole grain noodles with vegetables and chicken make for a really nutritious meal. Using up leftover pasta in a new way can also keep leftovers from becoming boring and mundane. Making the chicken tetrazzini a day or two in advance so the flavors get a chance to mingle just makes sense. Not to mention the fact that you've got a complete meal, ready to toss in the oven at a moments notice when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry.
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon sherry
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
6 Tablespoons cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1/2 cup panko
Chicken tetrazzini is my jam. I love this for so many reasons but most of all - it's just really, really good. I hope that you get as much enjoyment out of this recipe as I did.
Anyone else have a Halloween hangover this morning? Halloween is one of our favorite nights. I love seeing all of the kids in costume, almost as much as I love dressing my dog up in a Halloween costume every year. (Mia loves dressing up like a lion, BTW) 🦁😂We usually set up camp on the front porch for the evening because quite honestly, I don't think that our doorbell could keep up with the volume of trick or treaters that come through our neighborhood every year. You'd be surprised how long a thermos full of coffee, an overflowing bucket of candy and some adorable kids in costumes can keep me entertained.
I don't know what Halloween night is like where you live, but around here, trick or treaters start ringing the doorbell before 6:00. 👻 I'm all for early trick or treating - especially on school nights - but it means that I have to have dinner prepped, cooked, eaten and cleaned up - all before 6:00 when the Halloween festivities begin. The alternative is to just eat Halloween candy for dinner - we've done that too.
This Chicken Cutlet dinner is perfect for busy nights like Halloween. Don't be fooled by the short ingredient list or the simple 5 step process. What this recipe lacks in procedure, it makes up for in big, bold flavor. Sometimes, a simple chicken dinner can be just as elegant and decadent as a fancy steak dinner.
Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
1 pound chicken cutlets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup slivered oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Serve chicken with parsley and sauce.
Another great year of Halloween fun is in the books. Now it's on to prepping for Thanksgiving dinner and watching Hallmark Christmas movies. 😂
What is the deal with pancetta? Is it just fancy, more expensive, hard to find bacon? Is it really necessary in recipes or can you swap pancetta out with bacon? Why do people use pancetta? Is it really THAT much better than bacon? I've got a lot of questions. 🥓🤷🏻♀️
I used to be able to buy pancetta from the deli department in my local grocery store. They've recently stopped carrying it though and the only way that I can buy it now is in the prepackaged, sliced deli meat and cheese case. I'm not a pancetta expert so I really don't know if this kind of pre-packaged pancetta is any good or if I'd be better off with bacon. Where are my pancetta experts? Can you help a girl out? I need answers.
I did a little research and I found out that the biggest difference between bacon and pancetta is that bacon is smoked and cured and pancetta is seasoned, rolled and cured. I'd say that pancetta is the Italian cousin of bacon. It's used for things like soups, pastas and risottos. Most cooks believe that one can be swapped for the other in most recipes as long as you keep in mind that bacon will add a smoky flavor that pancetta will not.
This simple pasta and cheese recipe is what first stirred all of this bacon/pancetta curiosity. Changing just one of the five ingredients in the recipe can really alter the results. I decided to do a little of my own research. I made one batch with pancetta and the other batch with bacon. The results were inconclusive. We liked both pasta dishes. They were different but both were delicious. How's that for ambiguous?
Pasta with Pancetta and Pecorino
8 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4" thick
1 Tablespoon oil
1 pound pasta
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
Reduce heat to low and add pasta, pancetta and pecorino. Stir 1 minute.
Serve with additional pepper and pecorino.
Hey pancetta people - where you at? Send me the information that you know about pancetta and any advice that you have for this novice pancetta user. I need support and more importantly - I need to know where I can buy great pancetta in the greater Atlanta area. 😂
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